Lazar Kaganovich

Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich also Kahanovich (Russian: Ла́зарь Моисе́евич Кагано́вич; 22 November [O.S. 10 November] 1893 – 25 July 1991) was a Soviet politician and administrator and one of the main associates of Joseph Stalin. He is known for helping Stalin come to power and for his harsh treatment and execution of those deemed threats to Stalin's regime.

Lazar Kaganovich
Ла́зарь Кагано́вич
Kaganovich, 1930s
First Deputy Chairman of the
Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union
In office
5 March 1953  29 June 1957
PremierGeorgy Malenkov
Nikolai Bulganin
Nikita Khrushchev
Preceded byLavrentiy Beria
Succeeded byAnastas Mikoyan
Deputy Chairman of the
Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union
In office
18 December 1947  5 March 1953
PremierJoseph Stalin
In office
19 March 1946  6 March 1947
PremierJoseph Stalin
In office
21 August 1938  15 May 1944
PremierVyacheslav Molotov
Joseph Stalin
First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine (Bolsheviks)
In office
3 March  26 December 1947
Preceded byNikita Khrushchev
Succeeded byNikita Khrushchev
In office
7 April 1925  14 July 1928
Preceded byEmanuel Kviring
Succeeded byStanislav Kosior
Additional positions
People's Commissar for Transport
In office
28 February 1935  22 August 1937
PremierJoseph Stalin
Preceded byAndrey Andreyev
Succeeded byAlexei Bakulin
In office
5 April 1938  25 March 1942
PremierVyacheslav Molotov
Joseph Stalin
Preceded byAleksei Bakulin
Succeeded byAndrei Khrliov
In office
26 February 1943  20 December 1944
PremierVyacheslav Molotov
Preceded byAndrei Khruliov
Succeeded byIvano Kovaliov
Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
In office
December 1930  21 March 1939
Preceded byVyacheslav Molotov
Succeeded byAndrei Zhdanov
Full member of the 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th Politburo
In office
13 July 1930  27 February 1957
Full member of the 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th Secretariat
In office
12 July 1928  21 March 1939
In office
6 June 1924  30 April 1925
Full member of the 13th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 18th Orgburo
In office
12 July 1928  18 March 1946
In office
3 April 1922  1 January 1926
Candidate member of the 14th, 15th, 16th Politburo
In office
23 July 1926  13 July 1930
Personal details
Born
Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich

(1893-11-22)22 November 1893
Kabany, Kyiv Governorate, Russian Empire
Died25 July 1991(1991-07-25) (aged 97)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
NationalitySoviet
Political partyRSDLP (Bolsheviks) (1911-1918)
Russian Communist Party (1918-1961)
Signature

Born to Jewish parents in modern Ukraine, Kaganovich worked as a shoemaker and became a member of the Bolsheviks, joining the party around 1911. As an organizer, Kaganovich was active in Yuzovka (Donetsk), Saratov and Belarus throughout the 1910s, and led a revolt in Belarus during the 1917 October Revolution. In the early 1920s, he helped consolidate Soviet rule in Turkestan. In 1922, Stalin placed Kaganovich in charge of organizational work within the Communist Party, through which he helped Stalin consolidate his grip of the party bureaucracy. Kaganovich rose quickly through the ranks, becoming a full member of the Central Committee in 1924, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Ukraine in 1925, and Secretary of the Central Committee as well as a member of the Politburo in 1930.

Kaganovich played a central role during the Great Purge, personally signing over 180 lists that sent tens of thousands to their deaths. For his ruthlessness, he received the nickname "Iron Lazar". He also played a role in organizing, planning and supervising the collectivization policies that are said to have led to the catastrophic Soviet famine of 1932–33 (the Holodomor in Ukraine in particular). From the mid-1930s on, Kaganovich served as people's commissar for Railways, Heavy Industry and Oil Industry.

During the Second World War, Kaganovich was comissar of the North Caucasian and Transcaucasian Fronts. After the war, apart from serving in various industrial posts, Kaganovich was also made deputy head of the Soviet government. After Stalin's death in 1953 he quickly lost influence. Following an unsuccessful coup attempt against Nikita Khrushchev in 1957, Kaganovich was forced to retire from the Presidium and the Central Committee. In 1961 he was expelled from the party, and lived out his life as a pensioner in Moscow. At his death in 1991, he was the last surviving Old Bolshevik.[1] The Soviet Union itself outlasted him by only five months, dissolving on 25 December 1991.