Anarchists in the Gulag (and prison and exile)

Bolshevik repression of anarchists after 1917

Archive for March 2016

Attention, Anarchists from Byalistok! [Aron Dovid]

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Cde. Aron Dovid from Byalistok is seeking to make contact with the comrades in America. He recently ended a three-year term of internal exile and has been sent into exile again, to a different place. He has been blind in one eye for some years now. Last winter, he lost the fingers of both hands through frostbite. Being a lishenets [disenfranchised], he cannot even find regular work in the Russian paradise. His address is available from the office of the “F.A.S.” [Fraye Arbeter Shtime]

The full text with notes is at http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/51c6ff

Written by gulaganarchists

28, March 2016 at 8:44 am

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In the USSR [1934]

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In the USSR

We have just received from the USSR several interesting documents, notably:

1. The last photograph of our lamented comrade ROGDAFEFF, who passed away recently in exile from illnesses contracted in prison. We had published the news of his death some time ago, along with a brief biography. Now we have printed his portrait on a postcard which we are selling to aid our Relief Fund [Fonds de Secours]. We are publishing here his last photograph:

RogdayevSmall

2. The photograph, quite recent, of our comrade Andrey ANDREYEV, known as a militant anarchist, arrested by the GPU in 1929 in Moscow, and found since either in prison (where heengaged in several “hunger strikes”) or in exile:

AndreyevSmall

3. The photograph – quite uplifting – of our comrade TUBISMAN, current living in Orel. Her gaunt, emaciated appearance speaks volumes about the situation “out there”. . .

[photography missing]

4. An interesting document, signed by comrade Andrey ANDREYEV and his partner Zora GANDLEVSKAYA. This document – an impassioned protest by our comrades against the arbitrary and ferocious repression exercised by the GPU – was sent by the signatories to the Bolshevik authorities. A copy of this document having reached us, we are submitting it to the attention and reflection of our readers:

Kremlin. Political Bureau.

Copy to the Administration of the GPU, Moscow

We protest.

Ten year have gone by since the final crushing of the libertarian groups in the USSR.

For a long time now, all the masses which the Bolsheviks felt it necessary to use during the first years of the revolution have been cast down. So long as the anarchists could be used as an advance guard to be sacrificed, so long as they were the cannon fodder of the revolution, they were tolerated and treated as “comrades”. But as soon as the exterior fronts were liquidated, and the interior counter-revolution crushed, the grounds for a political symbiosis disappeared, and the statists dug their claws into the sides of the anti-authoritarians.

The print shops are forbidden to us; our idea is completely suppressed, it cannot be spread through the medium of the press; former anarchist publications are confiscated . . . Without being tried, our comrades are locked up by the dozens in political isolators; by the hundreds, they go into exile. Quite often, they are executed . . . Women, the elderly, teenagers, they are all liable to be transferred at any time from places designated by the political authorities to other places designated by the same authorities, only to be again evicted and sent elsewhere. Thousands of people are forced to circulate through this immense country until they find their grave in some unhealthy neck of the woods.

Needless to say, facts known by all, such as the massacre at the Butyrki Prison, remain unpunished; the shooting at Solovki, the massacre at Verkne Uralsk. . . The hunger strikes in the prisons become routine, just as in tsarist times.

And how many cases of this kind remain in the shadows?

The verdicts of the GPU are only jesuitical lies. The terms of exile are constantly extended in one way or another . . . The so-called “political isolation” means at least nine years of terrible suffering in the prisons of the GPU and elsewhere, nine years of deprivation, of physical and moral torture, representing a sort of slow and methodical assassination which leaves no traces on the body. Throughout this suppression, the anarchists are treated as criminals, prostitutes, saboteurs . . .

Those who are released with limited right of residence must everywhere submit their papers identifying them as “outside-the-law”. This way they are exposed to being harassed by anyone, to be lynched in a manner slow but sure.

Exiles and those limited in their right of residence are arbitrarily deprived of any right to work. It’s only through pity that they can get some work here and there. We’re both unemployed, so we can furnish formal proof of this. Blacklists, lists of outcasts sentenced to the dry guillotine, these are the embodiment of an entire system.

Exhausted by prisons, by diseases untreatable under the conditions of exile, by physical privations and moral tortures, the anarchist Nicolai ROGDAEV, a militant of the Russian revolutions and the European revolutionary movement, dropped dead and was picked up . . . on Sacco-Vanzetti Street. His untimely death is the inevitable result of his “conviction” in 1929; we find ourselves in the same position and are exposed to the same fate. Indeed, many of us, especially among the “old-timers”, are doomed to come to the same end.

But we cannot wait in silence for the day when the blade will fall.

We will not submit to the restrictions on residence imposed on us after years of arbitrary exile. And, as soon as we are arrested, we will protest by a five-day hunger strike, both against the assassination of N. ROGDAEV as well as against the persecution of the anarchists. We shall continue this strike until we are given our freedom. And, if necessary, we shall not hesitate to carry our strike to the death. You can crush us with weapons, but the day will come when the idea of anarchism will topple all the authorities with all their weapons.

How long are you gong to continue harassing the anarchists?

We protest!

Signed: Zora GANDLEVSKAYA

Andrey ANDREYEV

14 February 1933

Moscow

We can add that a copy of a new protest written by the same comrades in Astrakhan in June 1933, a copy which we have in our possession, indicates that the comrades were indeed arrested. When they began a hunger strike, they were transported to Astrakhan where they were subjected to forced feeding after 18 days of their strike. The comrades ended their strike, declaring that if they continued to be harassed and tortured, they would have recourse to the only means of protest remaining to them: suicide.

Relief Fund of the A.I.T.

for anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists

imprisoned and exiled in Russia

March 1934.

Emma Goldman Papers. International Institute of Social History. Folder 22, pp. 26-29.

https://search.socialhistory.org/Record/ARCH00520/ArchiveContentList#

Translation: Malcolm Archibald

See also ‘Protest to the GPU’ for a different version of Gandlevskaya & Andreyev’s protest http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/msbdsv

 

from http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/280hbd

Written by gulaganarchists

23, March 2016 at 11:01 am

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Letter concerning Russian anarchist prisoner news in Voix Libertaire

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[flechine86-1g-6.jpg

handwritten on the letterhead of the “Association des Fédéralistes Anarchistes (A. F. A.) / Sécretariat”]

 

9 May 1929

My dear comrade,

This morning I received the copy of “En U.R.S.S.” to which was attached a note by Voline.

No, the reason for the non-appearance of the previous chronicle [la chronique] is not its publication in “Libertaire”.

Rather it is entirely due to the lack of space.

For more or less the last two months, we had on the back burner the articles of Spielman (on Tunisia), and Souchy (on Germany).

At the moment, only Spielman’s article remains to be published.

The first part of “En U.R.S.S.” (first sent on March 29 1929) will probably appear next week.

We’re glad to make all your collaborators happy, not to mention all our readers!

I hope that you will not be too hard on us because of this long delay given the limited format of “Voix Libertaire”.

Fraternal greetings to everyone.

R. Darsouze

P. S. To save time, don’t send your mailings by registered post.

 

René Darsouze (1876-1962), a typesetter by trade, was the editor-in-chief of “Voix Libertaire”, the organ of the AFA.

Translated by: Malcolm Archibald.

from http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/k6dkw2

Written by gulaganarchists

23, March 2016 at 10:31 am

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