Countess Sofia Panina
Countess Sofia Panina (23 August 1871 -13 June 1956) was a Deputy Minister of Welfare and Education in the Provisional Government and was the hostess of Marfino palace in Gaspra.
She was born in a rich and noble family, her mother belonged to the family of famous Russian millionaires – the Maltsev family, her grandfather was the Minister of Justice Vladimir Panin and her uncle was the poet Tola Dorian.
Countess Sofia was nicknamed Red Countess because she was against the monarchy. Panina dedicated her life to public service and charity.
On April 24, 1890 Sofia married aristocrat, diplomat A. Polovtsev. Soon the marriage ended in divorce.
Panina founded Ligovo People’s house in St-Petersburg. The center served working class adults and children, providing day care, adult education classes, a library, art exhibitions, theater and other activities.
Panina was a chairwoman of various charity communities that provided aid for working females and children.
Sofia was a member of Constitutional Democratic (Kadet) party. Panina was arrested on November 28, 1917. Since 1920 she was in exile – in Czechoslovakia, then in the United States.
She died on June 13, 1956 and was buried in the cemetery Novodiveevsky Dormition Monastery in Nanuet, New York.