The case of Aaron Baron

Exiled to Siberia by the Tzar, Baron had escaped to America and was active there for several years in the labor and revolutionary movement. In 1917 he returned to Russia to help “build Socialism”.

He became one of the most popular writers and lecturers in the Ukraine. In 1920 Baron was arrested by the Bolsheviks together with a large number of other delegates to the Kharkov Anarchist Congress which, by the way, was to be held with the knowledge of the authorities.

Since then Baron, like his comrades Ivan Charin, Leah Gottman, Michail Biriulin, L. Lebedov, etc., arrested on the same occasion, has been dragged about from prison to prison, without any definite charge-ever having been made against him or the others. His imprisonment in Moscow, Orel, Kharkov and other places has involved for Baron hunger strikes totaling 50 days.

Now, his sentence of two years in the Solovietzki Islands having expired, Baron hoped to be at liberty at least long enough to recuperate his shattered health. But a recent letter informs us that the Government has now brought the charge against him of having “aroused public sentiment abroad against his imprisonment in the Solovietzki and having induced revolutionists visiting Russia to seek his release.”

This charge is no doubt due to the friendly efforts of John Turner, member of the British Labor Delegation to Russia to intercede-at the request of the Joint Committee-in behalf of Aaron Baron. The latter has now been sent by etape (travel by slow stages, often on foot), to the distributing prison of Novo-Nikolaevsk and thence to Altai, Siberia.

A similar fate has been meted out to several other politicals whose terms in the Solovietzki have expired. This policy is now being applied throughout the country.

(Ibid). (“Bulletin of the Joint Committee for the Defense of Revolutionists in Russia,” March-April, 1925).

From: The Guillotine at work p542-3.