Golgotha [account of repression of anarchists in Russia, 1929]

ALEXANDER KALIMASOV, a well-known Anarchist, exiled to a distant and almost deserted village, found himself there entirely without any means of existence. Driven by need he decided to walk to the nearest town in the hope of securing employment there. For having absented himself without permission from his “assigned zone” he was arrested and placed in the prison at Achinsk. After having been kept several months in strictest isolation he has now been exiled by order of the G. P. U. for three years to the Turukhansky District, a place in far-away Northwestern Siberia very sparsely settled by primitive Nomad tribes. Comrade Kalimasov is a former student of the Geographical Institute and a “Komsomoletz” (member of the Communist Union of Youth). Since 1924 he has been the object of continuous Bolshevik persecution, spending most of this time in prison and exile. He is a man of steadfast character and great devotion: through all the years of his imprisonment he has consistently refused to betray his ideals and to accept the offer of the G. P. U. to join the Communist Party and thus secure liberty and a Career. He is paying dearly for it; the long years of persecution having entirely shattered his health.

YEFIM GERASSIMOV, having completed his original sentence in the Upper Uralsk polit-isolator, was ordered into exile in Narim for three years.

MIKHAIL BEDYUKOV, has been exiled for three years to Parabe, in Narim, to which place are also sent for a similar term YEFIM DOLINSKY and RAYA SHULMAN.

DINA TSOIRIF, who was about to finish her term of exile in Saratov, was ordered deprived of the right to work and excluded from the union. This action of the G. P. U. dooms our comrade to unemployment for an indefinite time, which is equivalent to slow starvation.

NIKOLAI BELAYEV and two other comrades, exiles in Minussinsk, were arrested without any charge during the official celebration of the anniversary of the October Revolution and detained for some time in prison. When they were finally released, the only explanation given them was that their imprisonment was due to a “mis-understanding.”

IVAN KABAS-TARASIUK, who had been exiled to Petropavlovsk, has been transferred to Kokchetav, 2080 miles further away.

According to recent information received by us, comrade AARON BARON, exiled to Tashkent, Turkestan, has again been arrested.

All the politicals have been transferred from the Yaroslavl polit-isolator to various other places of imprisonment and exile. In the Solovki there are still several score of our comrades, among them TUMANOV and TIMOSHA PLOTNIKOV. The latter is already completing his fourth year and it is not known how much longer he will be kept. He was originally condemned to the Solovki in connection with a case with which he had actually nothing to do. But no proofs availed and the G. P. U. had its way. The lot of our politicals in Solovki is extremely hard: the regime is severe, maltreatment by the officials frequent. The life of the prisoners is a constant struggle against injustice, discrimination and brutality. Only recently some of them went through protracted hunger strikes in protest against their treatment. Our comrade ANNA ROSOVA kept up her hunger strike for 43 days and finally succeeded in compelling the administration to give in to her demands.

Comrade TROYANOV, author and journalist, whose satires were unusually clever and bitter, committed suicide in the prison of the G. P. U. The cause of his arrest and imprisonment is not clearly established, but it is generally believed that his writings proved uncomfortable for the authorities. Troyanov was an Anarchist of long standing: his revolutionary career began while he was still a student in the university during which time he took part in the revolutionary movement of 1905.

In Moscow was recently arrested the well-known Anarchist PIRO charged with alleged connection with the opposition, though as a matter of fact Piro has for many years not participated in any active work. The collection of books, particularly of works relating to the libertarian cause, was the great passion of Piro’s life, and he possessed a very considerable library of rare volumes. It has now been confiscated by the government.

The very able young revolutionary writer MIROV, author of the splendid work “The Death of Isador Lutov,” was recently arrested in Moscow and exiled to Ust-Sissolsk. Our comrade SABLIN was also exiled at the same time.

Sympathizers of Trotzky are being rounded up throughout Russia, so that the prisons are filled to overflowing. Perhaps the greatest number were arrested in Samara, among them also scores of Anarchists and Left Social-Revolutionists.

In Leningrad and Moscow, as well as in the provincial prisons; the G. P. U. is applying force to compel the politicals to make confessions and statements. The “hearings” always take place at night, the interrogating magistrates being frequently relieved, while the prisoner is compelled to pass nights in succession without sleep. The victims are often placed in the dungeon, where they have to lie on the cold, damp floor without any mattress or clothing. The torture is aggravated by the practice of throwing cold water upon the man. Many of the politicals are unable to stand this kind of treatment and as a result suicides have been multiplying of late.

(Ibid). [Bulletin of the Relief Fund, May, 1929]

From: The Guillotine at work, p587-9.