Osip Vasilevich Aptekman

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Aptekman, Osip Vasil’evich


Born Mar. 18(30), 1849, in Pavlograd; died July 8, 1926, in Moscow. Russian revolutionary.

Aptekman attended the University of Kharkov from 1870 to 1871. Beginning in 1871, he studied at the St. Petersburg Medical and Surgical Academy, which he left in his fifth year to “go to the people” (1874–75). Working as a doctor’s assistant, he carried on revolutionary propaganda in Pskov and Penza provinces. In 1876 he joined the Rostov-Kharkov circle of Narodniks (Populists), which merged with Zemlia i Volia (Land and Freedom). Between 1877 and 1879 he joined Zemlia i Volia’s country settlements in Saratov and Tambov and carried on revolutionary work in St. Petersburg. After Zemlia i Volia split in 1879, he became one of the founders of Chernyi Peredel (Black Repartition). Arrested at the beginning of 1880, Aptekman was exiled to Yakutia for five years. After exile, he completed his medical education in Munich (1887–89) and in the early 1890’s worked as a doctor in Saratov District, Nizhny Novgorod, Kherson, and other places. In 1893–94 he helped create the organization Narodnoe Pravo (People’s Right). In the mid-1890’s he drew close to the Social Democrats. In 1905, working as a doctor in Vilensk Province, Aptekman actively participated in the Revolution of 1905–07; in 1906 he emigrated. In Switzerland at one time he was associated with the Mensheviks; during World War I he took an antidefensist position. In 1917 he returned to Russia. Sympathizing warmly with Soviet rule, he worked in the Historical and Revolutionary Archives in Petrograd. Aptekman’s memoirs and articles are one of the important sources for the history of revolutionary populism.


Obshchestvo “Zemlia i volia” 70-x gg.:Po lichnym vospominaniam, 2nd ed. Petrograd, 1924.
G. I. Uspenskii. Moscow, 1922.
G. V. Plekhanov: Iz lichnykh vospominanii. Leningrad, 1924.
V. V. Bervi-Flerovskii. Leningrad, 1925.
“Avtobiografiia.” In Entsiklopedich. slovar’ “Granat,” vol. 40.


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