Anarchists in the Gulag (and prison and exile)

Bolshevik repression of anarchists after 1917

New files on the Senya Fleshin papers blog

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The introduction to the scanned Senya Fleshin papers has been updated.

The new files are:
Extra material from Folder 76 – Venger, Rachil’. 1931, 1932.
Folder 85
Folder 86 part one and
Folder 86 part two
Folder 85 and 86 are administrative documents including minutes, letters to the Aid Fund etc)

Happy researching!

Written by gulaganarchists

24, May 2015 at 10:47 am

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Exhibition on Russian anarchism and Disussion of the Spanish Civil War: Cultural activities of the Russian section of the International Workers’ Association (IWA-AIT)

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Activists of the Federation of Workers in Education, Science and Technology (FRONT), an affiliate of the Russian section (KRAS) of the International Workers Association (IWA-AIT), participated in the organization of a series of cultural events in Moscow, the purpose of which was to familiarize the public with the history, experience and practice of anarchism and the anarcho-syndicalist movement.

KRAS1

On April 17 2015, in the Centre for Social-Political History of the State Public Historical Library (GPIB), an exhibition entitled “The History of Anarchism: Sources” had its official opening. On display were a sampling of the books and periodicals of the most valuable collections of the former State Public Historical Library (GOLB), devoted to the prehistory of anarchism, to Russian anarchism in the 19th and 20th centuries, to the international anarchist and anarcho-syndicalist movements of the 20th century, and also to the contemporary Russian libertarian movement. Included were works by William Godwin, Pierre-Joseph Proudhon, Joseph Déjacque, Ernest Coeurderoy, Max Stirner, Mikhail Bakunin, Peter Kropotkin, Errico Malatesta, Jean Grave, Sébastien Faure, Benjamin Tucker, Anselmo Lorenzo, John Henry Mackay, Vsevolod Voline, Alexei Borovoy, Nestor Makhno, Peter Arshinov, Apollon Karelin, Emma Goldman, Alexander Berkman, Émile Armand, Federica Montseny, Rudolf Rocker, Karl Roche, Abel Paz, and many other famous libertarians, published at various times in various languages. There were also issues of the newspapers Obshchina [Commune] and Chernyy peredel [Black distribution – a revolutionary slogan referring to the radical redistribution of land to the peasants]; anarchist publications from the Russian revolutions of 1905–1907 and 1917–1921; newspapers of the global anarcho-syndicalist movement – Der Syndikalist (Germany), La Protesta (Argentina) and Solidaridad Obrera (Spain); and libertarian Samizdat publications of the period of Perestroika and the 1990s.

Members of FRONT assisted Library workers in assembling and annotating the materials for the exhibition.

The scholars, library employees and libertarian activists (including members of FRONT) who spoke at the official opening not only commented on the materials on display, but also briefed those present on relevant examples from the rich history of the movement and its practice in various fields of endeavour, such as anarcho-syndicalism/labour movement, anti-militarism, the struggle against repression and prisons, equal rights for women, “free love”, literature, art, etc. The speakers called upon researchers to expand the study of anarchism, both its ideas and its practice. Splendid opportunities for this exist thanks to the availability of the necessary research materials.

* * * *

KRAS2

On April 19 2015 a round table on the history of the Spanish Civil War of 1936–1939 was held at the Dostoevsky Library in Moscow. Comrades from the Russian section of the IWA-AIT acted as co-organizers of the event, along with the administration of the Vkontakte [Russian social network] group “Guerra Civil Española / Grazhd. voyna v Ispanii” [Civil War in Spain]. Addressing the meeting, researchers told about the role and actions of the anarcho-syndicalists in the Spanish revolution, about the May events of 1937, about the radical wing of Spanish anarcho-syndicalism (which led the struggle against concessions to bourgeois-Stalinist “antifascism” by the leadership of the movement, about the Russian anarchists who fought in Spain, about cultural aspects of the Spanish drama and civil war. . . During the round table, as one would expect, a debate developed among the participants. On one side were those who defended the line of the radical wing of the Spanish libertarian movement; on the other side, the proponents of “antifascist unity”, who tried to justify the concessions of the steering committees of the CNT and FAI . . . The audience had the opportunity to ask questions and convince themselves of the compelling nature of the arguments of the supporters of anarcho-syndicalism and libertarian communism.

The Russian section of the IWA-AIT attaches great importance to such events, which not only contribute to the spread of knowledge about the theory and practice of our movement, but also strengthen the position of anarchism in the uphill struggle for “cultural hegemony” that has to be carried on today against reactionary, liberal and authoritarian views.

  • Confederation of Russian Anarcho-Syndicalists (KRAS) [Translation, Malcolm Archibald]

Written by gulaganarchists

8, May 2015 at 10:37 am

Postcard from Aulie-Ata, 1931 – Berta Tubismann

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25/VIII Aulie-Ata* 10/X/1931

I very gratefully acknowledge receipt of the items most kindly sent to me in a bag containing: 1 kg butter, ¼ kg semolina & 4½ kg flour, all the other items listed in the customs declaration disappeared on the way here — where to, I have no idea. They took 15 roubles in customs duty on these few things that are left. The first consignment reached me complete and in good condition; I did acknowledge receipt of same too but I don’t know whether you received what I sent. If all is well, I am thinking of leaving here in January of next year.

Berta Hibes Tubismann

63 Bazaar Street, Aulie-Ata

* Aulie-Ata: town in Kazakhstan, now called Taraz.

From: From Folder 75 of the Flechine Archive at the IISG in Amsterdam: http://search.socialhistory.org/Record/ARCH00414/Description.. Translated by: Murray Glickman.

 

From http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/v41qd6

Written by gulaganarchists

30, March 2015 at 9:44 am

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Soviet anarcho-mystic Julian Shchutsky commemorated by plaque

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On March 21, 2015, a plaque was unveiled on the house in St Petersburg where sinologist Julian Konstantinovich Shchutsky (1897-1938) lived [1]. The plaque was installed as part of non-state, public-funded “Last address” project, commemorating the victims of Stalinist repressions in the USSR [2]. Shchutsky’s plaque, one of the first in St Petersburg, is located at 9 Dekabristov Street. The unveiling was attended by two of his granddaughters [3].

Professor Shchutsky, who worked at the Leningrad State University, Institute of Oriental Studies and the State Hermitage, is known as the first translator of “I-Ching, or Book of Changes” into Russian [4]. Shchutsky was arrested two months after defending his PhD dissertation on “I-Ching”, on August 3, 1937, at the Leningrad Region village of Pitkelevo. He was charged with counter-revolutionary activities under articles 58-10 and 58-11 of the RSFSR Criminal Code. The investigation, led by State Security officer Jr. Lt. Drozdetsky, fabricated the case against the “terrorist” anti-Soviet anarcho-mystical group “Order of the Templars”, based on remaining personal connections between former anthroposophers and anarcho-mystics. The fabrication was sanctioned by the head of department No 4 of the Leningrad Region directorate of the NKVD, Capt. Karpov. Testimony incriminating Shchutsky was forced from Moscow architect G. V. Gorinevsky, who was not personally acquainted with him, and from F. B. Rostopchin, who was brought in to testify from exile. Rostopchin”testified” that he recruited Shchutsky in early 1935, on his way home from work. During his second interview, on September 3, 1937, Shchutsky signed a confession, as he was unable to withstand moral and physical torture. On February 18, 1938, he was sentenced to death by a visiting board of the Supreme Court [5].

He was executed by firing squad on the same day, alongside physicist Aleksei Sinyagin (1901-1938), sentenced in the same case. In the late 1920s, Sinyagin joined the Leningrad branch of the anarcho-mystical “Order of the Russian Templars”, in which he was the supporter of “anarchist, not mystical current” and tried to persuade his comrades “to go into the streets to oppose the evil personified by Soviet dictatorship”. In 1935, Shchutsky joined the same group [6]. During an interview on Sept. 3, 1937, Shchutsky said that Order of Templars was “a deeply clandestine organisation of anarchist current”, which used mysticism as a cover [7, p. 308]. Toymaker Andrey Sparionapte (1893-1937) told investigators that Shchutsky “expressed anarchist views” although he did not reveal that he identified as an anarchist [7, p. 317].

Shchutsky was rehabilitated in 1958, and his translation of “I-Ching” was published in 1960 [5]. Buried presumably at the Levashovo Memorial Cemetery [8].

[Compiled by Szarapow]

1 http://www.poslednyadres.ru/news/news45.htm

2 http://www.poslednyadres.ru/about/

3 https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10206129697030874

4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julian_Shchutsky

5 http://vostokoved.academic.ru/667/Шуцкий,_Юлиан_Константинович

6 http://www.makhno.ru/forum/calendar.php?do=getinfo&day=2015-2-18

7 Orden rossiyskikh tampliyerov. Tom 2. Dokumenty 1930-1944 gg. M., 2003. (Order of the Russian Templars. Vol. 2. Documents 1930-1944. Compiled and published by A. L. Nikitin. Moscow, 2003. Materials concerning the Shchutsky and Sinyagin case are at pp. 304-322).

8

http://www.poslednyadres.ru/articles/shutskiy.htm

Written by gulaganarchists

30, March 2015 at 9:15 am

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New book: The Revolution is dead! Long live the revolution!

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«Революция умерла! Да здравствует революция!»[The Revolution is dead! Long live the revolution!] – Yury Glushakov

Published in 2015, 176 pp, 12 pp of illustrations, paperback.

hlskCoverimage

This book by the Belorussian historian Yury Glushakov is the first important work describing the formation and development of the anarchist movement of the first quarter of the 20th century on the territory of the regions which now comprise the Republic of Belarus.

Basing himself on a wide range of sources – archival documents from Belarus and Russia, information in the legal and underground press, memoirs of eye-witnesses, and also the rather scanty researches of historians, – the author traces a lively picture of the stormy social-political life in Grodno, Minsk, Mogilev, Vitebsk and Vilna provinces. It was here around 1902 that the first real anarchist organizations of the Russian Empire appeared, along with other revolutionary tendencies. The book shows the important role played by these organizations, activists, and ideologies in the revolution of 1905–1907, in the inter-revolutionary period, and after the fall of tsarism. Soviet power was not accepted by all the anarchists of Belarus, but their organizational resistance was suppressed by the second half of the 1920s.

On the pages of the book pass hundreds, if not thousands of personalities – inhabitants of cities, towns, villages and even aristocratic estates, which were fated to live under conditions of constant violence, war, strikes, lock-outs, pogroms, armed uprisings, expropriations and “Stolypin neckties”. The author investigates in detail the ideological transformations of anarchism and hybrid tendencies such as the Makhaevists or SR-Maximalists during the period when they played an important political role. He analyzes the conditions which allowed the anarchists to attract the masses to their side, and uncovers the reasons why their selfless struggle did not lead to the establishment of an stateless society. Among those reasons were the reliance on militancy, which led to duels between the revolutionaries and the authorities; and also the drastic changes in social and economic circumstances, cutting the ground from under them.

Translated from https://slovosleva.wordpress.com/2015/01/26/hlusakou/

Written by gulaganarchists

5, March 2015 at 10:23 am

Posted in Sources / Links

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New article: Russian Anarchists in the Labour Movement in the Early 20th Century by Anatoly Dubovik

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In our native historical science the social base of the Russian anarchist movement in the early 20th century is traditionally regarded as being the petite-bourgeoisie. Thus, in works of the Soviet period a typical opinion is that of S. N. Kanyev, who noted that the dominant elements among the Russian anarchists were “the petit-bourgeois peasantry… small proprietors, handicraft workers and artisans, and also part of the intelligentsia”

 

But now we know better! Thanks to author Anatoly Dubovik and translator Malcolm Archibald, you can read this account of the class composition  – and activity – of the Russian anarchist movement from 1900 to the late 1930s on the Kate Sharpley Library website. PDF version: http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/5qfvvq  Also available in plain text http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/9cnqct

Written by gulaganarchists

17, February 2015 at 7:29 pm

Russian Anarchist letters

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Anonymous letters of exiled (or imprisoned) Russian anarchists, published outside Russia.

Questions regarding the letters:

A, who are they by and where were they written?

B, can other people/ places they mention be identified?

C, what was left out when they were translated or printed?

Read the file of letters: AnarchistLetters2015

http://senyafleshinpapers.wordpress.com/ should help in identifying the originals from which these published texts were translated. There is an index to these letters at: http://katesharpleylibrary.pbworks.com/w/page/90841686/Russian%20Anarchist%20letters

Written by gulaganarchists

3, January 2015 at 5:05 pm

Posted in Texts

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