Debu, Ippolit Matveevich and Konstantin Matveevich

Debu, Ippolit Matveevich and Konstantin Matveevich


Ippolit was born Mar. 6 (18), 1824 (Mar. 14 [26], 1819, according to other sources), in St. Petersburg Province and died Dec. 19 (31), 1890, in Kharkov Province. His brother Konstantin was born in 1810 in St. Petersburg Province and died in May 1868 in St. Petersburg. Members of the Petrashevskii Circle.

The Debu brothers served in the Asiatic Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. They were among the first propagandists of the ideas of Utopian socialism in Russia. In the winter of 1847-48 they began attending M. V. Petrashevskii’s circle. The group of young people who gathered at the home of Konstantin Debu to study the ideas of the French Utopian sociab’st C. Fourier formed a new circle in October 1848, which met at N. S. Kashkin’s.

Konstantin Debu took part in discussions at the home of Petrashevskii and of N. A. Speshnev about creating a secret society. Both brothers participated in the memorial feast for Fourier on Apr. 7, 1849, and in the preparation of a translation of Fourier’s basic works. Ippolit’s death sentence for the Petrashevskii affair was commuted to two years of hard labor, and Konstantin’s was commuted to four years of hard labor to be followed by army service. They subsequently withdrew from public and political life.


Delo petrashevtsev, vol. 3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1951.
Leikina-Svirskaia, V. R. Petrashevtsy. Moscow, 1965.
Usakina, T. Petrashevtsy i literaturno-obshchestvennoe dvizhenie sorokovykh godov XIX v. [Saratov] 1965.