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This letter is part of the International Institute for Social History's Alexander Berkman archive and appears in Anarchy Archives with ISSH's permission.

Petrograd, June 15, '20

Dearest Fitzie:

      I don't know how many letters I have written to you within the last few weeks. At least a dozen. How many of them reached you, I have no idea, of course. I have also written you quite a number of letters in January, Feb., etc. From you I have so far not had a single line. Only one letter we received, and that was from St., written by her March 15th, with a P.S. of March 30th. Her letter did not contain anything from you. Perhaps you were not in the city at the time, though I missed very much the absence of even a greeting from you. Two weeks ago, when I was in Moscow, I received the two cables sent via London and there through Copenhagen, and thence to the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs. Outside of that, and of the radio long ago, we have heard nothing from home. St.'s letter came through Mrs. N--S. -- Of course, E. also has written repeatedly, and neither of us knows whether our letters reach or not. I only know about one letter reaching you, as St. stated in her CABLE that mine of March 14th was received. Since that time many persons arrived here from the States, among them Pat, Max Pine, Fisher, of Chicago, and quite a number of others, but every new arrival brought us a new disappointment: not a line from our folks at home. Tha's(sic.) hell. One of the boys told us that you were to give him a letter and some money for us, but he missed you a couple of times, and then he had to leave for Phila., and thus he looked with unfriendly eyes upon us. -- You, on your part, must have also written to us repeatedly, but as already said, no mail has reached us, except as mentioned above. And yet we are just crasy(sic.) to hear from you and to know what is happening to you all. Occasionally, very rarely, a stray copy of the N.Y.Call falls into our eager hands--we have never been so eager to read the Call or even the N.Y. Times, could we only get it--- and a bit of news here and there is thus gleaned. We know, for instance, that Gitlow and Larkin have been convicted, and Mollie sent away. But that is about all wee do know. -- Of the activity and personal lives of our nearest and dearest we know absolutely nothing, and yet that is of paramount interest to us, as you well understand. We only know, from those two cables, that Redtop and companion cannot take their summer trip. But whether that is final, so far as companion is concerned, I don't know. And nothing interests me more just now. If you can get some word to me about that, I should really appreciate it very much. And I should like to know what Golub's plans are, and what is being done in that connection. -- From ourselves we can tell you very little. We have been living here and in Moscow, and now we are about to leave for the South, to visit Ukraina, Volga, the Caucasus and the Ural, and get acquainted with the situation there. But wherever we are, you can always reach us by addressing the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs, Moscow. I hope that you and the niece will surely soon find a way to let us have mail. I understand that postal arrangements are not made with Europe, perhaps also with the U.S., for the free exchange of mail. At any rate, mail from Europe reaches here now almost regularly. that means you have to get your mail to Europe first, and surely you can do so, via our friend in London, or per Carl Newl.



(though we have not heard from him either), or, better yet, per Miss Korobovinka, Hotel Cosmopolite, Copenhagen. Write her a note, and she will forward your letter to us, as she forwarded those two cables from London. Besides, many are coming here now from the U.S., and surely a note should reach us occasionally--and a little money would also come very handy.

     We are very, very anxious to hear from you all and to know how you are. Of ourselves we can tell you only that we are physically well, but we have not found our place yet in the new environment. We have been too many years away from here to be able to orient ourselves easily. -- I expect my Memoirs will soon appear in R. translation: have made arrangements to that effect. Hat reminds me, has the Jewish edition been issued or anything else?

     Am enclosing a pressed flower here, which was picked by me in the yard of the Trubetzkoy Bastion of the Petro-Pavlakaya Fortress, situated opposite the Winter Palace, across the Neva. From the windows of the palace the Tzars looked upon the Fortress and felt themselves secure in the knowledge that the most dangerous politicals were safely buried alive in the bastions. We visited (E. and I), with a group of other friends, the fortress the very mention of which would strike terror into the heart of the bravest man in the Tsar's regime. We saw the cells, the dungeons, and the ruins of Alekseyev Ravelin, where suffered Bakunin, Kropotkin, Mikhailov, Perovakaya, and other martyrs of the early revolutionary days of Russia. The flowers (enclosed) are form the yard of the Trubatzkoy Bastion where the politicals in those days were permitted to have a 15 minute walk, one man at a time, once a week in the spring and summer. In the long, narrow yard the solitary political was guarded during his walk by one gendarme and two keepers. It was a happy day when he could succeed and steal a glance at some comrade's face behind the bars of a cell-window built in high in the wall. And what bliss to see a little bread-pill drop out of a window, and then stealthily watch the guards and perchance be rewarded with the opportunity to drop your handkerchief over the bread-pill and secret the latter under the very eyes of the watchful but unsuspecting guards. And the anxious moments till one returned to his cell to read with beating heart the first message, perhaps in years, from the world of the living, or from some comrade all trace of whom had been lost years before. These flowers are the tears and blood of our martyred comrades; aye. Literally their very blood, for the spot they grew on was the tomb of countless politicals while they lived, and their grove when dead. Here they died, here they were shot by the Tsar's guards through secret loopholes in the walls, here they disappeared from the face of the world. But not from human ken.------We visited also the dreaded Shluesselburg prison, but of that soon.--My best thoughts to Stella, Ian, Teddy, Polys, Vicky, Bessie, Mo, Maxis, Saxie etc., etc. E. will add a few lines herself, though this letter is from us both. Much love to you, dear, and greetings to Harry and Alex. May



life be good to you. Whether we shall ever meet again, who knows? I am losing hope, together with many other things I have been losing since December. But still I cling to the straws of possibilities. If I could at least hear from yourself as to how things stand, and whether the near or even distant future may be looked forward to with any expectation. But in any event, and whatever may be hidden in the lap of the Gods for me, should even no line ever reach you from me again, you need but re-read my notes from Ellis Island, or to recollect their contents in case the notes do not exist anymore, and to feel that they express my feelings now just as they did then. That is sufficient to say, and I know you will understand, even if you can reach me with no reply.

     My thoughts fly to you across the seas and mountains, and all the love of my heart.


Darling Stella and E. I really have nothing to add to the above except my own anxiety about you all and my longing for word from you. For you precious child of mine I have some news about Orleneff. He is alive and playing in Kasn. The sister of a girl I met here arrived from there. She was in his company and gave me all the news about him. You can imagine I glad I was to learn that he is still active. The more so because no one here seemed to know anyhing about him. Some said he was dead, others that he is in an asylum. I understand Orleneff is doing nothing new but that in his old repertoire he is as cript[sic], we'll then look him up. It will be interesting to meet him under the new circumstances. Dearest, dearest girls if only you knew how hungry we are for word from you both and our other friends. I believe our inner struggle would not be quite so poignant as it now is, if only we were in touch with you and could exchange our thoughts. As it is the struggle grows more difficult to bear. We are glad we will soon be moving on, at least we will learn to know R. and at the same time gather the material which will enable us to make a thorough study of the forces which led to the Oct. Revolution and its painful aftermate[sic]

     Sweetheart Stella, I am sending one of these letters to your dear mother with a line of greeting.

     Good by my beloved children, hug Ian for me. Give my love to Teddy, Mo, Max and family, Dr W, Dr Goldwater, and the Cohn if they have returned, Ellen, Gertrude, Hutch, Bayard, Leonard, Rose and Marie, Anna and Rose Strunsky, Edwina, our own faithful H W, and all, all our friends and comrades. I embrace you both tenderly. Your devoted and lonely

     Remember me also to Alec Cohn Polya, Hilda, Ella with much love, and dear Juju of course,



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