Alexandra Vasilevna Artyukhina (6 November 1889, Vyshny Volochyok – 7 April 1969) was an early Russian Bolshevist and revolutionary who rose to sit on the Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee, but was brought down by Joseph Stalin's purges in the late 1930s.
The child of textile workers, Artyukhina became a dressmaker's apprentice at age ten, and a mill worker by 17. She joined the Communist labor movement in Russia, and was forced into exile at age 20 - probably in 1909. After three years, she returned to Russia and resumed her work, both in textiles and in union organizing.
She was active during the Revolution and rose through the ranks to sit as an alternate member on the Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee from 1926 to 1930. On March 1, 1931, international journalists noticed Artukhina as the first woman to sit on the Soviet Supreme Court, and described her as a small blonde with "bright blue eyes."
She assumed leadership of the Cotton Textile Workers Union when a Commissar of light industry, Isadore Lubimoff, was removed. A collective farm was named for her.
Her industry fell 11% short of its production goal for the first quarter of 1938. Artukhina and her subordinates were charged with allowing anti-Soviet wreckers to spread their corruption. She was accused of approving the same quotas for different machines, allowing the neglect of machines, and unnecessarily complicated paperwork.
After Stalin's death Artyukhina was rehabilitated. She was named a Hero of Socialist Labor in 1960, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of International Women's Day, and lies buried in the Novodevichy Cemetery.
Honours and awards
The information in this article came from New York Times articles dated March 2, 1931 and May 23, 1938. The latter refers to the Soviet workers' newspaper Trud as its source.
- (Russian) Biography and photograph