© Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, 2010 DOI 10.1163/187633109X12583800745009 Russian History 37 (2010) 1–3 brill.nl/ruhi Introduction “the most momentous trial in the history of imperial Russia.” i Th e bare story of Vera Zasulich’s trial can be told in one paragraph. On the morning of January 24, 1878, a young woman appeared in the oﬃ ce of the Governor of Russia’s capital city St. Petersburg, General F. F. Trepov, ostensibly to obtain a permit authorizing her to seek employment as a governess. As soon as Trepov had heard her out and wrote something on her petition, she pulled out a revolver and shot him point blank. Th e bullet lodged in his pelvis, caus- ing a painful but not life-threatening wound. Th e woman, Vera Zasulich, who asserted after being seized that she had shot Trepov to punish him for ordering the birching of a political prisoner, was tried two months later by a jury and acquitted, following which she disappeared from sight to turn up in Switzerland. Her trial lasted all of 8 hours. Th e Zasulich trial for a while became a worldwide sensation, overshadow- ing all other news. “During 48 hours, Europe forgot about war and
Russian History – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2010
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