Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Vera Nikolayevna Figner
Forbidden by her father to go to medical school, Vera Nikolayevna married, scraped together some money and ran off to Switzerland to become a doctor anyway. While there, she joined a group of radical young Russian women, who were accused at one point of using their medical knowledge to perform abortions on each other.
Her highly committed and highly effective work to overthrow the czarist government of Russia in the late 1870's and early 1880's eventually got Figner arrested and imprisoned for twenty years. When she was finally released and allowed to leave the country, however, she traveled all over Europe working to free her fellow revolutionaries still in prison. Figner's book, Memoirs of a Revolutionist, was translated into many languages and made her an in-your-face woman known around the world.