Spiridonova, Mariia Aleksandrovna

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Spiridonova, Mariia Aleksandrovna


Born Oct. 16 (28), 1884, in Tambov; died 1941. A leader of the Left Socialist Revolutionaries (Left SR’s).

Spiridonova was from a family of dvoriane (nobility or gentry). In 1906, in the city of Kozlov, on the instructions of the Tambov SR organizations, she mortally wounded G. N. Luzhenovskii, who headed the Black Hundreds organization and who had led punitive expeditions in Tambov Province during the Revolution of 1905–07. On Mar. 12, 1906, she was sentenced by court-martial to the death penalty, which was commuted to an indefinite term of hard labor. She served her sentence at the Nerchinsk hard labor camps.

In Petrograd after the February Revolution of 1917, Spiridonova helped organize the Left SR Party. In December 1917 she became a member of the party’s Central Committee. After the October Revolution of 1917, Spiridonova was a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and a participant in the Third through Fifth All-Russian Congresses of Soviets. She opposed the ratification of the Brest-Litovsk Treaty of 1918. Spiridonova took part in the counterrevolutionary Left SR Revolt of 1918 in Moscow and was arrested and sentenced to one year of imprisonment; on the day of sentencing she was granted amnesty by the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.

Spiridonova withdrew from political life and lived in Ufa beginning in the early 1930’s. She wrote reminiscences of the Nerchinsk hard labor camps.

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