Alexander Schapiro - Years in Russia

Years in Russia

Schapiro became one of many Russian anarchists who collaborated with the Soviet government in the belief that he could help ameliorate working conditions; he accepted positions in the Commissariat for Jewish National Affairs and later the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs. Revolutionary anarchist-turned-Bolshevik Victor Serge described him in his Memoirs of a Revolutionary as a man "of critical and moderate temper". After a few unhappy years in the service of the Bolshevik regime, and protesting its persecution and imprisonment of anarchists, he chose to go into exile in 1922. He then participated actively in the resurgent and by-then-anarcho-syndicalist International Workers Association (IWA), which at the time was organising aid for anarchists imprisoned in Russia.

He worked on the Russian anarcho-syndicalist newspaper Rabochii Put' (The Workers Voice) with Gregory Maksimov while in Berlin, before continuing on to France, where he continued to work with the IWA and edited another anarcho-syndicalist paper, La Voix du Travail (The Voice of Labour). Schapiro left Europe for New York, where he remained a tireless activist in the cause of Russian political prisoners until his death in 1946.

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