She was Vladimir Lenin’s wife and caretaker, a lifelong comrade in the Communist party. Also an advocator of education and women’s rights.
Nadezhda Konstantinovna Krupskaya was born in St. Petersburg. She came from an impoverished upper class family. Nadezhda acted as a Marxist agitator and soviet activist since the 1890s.
In 1894, she met another Communist agitator Vladimir Ilych Lenin. They were both convicted and deported to Siberia. The couple got married in 1898. From 1900-1917, Lenin and Krupskaya spent travelling from one European city to another.
After the October Revolution, Krupskaya started working for a newly estabished People’s Comissariat of Education (Narkompros). There she contributed in building the Soviet educational system. She had a significant role in founding the Pioneer and Komsomol movements for schoolchildren.
After Lenin had two fatal strokes, he was paralyzed and Krupskaya began taking full care of him. They withdrew to their dacha in Gorky Leninskye. In the course of Lenin’s deteriorating health, Krupskaya many times clashed with Stalin, who criticized her rudely.
After Lenin’s death
When Lenin died in April 1924, Krupskaya continued her work in the educational bureaucracy. She somehow stood beyond the overall power struggle that had paralyzed the whole party elite at that time.
Stalin chose to ignore her, but they hated each other. One one occasion, Stalin threatened her that the party could announce that the actual wife of Lenin was not in fact her, but another Bolshevik Elena Stasova. “You know, the party can do that”, Stalin said.
Krupskaya died quietly in 1939. Her most notable writing was “The Woman Worker”.