Tuesday, May 14, 2019
In 1937–1938 the last anarchists in the USSR were physically eliminated by Stalin’s terror. One exception was the Ukrainian anarchist Ignaty Vasilevich Arendarenko (1898–after 1953). A native of Poltava, he joined the anarchist movement in 1919, taking part in the Poltava branch of the Nabat Anarchist Confederation and the Makhnovist movement. From 1926 to 1936 Arendarenko was either in prison or serving terms of exile. Possessed of excellent survival skills, when he had the opportunity in 1936 he began to live illegally, spending the next few years in Ukraine. Dodging first Stalin’s agents, then the Nazis, he was finally swept up in a raid in 1944 and sent to Austria as a “guest” worker. After the war he lived in Western Europe, contributing articles to the Russian-American journal Dielo Truda-Probuzhdenie (DTP). In 1952 he emigrated to Mexico.
In the following article written for DTP, Arendarenko honours the memory of the fellow anarchists (and others) he met in the Soviet justice system.