Kogan, David aka Lev Rubin,Lev, Christ, Little Christ, David Samara (1893-1923?)

David Kogan (front centre wearing dark peaked cap) at Kropotkin's funeral

A short biography of David Kogan, devoted Russian anarchist and escaper extraordinaire.

Comrade David Kogan (Lev Rubin), an attractive personality, a man of high
integrity and renown as a revolutionary Anarchist,
” The Guillotine at Work, Grigori Maximov

An anarchist militant (and vegetarian) before the 1917 Revolution Kogan was nicknamed Christ or Little Christ because of his gentle character. He was active as an anarchist in Samara from 1917 as the secretary of the Anarchist Federation there and edited a weekly anarchist paper. He was arrested by the White forces of Admiral Kolchak but made a miraculous escape. From 1918 he was imprisoned several times by the Bolsheviks.

In 1920 he managed to escape from a prison camp at Kharkov and became a member of the secretariat of anarchist organisation Nabat. He was arrested with 300 delegates at an anarchist conference in Kharkov on 25th November and was one of 40 anarchist militants transferred to Moscow and imprisoned in the Cheka prison of Butyrki. Here he shared a cell with fellow Nabat anarchist Mark Mrachny. He was then deported to a forced labor camp at Riazan. Here he signed a letter of protest with 9 other anarchists ( Kurbatov, Lilov, Gavrilov, Pilipenko, Tarasiuk, Budov, Fiodorov, Khotokhva and Fanya Baron).

He again made an escape with fellow anarchist Ivan Akhtyrsky. They were re-captured in October 1922 and again deported. From 1924 there was no longer any news of Kogan or Akhtyrsky and it was believed that they were secretly shot by the Cheka (recently released information informs us that Akhtyrsky was shot in February 1923 and buried in Moscow). This was announced by the Joint Committee for the Defense of Revolutionists Imprisoned in Russia in July of that year.

According to a report put out by the English anarchist John Turner, who had been in Russia as a trade union delegate, he was murdered without even his sister, a Bolshevik commissar, being informed of his death.

Nick Heath

Sources
Dictionnaire internationales des militants anarchistes http://militants-anarchistes.info/spip.php?article2941
The Guillotine at Work, Maximov, G.
List of Victims lists.memo.ru/d2/f463.htm