Ablamsky, Ivan Dmitrievich (1886-1938) aka Socrat

Ivan Ablamsky was born on August 14th 1886 into a working class family in the Amur region of the Russian Empire, at Blagoveschchensk according to some or at Tomsk according to others.

He became a typographer and took part in the 1905 Revolution at Harbin where he took part in strikes and demonstrations. He was a delegate of the printers union. In 1906 he became an anarchist-communist and operated under the name of Socrat (Socrates), and was involved in expropriations and armed attacks on the authorities, as well as carrying on agitation among soldiers and railway workers.

He was arrested in Harbin in 1908. The following year after having been in prison for over a year he was sentenced to nine years for his part in the expropriations he had carried out but made an escape from the court room. He then lived underground in the East during 1910 and 1911, carrying out propaganda among soldiers, peasants and workers.

In 1912 he escaped to Australia,. He worked as a bookbinder in Sydney, and was naturalised. There he took part in the workers’ movement, joined the IWW and the Union of Russian Emigrants and the Society For Assistance for Russian Hard Labour and Exile.

After the February Revolution he returned to Russia . Now describing himself as an anarcho-syndicalist he worked in the car assembly workshops at Vladivostok and joined the anarcho-syndicalist group there.
After the October Revolution, he was a member of the Vladivostok Soviet of Workers’ and Peasants’ Deputies.

In November 1921 he was arrested by the Amur GPU at Blagoveschchensk without charge for his anarchist ideas. He was deported to Chita and then sent to Moscow where he was released on August 12th, 1922.

He joined the All-Union Society of Political Prisoners and Exiles in 1924 and became the head of the publishing section of the Profintern.

In the 1930s he worked as an artist-designer at the Katorga (Hard Labour) and Exile Museum. In a questionnaire he filled in in 1932 he described himself as “non-party”.

He was arrested on February 16th 1938 and charged with being a member of an “illegal counter-revolutionary Socialist Revolutionary organisation”.

He was condemned to death on February 27th 1938 and shot on April 11th at the Butovo killing fields on the same day as 206 other political prisoners.

Nick Heath

Sources:
https://ru.openlist.wiki/Abramsky_Ivan_Dmitrijevic_ (1886)

https://piter.anarhist.org/opk.htm