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 Demyan Bedny

Born:   1 (13) April 1883
Deceased:   25 May 1945

Soviet poet



Efim Pridvorov, known under the penname of Demyan Bedny was a famous Soviet writer, poet and public figure.

Efim Alekseyevich Pridvorov was born in the Settlement of Gubovka, Aleksandriisky district of the Chersonese Province.

He adopted his penname after the publication of his poem Of Demyan Bedny (meaning Damien the Poor).

From his student years he became supportive of the revolutionary ideas. Long before the revolution he partook in legal and illegal Bolshevik press. In 1911 he first appeared in the Bolshevik newspaper Pravda and in 1912 became a member of Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party.


During the Civil War he wrote agitprop for the Red Army soldiers and thus earned the Order of the Red Banner in 1923, followed by the Order of Lenin in 1933. In 1925 the town of Spassk was even renamed into Bednodemyanovsk after him (keeping this name till 2005).

In the course of the interparty strife of the 1926 - 1930 he was an active and consistent supporter of Stalin’s line. In spite of that, in the 1930s he started loosing his former popularity and Stalin’s favour, and was increasingly criticized. In 1938 he was expelled from the party, turned out from the Kremlin and banned from publication.

During the Great Patriotic War, when patriotic propaganda was especially needful, however, he somehow regained Stalin’s graces and came to be published again.

Many streets in Russia, and even in Taraz City (Kazakhstan) bear the name of Demyan Bedny.

Tags: Russian poets Russian literature    

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