Sergei Gennadievich Nechayev

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Sergei Nechayev
Nechayev's birth house

Sergey Nechayev ( Russian Сергей Геннадиевич Нечаев ; born September 20, jul. / 2. October  1847 greg. In Ivanovo , † November 21 jul. / 3. December  1882 greg. In Saint Petersburg ) was a Russian revolutionary , of the nihilistic Movement was close.


Sergei Netschajew was born in the city of Ivanovo in 1847 and grew up as the son of a waiter and a seamstress in poor circumstances. He attended lectures at St. Petersburg University without being enrolled there. Thereby he got to know the ideas of Mikhail Bakunin and the Decembrists . From 1868–1869, Nechayev headed a radical student group during the student unrest. In January 1869 he spread the rumor that he had been arrested in St. Petersburg and fled to Geneva . There he sought contact with Russian exiles and pretended to be the head of a revolutionary organization that had fled the Peter and Paul fortress . In Switzerland, Nechayev made a close friendship with Mikhail Bakunin and Nikolai Ogaryov , where he wrote his program, the Revolutionary Catechism . He won Alexander Herzen to finance a propaganda trip in which the Revolutionary Catechism was smuggled into Russia and distributed there.

In August 1869 he returned to Russia and founded the secret organization Narodnaja Rasprawa ( Russian : Народная Расправа, "popular retaliation", "people's court", "people's revenge"). The organization referred positively to the Cossack Society of Vasily Us in Astrakhan and criticized Chernyshevsky's agitation in Russia. When Ivan Ivanovich Ivanov, a member of the group, left the group because of a disagreement, he was beaten and shot by Nechayev and his group. Three years later, Dostoevsky described this event in his novel The Demons .

In 1870 Nechayev left Russia again and wrote for a while for the newspaper Kolokol , which Ogaryov continued for a short time after Herzens death in 1870. But when he began to steal private writings and letters from Bakunin and other exiles in order to blackmail them if necessary and in Bakunin's name to send a death threat to his publisher, Bakunin and many others distanced themselves from Nechayev. In the meantime Russia has demanded extradition and the Swiss police started the search. Friends tried to intervene with the federal government and saw Nechayev as a politically persecuted person who could not be extradited. In 1872 he was betrayed by the Polish exile Stemkowski to the police in Zurich and then arrested. Because of the murder of Ivanov, Nechayev was extradited to Russia as a common criminal and sentenced there. In 1882 Sergei Nechayev died of dropsy in the Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg .


The young Sergei Nechayev
  • together with Pyotr Nikititsch Tkachev : Programma revoljucionnych dejstvii (program of revolutionary action). Written in 1869.
  • Catechism of a Revolutionary . quoted in: Robert Payne: Lenin. His life and death , Munich 1965, pp. 17-20.
  • General rules of organization . Quoted in: Theodor Schiemann (ed.) ' Bibliothek Russischer Denkworthitäten , Vol. 6: Michail Bakunin's socio-political correspondence with Alexander Iw. Hearts and Ogarjow , Stuttgart 1895, p. 371 f.
  • General rules of the departmental network . Quoted in: Theodor Schiemann (ed.) ' Bibliothek Russischer Denkworthitäten , Vol. 6: Michail Bakunin's socio-political correspondence with Alexander Iw. Hearts and Ogarjow , Stuttgart 1895, p. 372 f.


  • Stephen T. Cochrane: The Collaboration of Nečaev, Ogarev and Bakunin in 1869. Nečaev's Early Years. Marburg (Lahn) 1976.
  • Peter Collmer: Sergei Gennadjewitsch Netschajew. In: Historical Lexicon of Switzerland . August 24, 2009 , accessed January 18, 2020 .
  • Alexander Gambarov: V sporach o Nečaeve. K voprosu ob istoričeskoj reabilitacii Nečaeva. (On the controversies surrounding Nečaev. On the question of the historical rehabilitation of Nečaev). Moscow, Leningrad 1926.
  • Nina Huthöfer: The Catechism of the Revolutionary: Serbej Nechaev . in: Alexander Straßner (ed.), Social Revolutionary Terrorism. Theory, ideology, case studies, future scenarios, pp. 47–55, Wiesbaden 2008.
  • Philip Pomper: Sergei Nechaev . New Brunswick [NJ], 1979. (English)
  • Michael Pravdin: Nechayev - Silent by Moscow . Athenäum Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, Bonn 1961.
  • Jacob L. Talmon: The History of Totalitarian Democracy, Volume III . Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2013, pp. 395–416.
  • Astrid von Borcke: The origins of Bolshevism . Johannes Berchmans Verlag. Munich 1977, pp. 281-327.

Web links

Commons : Sergei Nechayev  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Marx, Karl / Engels, Friedrich : A plot against the international workers' association . Braunschweig 1874, p. 406.