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New Militant, 25 January 1936

Who Are the Exiled Revolutionists in Jails
and ConcentrationCamps?

From New Militant, Vol. II No. 4, 25 January 1936, p. 3.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for ETOL.


IN HIS letter, Dr. Anton Ciliga mentions by name scores of men and women jailed and exiled and tortured by Stalin and his henchmen. Many of those mentioned by comrade Ciliga have been languishing in Stalinist dungeons for years: thus among the prisoners mentioned by him are to be found many of those listed in the Bulletin of the Russian Opposition (No. 19, March 1930) among the Bolshevik-Leninists are: Dorochenko, Victor Krayny (driven to insanity), Langer, Papermeister Pavel, S. Slitinski and others; among the “Democratic Centralists’’ are: Davidov, Essayan, Smirnov and others. These men have been incarcerated since 1929–1930, that is, for over six years.

Stalin persecutes not only his political opponents but their next of kin. Comrade Ciliga’s references to wives, sisters, children, etc. of the prisoners denote this clearly enough. The persecution of Trotsky’s son is not an exception but the rule.

Here are the records of a few of Stalin’s victims:

L.B. KAMENEV: One of the closest collaborators of Lenin. Member of the party since 1901. First arrested in a student demonstration in 1902. Worked in the Moscow Bolshevik organization. Participated in the Third and the London Congresses of the party. During the 1905 revolution worked in Petrograd up to 1908 when he was again arrested. After arrest he escaped abroad and collaborated closely with Lenin and Zinoviev. In 1913 he was ordered by the C.E.C. to Petrograd. Arrested in 1914 and exiled to Siberia. Member of the C.E.C; Chairman of the All-Russian C.E.C.; Chairman of the Moscow Soviet (1918–1926), etc., etc.

G. ZINOVIEV: One of the closest collaborators of Lenin. Member of the party since 1901. Organized a Bolshevik group in Berne. In 1905 came to Petrograd where he worked in the Bolshevik faction. Participated in the London Party Congress where he was elected member of the C.E.C. on which he remained until Stalin came along. Arrested in 1908; after his arrest went abroad to collaborate most closely with Lenin (Zimmerwald; Kienthal). Returned to Russia in April 1917 together with Lenin; after the July days went into hiding. Chairman of the Petersburg Soviet; Chairman of the Executive Committee Communist International, etc.

THEODOR N. DINGLESTEDT: Member of the Bolshevik party since 1910; member of the Petrograd Committee of the party during the February period of the Russian Revolution; active participant in the October Revolution. From 1923 one of the leaders of the Left Opposition in Leningrad. Arrested at the end of 1927.

MOUSSIA MAGID: Member of the Bolshevik party since 1917. When Denikin’s hordes raged over the Ukraine she worked in the Bolshevik underground movement. Jailed for supporting the Left Opposition.

S.P. MEDVEDIEV: Metal worker. Member of the party since 1901 (Iskrovitz); Bolshevik since 1903. Served several sentences in jail and exile under the Czar. Participant of the October Revolution. Member of All-Russian C.E.C. since October 1917; in 1920 Chairman of the All-Russian Trade Union of Metal Workers. Supporter of the “Workers’ Opposition.”

I.T. SMILGA: Peasant by birth; member of the Bolshevik party since 1907; twice in exile under the Czar; elected member of the C.E.C. in 1917; active participant in the civil war; member of the Revolutionary War Soviet; member of the Supreme Economic Council in 1921, etc. Jailed by Stalin in 1927.

V.M. SMIRNOV: Old Bolshevik; after February Revolution worked in Moscow as one of the editors of the Bolshevik paper there; active participant in the October Revolution; member of the Revolutionary Military Committee of the Moscow Soviet in October; participated in the street battles in Moscow; served in the civil war as member of the Revolutionary War Committee; in active service with the army that fought the Czechoslovak divisions and Kolchak, etc. Under Stalin’s lock and key since 1927.

SHLYAPNIKOV: Communist; during the imperialist war worked in Petersburg and abroad under the direction of the C.E.C. establishing contacts for the center. People’s Commissar of Labor after the October Revolution. Leader of the so-called “Workers’ Opposition.”

VOVA VUVOVICH: Erstwhile Secretary of the Young Communist International. Exiled for his support of the Zinoviev group.

Then there are countless others, not named by Dr. Ciliga, languishing in Stalin’s Thermidorian jails. Among them, for example, is Victor Serge, writer and historian of the Russian Revolution, exiled not for his activities, but merely for his sympathies with Trotsky and the Bolshevik-Leninists.

Assassination and physical extermination: Blumkin, murdered in cold blood by the G.P.U.; Butov, driven by the G.P.U. torture to “suicide”: Kote Zingadze, denied medical attention, exiled to unbearable climate, died.

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