Commissars Of October. What happened to the members of the first Bolshevik government?

The first government after the victory of the October revolution was formed in accordance with the “Decree on the establishment of the Council of people’s Commissars”, adopted by the II all-Russian Congress of Soviets of workers’, soldiers ‘and peasants’ deputies, October 27 (old style), 1917.

Initially, the Bolsheviks hoped to negotiate the participation of representatives of other socialist parties, particularly the left SRS, however, to achieve such an agreement failed. In the end, the first revolutionary government was a purely Bolshevik.

Best friends of Lenin and the party is diamonds as well as dollars and cars

The authorship of the term “people’s Commissar” attributed to himself some of the revolutionary leaders, in particular Leon Trotsky. The Bolsheviks wanted thus to emphasize the fundamental difference between their power from the tsarist and Provisional governments.

The term “Council of people’s Commissars” as the definition of the Soviet government will last until 1946 until replaced by the more familiar now the “Council of Ministers”.

The first Council of people’s Commissars will last only a few days. A number of its members will abandon their posts because of political differences, associated mainly with the same issue of the participation of the government members of other socialist parties.

In the first Council of people’s Commissars consisted of:

  • the Chairman of the Council of people’s Commissars, Vladimir Ulianov (Lenin);
  • the people’s Commissar for internal Affairs Alexey Rykov;
  • the people’s Commissar of agriculture Vladimir Milyutin;
  • the people’s Commissar of labour , Alexander Shlyapnikov;
  • the people’s Commissariat for military and naval Affairs — a Committee consisting of: Vladimir Ovseyenko (Antonov), Nikolai Krylenko and Dybenko Paul;
  • the people’s Commissar for trade and industry Viktor Nogin;
  • people’s Commissar of enlightenment Anatoly Lunacharsky;
  • people’s Commissar of Finance Ivan Skvortsov (Stepanov);
  • the people’s Commissar for foreign Affairs Lev Bronstein (Trotsky);
  • the people’s Commissar of justice George Oppokov (Lomov);
  • the people’s Commissar for food Ivan Teodorovich;
  • the people’s Commissar of posts and telegraphs Nikolai Avilov (Glebov);
  • the people’s Commissar for nationality Affairs Joseph Dzhugashvili (Stalin);
  • the post of people’s Commissar for rail was temporarily substituted.

Biography of the head of the first Soviet government of Vladimir Lenin and the first people’s Commissar for nationalities Joseph Stalin known to the General public well enough, so let’s talk about the rest of the Commissars.

Alexey Rykov

The first people’s Commissar of internal Affairs had been in his position for only nine days, but had to sign a historic document on the establishment of the militia. After leaving the post of people’s Commissar, Rykov went to work in the kitchen.

Alexey Rykov. Photo:

In the future, Alexei Rykov held high government posts and from February, 1924, has officially led the Soviet government — people’s Commissars of the USSR.

Rykov’s career went down in 1930, when he was removed from the post of head of government. Rykov, long supported Nikolai Bukharin, was declared a “right deviationist”, and get rid of this stigma and could not, despite numerous penitential speech.

At the plenary session of the party in February 1937 expelled from the CPSU(b) and 27 February 1937 arrested. During interrogation, he pleaded guilty. As one of the main defendants brought to an open trial of “anti-Soviet right-Trotskyist bloc”. March 13, 1938 was sentenced to death and executed on 15 March. Rykov was fully rehabilitated by the Chief Military Prosecutor’s office of the USSR in 1988.

Vladimir Milutin

Nine days after the creation of the first Soviet government Milutin called for the establishment of a coalition government and to protest against the decision of the Central Committee filed a statement of withdrawal from the Central Committee and the CPC, after recognized the fallacy of their statements, and retract its announcement of withdrawal from the Central Committee.

Vladimir Milyutin. Photo: Public Domain

He later held high posts in the government, from 1928 to 1934 he was Deputy Chairman of Gosplan.

July 26, 1937 arrested. 29 October 1937, sentenced to death for belonging to a counterrevolutionary organization “right”. 30 Oct 1937 shot. Rehabilitated in 1956.

Alexander Shlyapnikov

The hatters also advocated for the inclusion in the composition of the government members of other political parties, however, in contrast to his colleagues, his position is not left, continuing the work of the government. Three weeks later, in addition to the duties of people’s Commissar of labor has been assigned the duties of people’s Commissar of trade and industry.

Alexander Shlyapnikov. Photo:

The Bolshevik party hatters was the leader of the so-called “workers ‘ opposition”, especially clearly manifested in the party’s discussions about the role of trade unions. He believed that the task of trade unions is to organize the management of the economy, and they should take this feature of the party.

Position Shlyapnikova was sharply criticized by Lenin, which affected the fate of one of the first Soviet of people’s Commissars.

Later he held minor positions, such as was the Chairman of the Board of joint stock company “Metalloinvest”.

Memories Shlyapnikova “Seventeenth year” caused sharp criticism in the party. In 1933 he was expelled from the CPSU(b), in 1934 administratively exiled to Karelia in 1935 for belonging to the “labor opposition” sentenced to 5 years — the punishment was commuted to exile in Astrakhan.

In 1936, the hatters were again arrested. He was accused that, being the head of a counterrevolutionary organization “working opposition”, he in the fall of 1927 gave the Directive to the Kharkov center of the organization about the transition to individual terror as a method of struggle against the CPSU(b) and the Soviet government, and in the years 1935-1936, gave the Directive on the preparation of a terrorist act against Stalin. Hatters pleaded not guilty, but the verdict of the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme Court on 2 September 1937 were shot. 31 January 1963, the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme court rehabilitated Alexander Shlyapnikova in the absence of his actions constitute a crime.

Vladimir Antonov-Ovseyenko, Nikolai Krylenko, Dybenko Paul

The fate of the members of the triumvirate, who headed the defense Ministry were quite similar — all of them for many years occupied high positions in government, and all of them became victims of the “great terror”.

Vladimir Antonov-Ovseyenko, Nikolai Krylenko, Pavel Dybenko. Photo:

Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko, during the armed uprising in Petrograd arrested the Provisional government, was one of the founders of the red Army, spent many years in the diplomatic service, during the Civil war in Spain was Consul General of the USSR in Barcelona, having a great assistance to the Republican forces as a military Advisor.

On his return from Spain he was arrested on 8 February 1938, sentenced to death for “belonging to Trotskyite terrorist and espionage organization.” Executed 10 February 1938. Posthumously rehabilitated on 25 February 1956.

Two lives for the revolution: Leon Trotsky against Ramon Mercader

Nikolai Krylenko was one of the founders of Soviet law, he held the post of people’s Commissar of justice of RSFSR and the USSR, Prosecutor of the RSFSR and Chairman of the USSR Supreme Court.

Krylenko is considered one of the “architects of the Great terror” of 1937-1938. Ironically, Krylenko himself became its victim.

In 1938, at the first session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, Krylenko was criticized. Shortly thereafter, removed from all his posts, expelled from the CPSU(b) and arrested. About the verdict of the Military Board of the Supreme Court of the USSR shot July 29, 1938. In 1956, rehabilitated for lack of evidence.

Pavel Dybenko made a military career, wore the title of commander of the 2nd rank, commanded the troops in the various military districts. In 1937, he took an active part in the repression in the army. Dybenko was part of a Special bench, condemned a group of top Soviet military “Tukhachevsky” in June 1937.

In February 1938 he was arrested himself Dybenko. He pleaded guilty to involvement in the anti-Soviet Trotskyite military-fascist conspiracy. July 29, 1938, sentenced to death and executed the same day. Rehabilitated in 1956.

Victor Nogin

Speaking for the creation of a “homogeneous socialist government”, Nogin was among those who left the CPC a few days later. However Nogin in three weeks, “admitted mistakes” and continued to work in leadership positions, but on a lower level. He held the posts of Commissioner of labor of the Moscow region, and then Deputy people’s Commissar of labor of the RSFSR.

Viktor Nogin. Photo:

Died 2 may 1924, buried in red square. The name of one of the first Soviet of people’s Commissars, to this day, immortalized in the title of the Moscow region town of Noginsk.

Anatoly Lunacharsky

People’s Commissar of education was one of the most enduring figures in the Soviet government, has been occupying the post for 12 years.

Anatoly Lunacharsky. Photo:

Thanks to the Lunacharsky was preserved many historical monuments, and established the activities of cultural institutions. There was, however, very controversial decisions — in particular, on the decline of his career, Commissar, Lunacharsky was preparing a translation of the Russian language in Latin alphabet.

In 1929 he was dismissed from the post of people’s Commissar of education and appointed Chairman of the scientific Committee under USSR Central Executive Committee.

In 1933 Lunacharsky was sent by the Soviet Ambassador to Spain. He was Deputy head of the Soviet delegation during the conference on disarmament at the League of Nations. Lunacharsky died in December 1933 on the way to Spain in the French resort of Menton. The urn containing the ashes of Anatoly Lunacharsky buried in the Kremlin wall.

Ivan Skvortsov (Stepanov)

At the time of appointment as Commissar of starlings occupied the post of member of the Moscow military revolutionary Committee. Upon learning of his appointment, Skvortsov has declared that he is a theoretician, not a practitioner and refused posts. Further was engaged in journalism, 1925, the Executive editor of the newspaper “Izvestia USSR Central Executive Committee and Central Executive Committee”, 1927 — Deputy Executive Secretary of the newspaper “Pravda”, along with 1926, the Director of the Lenin Institute of the Central Committee of the CPSU(b).

Ivan Skvortsov (Stepanov). Photo:

The party press of starlings acted as an active supporter of Stalin, but to the highest government posts is not reached — 8 Oct 1928, died from a severe illness. The ashes buried in the Kremlin wall.

Lev Bronstein (Trotsky)

One of the main leaders of the Bolsheviks, the second person in the party after Lenin, in the 1920s, the years lost in the inner-party struggle, and in 1929 was forced to leave the USSR as a political émigré.

Lev Bronstein (Trotsky). Photo:

Correspondence the confrontation with the Stalinist course, Trotsky continued until 1940 until it was interrupted in August 1940 by the blow of the axe, inflicted by the NKVD agent Ramon Mercader.

George Oppokov (Lomov)

For George Oppokov tenure as people’s Commissar for several days was the top of his political career. Later he continued his activity in the secondary positions, such as Chairman of Netessentials, Chairman of the Board “Donugol”, Deputy Chairman of Gosplan, a member of the Bureau of the Soviet control Commission in SNK.

George Oppokov (Lomov). Photo:

In June 1937 in the framework of the “Great terror” Oppokov was arrested, the sentence of the Military Collegium of the Supreme court of the USSR shot 30 December 1938. He was posthumously rehabilitated in 1956.

Ivan Teodorovich

Like other proponents of a government from among members of the various socialist parties, Teodorovici announced its withdrawal from the government, but their duties performed until December 1917.

Ivan Teodorovich. Photo: Public Domain

Later he was a member of the Collegium of the people’s Commissariat, and in 1922 the Deputy people’s Commissar of agriculture. In 1928-1930, the General Secretary of the Peasant international.

Arrested on 11 June 1937. Sentenced by the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme court on 20 September 1937 on charges of involvement in anti-Soviet terrorist organization to death and executed the same day. Rehabilitated in 1956.

Nikolai Avilov (Glebov)

Avilov held his post until the formation of a coalition government with the left social revolutionaries, after which he changed the position of people’s Commissar for the post of assistant Director of the State Bank. He subsequently held various positions of second rank, was the people’s Commissar of labor of Ukraine. From 1923 to 1926 Avilov was the leader of the Leningrad trade unions and became one of the leaders of the so-called “Leningrad opposition”, which ten years later became for it fatal circumstance.

Nikolai Avilov (Glebov). Photo:

Since 1928 Avila led “SEL’mashstroy”, and in 1929 became the first Director of the Rostov plant of agricultural machinery “Rostselmash”.

19 September 1936 Nikolai Avilov arrested on charges of terrorist activities. March 12, 1937 the Military Collegium of the USSR Supreme court sentenced to death on charges of participating in a counterrevolutionary terrorist organization. The sentence was executed March 13, 1937. Rehabilitated in 1956.

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