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HOME   -   PEOPLE IN HISTORY A-Z   -   GEORGY GAPON

 
   


GEORGY GAPON 1870 - 1906
GEORGY GAPON
1870 - 1906

 

Leading Russia Into Revolution

Gapon was an intelligent priest who knew how to deliver a captivating speech.

Equipped with good looks, charisma, and excellent organizational talent, he also gained a reputation as someone who stood up on behalf of the oppressed and less fortunate.

Gapon organized and led a mass demonstration on a day that became known as Bloody Sunday.

This event ignited the  Russian Revolution of 1905.


 

Gapon's Puzzling Profile

Father Gapon can also be described as having been a young socialist who sent mixed messages regarding his revolutionary alliances. It almost looks like he was ready and confident enough to blaze his own trail through the mess of the Russian unrests.

It is for this reason that some critics questioned his motives and saw his social acts of goodness simply as a way to create a following.

It is also for this reason that Gapon ended up dead in 1906. He put himself on the fence and equally alienated both sides, the czarist regime and the revolutionaries.

 

Georgy Gapon's Family

Gapon was married to Vera and had two children.

After four years of marriage his wife suddenly fell ill and died, leaving Gapon gravely devastated.

 

Gapon Before Bloody Sunday

Gapon was born in Beliki, or Beliaki, a small village in Ukraine, on February 5, 1870. His parents were peasants and devout.

Gapon went through primary school, then graduated from the Lower Ecclesiastical School in Poltava, and attended the Poltava seminary after that. He briefly worked as a statistician for the local council, the zemstvo, in order to finance his studies. Gapon went on to serve as priest in a cemetery chapel.

From 1898 until 1903, Gapon studied at the Theological Academy in St Petersburg, after which he was employed as a prison chaplain.

During his student years in St Petersburg, Gapon kept extending the helping hand for people in distress. Soon, the Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna heard of his good deeds and recommended him to leading politicians.

Starting in 1902, Gapon accepted 100 rubles per month from Sergey Zubatov who paid this handsome sum in his capacity as chief of the czar's secret police, also called the Okhrana. What was Gapon paid for? The objective was to boost Czar Nicholas' popularity among the masses.

To this effect, Gapon founded the Assembly of the Russian Factory and Mill Workers of the City of St. Petersburg. The assembly organized social events and the like, all in order to smooth out socialist ambitions and to keep revolutionary activities in check. Unbeknown to his employers, Gapon also had a political agenda of his own.

 

 

Gapon and the Bloody Sunday of 1905

Included are timeline events that led up to the massacre on January 22, 1905.


Monday, January 16, 1905 (January 3, 1905 -
Old Style)
Workers at a plant in Putilov, Ukraine, went on strike. Gapon supported the employees. The strike quickly spread to other factories.


Wednesday, January 18, 1905 (January 5, 1905 -
Old Style)
Gapon met with the city governor and outlined his plans of a peaceful march in