Pyotr Struve was born in Perm, the son of Perm Governor Bernhard Struve and Baroness Anna Rosen. His grandfather was the astronomer Vasily Struve, the first director of the Pulkovo Observatory. Ilya Ulyanov, the father of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, was a family friend. In 1882-89, Pyotr studied at the Third Gymnasium in St Petersburg. Initially, he entered the physics and mathematics department at St Petersburg University, but transferred to the law department in 1890. He was interested in Marxism, and in 1891 headed a social democratic circle, which was joined by Alexander Potresov, a founder of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (RSDLP). In 1892, he studied at the University of Graz (Austria). In 1894-95, Struve and Lenin met personally. In 1897, Struve married Nina Gerd, a gymnasium friend of Nadezhda Krupskaya, Lenin’s wife. He took part in the 1896 International Socialist Congress in London. In 1898, Struve wrote the manifesto of the RSDLP after the party’s first congress. In 1902-05, he became the leader of the Union of Liberation, a liberal political group, and also edited the foreign-published magazine Osvobozhdenie. In October 1905, Struve cofounded the Constitutional Democratic Party (Kadets) and was named to its Central Committee. Meanwhile, he taught at the St Petersburg Polytechnic Institute. In 1907, he was elected to the second State Duma from the Kadets. He edited various magazines and newspapers, including Polar Star, Duma, Freedom and Culture and Russian Thought. He was also active in the St Petersburg Religious-Philosophical Society in 1909-13. During World War I, Struve served as a member of the Special Council on Food Supply. He also chaired a committee tasked with restricting supply and trade with wartime enemies under the Ministry of Trade and Industry until 1917.¹

After the February Revolution, Struve headed up the economy section at the Foreign Ministry in April-May. He was a delegate at the Moscow State Conference and a member of the Provisional Council of the Russian Republic. In December, Struve left for Moscow before moving to Novocherkassk, where he joined the Don Civil Council [Donskoi grazhdanskii sovet] and organized the Volunteer Army. He fought in the so-called Ice March to the Kuban and organized the so-called National Center clandestine anti-Bolshevik organization in Moscow. In 1918, Struve joined the Russian Committee under General Nikolai Yudenich and agitated for the White Movement in France and England. In 1919, he returned to South Russia and became a member of the General Command of the Armed Forces of South Russia under General Anton Denikin. Later, he handled foreign relations in the government of General Pyotr Wrangel. In October 1920, Struve left Sevastopol.²

Struve ended up in Constantinople before resigning and moving to Paris in January 1921. In exile, he was elected chairman at the 1921 Congress of National Unity in Paris. In the same year, he became a member of the Russian Academic Group in Paris and Brussels, the board of the Union of Russian Academic Organizations Abroad, the council of the Institute of Russian Law and Economics in Paris and the (London) Russian Public Committee for Famine Relief. In 1921, he moved to Sofia, where he resumed the publication of Russian Thought. A year later, he left for Czechoslovakia and settled in Prague, where he taught Russian law. He lectured at the Russian Scientific Institute in Berlin in 1923-24. He was a member of the Russian All-Military Union. Back in Paris in 1925, he edited the newspapers Vozrozhdenie and Rossiia.³ He was a member of the Brotherhood of Saint Sophia. In 1928, Struve left for Belgrade and chaired the local Russian Scientific Institute, while from 1934 he taught at the University of Belgrade. He was named an honorary member and chairman of the Union of Russian Writers and Journalists in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1930-31. During World War II, in May 1941 he was arrested by the Gestapo, but released in July. In 1942, Struve was permitted to move to Paris with his children. He died in Paris on February 26, 1944.⁴
Pyotr Berngardovich Struve (1870-1944)

Pyotr Berngardovich Struve
[1] Kul’tura.RF. ‘Petr Struve’. Kul’tura.RF, 2022.
[2] Petrenko, Yelena. ‘Petr Struve’. Svobodnaya Mysl’, no. 2(1609) (2010): 145–52.
[3] Tashtamirova, Liliya. ‘Publitsisticheskaya Deyatel’nost’ P.B. Struve v Emigratsii’. Aktual’nyye Voprosy Obshchestvennykh Nauk: Sotsiologiya, Politologiya, Filosofiya, Istoriya, no. 33 (2014): 131–43.
[4] Tribunskiy, Pavel. ‘Struve Petr Berngardovich’. Russkaya Filosofiya: Istoriya, Istochniki, Issledovaniya, 2022.

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