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210 KALNIŅA, Kla -ra (born Veilande) (1874–1964) Activist in the Latvijas Socia -ldemokra -tiska - stra -dnieku partija (Latvian Social Democratic Labor Party) and member of its Central Committee; spokeswoman for women’s rights and member of the Latvian Constitutional Assembly; member of the Women’s Committee of the Socialist International (1923). Anna-Luize Kla -ra Veilande was born in Vanci on 24 February 1874, into a family of farmers. She became interested in women’s emancipation and rights early on while a student at the Doroteja (fourgrade ) school for girls in Jelgava, which she attended from 1887 to 1890. The language of instruction at the school was German; the teachers of the Baltic German elite did not support the education of Latvians but sought to cultivate “Germanness ,” as Kla -ra Veilande put it, writing of herself that “I, on the other hand, was intent on emphasizing that I was Latvian.” Regarding the instruction of women however, it was not only German teachers who “opposed women’s education and participation in public life ... the Latvian intelligentsia also considered women’s aspirations for higher education and equal rights with men as damaging to family values” (Kalnin ,a 1964, 20). The idea that women could struggle for equal rights with men and develop higher aspirations was becoming popular among students, yet many “were unable to specify these goals” (Kalnin ,a 1964, 25). A priority for many was the struggle for the highest possible welfare of humanity as a whole, which included full rights for women (following the ideas of revolutionary thinkers such as Klara Zetkin). Together with other Latvian students—e.g. Anastasia Cikste and Late Veibele—Kla -ra Veilande organized a literary group named Austra (Aurora), whose aim was to struggle against mainstream views regarding women and against the German bourgeois ‘4K’ model (Kinder, Kuche, Kirche, Kleider). The group’s journal Va -rpas (Wheat ears, 1889–1890) circulated among students; later, its editorial team included Olga Liberte, Milda Liberte, Olga Be -rtule and Lu -cija (among others). In 1894, Kla -ra Veilande was admitted to the sixth grade of the newly opened Jelgava women’s gymnasium, graduating in 1897 after having successfully completed the seventh grade. At the same time, she became acKla -ra Kalniņa in emigration in Stockholm 211 tively involved in Jauna - Stra -va (The Young Latvians’ Movement ‘The New Current’), as well as in workers’ educational group meetings. As she wrote later in her memoirs, the organizers of such groups found it difficult to attract women because of the ‘double burden’ women were expected to carry: i.e. duties both at work and at home. In 1895, Veilande met Pauls Kalnin ,š (1872–1945), a student of medicine at Tartu University, who in time would become the great love of her life and her husband (1898). The end of the 1890s was a time of new ideological currents influencing youth movements and the intelligentsia across the Russian Empire. In Latvia, new ideas were sifted through illegal socialist literature from Germany, as well as legal German and Russian periodicals. Together with her husband Pauls Kalnin ,š, Kla -ra Veilande— now Kalnin ,a—participated in the meetings of the first social democratic groups. Later, like many young women from Latvia, Kalnin ,a went to St Petersburg to continue her education, although, as she wrote in her memoirs, “[t]raining in dentistry was not compatible with my interest in philosophy and the social sciences” (Kalnin ,a 1964, 39). She actively participated in the activities of the Social Democrats in St Petersburg but in 1896, financial difficulties forced her to abandon her studies in St Petersburg and she returned home to continue her studies there. From 1901 to 1903, Kalnin ,a was active in the organization of the social democratic group in Kurzeme (one of the four regions of Latvia). In 1903, she emigrated from Russia to live in Germany and Switzerland. Kalnin , a and her husband were still in emigration during the Russian Revolution of 1905, when strikes and mutinies by both the rural and urban proletariat broke out in the Baltic littoral. The couple immediately returned to Latvia, where they witnessed revolution, repression and counterrevolution . They emigrated again in 1906, but were later invited back to Latvia by the Latvijas Socia -ldemokra -tiska - stra -dnieku partija (LSDSP, Latvian Social Democratic Labor Party) to carry out illegal revolutionary activities. Kla -ra Kalnin ,a joined the editorial group of the social democratic newspaper Cı-n , a (Struggle, 1907–1910) and from 1911...


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