Gelfman, Gesia

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gel’fman, Gesia Mironovna


Born between 1852 and 1855 in Mozyr’; died Feb. 1 (13), 1882, in St. Petersburg. A participant in the Russian revolutionary movement; a Narodnik (populist).

Gel’fman was born into a Jewish bourgeois family, which she left at the age of 16. In the first half of the 1870’s she belonged to revolutionary circles in Kiev. After the Trial of the Fifty of 1877 she spent two years in confinement at Litovskii Zamok Prison. On Mar. 14, 1879, she was exiled to Novgorod Province. She escaped and by late 1879 had joined the People’s Will in St. Petersburg. She was sentenced to be hanged at the trial of the March 1 conspirators (1881). The execution was postponed because of her pregnancy and later, in 1882, as a result of the campaign undertaken by the foreign press in her defense, Gel’fman’s sentence was commuted to hard labor for life. She died in a transit prison.


Kantor, R. M. G. M. Gel’fman. Moscow, 1930.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.