A letter from Petrini

Readers will recollect that in our January 1936, issue we gave a report of the case of the deportation of Alfonso Petrini (Italian Anarchist) from Russia to Italy.

Since then the various sections of the Comintern have through their press and otherwise, been slandering our comrade on the grounds that he is an agent-provocateur for Fascism. It appears that soon after arriving in Italy he was released, but we have since heard a rumour that he was soon re-arrested on account of his opposition to the Abyssinian War.

We print a letter, (abridged) which was sent to our contemporary MAN! of San Francisco:

On May 24th, at the end of the exile sentence inflicted upon me by the Russian dictators, the police sent me to a political centre of deportation. And in these Russian political centres of deportation one meets numerous Anarchists, Socialists, dissident Communists etc.

Well, being in this centre of deportation, I decided at all costs to get out of the Bolsheviks’ grip.

I wrote to Litvinov, People’s Commissar of Foreign Affairs, and asked that I should be deported from Russian territory , and demanded in unbiased terms to be permitted to go to France, where for many years I had wanted to go, or to be deported to any country save Italy. I added however, that I should prefer to be jailed in Italy, than submit to further deportations in Russia, by the rulers of the “Workers Country”.

The Moscow dictators refused to let me go where I should be free to expose publicly the Bolsheviks’ criminal misdeeds, and then, to keep me silent, they delivered me over to the authorities of Fascist Italy.

And I have gathered edifying confessions from Russian Communists; their names will not be divulged for I do not wish to have them become the victims of the cruel and inexorable Soviet dictators.

Alfonso Petrini

[It will be noticed that Petrini says he wanted no more deportations in Russia, preferring the hell of Fascist Italy to that! Elsewhere in this issue will be found a report of the concentration camps in Russia, which gives a different picture to the inspired tales from the Comintern’s Press about “Model Prisons” etc.]

From: Freedom (London) May 1936.