E.A. Preobrazhensky Autobiographical Sketch. Part 3. of 5. with link to complete text.

I was held for a short time in Ufa prison and then sent to Chelyabinsk where I was tried in autumn 1909. During the trial, as I expected a sentence of hard labour, I made a vain attempt to escape from my escort, who savagely beat me. In fact my sentence turned out to be very light­ we were all merely deported. After this I was tried for a second time under Article 102 in Perm and again sentenced to exile.…[continued below]

This is the third installment in my scan digitization and referencing of an English translation of the autobiography of E.A. Preobrazhenksky.  Preobrazhenksky a leading figure in the Russian Revolution and later of the ‘left’ opposition to Stalin, a collaborator of both Lenin and Trotsky, joined the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in 1903 at the age of 17.

It is from the 1969 book Makers of the Russian Revolution originally published in French and edited and annotated by  Georges Haupt and Jean-Jaques Marie

The scan and OCR is from the English translation Cornell University Press 1974.

The book provides profiles of leading figures of the Russian Revolution including many of the original Bolsheviks. The editors produced the work using as much original and autobiographical material as was available to them. The book is available used for about 20.$ US.

EAP Autobiography complete PDF follow this link for the complete PDF format Scan.

Link to the 1st installment

Link to the 2nd installment

Autobiography of E.A. Preobrazhensky Third Installment

My activity in the Urals continued until March 1908 in ever worsening conditions, amidst growing arrests and intensified repression. In March I was arrested at the Chclyabinsk town conference. I swallowed the agenda and coded addresses, and escaped the same night from the police station. I was now a marked man in the Urals, but I could not tear myself away from the area and I escaped from Chelyabinsk to Ufa dressed as a student. I had to summon a regional conference which was due to meet in Zlatoust, but I delayed in Ufa a little while and did not reach the conference. I was arrested in the street at the end of April and immediately identified. [ . . . ]

I was held for a short time in Ufa prison and then sent to Chelyabinsk where I was tried in autumn 1909. During the trial, as I expected a sentence of hard labour, I made a vain attempt to escape from my escort, who savagely beat me. In fact my sentence turned out to be very light­ we were all merely deported. After this I was tried for a second time under Article 102 in Perm and again sentenced to exile.

I reached the Aleksandrov transit centre near Irkutsk, and remained there till summer when I was settled in the area of Karapchanka, Kirensk district, The deportees there lived like a happy family in a commune and included the late Artern Sergeyev, Pyotr Kovalenko and Anatoly Galkin, Apart from daily work with peasants, my main occupation was hunting. In winter 1911 the Ekaterinburg Party Committee made the suggestion that I should escape from exile and represent them at the Party Conference[1] arranged for the following year in Prague I joyfully accepted their offer, especially as I was corresponding with Krupskaya[2] and had received a brief coded letter from Vladimir Ilyich [Lenin]. Shortly before my escape the police department made arrangements for me to be searched, and sent Captain Tereshchenkov, later notorious for his massacre of the Lena workers.[3] As the Angara was closed by ice, however, he could not cross the river and returned empty-handed to Kirensk. Then on Christmas Day, the Nizhny- Ilimsk district police officer, who was responsible for us, received a telegram ordering my immediate arrest, as the Ekaterinburg organization had already been uncovered and my links with it had come to light. Since it was Christmas Day, the police officer was blind drunk and it was his secretary who opened the telegram, later blabbing about it to exiles in the town. They immediately dispatched a messenger who galloped over fifty miles through the night to warn me, and less than thirty minutes after his arrival I was sitting on a peasant’s cart racing to the railway station at Tulun. When the police officer woke up, read the telegram and set off to arrest me, I had already passed through Nizhny-Ilimsk and was near Tulun.

From there I made my way to Novonikolaevsk where I contributed to the legal Marxist paper Obskaya Zhizn, writing several articles defending the Bolshevik position on fundamental questions of the day. In addition I exchanged letters with Zinoviev[4], asked him to contribute to the paper and received an article which appeared with the signature ‘G.Z.’. Vladimir Ilyich also promised to contribute but did not manage to send anything. In autumn 1912 the whole of the Novonikolaevsk organization was denounced. Pyotr Kovalenko, one of its activists, had been arrested even earlier. I was captured the day before my departure abroad, where I had been invited by Krupskaya to take part in a conference. From NovonikolaevskI was transferred to Ekaterinburg prison and en route met L. Serebryakov, Zelensky, Kuzmenko and others who were being deported.[5]

In Ekaterinburg, I was tried with Semyon Schwartz, E. Bosch, A. N. Trubina, A. Paramonov and others. As a result of the stupidity of the procurator who confused me in his opening speech with another Evgeny, our defence lawyers, who included N. D. Sokolov, A.F. Kerensky[6] and N. M. Mikheyev, gained my acquittal, to the astonishment of all.


[1] The Sixth (Prague) All-Russia Conference of the R.S.D.L.P. January 5-17 1912. http://www.marxists.org/archive/lenin/works/1912/6thconf/index.htm

[2] Nadezhda Konstantinovna “Nadya” Krupskaya ( Наде́жда Константи́новна Кру́пская) (26 February [O.S. 14 February] 1869 – 27 February 1939) Krupskaya was a Bolshevik activist and leader, and not incidentally married to Lenin.

[3] See Melancon, Michael; “The Ninth Circle: The Lena Goldfield Workers and the Massacre of 4 April 1912” Slavic Review , Vol. 53, No. 3 (Autumn, 1994), pp. 766-795 Published by: Association for Slavic, East European, and Eurasian Studies Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2501519

[4] Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev (Григо́рий Евсе́евич Зино́вьев, IPA: [ɡrʲɪˈɡorʲɪj zʲɪˈnovʲjɪf]; September 23 [O.S. September 11] 1883 – August 25, 1936), born Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky Apfelbaum (Овсей-Гершен Аронович Радомысльский Апфельбаум) Zinoviev was a Bolshevik Leader and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Comintern from 1929 to 1926. He was put to death after the 1936 “Trial of the 16” marking the beginning of the physical liquidation of the original Bolshevik leadership at the hands of Stalin. At the above mentioned Sixth Party Congress (1912) Zinoviev was elected to the Central Committee of the RSDLP.

[5] Preobrazhensky’s arrest resulting in his missing the Sixth (Prague) All Russian  Congress of (1912) may perhaps have had some impact in his party career. It is at this congress that Stalin begins to rise in party prominence. This Meeting was critical to the Bolsheviks re-establishment of organizational structure and continuity prior to the outbreak of the First World War.

[6] Alexander Fyodorovich Kerensky (Алекса́ндр Фёдорович Ке́ренский, IPA: [ɐlʲɪˈksandr ˈkʲerʲɪnskʲɪj]; 4 May [O.S. 22 April] 1881 – 11 June 1970) a liberal socialist was later the minister of the Provisional Government of Russia between the February1917 and the October Revolutions. According to historians, Preobrazhensky denounced his council at this trial and defended his revolutionary convictions.

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News and political commentary from the point of view of the social interests of the international working class.
This entry was posted in Autobiography of EA Preobrazhensky serialized excerpts, E.A. Preobrazhensky, Soviet/Bolshevik history and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to E.A. Preobrazhensky Autobiographical Sketch. Part 3. of 5. with link to complete text.

  1. Pingback: E.A. Preobrazhensky Autobiographical Sketch. Part 4. of 5. with link to complete text. | Rawlin'sView Blog

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