The Free Love of the Russian Revolution

A horrible crime took place in Leningrad - on the beach not far from the Petropavlovskaya Fortress in 1927. Thirteen young men brutally gangbanged three girls. Sexual crimes in Russia after the revolution were rather frequent among the working youth. Probably, the above-mentioned case would not have been investigated, if one of the victims had not died. Furthermore, another victim was a daughter of an influential party official.

The investigation was not objective, but it revealed horrible facts. One of the criminals, Fyodor Solovtsov, was an activist of the Komsomol movement. He was known for his sexual deeds too. He had eight intimate partners in his Komsomol unit, forcing them to have love affairs with him. One of the girls refused to be a part of the "revolutionary spirit and morality." Fyodor simply told her that she would lose her room in the dormitory (the girl arrived from a village). He threatened and intimidated other disobedient girls too.

To justify his conduct, the sly young man referred to the decree about the collectivization of women which had been issued in 1918. The document pronounced all women between 18 and 32 years old the state property - they were obliged to become members of the "free love bureau." Men between 19 and 50 years old could become members of the bureau too. They could choose any female member, even without her consent. Many historians say that the document was a fake. However, Fyodor Solovtsov used the above-mentioned decree and said that he had organized a department of the free love bureau in his unit. Meetings of the revolutionary youth often ended up in wild orgies.

According to the ideology of that time, it was believed that the bourgeois marriage was demeaning to women, it deprived them of equal rights with men. Revolutionaries thought that prostitution was the public exploitation of women - communists were strongly against any kind of human exploitation. That is why, it was believed that free sexual relations between young men and women would put an end to unhealthy marriages and prostitution.

Woman named Alexandra Kollontay was a very active proponent of that idea. She was defending free love principles in newspapers and magazines, saying that such love was commitment-free. The 50-year-old woman was saying such things to justify her love affair with Pavel Dybenko, who was 17 years younger than her.

A research conducted in 1923 showed, 47 percent of young men and 63 percent of young girls had started leading sex lives before they turned 18. More than 80 percent of men and about 50 percent of women were leading irresponsible sex lives, having three or more partners at once. Such a situation could also be explained with economic conditions. Young people would often move to cities from villages - they had no places to live and no places to work. They could not have normal families because of those obstacles.

The distribution of the "revolutionary morality" has brought very sad results. Sexually transmitted diseases became a disaster among the working youth. It turned out in 1927 that a lot of workers were sick with syphilis and other venereal diseases. Young people were catching those diseases from each other, not from prostitutes. A lot of children were born illegitimately, their mothers were unable to feed and grow them. The babies of the revolutionary Eros were becoming orphans, orphans were growing into criminals.

The rapists did not plead guilty at court. They claimed that they were acting according to the principles of the revolutionary morality. The trial became rather demonstrative. The criminals were severely punished. Fyodor Solovtsov was executed. His accomplices were sentenced to many years in jail.

There were different points of view about the story in the society. Some people wrote furious letters to newspapers, saying that all rapists must be executed. Others, especially the people of the working youth, were trying to justify them: "How can we satisfy our natural needs then? The girls should have agreed upon the request of their comrades. They should have relieved them of the sexual tension, inspired them for new victories of Komsomol and communism! Eros of the Revolution must help young people build the bright future of communism!" an anonymous man wrote in his letter.

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Author`s name Editorial Team