Podvoisky Nikolai Ilyich (1880-1948): biography, party work

Nikolai Podvoisky was a revolutionary of the first wave. He made a significant contribution to the success of the Bolsheviks during the October Revolution and the Civil War. In the Soviet Union, the party leader became a sports organizer.

early years

The future Bolshevik Nikolai Podvoisky was born on February 16, 1880 in the village of Kunashevka. It was the Chernigov province - a province where, like throughout Ukraine, the revolutionary movement was particularly active. The father of the boy was a village priest. It is therefore not surprising that Nicholas went first to the Nezhinsky Theological School, and then, at the age of 14, to the Chernigov Theological Seminary. It was not possible to finish her Podvoisky. In 1901 he was expelled from the seminary for taking part in an underground revolutionary circle.

At this time the Chernigov province was seething with the discontent of the youth and the intelligentsia. The Ukrainians, like the Russians, did not like much in the tsarist regime. Podvoisky Nikolai Ilich was no exception. After the deduction, he only joined a lot of peers who shared a similar fate. In the same year 1901 the young man joined the RSDLP.

Young Bolshevik

When Podvoisky joined the Social Democrats, it was still a very small party. Shortly before that, the 1st Congress of the RSDLP was held, but the organization did not yet have a clear structure, and its leaders mostly wandered in exile. In addition, among the revolutionaries there were many ideological contradictions. They led to the fact that at the Second Congress in 1903 the RSDLP split into Bolsheviks and Mensheviks.

Podvoisky Nikolai Ilyich joined the first, becoming a loyal supporter of Lenin. When the party came to power, he could rightly consider himself a member of the "old guard". Podvoisky continued his education in the Yaroslavl Demidov legal lyceum. Being an erudite student and leader by nature, he quickly became an authoritative member of the student committee of the Bolsheviks.

The First Revolution

The year 1905 came. Russia was defeated in the war with Japan. Failures in the Far East were in the hands of the radicals. Podvoisky Nikolai Ilyich, like other Bolshevik activists who stayed in Russia, conducted field work. He went to Ivanovo-Voznesensk and joined the Soviet of Workers' Deputies, spontaneously organized by the striking proletarians. The place was not chosen by chance. Ivanovo-Voznesenk was the center of the textile industry. There were many factories here. And at each enterprise there were necessarily dissatisfied workers.

Podvoisky Nikolai Ilyich was not the only Bolshevik in this city. Together with him in Ivanovo-Voznesenka the revolutionary proletarians were also organized by Mikhail Frunze, who was still unknown to anyone and young. In the midst of the unrest, Podvoisky went to Yaroslavl. He collected fighting squads. During another clash with government officials, he was wounded.

Publisher of party newspapers

After the end of the revolution Podvoisky moved to Western Europe, where he stayed for two years. The 1 st Congress of the RSDLP, when the party was only a small group of like-minded people, was long behind. Now all the Bolsheviks had a lot of work. Podvoisky plunged headlong into the party press. After a short break, he returned to Russia, becoming the head of the publishing house of the newspaper "Zerno" in St. Petersburg.

Podvoisky Nikolai Ilyich (1880-1948) was an exemplary organizer. He was not afraid to take on the most important tasks that the party put before him. The Bolshevik was one of the inspirers and initiators of the creation of the famous publications Zvezda and Pravda. There were many topics for publications. In 1914 the First World War began, and the party newspapers had a new ideological front. Pravda became a serious headache for the Okhrana. Podvoisky was one of those who embodied Lenin's dream of the outgrowth of the imperialist war into a revolution.


At the end of 1916 Podvoisky was arrested and sentenced to Siberian exile. However, she did not have to serve her as a revolutionary. Soon the February Revolution broke out. The new authorities announced an amnesty, under which Podvoisky Nikolai Ilyich also fell.

The biography of this Bolshevik is a typical example of a revolutionary, for whom 1917 was the most important in all life. Freed, he went to Petrograd (today in St. Petersburg there is Podvoisky Street). As in the first revolution, Nikolai Ilyich became a member of the Soviet of Workers' Deputies. In the capital's committee of the Bolsheviks, he headed the organization of the Red Guard, which later became the backbone of the Red Army. He is also considered the author of the symbol of a five-pointed star. It became the most recognizable attribute of the Red Army.

In the days preceding the October Revolution, Podvoisky was in Smolny and was one of the active leaders of the preparations for the uprising. He made an important organizational contribution to the storming of the Winter Palace.

At the origins of the Red Army

With the Bolsheviks coming to power, Nikolai Podvoisky was appointed the first People's Commissar for Military Affairs. In this position he stayed until March 1918, when he was succeeded by Lev Trotsky. For a short time as a people's commissar Podvoisky managed to sign several important decrees and orders, which became the foundation of the nascent Red Army. The organization of our own armed forces was at that time a matter of life and death for the Bolsheviks, as the Civil War was approaching, and the party did not have enough resources to fight against the enemies on several fronts.

It was Podvoisky who began the colossal work, which Trotsky then took up with renewed vigor. After the castling, Nikolai Ilyich became a member of the Revolutionary Military Council. He was one of the creators of the tactical victories of the Red Army in the fields of the Civil War.

Soviet years

After the formation of the USSR and the return to peaceful life, Nikolai Podvoisky retrained into a sports organizer - he headed Sportintern and the Supreme Council of Physical Culture. It is curious that in 1927 the old-timer of the party starred in Sergei Eisenstein's film "October", the premiere of which was timed to coincide with the 10th anniversary of the revolution. In this picture, Podvoisky played himself.

In 1935 the Bolshevik was recognized as a personal pensioner. Perhaps that is why he managed to avoid reprisals during the Stalinist terror and purge of the party. When the Great Patriotic War began, the 60-year-old man wanted to go to the front as a volunteer. He was not accepted because of his age, after which he began digging trenches around Moscow.

The Soviet statesman died on July 28, 1948. He was buried at the Novodevichy Cemetery. In many cities of the USSR appeared own street. Podvoisky. In his historic homeland was installed a memorable bust.

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