Natanson, Mark Andreevich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Natanson, Mark Andreevich


(pseudonym, Bobrov). Born Dec. 25, 1850 (Jan. 6, 1851), in Ŝvenčionys, in what is now the Lithuanian SSR; died July 29, 1919, in Bern. Russian revolutionary and Narodnik (Populist).

Of petit bourgeois descent, Natanson studied at the St. Petersburg Medical and Surgical Academy from 1868 to 1871 and at the St. Petersburg Institute of Farming in 1871. In the student movement of 1869, he spoke out against S. G. Nechaev. Natanson was one of the founders of the Chaikovskii circle and of Zemlia i Volia (Land and Liberty); after the split in the latter organization, he affiliated himself with Narodnaia Volia (People’s Will). Natanson took part in the Kazan demonstration of 1876 in St. Petersburg and also propagandized among the workers. Between 1869 and 1877, he was arrested four times and was imprisoned in the Peter and Paul Fortress; he lived in exile in Siberia from 1879 to 1889.

Natanson founded the People’s Right Party in 1893 and was its leader until 1894, when he was arrested. He was exiled to Eastern Siberia for five years. In 1904 he went to Switzerland. In 1905, Natanson joined the Socialist Revolutionary Party (SR’s), associating himself with its left wing, and became a member of the party’s central committee. From 1907 until the October Revolution of 1917 he was again an emigré. During World War I (1914–18), he took an internationalist position and participated in the Zimmerwald and Kienthal conferences. Natanson joined the Left Socialist Revolutionaries (Left SR’s) in 1917 but dissociated himself from them after their rebellion. In 1918 he organized the Group of Revolutionary Communists, which favored cooperation with the Bolsheviks. Natanson was a member of the presidium of the All-Russia Central Executive Committee.


Aptekman, O. V. “Dve dorogie teni: Iz vospominanii o G. V. Plekhanove i M. A. Natansone kak semidesiatnikakh.” Byloe, 1921, no. 16.
Figner, V. N. “M. A. Natanson.” Poln. sobr. soch. vol. 5. Moscow, 1932.
Itenberg, B. S. Dvizhenie revoliutsionnogo narodnichestva. Moscow, 1965.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.