Writer and Politician
Alexandra Mikhailovna Kollontai (1872 –1952) also known as “Shura” was a Russian Communist. She was born in St. Petersburg, Russia. In 1919, Alexandra became the first female government minister in Europe. In fact, the saga of her parents' long and difficult struggle to be together tremendously influenced Alexandra Kollontai's own views on relationships and marriage. Alexandra was a studious child and good student. She was sharing her father's interest in history and learning a range of different languages. She spoke French with her mother and sisters, English with her nanny, Finnish with the peasants at a family estate, and was learning German on a side. When Alexandra turned 19, she met her future husband Vladimir Ludvigovich Kollontai, an engineering student. Her parents forbade the relationship and sent Alexandra on a tour around the Western Europe in the hope that she would forget Vladimir. However, the couple kept being committed to one another. In 1894, Alexandra became pregnant soon after her marriage and gave a birth of a son, Mikhail. Later, she abandoned her husband and son to pursue her political career.
Did You Know?
Alexandra Kollontai was an advocate of the feminist movement in Russia. She was honored by the following awards: Order of Lenin (1933), Order of the Red Banner of Labour (1945), Knights Grand Cross of the Royal Norwegian Order of St. Olav (Norwegian highest award at the time), and Order of the Aztec Eagle (1944).
Other interesting facts:
In 1923, she was appointed as the Soviet Ambassador of Norway. Quickly, she became the world's first female ambassador. In 1994, Kollontai’s life and her hard work were filmed and named “A Wave of Passion.”