Nemeritsky, Boris Grigorievich (1902- 1937)

Nemeritsky, second from right, Lidia to his left
Nemeritsky, second from right, Lidia to his left

A short biography of Boris Nemeritsky, active in the anarchist underground

Submitted by Battlescarred on June 17, 2020

Boris was a very pleasant, modest person, a good companion - he was always thoughtful of others, always knew who was sick or needed help. He was passionate about the life of nature and knew the plant world, insects, birds well... He worked at the Simferopol plant protection station. Lidia was the daughter of a scientist-agronomist.” Natalia Bogdanova

Boris Nemeritsky was born into a Jewish family in Poltava, in the Ukraine and worked as an office worker. He became an anarchist in 1919 and was active in the Nabat Confederation of Anarchists. In the early 1920s he was one of the founders of the anarchist underground in Kharkov. He took part in the work of the Anarchist Black Cross and in preparations for the illegal congress of anarchists in the Ukraine, along with his wife Lidia Sergeevna Tretyakova. In addition his sister Lyubov also belonged to the anarchist underground. He carried out propaganda among employees of the Central Archive, where he worked.

He was arrested on December 3rd 1923, for belonging to an anarchist organisation and for making, storing and distributing anti-Soviet leaflets. He was released on bail on January 15th, 1924 but re-arrested on June 13th of that year for belonging to an anarchist organisation. This seems to have been a move to foil the illegal conference mentioned above, scheduled for July-August. Seventy other anarchists were arrested at the same time. He was then transported to Moscow on July 6th of that year and sent into exile for three years which he served in Novonikolaevsk. Whilst in exile, he was arrested again in December 1925 and sent to Narym. Here, with Lidia and others, he set up an active group of exiled anarchists.

On April 8th, 1927, he was forbidden to live in the cities of Moscow, Leningrad, Kharkov, Odessa, Rostov-on-the-Don and their provinces, with attachment to a designated place of residence for three years. In total he served two years of imprisonment and five years of exile. After Narym, the Nemeritskys moved to Simferopol.

By 1931, he had ceased anarchist activity, whilst still preserving his anarchist convictions. He worked as a researcher at the All-Union Institute for Plant Protection in Leningrad.

By 1937 he was living in Leningrad and working as a researcher at the Institute of Plants. He was again arrested on February 13th of that year. He was sentenced to death by a NKVD troika on September 8th 1937, along with Samuil Grigorievich Ryss, and they were both shot on the same day . You can read a biography of Ryss at

Lidia and their daughter Irina were expelled from Leningrad and declared to be the family of an “enemy of the people”. At the beginning of the war with Nazi Germany they were evacuated to Tashkent. Lidia died in 1972.

Nick Heath