Victor Kurnatowska: what happened to the beloved Nadezhda Krupskaya

Biography 08/01/20 Victor Kurnatowska: what happened to the beloved Nadezhda Krupskaya

still, there is a perception that Nadezhda Krupskaya was a such a blue stocking. But in fact, Nadezhda Konstantinovna in his youth was of rather attractive appearance and fall in love with men, even as a married woman. One of these Hobbies Krupskaya was revolutionary Victor Kurnatowska.

the Way to Siberia

Viktor Konstantinovich Kurnatowska was born in 1868 in Riga. However, higher education Kurnatowska prefer to get at St. Petersburg University. As a student, Victor became a member of “Narodnaya Volya”, which belonged to Lenin’s brother Alexander Ulyanov, was executed for plotting the assassination of the Emperor. As stated in the publication “the origins of the party,” for terrorists, Kurnatovskogo was expelled from University and exiled under surveillance of secret police back to Riga. Riga revolutionary managed to escape by deception: he said that he was going to see his mother in Petersburg. Kurnatowska really came to the Northern capital, but then moved to Moscow.

in the Autumn of 1888 Victor once again became a student, only this time Moscow University. In the next year 1889, wrote Peter Tkachenko in the publication “Moscow students in socio-political life of Russia in the second half of the XIX century”, Kurnatovskogo for communication with the people was again taken into custody and exiled to Arkhangelsk province. 7 years later he managed to emigrate to Switzerland and even to graduate from the Polytechnic Institute there. But to stay in exile Kurnatowska was not going and in 1897 returned to his homeland. He was arrested again and went to serve his next sentence in Siberia.

a Platonic affair

in this Siberian exile destiny brought Victor Kurnatowska with Nadezhda Krupskaya. The latter is known to registeroval marriage with Vladimir Ilyich Lenin in order to be with him in Shushenskoe. Kurnatowska also lived and worked in a sugar factory, which was located near Shushenskoye. The exiles, who usually tried to stick together, had a “secular” life. Victor was often a guest at the Lenin and Krupskaya, and they visited him, too. This is evidenced by preserved letters of Hope konstantinovny, the texts of which are given in the publication of “Lenin-Krupskaya-Ulyanovs. Correspondence (1883-1900)”. It is noteworthy that in the letter, which tells of the visit to the sugar factory, where he worked Kurnatowska, Krupskaya complained about their not too attractive haircut: “the Hair was standing on end from the wind.”

So, contrary to popular belief, Nadezhda Krupskaya was not a blue stocking. Moreover, as the authors of the publication “Great love story”, Nadezhda fell in love with Victor Kurnatowska, and he answered her affection. Lenin’s wife, first grave and silent, was suddenly transformed, and turned into a fun, perky girl. This change Krupskaya could not remain unnoticed. Lenin’s sister Anna Ilyinichna repeatedly pointed out to his brother for inappropriate behaviour Expectations. But Ulyanov was not attached to her any difference. “No time, Anna, to deal with all sorts of gossip,” he said to the sister. Perhaps the leader was sure that the wife will not betray him. However, Lenin was right: most likely, between Krupskaya and Kurnatowska, in addition to flirting, and really didn’t do anything.


In 1900 the term of the reference of Victor Kurnatowska came to an end, and he went to Tbilisi. There Kurnatowska resumed his party activities. In 1901 he was again arrested. If you believe the publication of “the Revolutionary past of Tbilisi”, Viktor Konstantinovich was in prison in Tbilisi Metekhi prison until the summer of 1903. Revolution, reached Siberia, caught Kurnatowska in Chita, where he became one of the leaders of “Chita Republic.” “Republic” lasted only until January 1906. He was then arrested and sentenced to death and Victor Kurnatowska. However, Viktor Konstantinovich was lucky: the sentence commuted to life penal servitude.

by Some miracle, Kurnatovskogo managed to escape through Japan, he moved to Australia. As argued by Leon Trotsky in his book “Stalin”, being in fact the escaped convict, Victor Kurnatowska was forced to earn a living by hard physical labour: he worked as a logger and it actually undermined their health. He later somehow got to France. Shortly after his arrival in Paris Kurnatowska took to his bed. Nadezhda Krupskaya and Vladimir Lenin visited him in the hospital. Often, Nadezhda Konstantinovna came to the former beloved alone. To say goodbye to Kurnatowska, who died in October, 1912, Krupskaya could not: at the time, she together with Vladimir Ilyich was already living in Krakow.

Yulia Popova

© Russian Seven

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