Table of contents:
- How did Lenin's future comrade-in-arms, the Frenchwoman Elizabeth (Inessa) d'Erbanville, come to Russia?
- How Inessa Armand's revolutionary career began
- Why Armand was arrested
- Leader's muse: how Armand became Lenin's confidant
- How was the fate of Inessa Armand after the 1917 revolution
Inessa Armand, who despised conventions and dreamed of times of universal equality, followed her convictions throughout her short life. Leaving her husband, with whom she was connected by four children, the revolutionary became close to her husband's younger brother, finding in him a like-minded person in the ideological struggle. A few years later, having already lost her loved one, the charismatic Frenchwoman met V. I. Lenin and became for him not just a comrade in arms, but a woman for whom he had deeper feelings.
How did Lenin's future comrade-in-arms, the Frenchwoman Elizabeth (Inessa) d'Erbanville, come to Russia?
On April 26, 1874, in France, the family of the opera singer Theodore d'Erbenville was replenished: his wife, a Russian citizen with French-English roots Natalie Wild, gave birth to their first child - a daughter, whom it was decided to name Elizabeth Pesche. For five years, the girl and her two younger sisters were raised by parents who earned a good income, thanks to the singing popularity of their father.
After the sudden death of the breadwinner, left with three young children in her arms, Natalie, who worked as an actress, retrained as a singing teacher, hoping to improve her financial situation. However, this did not help - the money was sorely lacking, and the woman asked for help from her Moscow relatives. Her aunt, who worked as a governess in a wealthy family of the Russified French industrialist Armand, responded to her niece's request and took first the eldest Elizabeth, and a few years later her middle sister, Rene.
So at the age of six, the future revolutionary found herself in Russia, where she lived in an estate near Moscow in Pushkino, receiving piano lessons with home education and studying three languages at once - Russian, English and German.
How Inessa Armand's revolutionary career began
At the age of 17, having passed the necessary exams, Elizabeth obtained the right to teach and began teaching at a school for peasant children in the village of Eldigino. At the age of 19, her wedding took place with the eldest son of the industrialist who sheltered them, Alexander, from whom the French woman gave birth to two daughters and two sons for 9 years.
In parallel with her family life, Armand was actively involved in public affairs: in 1898, joining the Society for the Advancement of Women, she called for gender equality and stigmatized prostitution, and in the early 1900s she was carried away by the idea of changing the social and social order. The theme of the revolution brought the Parisian closer to Alexander Armand's younger brother, Vladimir. The young man, who at that time turned 18 years old, supported Elizabeth's desire to improve the lives of ordinary peasants: together they achieved the appearance in Eldigino of a reading room, a hospital and a Sunday school.
Vladimir was the first to introduce his daughter-in-law to Lenin's book The Development of Capitalism in Russia, which aroused in her not only a genuine interest in the personality of the author, but also forced her to abandon social democratic views in favor of socialist ones. In 1904, 28-year-old Elizabeth, who changed her name to Inessa, joined the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP), having managed by that time to leave her legal spouse and give birth to a son, Andrei, to Vladimir Armand in 1903.
Why Armand was arrested
The first time Inessa was arrested in 1904 on suspicion of attending clandestine meetings. After serving more than four months in Moscow prisons, the young woman was released and plunged headlong into revolutionary activities: together with Vladimir, she was engaged in agitation, distributed illegal literature, and participated in gatherings.
The second arrest took place in 1907 right during an illegal meeting, and if the previous time Armand was released due to lack of evidence, now, by a court decision, the revolutionary was sent into exile for two years. After spending a year under supervision in the town of Mezen, Inessa, with the help of her comrades, fled to St. Petersburg, after which, having corrected a fake passport, in the fall of 1908 she crossed over to Switzerland.
Leader's muse: how Armand became Lenin's confidant
Abroad, in addition to freedom, the Parisian woman faced a personal drama - the death of Vladimir, whom she loved dearly and sincerely, from tuberculosis. Experiencing the loss, Armand left for Brussels and devoted himself to studying at the university, having received a licentiate degree in economics a year later. At the same time, she met Ulyanov, for whom Inessa soon became an indispensable assistant, translating his articles, doing secretarial work and solving household issues around the house.
At the same time, an energetic Frenchwoman campaigned among the Parisian workers, was in charge of the educational department at the school of party cadres of the RSDLP in Longjumeau, advocated the rejection of official marriage, writing a brochure on the topic entitled "On the Women's Question".
In 1912, Armand returned to St. Petersburg to restore the work of the destroyed underground cells, but was arrested again and spent almost six months in prison. Released on the bail of her ex-husband, Inessa again fled abroad, where she remained until 1917, until she again arrived in Russia, being en route in the same compartment with Lenin and Krupskaya.
Although historians disagree about whether there was a connection between the named Elizabeth Peshe and Vladimir Ulyanov, one thing is certain - Inessa felt a feeling of love for the leader of the revolution and did not hide this in letters addressed to him. He, showing respect and obvious sympathy, completely trusted Armand, making the charming Parisian a close friend of his family, leading her political activities throughout the active period of her life.
How was the fate of Inessa Armand after the 1917 revolution
Arriving in Russia in April 1917, the revolutionary presided for a short time in the Moscow provincial economic council, and in 1918 left for France to organize the export of soldiers of the expeditionary corps. Here Inessa was detained by the authorities: she was charged with subversive activities against the state and threatened with prison. Only the help of Lenin, who promised to shoot the French representatives of the Red Cross in Moscow, saved her from trial and sentence at home.
In 1919, Armand was entrusted with the leadership of the women's department of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party, and later the holding of the first International Women's Communist Conference.
Having spent a lot of energy on revolutionary activities, in 1920 46-year-old Inessa began to experience health problems and intended to leave for Paris to consult a doctor she knew. But instead, listening to Lenin's recommendations, the woman went to Kislovodsk for treatment and contracted cholera on the way.
Armand died suddenly in Nalchik, from where the body was taken to Moscow and on October 12, 1920 he was buried at the Kremlin wall in the necropolis.
And another comrade-in-arms of Lenin for these reasons, they shot their own.