Elena Stasova

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Stasova, Elena Dmitrievna


Born Oct. 3 (15), 1873, in St. Petersburg; died Dec. 31, 1966, in Moscow. Figure in the Russian and international communist movement. Hero of Socialist Labor (1960). Member of the Communist Party from 1898. Daughter of D. V. Stasov.

After graduating from a Gymnasium, Stasova worked with N. K. Krupskaia in weekend schools for workers and disseminated Social Democratic propaganda. She joined the St. Petersburg League of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class in 1898 and became an agent of Iskra (The Spark) in 1901; she engaged in party work in St. Petersburg, Orel, Kiev, Smolensk, Moscow, Minsk and Vil’no (Vilnius). From 1904 to 1906 she was secretary of the Northern Bureau of the Central Committee of the RSDLP, the St. Petersburg Committee of the RSDLP, and the Russian Bureau of the Central Committee of the RSDLP. From August 1905 to 1906 she worked on the Central Committee of the RSDLP in Geneva and collaborated on the newspaper Proletarii (The Proletariat).

Stasova was a propagandist and representative of the Central Committee of the RSDLP in Tbilisi from 1907 to 1912. She was a member of the Russian Organizational Committee for the Convocation of the Sixth (Prague) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP in 1911 and in 1912 was confirmed at this conference as a candidate for cooptation into the Central Committee. She was arrested many times and was in exile in Eniseisk Province from 1913 to 1916.

Stasova was secretary of the Central Committee of the RSDLP from February 1917 to March 1920. She helped prepare and lead the October Armed Uprising and was elected a candidate member of the Central Committee at the Sixth Congress of the RSDLP(B). In 1918 she served as a member of the Presidium of the Petrograd All-Russian Extraordinary Commission and of the Petrograd Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCP(B).

In 1920 and 1921, Stasova was head of the organizational department of the Petrograd Committee of the RCP(B) and helped organize and work on the First Congress of the Peoples of the East, held in Baku in 1920; she was also secretary of the Presidium of the Council for Propaganda and Action of the Peoples of the East and a member of the Caucasian Bureau of the Central Committee of the RCP(B).

Stasova began working for the Comintern in 1921. From 1927 to 1937 she served as deputy chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Organization for Aid to Revolutionaries (IOAR) and as chairman of the Central Committee of IOAR’s USSR section. From 1935 to 1943 she was a member of the International Control Commission of the Comintern. At the Amsterdam Antiwar Congress, held in 1932, she was elected to the World Committee Against War and Fascism. In 1934 she helped found the World Women’s Committee Against War and Fascism. From 1938 to 1946, Stasova was editor of the magazine International Literature (published in English and French). After 1946 she continued to be active in public affairs and as a writer.

A delegate to the Seventh through Ninth, the Fifteenth through Seventeenth, and the Twenty-second Party Congresses, Stasova was elected to the Central Committee at the Seventh and Eighth Congresses and to the Central Control Commission at the Sixteenth Congress. She was also a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. The author of many articles and of memoirs, Stasova compiled the book V. V. Stasov: Letters to Relatives. She was awarded four Orders of Lenin and various medals. Stasova is buried in Red Square, at the Kremlin Wall.


Vospominaniia. Moscow, 1969.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See Index Volume, part 2, p. 475.)
Isbakh, A. A. Tovarishch Absoliut. Moscow, 1963.
Levidova, S. M., and E. G. Salita. E. D. Stasova. Leningrad, 1969. (Bibliography, pp. 333–35.)
Abramov, A. UKremlevskoisteny. Moscow, 1974.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.