Lazar Moisevich Kaganovich

(b. 1893)

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(b. 22 Nov. 1893, d. 25 July 1991).

Soviet politicianBorn in Kabany (near Kiev) into a poor Jewish family, he joined the Bolsheviks in 1911. He fought in World War I, and after the Russian Revolution in October 1917 Kaganovich helped to spread Bolshevism in Belarus. He went to Petrograd (formerly St Petersburg) as a member of the Constituent Assembly, and acted as a political commissar of the Red Army during the Russian Civil War. His subsequent career was largely based on his participation in Stalin's terror and the Great Purge. In 1925, he became head of the Ukrainian Communist Party, and in 1928 became a Secretary of the Soviet Communist Party's Central Committee. As head of the agricultural section of the party (1929–34), he ruthlessly carried out Stalin's collectivization policies. He was also First Secretary of the Moscow Party Committee (i.e. Mayor of Moscow), 1930–5. He became responsible for transport (1935), heavy industry (1937), the fuel industry (1939), and the oil industry (1940).

 Kaganovich used the general uncertainties of the Great Purge, in which he allowed the execution even of his brother, to push through his targets mercilessly, eliminating all who stood in his way. During World War II, he extended the terror to the military, when he was responsible for the army's prosecution system. He returned as Chairman of the Ukrainian Party in 1947, though by this time he was already eclipsed by his erstwhile underling, Khrushchev. The latter outmanoeuvred him after Stalin's death, and compromised him greatly with his anti‐Stalinist campaigns of 1956. He joined Molotov and Malenkov in the ‘anti‐party group’ which attempted to oust Khrushchev in 1957. When this failed, he was made a manager at a cement factory in Sverdlovsk.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945) — Politics.

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