Anarchists living under Stalinism?

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Baronarchist
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Oct 24 2011 21:08
Anarchists living under Stalinism?

Could anyone direct me to some good essays/books (preferably ones online) from the perspective of Russian anarchists or maybe other persecuted leftists living during the reign of terror?

If not, some texts from the Lenin and Khrushchev era would also be helpful.

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jura
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Oct 25 2011 06:42

Baronarchist, if you don't mind a more literary take on the topic, and if you're also interested in the Eastern bloc in general (not just the USSR), a Czechoslovak ex-Stalinist named Artur London wrote a book called "The Confession" (fr. L'aveu). London was a former high-ranking member of the CP, a figher in the Interbrigades and the French resistance, as well as a prisoner in Mauthausen. He was arrested in the 1950s and sentenced for life in one of the show trials (most of the other defendants were exectued). The autobiographical novel describes, in a very detailed way, his arrest, interrogation, trial and life in prison up to his rehabilitation.

The book was made into a movie by Costa-Gavras (who directed many other interesting political movies, btw). The whole movie (in French, with subtitles, just click on CC) is on YouTube. But I guess you'll be able to find a torrent somewhere.

proletarian.
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Oct 25 2011 08:16

I know this was specifically for Baronarchist but thanks very much for the recommendation! cool

Mike Harman
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Oct 25 2011 08:28

You should get hold of a copy of 'Contending with Stalinism, Soviet Power and Popular Resistance in the 1930s'.

There's a summary of one of the articles at http://libcom.org/history/1932-vichuga-uprising

These were about strikes/insurrections in towns but it also has a bit of background on some of the individual protagonists, some of which were either anarchists or ex-bolsheviks although there's not enough detail to know exactly what kind. Really recommend it, is nicely researched and a good read.

I believe there's also some research somewhere on anarchists in the gulags, possibly Wayne was working on this? Was a while ago iirc.

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Entdinglichung
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Oct 25 2011 08:30

German exile Wolfgang Leonhard wrote in his memoires Child of the revolution, that he met Komsomol members identifying themselves as Anarchists (as well as other left wing critics of stalinism) in Moscow around 1940

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jonthom
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Oct 25 2011 10:21
Mike Harman wrote:
I believe there's also some research somewhere on anarchists in the gulags, possibly Wayne was working on this? Was a while ago iirc.

There's this: 1938-1956: The tragedy of Karaganda - The story of members of the CNT and other Spanish anti-fascists left stranded in the Soviet Union following the Spanish civil war.

Not read the whole text yet but does seem interesting.

Baronarchist
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Oct 25 2011 12:46

Thanks to everyone for providing that information; It's for my final coursework piece at college, so it needs to be specific to Russia, but I want to chuck in a few anarchist sources and information for good measure.

Got the Tsarist era covered with Kropotkin.

Battlescarred
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Oct 25 2011 13:15

Look at the chronology of Russian anarchism here on libcom
As well as Anarchist Underground in Leningrad and entry on Anna and Tatiana Garaseva. There's plenty here and elsewhere on internet. Use your own initiative, use Google!!

satawal
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Oct 27 2011 21:27

Hi,

In my opinion 'The Guillotine at work: Vol.1 The Leninist Counter-Revolution' by Gregory Petrovich Maximoff is by far the best overall book on this by an anarchist (at least published in English) and covers the entire 1917-1939 period - i.e. it includes Stalin not as an aberration but as a natural continuation.

It was published originally in 1940 (with the slightly different subtitle of 'Twenty Years of Terror in Russia') but the edition I have was put out by Cienfuegos Press (i.e Stuart Christie) in 1979.

It's available at the moment on Amazon. I don't know if anyone has suggestions for on-line versions?

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Juan Conatz
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Oct 28 2011 06:03

http://gulaganarchists.wordpress.com/

I could have sworn there was another one with a similar title, but on blogspot, which had the person that ran it, turn into a primitivist and abandon the blog for one on permaculture and other stuff but I can't find it...

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Kate Sharpley
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Oct 28 2011 09:56

Try Bolshevik repression of anarchists after 1917 at the Kate Sharpley Library website.
You might like in particular to look at Francesco Ghezzi, who died in Vorkuta: http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/5hqcjn
(You might need to point out that there were some exiled Spanish and Italian anarchists who fell foul of the NKVD, having fled there to escape repression / extermination in Western europe.)

Quote:
In my opinion 'The Guillotine at work: Vol.1 The Leninist Counter-Revolution' by Gregory Petrovich Maximoff is by far the best overall book on this by an anarchist (at least published in English) and covers the entire 1917-1939 period - i.e. it includes Stalin not as an aberration but as a natural continuation.

It was published originally in 1940 (with the slightly different subtitle of 'Twenty Years of Terror in Russia') but the edition I have was put out by Cienfuegos Press (i.e Stuart Christie) in 1979.

It's available at the moment on Amazon. I don't know if anyone has suggestions for on-line versions?

The Cienfuegos edition comprises the first half of the 1940 edition, in effect the 'argument' part, and leaves out the 'data and documents'.

This might be interesting on Lydia Chukovskaya
http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/wwq0qg

Quote:
Got the Tsarist era covered with Kropotkin.

You might want to look at Avrich's "the Russian anarchists" - there's quite a bit going on between Kropotkin leaving and returning in 1917

Not online, but the later issues in this book would be relevant
The Tragic Procession: Alexander Berkman and Russian Prisoner Aid

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Kate Sharpley
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Oct 28 2011 10:16

http://libcom.org/history/greenberg-yiddelle-1909-194

Quote:
... When World War Two broke out, Yiddelle was in that section of Poland which came under the control of Russia according to the Stalin-Hitler pact. His fate was the same as that of thousands of Jews who succeeded in narrowly escaping the brown death only to fall into the bloody Russian claws. The exalted life of Yiddelle Greenberg ended in a prison camp in Siberia. His prison comrades chopped a hole in the frozen ground and the windblown ice and snow covered the emaciated body and erased the grave.
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Kate Sharpley
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Oct 28 2011 10:21

Italian Anarchists in Russian Prisons
Anelli, Marino
Blum, Ernesto
Bonaccorsi, Luigi
Bucciarelli, Guido
Buticchi, Antonio
Cursi, Vittorio
Di Modugno, Sergio
Gaggi, Otello
Ghezzi, Francesco
Petrini, Alfonso
Rossi, Angelo
Scarselli, Oscar
Specchi, Umberto
Vacchi, Romeo

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Kate Sharpley
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Feb 23 2013 14:47

Another article on Ghezzi (mentioned above):
"I was and I always shall be – an anarchist..." (based on material from the case file of Francesco Ghezzi) by L. A. Dolzhanskaya, Translated by: Malcolm Archibald.
available at http://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/41nsz5