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In progress.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Voline's history and places en route

Today I've skim-read Voline's sad history of the Bolshevik destruction/takeover of the Russian revolution, which included the brutal wiping out of the anarchist movements of the time.

A few episodes at certain locations leap out as possibilities for me to focus on:

Moscow - anarchists, syndicalists and others put in Tanganka prison - Summer 1921 Congress of Red Trade Unions protest to Bolsheviks when these prisoners go on hunger strike - triggers first deportation of political prisoners from the new Russia. (better than being shot)

Berlin - arrival of said prisoners by boat into a Germany teetering on revolution (with wrong passports deliberately set up by Bolsheviks) - very unususual/brave solidarity/acceptance of these anarchists by Germans, story to be told.

Paris - Voline buried in Pere-Lachaise cemetery

Voline's online text of Russia

Kronstadt story clearly told - the sailors role before the conflict/ the Bolshevik repression of any independent voices and the sailors' response/ the bombardment and massacre by Trotsky and his Cheka.
(Especially: The role of kitchen gardens; the very evocative statements/bulletins; the independence of soviets versus central control)
(to check: which sailors died in Siberian exile)

"Appointed Commissar of Kronstadt, Dybenko was given full power to "clean up the rebel city". This meant an orgy of massacre. The victims of the Cheka were innumerable, and they were executed en masse during the days that followed the fall of the fortress"

During the ensuing weeks the gaols of Kronstadt were filled with hundreds of prisoners from Kronstadt. Each night, little groups of prisoners were taken out and shot by order of the Cheka.

"In the prisons, in the concentration camps, in the polar regions of Archangel, in the distant deserts of Turkestan, the men of Kronstadt who rebelled against the Bolshevik absolutism for really free Soviets endured, for long years, a miserable existence, and slowly died. There are probably no more of them still alive today."

Nishni-Novgorod - place where anarchist Moscow regiment leader Gratchov lured to and (probably) assassinated when Bolsheviks eliminated original military forces who had defended the revolution in Moscow.

April 12, day that Trotsky had all Moscow organisations rounded up, closed down, shot etc.. under the exact same rhetoric as Stalin used to close his own lot down later.

Summer 1919 command to wipe out the Makhnovists. Intercepted secret telegram from lenin:
- Arrest all the Anarchists and incriminate them. Lenin.

Tolstoyan pacifists rounded up and killed for refusal to serve in army.

Murmansk - location at which 3 delegates who were critical of Bolsheviks were sent deceitfully to die.

Info on Siberian anarchism to collect. Book on the mental Buddhist white general on its way.

"The Bolsheviks moved against the anarchists in spring 1918, using the Cheka to attack them and imprison them. But the disarming of anarchist units in Siberia by the Bolsheviks was hindered by the attack by the Whites led by Kolchak in March 1918. These units, as well as units organised by the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, fought too efficiently for the Bolsheviks to allow themselves to destroy them. They were in the first rank of the underground resistance when the Whites occupied Siberia. In autumn 1918 anarchist peasant guerrilla groups appeared in the regions already mentioned. Novoselov was commander of a group of tens of combatants singing The March of the Anarchists and flying red and black flags inscribed with the slogan “Anarchy is the Mother of Order” (a sentence from Reclus also used on Makhnovist flags). Other anarchist detachments elected their commanders.

Shtirbul considers that a significant number of the 140,000 revolutionary combatants in Siberia were under anarchist influence. Like the Makhnovist detachments who contributed in a decisive fashion to the defeat of the White general Denikin in the Ukraine, the Siberian anarchist partisans (Novoselov and Rogov) contributed to the pushing back of Kolchak, From a strictly military point of view, the support of the anarchists in the struggle against the Whites was indispensable. This explains why, despite orders from Moscow, there were severe problems with the crushing of Siberian anarchism, as local Bolsheviks regarded the anarchists as honest revolutionaries."

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