Nadezhda Krupskaya

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Nadezhda Krupskaya portrait

Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya (Russian: Надежда Константиновна Крупская, IPA: [nɐˈdʲeʐdə kənstɐnʲˈtʲinəvnə ˈkrupskəjə]; 26 February [O.S. 14 February] 1869 – 27 February 1939) was a Russian revolutionary and wife of Vladimir Lenin.


  • Not everyone can learn from life, from other people.
  • He who looks with indifference on life all round him "from the writer's carriage window" will never become a real writer...There is often a great deal of snobbish conceit in budding writers--and even frequently in workers' children, but [it] has to be thoroughly washed away.
  • ...The woman today is not simply a man's wife, she is a social worker, she wants to educate her children in the new way, she wants her whole day-to-day life to be rearranged of new lines. At every step she feels she lacks knowledge.
  • The bourgeoisie of all countries understands to a nicety what a great power the experiences of childhood have over people, and for this reason it endeavours to bring the children up in the bourgeois spirit from their earliest years. The clergy, the teachers servile to the bourgeois Government, the unprincipled penny-a-line children’s authors and the grasping cinema proprietors all work feverishly in this direction.
  • The girls must not be tied down to the home, but from the early years should be accustomed to being together, in one organisation with the boys—to be with them on a comradely footing.
  • ...We should try to link our personal lives with the cause for which we struggle, with the cause of building communism...This, of course, does not mean that we should renounce our personal life. The Party of communism is not a sect, and so such asceticism should not be advocated. At a factory, I once heard a woman addressing her work-mates say: "Comrades working women, you should remember that once you join the Party you have to give up husband and children." Of course, this is not the approach to the question. It is not a matter of neglecting husband and children, but of training the children to become fighters for communism, to arrange things so that the husband becomes such a fighter, too. One has to know how to merge one's life with the life of society. This is not asceticism. On the contrary, the fact of this merging, the fact that the common cause of all working people becomes a personal matter, makes personal life richer. It does not become poorer, it offers deep and colourful experiences which humdrum family life has never provided. To know how to merge one's life with work for communism, with the work and struggle of the working people to build communism, is one of the tasks that face us. You, young people, are only just starting out on your lives, and you can build them so that there is no gap between your personal life and that of society...

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