The February Revolution of 1917 opened the gates of all Russian prisons for political prisoners. There can be no doubt this was mainly brought about by armed workers and peasants taking to the streets, some in their blue smocks, others in grey military overcoats.
Ukrainian anarcho-communist revolutionary Nestor Makhno's history of the revolution in Ukraine and the role of the Makhnovist movement.
I dedicate this volume to the memory of my dead friends and comrades who struggled with me to organize revolutionary Ukrainian workers to bring about a free, anarchist communist society:
Among the many enemies facing the Ukrainian anarchists in the Russian Civil War were the French armed forces sent to bolster the counter-revolution in Ukraine. A deserter from these forces describes his encounter with Nestor Makhno and his troops.
Always true to their own lying system of propaganda, the bourgeois and estate-owning Mennonites from the German colonies of Ukraine have for several months now carried on a deceitful campaign of slander with the goal of vilifying the reputation of Comrade Makhno.
Nestor Makhno's eulogy for the anarcho-communist revolutionary Nicolai Rogdaev is also a lament for the fate of Russian anarchism.
Over the Fresh Grave of Comrade N. Rogdaev
(from a report made to comrades on January 21 1933)
By Nestor Makhno
This is a story about massacres that occurred in Southern Ukraine between 26th October and 7th December, 1919. The victims, avowedly-pacifist German Mennonites, included several women and elderly people; in Eichenfeld, almost one third of the village population was killed, including a 65 year-old blind woman. All the massacres occurred in the vicinity of the Makhnovist army. And then, after six weeks, they stopped.
This is also the story of an émigré community whose members invented an anarchist bogeyman to justify having betrayed their pacifist principles. It’s about estate owners who earned 3000 times what they paid their labourers, landlords who conscripted soldiers to protect their wealth, and pacifists who fought for an army that killed tens of thousands of Jews.