On July 9, 1923, forty-one Anarchists were arrested in Petrograd, and sixteen in “zassadas” took place in the city. (A “zassada” is a procedure whereby the police hide themselves in a searched house, permit no one to leave it, for hours or for days, and arrest everyone who visits the place).
Fifteen of the arrested Anarchists were charged with propaganda of Anarchist ideas, on the basis of Art. 60-63 of the Criminal Code. Two of them: Maria Veger and Mollie Steimer, were isolated and subjected to the regime of common criminals. In protest they declared a hunger strike, demanding to be transferred to the political “corridor” of the prison, to receive better treatment and the right of visits. Lida Surkova, member of the Left Social-Revolutionists; Zea Bendina, a non-partisan, and the Anarchist, S. Fleshin, moved by the spirit of solidarity, joined the hunger strikers. On the seventh day of the strike the Political Department met the demands of the strikers.
Fifteen Anarchists, who had participated in several hunger strikes during that time, received the following sentences:
1. Yegorov-Zenzinov - a workingman in the factory “Skorokhod”: an old Anarchist; persecuted under the Tzar; consumptive; very active in the revolution; exiled from Petrograd Province and forbidden to live in Moscow, Kharkov, Odessa and all ports for a period of two years.
2. Shilow - a factory worker, with the same sentence.
3.Sokolov - workingman, painter; an Anarchist since 1918; recently served two years for distributing Anarchist literature in the Red Army; the same sentence.
4. Gorbitch - a metal worker; an Anarchist since 1916; deported from the United States in 1920 for pro-Soviet propaganda; former member of the Union of Russian Workers in U. S. A.; exiled from Petrograd Province and forbidden to live in Moscow, Kharkov, Kiev, Odessa, in ports and border cities; sentenced to two years exile.
5. Savitzki - blacksmith; old Anarchist; deported from the United States in 1920 for pro-Soviet agitation; former member of the Union of Russian Workers in the U.S.A.; sentenced to two years exile.
6. Rusyankin - student. Petrograd Polytechnical Institute; sentenced to two years exile.
7. Sapelov - student, Pedagogical Institute; sentenced to two years exile.
8. Petrov - Red Army man; sentenced to two years exile.
9. Likhachev - factory worker; old Anarchist; persecuted under the Tzar; exiled to place of birth for one year.
10. Maria Veger - teacher; Anarchist since 1914; active in the revolution; arrested in 1921 and sent to Archangel for two years; escaped in 1922; very ill with malaria and scurvy; sentenced to three years in the Concentration Camp, Solovetzki Monastery.
11. Molly Steimer - arrested in 1918 in New York for protesting against American intervention in Russian affairs, and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment but after serving two years of her term deported to Russia in 1921; arrested by the Bolsheviks twice, for aiding imprisoned Anarchists and corresponding with her comrades abroad, and again for Anarchist propaganda. Exiled from Russia forever.
12. S. Fleshin - active as an Anarchist in the United States, and since 1917 in Russia with “Golos Trouda” and the “Nabat” in the Ukraine; repeatedly arrested by the Whites for underground work; since 1920 employed by the Petrograd Museum of the Revolution; repeatedly arrested by the Bolsheviks as an Anarchist; exiled from Russia forever.
13. Pryanishnikov - metal worker; old Anarchist; very active under the Tzar and in the Revolution; awaiting sentence in the House of Preliminary Detention in Petrograd. Pryanishnikow and Ponomarev declared a hunger strike on August 18, 1923, demanding liberation, were forcibly fed.
14. Yefim - a workingman in the factory of the Petrograd Consumers’ League; had been repeatedly arrested under the Tzar; active Anarchist all through the Revolution; awaiting sentence in the House of Preliminary Detention in Petrograd.
15. Ponomarev - student of the Petrograd Pedagogical Institute; awaiting sentence in the House of Preliminary Detention in Petrograd.
(Bulletin of the Joint Committee for the Defense of Revolutionists Imprisoned in Russia. October 1923, Berlin).
From: The Guillotine at work p527-29.