Polyakov (Polyakoff) David Grigor’evich (Poliakoff, David) (25.12.1892, Smolensk – 12.9.1942, Oświęcim [Auschwitz], Poland). Anarchist. In 1918 he was a member of the Smolensk Federation of Anarchists. From the beginning of 1919 he worked in various groups of the Confederation of Anarchist Organization of Ukraine “Nabat” and collaborated in putting out the anarchist newspaper La Libre féderation (Lausanne, 1915–1919). In 1923 Polyakov was arrested in Moscow and sentenced to exile in Turkestan, from there returned to Smolensk, but on the way escaped.
By 1924 he was in Poland, then emigrated to France. [He lived in the 20th and 11th arrondissements of Paris. He worked as a tailor and later as a mechanic.] He was a member of the French “Anarchist Union” as well as Russian and Jewish anarchist groups in Paris. A short time he was in the Unitary General Confederation of Labour (CGTU). In April 1925 he went illegally to Berlin and took part in organizing the escape of N. I. Makhno from Moabit Prison. He helped Makhno cross the border into Belgium and took him to Paris.
After the split the Abroad Organisation of the Russian Anarchist-Communists “Delo Truda” in 1928, he joined Nicolas Lazarévitch and Ida Mett to form the Collective of the Russian Workers Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists (Kollektiv russkikh rabochikh anarkhistov i anarkho-sindikalistov), which published the magazine “Osvobozhdenie Profsoiuzov” (Paris, November 1928).
From November 1930 Polyakov was a member of the “Relief Fund of the International Working Men’s Association (IWMA) for Anarchists and Anarcho-Syndicalists Imprisoned or Exiled in Russia”; among other, he corresponded with the exiled anarchists A.A. Kolemasov, S.A. Ruvinsky. As a representative of the Fund he took part in the 4th Congress of the IWA (Madrid, 16-21.6.1931).
On the eve of the capture of Paris by German forces in May, 1940, he fled to the west of France, but then had to return to occupied Paris. He refused to wear the yellow Star of David, was arrested in the street, and as a Jew he was deported on 22.6.1942 on Convoy (Transport) No. 3 from the Drancy transit camp to Oświęcim (Auschwitz). Convoy arrived at Auschwitz 24.6.1942. Polyakov had a camp serial number 41050. He was executed by the Nazis in Oświęcim on 12.8.1942.
International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam. Alexander Berkman Papers. Inv. no. 53.
International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam, Senya Fléchine Papers, Folder 81.
Jacques Doubinsky to Mollie Steimer and Senya Fléchine, Paris, December 17, 1929, International Institute for Social History, Amsterdam, Senya Fléchine Papers, Folder 87; November 20, 1930, IISG, Senya Fléchine Papers, Folder 87; December 26, 1930, IISG, Senya Fléchine Papers, Folder 87.
Death books from Auschwitz Concentration camp / Państwowe Muzeum Oświęcim-Brzezinka, p. 19856/1942.
[Maximov, G. P.] “David Polyakov” / Delo truda – Probuzhdeniye. New York. 1946. October-November, No. 19, p. 25.
Yelensky, B. In the Struggle for Equality: The Story of the Anarchist Red Cross. Chicago: Alexander Berkman Aid Fund, 1958. p.77.
Le mémorial de la déportation des juifs de France / Beate et Serge Klarsfeld.— Paris, 1978.
Memorial to the Jews deported from France, 1942-1944: documentation of the deportation of the victims of the Final Solution in France / S. Klarsfeld. Paris: Beate Klarsfeld Foundation, 1983.
Bianco, R., Répertoire des périodiques anarchistes de langue française: un siècle de presse anarchiste d’expression française, 1880-1983. Aix-Marseille, 1987.
Sterbebücher von Auschwitz: Fragmente = Death books from Auschwitz = Ksiegi zgonów z Auschwitz. Deutsche Ausgabe: Berichte. Namensverzeichnis. Annex. Band 1-3 / hrsg.vom Staatlichen Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau. [Red.: JerzyDȩbski]. München: K.G. Saur, 1995.
Skirda, A. Nestor Makhno: Cossack of Freedom (1888-1934). The Civil War and the Struggle for Free Soviets in Ukraine 1917-1921. — Paris: Hromada: 2001.
[Updated March 2012]
From: with thanks to Paul Sharkey, David Berry, Rolf Dupuy, militants-anarchistes.info, Anatolii Dubovik and Black Cat Press. Translated by: Malcolm Archibald.