Conditions in Siberia
From Our Russian Correspondent The fate of two famous bolshevik leaders who at one time ruled Russia as members of the "Political Bureau" has been unknown for a long time. Stalin seized upon the murder of Kirov as a pretext for the arrest in December, 1934, of Zinoviev and Kamenev with a number of their supporters and only the intercession of Krupskaya, Lenin's widow, saved them from the "highest penalty." They were condemned to ten years' imprisonment each.
Now Nachrichtendienst publishes an account of Dr. Anton Ciliga, former member of the political bureau of the Yugoslav communist party, who succeeded in leaving Russia after more than five years of imprisonment and exile in a country where he came to seek an earthly paradise.
The bulk of the Zinoviev group is being detained in the penal isolator of Verkhne-Uralsk, a small town in the Urals; it consists of Zinoviev, Kamenev and other important members of the old communist party. Most of them have • "repented" and accepted the "general line" of to-day's official communism, though with variations: some have subscribed partially to Stalin's programme, others accepted the entire outlook and policy of the dictator.
After his arrest Kamenev was implicated in a second trial dealing with a plot against the person of Stalin, in which Kamenev's brother Rosenfeld, an artist, was said to have played a leading part. Though Kamenev denied any knowledge of the plot, his term was extended by another ten years.
Women in Solitary Confinement
There are also women in this VerkhneUralsk prison. Among them is the socialist revolutionary member of the military academy, Wolkenstein, who was at first kept for five years in an isolation so complete that she partially lost the power of speech. in the same prison is the sister of Unshlicht, who still occupies an important post in the soviet administration, and the wife of the late secretary of the communist youths' international.
Another group of women, including Zinoviev's sister and the widow of Shatzky, an executed communist, have been exiled to a God-forsaken place in Northern Siberia.
In the spring of 1935 a number of people, deported from Leningrad, reached Siberia; they were brought by trainloads, sometimes entire families. Many were sent to the far northern regions, to Obdorsk, Turukhansk, Verkhoyansk. Communists were also among them, and thousands of young communists suddenly found themselves in Siberia.
Food rations having been curtailed and unemployment widespread among the exiles, they are suffering incredible hardships. The death-rate among children is tremendous. But whilst the opposition leaders manifest the most abject servility, imploring the powers of the day for mercy, the rank and file behave with great dignity and suffer their trials stoically.