Arkadi Polunin (Novorossiysk, 1889 – Dreux, 1933)


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Very rare autograph letter signed in French, dated Paris le 27. fevr. 24 by the protagonist of the Affaire Conradi. Polounine addresses a lawyer: “Je m’empresse de vous apporter ma plus vive reconnaissance pour les aimables paroles que vous avez bien voulu m’adresser…”. Along with his accomplice Moritz Conradi, they were accused of the assassination of the Soviet diplomat Vaclav Vorowsky in May 1923 in Lausanne. Fled to Switzerland in 1921, Polunin was secretary at the Red Cross in Geneva, where he met his companion from the Russian White Army, Moritz Konradi. After the violence experienced during civil war in Russia, Polunin developed a desire for revenge against the Red Army, that is why when the two came to know about the visit in Geneva of the diplomat they immediately chose their victim.
Konradi was the one who shot. During the process, the two were acquitted by the Swiss judges with the deterrent of “acting under the pressure of circumstances arising from his past”. The case discredited Swiss justice internationally and worsened relations with the Soviet union. Polounine’s lawyer, the Genevan Théodore Aubert, founder the Aubert’s League against Communism, stated before the process: “This will not be the trial of Konradi and Polunin, but the trial of Bolshevism, and Bolshevism must be convicted.”. After the acquittal Polunin was expelled from Switzerland and fled to France, where he died in unclear circumstances in 1933. 1 p. In fine condition. Included: fragment with autograph signature.