Letter from Dora Stepnaya, May 17, 1927

Typed copy of a letter. Hand-written: To Senya.

Arkhangelsk, May 17, 1927

Dear friend! I received 60 roubles from you yesterday, and it was at a good hour. We await for changes any day now. We do not know who would end up where. And here Mariya Veger [1] ended up again without teeth (she had [false] teeth made last year at Verkhne-Uralsk, but they turned out to be of bad quality). And now it is time to insert or rather make an entire denture. They immediately asked for 60 roubles, so your parcel arrived quite in good time. It is quite impossible to establish how much money may be needed, all the money you sent I am splitting and mailing or hand out here immediately. Pyotr Yurchenko [2] with his family suffer much want, I personally make ends meet from my earnings (my husband gets 70 rubles per month). I will certainly write to you where everyone is exiled. Rakhil Shapiro [3] and Kolya Belyayev’s [4] situation was very bad, they did not work throughout the winter (they are in Kyzylorda). Besides, Rakhil’s little son [5] is always ill. The doctors say that he should definitely be taken to Crimea. But of course this is quite impossible. Rakhil suggested that I take the children to Crimea. But I cannot take on such a task because I am always ill myself. The spring came but my temperature jumped up to 38 degrees. I do not know yet how I will spend the summer, it does not depend on us, a week or two and it will all be clear. So that’s it for our news. Hello from all the comrades.

Dora Stepnaya [6]


[1] See http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/k98tr4

[2] Pyotr Sergeyevich Yurchenko (1899-1937), anarchist. Born in Belarus, ethnic Ukrainian. Arrested in October 1924, sentenced in April 1926 to three years’ internal exile in Arkhangelsk. Worked as lithographer at disabled men’s co-operative. In May 1932, sentenced to three years’ internal exile in Siberia [Yeniseysk] for “anti-Soviet activities”. Rehabilitated in August 1989. From various pages on Memo.ru website.

[3] Rakhil Davydovna (or Davidovna) Shapiro, born in 1897 in Brest-Litovsk, ethnic Jew, housewife, anarchist-communist. Lived in Moscow or in Surazh (Gomel Guberniya). Arrested on August 17 (or 21), 1921. Sentenced by Moscow Cheka on January 14, 1922 to two years’ imprisonment (or exile to Arkhangelsk Guberniya) for participation in an anarchist organization and counter-revolutionary activities. Later exiled to Berezov (1924) and to Siberia (1927). Rehabilited in 1997. - from http://lists.memo.ru/d36/f250.htm

According to ru.wikipedia.org Rakhil later lived in Simferopol and Ulyanovsk [There are letters from her from these cities in the Fleshin archive].

[4] Nikolay (Nikita) Mikhaylovich Belyayev (1899-13.08.1937), anarchist. Was married to Gita Osherovna Kots. - from http://socialist.memo.ru/lists/slovnik/l3.htm

[5] Apparently, David (Dodek), son of Alexander Shapiro http://libcom.org/history/sacha-piotr-sascha-pjotr-aka-alexander-shapiro-aka-sergei-18891890-1942

[6] Dora Moiseyevna Stepnaya, born in 1897, ethnic Jew, worker, anarchist, lived in Smolensk. Arrested November 15, 1922, sentenced February 23, 1923 to three years in prison camp. In October 1925 sentenced to three years’ internal exile to Uralsk. - from http://lists.memo.ru/d31/f263.htm [According to The guillotine at work, she died in Moscow in 1932. She had a son.]

Folder 71, Flechine archive, International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam.

From: Folder 71, Flechine archive, International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam. . Translated by: - Szarapow.