Biography of Elena Nefedyeva, Sisters of the Holy Spirit

Born into a peasant family in August 1870 in the village of Khalakhalnia, Pechkov county, Pskov province. Graduated from high school in Pskov. Married a court councilor and was a homemaker. After her husband’s death she moved to Petrograd. September 26, 1918 – arrested, but released October 2. At the end of 1921 she converted from Lutheranism to Catholicism and became a parishioner at the Russian Catholic Church of the Descent of the Holy Spirit. She sang in the church choir. In 1922 she entered the religious community of the Holy Spirit. She was the secretary and a friend of the chairman of the St. Vincent de Paul Society in Petrograd at Holy Spirit Church. December 5, 1923 – arrested in Petrograd in a case against Russian Catholics and December 19 she was sent to Moscow for further investigation. May 19, 1924 – sentenced under Article 61 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to five years in a concentration camp [OGPU Collegium]. Sent to the Orel political isolator, then to Yekaterinburg Prison. From November 1925 she was in the Solovetsky Special Purpose Camp, then from 1927 in the Suzdal political isolator. In 1930 (at age 60), she was released from the political isolator and administratively exiled for three years to Saratov, whence she was released in the summer of 1933. She returned to Leningrad and worked as a statistician in a tuberculosis dispensary. September 16, 1935 – arrested as a “participant in a counter-revolutionary organization that had as its task the transformation of Russia into a Catholic state.” February 7, 1936 – sentenced under Article 58-10 of the Criminal Code of the RSFSR to three years’ exile to the Northern Territory [Special Board, NKVD, USSR]. Sent to Kargopol, Arkhangelsk region – age 66. Fate thereafter unknown. We present an excerpt from the indictment: “the arrestee, Nefedyeva, stated that she is a Russian patriot and in accordance with these views she would like to see a government that embodies Russian patriotism. She has a “wait-and-see” attitude toward Soviet power.” Sources: GARF, f. 8409, op. 1, d. 41, l. 279-281; d. 84, l. 297-298; d. 1699, l. 5-6, 37; d. 1471, l. 405; Osipova (1996), p. 187; Osipova (1999), pp. 334-335; Abrikosova et al. (1924); Sokolovskyi, pp. 142-143; Shkarovskii, pp. 273-274
Variant Names:
Nefedyeva, Elena; Nefed'eva, Elena Mikhailovna
Pskov (Russia); Saint Petersburg (Russia); Moscow (Russia); Orel (Orlovskai︠a︡ oblastʹ, Russia); Suzdalʹ (Russia); Saratov (Russia); Kargopolʹ (Russia)
female; laity; fate unknown