Gruppa Narodovoltsev

Gruppa Narodovol’tsev

 

(Group of Supporters of the Narodnaia Volia [People’s Will]), the name of two St. Petersburg revolutionary organizations, which were connected by certain elements of continuity. The first Gruppa Narodovol’tsev, which included M. S. Aleksandrov (Ol’min-skii), A. A. Fedulov, A. Iu. Feit, A. A. Ergin, and N. L. Meshcheriakov, emerged in 1891 but was broken up by the authorities in April 1894. The group conducted propaganda among workers and published two issues of Letuchii listok (no. 1, 1892, and no. 2, May 1893) and several appeals. Although the members of the group declared their loyalty to the “basic principles” of the old People’s Will movement, they introduced some new features into their practical work and ideological argumentation, in response to changes in Russia’s sociopolitical condition and the influence of the Russian Social Democrats.

The second Gruppa Narodovol’tsev (1894–96) included several members of the first group, who had managed to escape arrest. Among the new participants were A. S. Be-levskii, E. A. Preiss, and representatives of a workers’ subgroup, including A. S. Shapovalov. At the end of February 1895 the second group reestablished the so-called Lakhtin-skaia underground printing press. The members of the second Gruppa Narodovol’tsev put out the third (April 1895) and fourth (December 1895) issues of Letuchii listok, as well as pamphlets, including Tsar Hunger by A. N. Bakh. The evolution of the second Gruppa Narodovol’tsev toward Marxism was more pronounced than that of the first group and was manifested particularly in the contents of the fourth issue of Listok, whose publication V. I. Lenin hailed in the work The Tasks of the Russian Social Democrats (see Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 2, p. 458). In its practical work the second Gruppa Narodovol’tsev allied itself with the Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. Lenin’s pamphlet An Explanation of the Law Relating to Fines Imposed on Workers in Factories and Plants was printed by the Gruppa Narodovol’tsev press. On June 24, 1896, the Lakhtinskaia press, which was operated by the group, was seized by the police, and the majority of the group’s members were arrested.

REFERENCES

Kudelli, P. G. Narodovol’tsy na pereput’i: Delo Lakhtinskoi tipo-grafii s prilozheniem dokumentov i “letuchikh listkov” gruppy narodovol’tsev 1892 i 1895 gg. Leningrad, 1925.
Levitas, I. G. Revoliutsionnye podpol’nye tipografii v Rossii (1860–1917 gg.). Moscow, 1962. Pages 75–79.

SH. M. LEVIN

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