Giulia Schucht

October 10, 1922 - September 17, 1942
Giulia Schucht Papers
132 Documents


Julia Schucht (Юлия ГАполлоновна Шухт, Julija Apollonovna Šukht) was born on 19 September 1896 in Geneva to Apollon and Julia Grigor'evna Hiršfel'd. She moved with her family first to Montpellier in 1903, and then to Rome in 1908. From 1910 to 1913, she was given Italian lessons by Nilde Perilli, a classmate of her sister Eugenia. She enrolled in the Santa Cecilia musical secondary school, attending Ettore Pinelli's courses and receiving numerous commendations; she took her diploma in violin in 1915. Immediately thereafter, she returned to Russia, going to live with her sister Asja in Ivanovo-Voznesensk. There she began to teach violin at the local music school until 1921, although in late 1919 she relocated with her parents to Šuja. In September 1917, she joined the Bolshevik Party, engaged as an instructor in the local section, and in September 1922, on the occasion of a visit to her sister Eugenia hospitalized at the Serebrjanij Bor sanatorium, she met Antonio Gramsci. In mid-October, she served as Gramsci's interpreter on his visit to Ivanovo-Voznesensk as a member of the Presidium of the Communist International. She spent New Year's with him and her sister Eugenia at the Serebrjanij Bor sanatorium. In the autumn of 1923, she relocated to Moscow to work for the Moscow Raikom (the Party's organization at the district level). On 10 August 1924, she had her first son, Delio. Dating to this same period is her hiring in the internal security services (NKVD). She saw Gramsci again in March 1925, in Moscow on the occasion of the proceedings of the Fifth Executive of the Communist International. In October 1925, with Eugenia and her son Delio, she joined Gramsci in Rome, living with her sisters at Via Trapani and working at the Soviet Embassy. In the summer of 1926 she left Italy for good, while pregnant with her second son, Giuliano, who was born in Moscow on 31 August. In 1927, she contracted a viral illness that is likely to have been at the origin of her epilepsy. In 1928, she spent a period of hospitalization with Camilla Ravera, at the Mar'ino rest home in the Barâtinskih residence (90 km from Moscow), and in 1930 had to leave her work at the NKVD for health reasons. In August that same year, she met Piero Sraffa, who was travelling in the Soviet Union with Maurice Dobb. In 1932, she began to work, at the suggestion of the physicians who had cared for her, at the organization of the city's kindergarten. Upon Gramsci's death, she took action to recover his correspondence and writings that had remained in Italy. In February 1939, she joined the "Committee for the literary heritage of Comrade Gramsci" instituted by the Comintern Executive. After the War, she continued living with her sister Eugenia in Moscow, with whom she relocated in 1968 to a home for elderly Bolsheviks in Peredelkino, where she died on 21 June 1980.

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At the time of the relocation of the Comintern offices to Ufa in the spring of 1941, Julia Schucht delivered to Vincenzo Bianco all the original Gramsci-related letters in her possession. In addition to Gramsci's manuscripts and Tatiana's letters to Gramsci, Julia also delivered the letters addressed by Tatiana to family members. This last block is therefore also quite likely to have included those received from Julia herself. After there location to Ufa, the letters remained at the Comintern offices, then to be delivered to the Schucht sisters in 1943. Upon Julia's death, the papers were inherited by her sons. In 1981, Giuliano Gramsci donated to the Fondazione Gramsci the letters written to Julia by Camilla Ravera; this donation was followed in 1991 by the one consisting of 189 letters from Tania to her "mother and to my family," written between 1922 and 1934, which also included 42 letters to Julia. During the 1990s, this documentation was kept along with the Schucht family's received documentation and Tatiana's correspondence with Piero Sraffa, donated in 1974; for each document, a paper data card was drawn up. Added to this documentation were the donations made by Antonio Gramsci Jr. in July 2005, which consisted of 4 letters from Vincenzo Bianco to Julia in 1942 and a letter from Apollon Schucht to his daughters in Rome. Along with the March 2006 donation, 1 original letter from Tatiana to her sister Julia was donated, and with the donations of May 2007 and May 2008 70 letters and some notes in Russian, in digital copy, were respectively acquired.

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The archive is holing in 2 series: 1. Personal papers; 2. Letter collection