Georgi Plekhanov  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Georgi Valentinovich Plekhanov (November 29, 1856 – May 30, 1918) was a Russian revolutionary and a Marxist theoretician. He was a founder of the Social-Democratic movement in Russia and was one of the first Russians to identify himself as "Marxist." Facing political persecution, Plekhanov emigrated to Switzerland in 1880, where he continued in his political activity attempting to overthrow the Tsarist regime in Russia. During World War I Plekhanov rallied to the cause of the Entente powers against Germany and he returned home to Russia following the 1917 February Revolution. Plekhanov was hostile to the Bolshevik party headed by V.I. Lenin, however, and was an opponent of the Soviet regime which came to power in the autumn of 1917. He died the following year. Despite his vigorous and outspoken opposition to Lenin's political party in 1917, Plekhanov was held in high esteem by the Russian Communist Party following his death as a founding father of Russian Marxism and a philosophical thinker.

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