Izrail Abramovich (Fishelevich) Shornik (aka Shornik-Supornik) was born on June 9, 1900, in Dvinsk, Vitebsk province. From early youth he lived in Odessa, where he worked as a tailor. An anarchist from 1917, he took part in both the legal and underground activities of the Odessa Federation of Anarchists in 1917–1921, in opposition to all the regimes controlling Odessa: the Provisional Government, Ukrainian nationalists, foreign interventionists, Denikinists, and Bolsheviks.
In the 1920s, Shornik continued to work as a tailor and participate in the illegal activities of the Odessa anarchists. He was arrested for the first time in 1922 for refusal of military service due to his anti-militarist convictions. Then in 1924 he was arrested when the anarchist underground was liquidated. During these years, the repression of the state was not too severe for him, but it affected his ability to earn a living: he was often fired and remained unemployed for months at a time.
His next arrest was on June 13, 1927, in connection with the destruction of an illegal anarchist organization, and he ended up in exile in the Narym region (central Siberia). While living in the village of Parabel, Shornik conducted correspondence with Olga Taratuta and other comrades. Upon the end of his period of exile in 1930, he was prohibited from returning to Odessa for three years, and settled in Samara, where he stayed in touch with the anarchist emigration abroad.
In 1933 Shornik returned to Odessa and was soon involved again in the activities of the city’s anarchist underground. Upon the final liquidation of the underground organization in 1937, he was again arrested, and on December 8, 1937, he was sentenced to be shot.
Translated by: Malcolm Archibald.