Sergei Fedorovich Ol’denburg: Non-Communist Cooperator

  • Vera Tolz
Part of the Studies in Russian and East European History and Society book series (SREEHS)


Academician Sergei Fedorovich Ol’denburg was another leading Russian scholar who almost immediately after the October Revolution decided to cooperate with the Bolshevik government. By advocating a dialogue between scientists and the new regime, he attempted to achieve a compromise between the Bolsheviks and the academy. Ol’denburg was apparently motivated not so much by considerations of self-promotion, but rather by a desire to preserve the Academy of Sciences’ role as the leading scientific institution in the country. His position therefore differs from that of Academician Nikolai Marr, whose cooperation with the new regime seems to be primarily dictated by his personal interests. Nevertheless, some academicians with prerevolutionary careers initially failed to understand Ol’denburg’s position.1 More important is the fact that his attempt to find a balance between cooperation with the Bolsheviks and the preservation of the academy’s tradition was finally rejected by the Soviet authorities.


Oriental Study October Revolution Fellow Academician Fiftieth Anniversary Soviet Authority 
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Copyright information

© Vera Tolz 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vera Tolz
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SalfordEngland

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