2 July 1882
|Died||22 December 1960(aged 78)|
|Known for||Wife of Mikhail Kalinin|
Ekaterina Ivanovna Kalinina (Russian: Екатерина Ивановна Калинина; née Lorberg; 2 July 1882 in Paide – 22 December 1960 in Moscow) was the wife of Soviet politician Mikhail Kalinin (1875–1946). Although she was the spouse of the Soviet head of state from 1922 to 1946, she was in a labor camp from 1938 to 1946. She was Jewish by ethnicity.
Ekaterina was born into a large Jewish peasant family in 1882 from Estonia. She was an active revolutionary and worked at a textile factory in Estonia. In 1905 she met Mikhail Kalinin in St. Petersburg where she fled due to her revolutionary activities. There Kalinin was working as a lathe operator. They married in 1906 and lived in Kalinin's home in the village of Verkhnyaya Troitsa, Tverskaya Gubernia, until 1910. Then they settled in St. Petersburg.
Before the Revolution Kalinina worked in a bottle factory and was a member of the Bolshevik Party. The Kalinins had four children, two sons and two daughters. According to another report the Kalinin family had three children. She along with the children accompanied Kalinin in his exile to Siberia in 1916.
Following the revolution they moved to Moscow. On 30 March 1919, her husband was named head of the party's executive committee and on 30 December 1922, he became head of the central executive committee. Initially the Kalinins lived in a Kremlin apartment which they shared with the Trotskys. They adopted two children and Ekaterina served as the deputy director of a weaving mill in the aftermath of the revolution. In 1924, she left Moscow and her family for the Caucasus to be involved in a literacy campaign in the region, but returned to Moscow in the same year. She became the manager of a big state grain farm in a remote district near Novosibirsk, Siberia, in the early 1930s. Then she served as a member of the Supreme Court until 1938.
She and her friends criticized Stalin's policies, and informers and operative officers transmitted this information to Stalin. Thus, on 25 October 1938 Ekaterina was arrested on charges of being a "Trotskyist". Although her husband was the chair of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet - formally the head of state of the USSR (1938-1946) -, she was tortured in Lefortovo Prison and on 22 April 1939, she was sentenced to fifteen years of imprisonment in a labor camp. She served in the camp until 14 December 1945 when a special decree of the Presidium ordered her release, which was signed by the secretary of the Presidium, not by her husband, Kalinin. Her release occurred shortly before Kalinin's death. However, she was sent into internal exile shortly after her husband's death. Her official rehabilitation took eight more years, and she finally received a document stating that "there was no evidence against her anti-Soviet activities." Ekaterina died in 1960.
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