Veger or Weger, Maria

Schoolteacher: Moscow & Petrograd

In 1921, after the Cheka in the course of a search unearthed books and a few issues of anarchist newspapers – Freedom (London) and Freie Arbeiter Shtimme (New York) – Maria Veger had been jailed in Moscow where she caught scurvy, and she was sentenced to two years’ banishment to Archangel as a “counter-revolutionary”. Despite being struck down by malaria she managed to escape from the camp and mad her way back, using an alias, to Petrograd where, on 3 July 1923, she was arrested along with about forty anarchist militants, one of them Mollie Steimer. After a few weeks in isolation in the GPU prison in Gorkhovaya Street, where she was interrogated daily, she was sentenced to three years banishment to the Solovki Islands. Dispatched by ship to the Islands on 16 September 1923, she was fetched back to the mainland a few days later – the local Cheka alleging that the camps and prisons were over-crowded – and interned in Vologda prison and then in Petrograd. In 1926, having served three years in the Solovki islands and in the Verkhne-Uralsk isolator and mounting several hunger strikes, she was deported to Archangel. When her time was up she was again sentenced to three years’ isolation in Tashkent, where she was by 1929.

Towards the end of the 1930s she was in internal exile in Essentuki (or Yessentuki) in the Caucasus and, following the death of her sister, Tamara, herself an anarchist and the partner of Leonid Y Lebedev, she was entrusted with the care of her son who had been born in Solovki camp in 1924.

After Essentuki was overrun by the Nazis, Maria Veger was murdered as part of the mass murder of Jews in the area between August 1942 and January 1943 (the Shoah by bullet).

Veger (or Weger) Tamara Moiseeva

Tamara Moiseeva Veger walked out on her respectable Jewish family at the age of 19 to join the revolutionary movement.

An anarchist activist like her partner, Leonid Yaklovitch Lebedev, she was arrested in 1922 by the Bolsheviks and interned in the Solovki islands where she gave birth to their son, Leonid in 1924. Following the death of his mother in the late 1930s, young Leonid was handed over to his aunt Maria who was at that point in internal exile in Essentuki (or Yessentuki) in the Caucasus.

From: and . Translated by: Paul Sharkey.