SocialismToday           Socialist Party magazine

Kollontai & Dybenko

THE ARTICLE on Alexandra Kollontai in issue No.73 of Socialism Today (March 2003) was well done. The portrayal of Kollontaiís relationship with the Bolshevik sailor Dybenko, however, should have included a kinder, more loving tone.

Their love affair was storied and well documented. Even after their divorce the two continued to see each other as was demonstrated in the memoirs of Vladimir N Ipatieff. I quote "He and she (Dybenko and Kollontai) were still friends; evidently he still had great respect for her. He (Dybenko) impressed me as a rather pleasant, unassuming man... During the several days I spent in Oslo I dined with them, went to the theatre, and witnessed some winter sports". Ipatieff argues that in his relationships Dybenko helped women re-define what they (woman) could expect emotionally from men. He should not be depicted as a man of demanding tones but, as was his nature, a loving, respectful man.

George M Levy

Austin, Texas


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