A short biography of Polish anarchist Aniela Wolberg.
“When only twenty years old she sacrificed time and money for her ideal. At that time her sense of criticism and reality was highly developed; her heart was passioned for the masses, for the revolution. Her burning aim was to help the formation of an Anarchist movement in Poland; one that would not be locked up in groups, but powerful, popular, and able to materialize our aspirations”. Obituary in Man! (anarchist paper in United States)
Aniela Wolberg was born in Czestochowa, Poland, on 14th October 1907 into a well-off Jewish family. She studied at the Jagiellonian University of Cracow. In 1924 she made contact with a group of Bulgarian anarchist students among whom was Tazco Petrov who later died in prison. She became an active member of the Anarchist Federation of Poland (AFP) in 1926. She edited the underground anarchist monthly paper Proletarien (Proletariat). She moved to Paris in 1926 to continue her studies. Here she contributed articles and money to the Polish anarchist paper Walka (Struggle) edited by Isaak Gurfinkiel (who under the pseudonym of Valevsky was one of the signatories of the Organisational Platform of the Libertarian Communists).
She then studied at Montpellier University in France where she gained an MSc in Chemistry. In France she established links with French anarchist groups, including with the CGT-SR and with Spanish anarchist groups. Returning to Paris, she worked as an engineer in a car factory.. She was deported from France to Poland because of her anarchist activity in 1932, primarily for her agitation at the factory. She became secretary of the AFP in the same year and edited the underground anarchist paper Walka Klas (Class Struggle). She was arrested in 1934, but released for lack of evidence. However with increasing repression against the anarchist movement, she was obliged to halt her activism.
In 1936 she moved to Spain to aid the revolution there. She died in Warsaw from post-operative complications on 11th October 1937.
The great Chinese novelist and anarchist Ba Jin encountered her in Paris. She is the subject of two of his short stories, Yalianna (1931) and Yalianna Woboerge (1933).