3. Memoirs

by Agafya A. Kuzmenko

In 1917 fate brought me together with a man who I imagined to be the people's liberator from Tsarist tyranny, Nestor Ivanovich Makhno. I lived through many, many misfortunes and scandals with him during the Civil War. When his army was defeated and the remnants scattered we fled to Poland. There we were tried and deported. We finally ended up in France. In Paris the White émigrés and Petlyura supporters gave us a hostile reception because Makhno had fought against the White Guards and Ukrainian nationalists. Life in Paris was very hard. After quite some difficulty Makhno managed to get a job at a film studio, and I found work as a laundress for a rich family. Nestor suffered from tuberculosis and the effects of his wartime wounds, he was sick all the time. From time to time he would work a little - as well as making props and scenery at a film studio he was a shoemaker for a while and later worked at a French newspaper office. He also wrote his memoirs.

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