The cause of the Russian revolution, oddly enough,coincided with the rapid feminization of women. More and more girls in the late 19th and early 20th centuries abandoned the role of wife and mother and plunged into an active struggle not only for their rights, but also for human rights in general. One of the brightest participants of the revolutionary movement at the turn of the century was Vera Figner, who went down in history preparing a daring assassination attempt against Emperor Alexander II.
The well-known revolutionary Figner Vera Nikolaevna,as was usually the case in the nascent revolutionary movement, was of noble origin. In the autobiography she wrote in Moscow in 1926, already a deeply convinced revolutionary, she pointed out that Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Figner, her grandfather on the part of her father, was a nobleman from Livonia (the territory of the modern Baltic). In 1828, being in the rank of lieutenant-colonel, he was assigned to the nobility in the Kazan province.
The landlords were also on the maternal line. Grandpa Vera Nikolaevna, Christopher Petrovich Kupriyanov, from the big landlords, served as a district judge. He owned lands in the Tetyushinsky district and Ufa province. However, from his wealth there were only 400 desyatinas of the village of Khristoforovka, which were sent to her mother. Father, Nikolai Aleksandrovich Figner, in 1847, in the rank of staff captain, retired.
Vera Figner herself was born in 1852 in the Kazanprovince. There were five other children in the family: Sisters Lydia, Eugene and Olga, brothers Nikolai and Peter. Remembering their parents, the future terrorist wrote that they were completely different in temperament, but at the same time energetic and strong-willed, moreover incredibly active. These qualities, she recalls, were instilled in one way or another by all children, each of whom, probably due to severe education, left its mark on history.
Vera Figner, whose biography is detailedin her book "Imprinted Labor," wrote that in her childhood, there was no recognition of the identity of the child, nor was there a close affinity between parents and children. At the heart of education lay the strictest discipline, Spartan habits were inculcated. Moreover, the brothers were also subjected to corporal punishment. The only close person for children was their old nanny Natalia Makarevna. And yet Vera Figner notes that in the family there have never been quarrels, there were no abusive words "and there was no lie." Because of the father's service, the family lived in the village and was deprived of the conventions of city life, and therefore, says Vera Nikolaevna, "we knew neither hypocrisy nor gossip and slander."
As a result or in spite of, but all offspringfamilies came out, as they say, into people: Peter became a major mining engineer, Nikolai - a famous opera singer. But the sisters, all three, devoted themselves to the revolutionary struggle.
And Vera Nikolaevna Figner, whose brief biography is represented in our review, also devoted herself to the bright cause of the revolution.
Childhood ended when the girl wasis defined in the Kazan Rodionovsky Institute of Noble Maidens. The training was based on religious dogmas, to which Vera remained indifferent, going deeper into atheism. The training lasted six years, during which the girl went home for vacation only four times.
After graduation, Vera Figner returnedhome, to the village. As she herself wrote, only Uncle Pyotr Kupriyanov visited them in the wilderness, who knew perfectly well the ideas of Chernyshevsky, Dobrolyubov and Pisarev, as well as the doctrine of utilitarianism, which the young girl also penetrated. She did not have a direct acquaintance with the peasantry, real life and reality, according to her apt remark, passed by her, which adversely affected her acquaintance with life and people.
The first acquaintance with serious literatureFigner happened at the age of 13 when her uncle Kupriyanov allowed to take with him to the institute an annual filing of the magazine "Russian Word". However, the works read there did not have any effect on the girl. At the Institute, reading was banned, and the books that the mother gave were fiction and influenced more sensuality than intellectual development. Serious journalism did not fall into her hands until a certain time.
The first strong impression on her made a novel"One in the field is not a warrior" Shpilgagen. Oddly enough, but an important book for herself, Vera Figner celebrated the Gospel. Despite adherence to atheism, she extracted from the book of life the principles that guided her whole life. In particular, the whole giving itself once the chosen goal. Nekrasov's poem "Sasha", which taught not to separate the word from the case, completed the formation of the ideological foundation of the personality of the future revolutionary.
The desire to be useful, to bring as much as possiblehappiness to as many people as possible in a logical way caused in her the desire to learn on the Aesculapius. She decided to study medicine in Switzerland. But she realized this intention only in 1870, after she married a young investigator Alexei Filippov. Hearing once, how the suspect is interrogated and seeing the infamy, convinced her husband to quit this occupation and go with her to get medical education at the University of Zurich.
Having arrived abroad, Figner Vera NikolaevnaI first met and became imbued with the ideas of socialism, the commune and the people's movement. The choice of the side of socialist transformations began with visits to the "free" circle in Zurich, where she met the French socialists Kabe, Saint-Simon, Fourier, Louis Blanc, Proudhon. As she herself noted, to select the side of the revolution it was inspired not so much by an acute sense of justice as by "the cruelty of suppressing revolutionary movements by the ruling class."
Return to Russia
In 1875 the members of the circle who arrived in Russia"Friches" for the propagation of socialist ideas among the working class were arrested. Having received an appeal from her comrades to resume revolutionary ties in Russia, Vera Figner - a biography briefly concerned her feelings and doubts on this matter - was forced to leave her university and return to her homeland. Her doubts were connected with the fact that she throws the matter halfway, although she always considered it cowardly. In Russia, she still passed exams for paramedics. After five years of marriage, she divorced from her husband, who did not share her enthusiasm for the revolution, and went to Petersburg.
By the mid-seventies of the 19th century,a new revolutionary center, the program of which carried not only revolutionary romanticism, but also concrete actions. In particular, a real struggle with the authorities. Then for the first time they started talking about the use of dynamite in the fight.
In 1878, the first revolutionarya shot that changed the direction of this movement in Russia. In St. Petersburg, the mayor of Trepov, Vera Zasulich shot. It was revenge for corporal punishment, which one political prisoner suffered because he did not take off his caps before the authorities. After that, acts of retaliation with the use of terror were held across the country.
Creation of "Narodnaya Volya"
Vera Figner, though not directly involved in the movement"Land and Freedom," nevertheless adjoined to it ideas and its own autonomous circle of "separatists." Participated in the congress of the organization in Voronezh. However, as she wrote, at the congress they had never agreed to anything. The compromise was to continue the revolutionary enlightenment in the countryside and at the same time to fight the government. Compromise, as usual, led to the fact that the movement was divided. Those who considered it necessary to actively fight the government and saw its task to overthrow the autocracy, united in the party "Narodnaya Volya". Vera Figner joined her executive committee.
Members of the new party were extremelyresolutely. Several members of the organization were preparing dynamite, and the rest were developing a plan to assassinate Emperor Alexander II. Vera Figner, whose photo tells us about a thin and solid girl, but not about a terrorist, took an active part in preparing assassination attempts in Odessa in 1880 and in Petersburg in 1881. Initially, her participation was not planned, but, as she herself wrote, "my tears softened my comrades," and she took part in her first terrorist attack.
From the death penalty in the balance
The entire organization fell into the hands of a search in 1883. Vera spent 20 months in complete isolation in the Peter and Paul Fortress. Then she was tried and sentenced to death, which was replaced by indefinite hard labor. She spent twenty years in Shlisselburg. In 1904, she was sent to Arkhangelsk, and then to Kazan Province. After transfer to Nizhny Novgorod, she was allowed to leave Russia, and in 1906 she went to treat her nervous system abroad.
She returned home only in 1915, she waswas elected to the Constituent Assembly after the February Revolution. However, the October Revolution did not accept and did not become a member of the Communist Party. In 1932, the year of her eightieth birthday, a complete collection of works was published in seven volumes, which included her main opus, the novel The Sealed Labor, about the Russian revolutionary movement.</ p>