With this text, the editors of uznayvse.ru open a series of materials on the centenary anniversary of the October 1917 coup, which became a turning point in Russian history. Today - about women revolutionaries, whose fates have broken on a wave of terror.
Russian women in the 1917 revolution
Until 1917, Russian women had few options for the future. Either married, or - one of the few then available career options (teacher, midwife or doctor). Many of them began with “going to the people” in order to improve the lives of peasants and workers, to enlighten them - but, disillusioned and under pressure from the authorities, turned to revolutionary activities and terror.
Vera Zasulich - the first Russian revolutionary terrorist
Vera Zasulich was born in 1849 in the Smolensk province in a poor noble family. After graduating from the Moscow boarding school, she received the diploma of a home teacher, and soon moved to Petersburg, where she joined the revolutionary circles.She was repeatedly expelled from the capital, Zasulich spent two years under arrest in a non-Chaev case (the story of Nechaev’s circle formed the basis of Dostoevsky’s The Posses).
Vera Zasulich was born in a noble family
In 1878, Vera Zasulich came to the reception of the St. Petersburg mayor Fyodor Trepov (the editors found out that half a year earlier Trepov had ordered to flog the political prisoner Bogolyubov) and wounded him with a pistol shot. For such a crime, from 15 to 20 years of hard labor was supposed, but the jury made an acquittal. The trial of Zasulich received worldwide resonance; the famous writer Oscar Wilde even wrote his first play “Faith, or Nihilists,” based on this story.
Zasulich shot at Trepova, who ordered the student prisoner to be whipped
The next day, the authorities caught on and the sentence was appealed, but Zasulich managed to escape from friends and then leave the country. Strangely enough, an ardent terrorist Vera Zasulich during her emigration became disillusioned with terror and began to agitate sharply against such a method of revolutionary struggle. Zasulich returned to Russia in 1905.During the October Revolution, she first accepted the incident, but then sharply criticized Lenin and his party, being a Menshevik. Zasulich died in 1919 from pneumonia. She was 69 years old.
Gesya Gelfman - participant of the assassination attempt on Alexander II
Gesya Gelfman grew up in a well-to-do Jewish family and did not know what was wrong. At the age of 16 they decided to marry her father’s financial partner - a rich timber merchant. Gesya did not want to get married according to the calculation and the last night before the wedding, she ran away from home. She was in Kiev. In the early 1870s, as a student of obstetric courses at the university, she became fascinated with revolutionary ideas and joined socialist circles.
Gesya Gel'fman was born in a wealthy Jewish family
Her apartment was a safe house for underground workers. In 1875, Gelfman was arrested. She spent three and a half years in St. Petersburg - one and a half of them were awaiting trial, and after it ended, she was convicted of forced labor in the case of the Narodniks. After serving the sentence, Geshu Gelfman was expelled from the capital, but she escaped from supervision and returned to St. Petersburg.
Gesya Gelfman was preparing an assassination attempt on Alexander II
There she joined the terrorist group "Narodnaya Volya", lived in a dynamite workshop on Telezhnaya Street. It was there that the bombs that were used in the murder of Alexander II in March 1881 were made. When, after the attempt on the apartment came with searches, Gelfman's husband, Nikolai Sablin, managed to shoot himself, and Gesya was arrested.
The trial of the citizens of the First-Martov party to the assassination of Alexander II
She was not hanged with the other five Provostvoltsev, since she was pregnant. The execution was replaced with hard labor, but shortly after a difficult birth, Gesya Gelfman died of peritonitis in the prison hospital. It happened in 1882, Gelfman was not even thirty years old.
Maria Spiridonova - a member of the military organization of the Social Revolutionaries
The hard fate of Maria Spiridonova gave grounds to call her a “revolutionary martyr”. In the combat wing of the Social Revolutionaries Spiridonov came in the early 1900s. In 1906 she shot an adviser to the Tambov governor Luzhenovsky. Eserka fired five bullets at him and was about to shoot the sixth, but the Cossacks who had jumped stunned her with their butts.
Eserka Maria Spiridonova in her youth
After his arrest, Spiridonov was severely beaten and raped: reports of this caused a wave of indignation, and the song that went to the people was composed of the suffering of Spiridonova. While waiting for the execution, the social worker was to be hanged - she made a doll from the bread, hung it up by a string and prepared for death, fearing that she would not be able to accept her worthily. The editors of uznayvse.ru clarify that after 16 days of torture, she was told by waiting for her that the penalty had been replaced by hard labor.
Maria Spiridonova spent the last 20 years of her life in prisons and links
Punishment Maria Spiridonova served in Nerchinsk, with other terrorists, as well as criminals. After the February Revolution in 1917, she returned to Petrograd and took a seat in the Provisional Government. After the Bolsheviks came to power, Spiridonov was again arrested, and she spent the rest of her life in prisons and exile. On September 11, 1941, she was shot in the forest near Orel, along with other political prisoners of the Oryol prison - in the beginning of the Great Patriotic War, they did this to many "political" ones.
Zinaida Konoplyannikova: “We will respond to a white bloody terror in red ...”
Socialist Zinaida Konoplyannikova graduated from a free female gymnasium in 1899 and, according to the rules, was supposed to work out four years in one of the schools “by distribution”.So she lived for three years in the Gostilitsy, where her "going to the people" began. Konoplyannikova taught, prepared performances, and between times led a revolutionary agitation among the peasants.
Zinaida Konoplyannikova started by going to the people, and ended with terror
In 1903, she was arrested for propaganda and put in the Trubetskoy bastion of the Peter and Paul Fortress. In total, with breaks, she served more than a year - and only became hardened. After leaving the fortress, Konoplyannikov joined the flying detachment of socialist revolutionaries, and in August 1906, at the station, New Peterhof shot out of browning Major General Minh, who had participated in the suppression of the 1905 uprising.
Zinaida Konoplyannikova was hanged in the Shlisselburg fortress
Zinaida Konoplyanikova was arrested on the spot and already 10 days later she was sentenced to be hanged. It is believed that in response she declared “red terror”, which will be a response to the actions of the authorities. Konoplyannikov was hanged on the morning of August 29 in the Shlisselburg fortress. Eyewitnesses said that the 27-year-old sentenced was to die, "as if on a holiday."
Irina Kakhovskaya - repressed revolutionary
Irina Kakhovskaya studied at the Women's Pedagogical University, and she got carried away with revolutionary ideas in 1905 when she heard Maksim Gorky's speech. She was arrested and exiled to Eastern Siberia — she served the sentence along with Maria Spiridonova and other Social Revolutionaries.
Terrorist Irina Kakhovskaya was a very educated woman
After the October Revolution, Kakhovskaya joined the terrorist cell and personally participated in the preparation of several assassinations - including the Ukrainian hetman Skoropadsky (described in the White Guard by Mikhail Bulgakov). For the first time under the Bolsheviks, she was arrested in 1919, but released on the personal sanction of Vladimir Lenin.
The rest of the days Irina Kakhovskaya spent in Maloyaroslavets
In 1925, there was no one else to stand up for Kakhovskaya. She was arrested again, and the next 45 years she spent in prisons and exile. After Stalin’s death in 1953, she moved from Ufa to the Kaluga Region and lived there for the rest of the day.
The editors of uznayvse.ru will continue to publish materials dedicated to the centenary anniversary of the October Revolution of 1917.
Irina Kakhovskaya - repressed revolutionary image, picture, imagery