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The Shesterka of 1905―06: Terrorist Heroines of Revolutionary Russia
BONIECE Sally A. ; HILBRENNER Anke (Editeur scientifique) ; SCHENK Frithjof Benjamin (Editeur scientifique)
As part of my ongoing study of the political life and mythology of the Socialist Revolutionary (SR) terrorist and Left SR party leader Mariya Spiridonova, in this article I examine the context within which she launched her revolutionary career: the terrorist fringe of the radical subculture known to its denizens as Underground Russia. Specifically, I focus on the other five women who with Spiridonova formed the shesterka of terrorists venerated in SR martyrology for their roles in the revolution of 1905―07. Although Riva Fialka, Lidiya Ezerskaya, Anastasiya Bitsenko, Manya Shkol'nik and Aleksandra Izmaylovich, unlike Mariya Spiridonova, were very little known or not known at all to the Russian public in 1905―06, they too were participants in the revolutionary underground, their behavior as much guided by its ethics and mythology. The stories of these five female SR terrorists, juxtaposed with Spiridonova's, demonstrate how women radicals of the reluctantly modernizing Russian empire sought in the underground socialist community the autonomy and equality denied them by Russia's entrenched patriarchal culture. In Underground Russia, women found fulfillment not only in principled activism against the autocratic regime but also in the empathetic support of like-minded comrades. Most significantly, the collective revolutionary experiences of the shesterka underline the emotional as well as the ideological bonds that deepened women's involvement in SR terrorist activities. Acco
ISSN : 0021-4019
Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas A. 2010, vol. 58, n° 2, pp. 172-191 [20 pages]
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