To head the Commission the Council named Felix Edmundovich Dzerzhinsky (11 September 1877 – 20 July 1926), nicknamed Iron Felix, a veteran Bolshevik who had taken an active part in the uprising as a member of the Military Revolutionary Committee. Even before the establishment of the Cheka, Dzerzhinski had been named head of a section of the Military Revolutionary Committee to deal with cases of counterrevolution. Dzerzhinsky joined the Lithuanian Social Democratic Party and helped to organize factory workers into trade unions. He was arrested in 1897 but managed to escape from Siberia two years later. He went to Warsaw and joined the Social Democratic Party of Poland (SDPP) that had been formed by Rosa Luxemburg and Leo Jogiches in 1893.
Felix Dzerzhinsky was born August 30 (September 11 new style) in 1877 in the Vilna province of the Russian Empire, in Dzerzhinovo on the territory of the Republic of Belarus. The Dzerzhinsky lineage originated from the Lithuanian gentry. His father was a Jew by nationality, a gymnasium teacher and an outreach counselor in a large family of a small Polish nobleman, a Polish mother, the daughter of Professor Ignaty Yanushevsky. The history of Felix's parents' union is as follows: a 25-year-old home teacher Edmund Dzerzhinsky, who taught Janushevsky's daughters, seduced the 14-year-old Helen. The lovers were forced to get married and sent away from home - to Taganrog.
Felix's grandfather by mother, Ignatius Yanushevsky, was a professor at the Petersburg Institute of Railway Engineers. His father graduated from St. Petersburg University, taught mathematics and physics in the men's and women's gymnasiums in Taganrog. In 1875 Edmund Dzerzhinsky returned with his family to his native estate in connection with his tuberculosis, which he died in 1882. Felix was the sixth of eight children in the family.
At baptism, he received two names - Felix Szczasny, Latin and Polish, both mean happy. This is due to the story that happened before his birth. Shortly before the birth, Felix's mother fell into an open cellar. Childbirth began prematurely, but he was a completely healthy boy, and the parents decided to repay fate by giving the child such a name.
Despite the fact that Felix had mastered three languages - Polish, Russian and Yiddish - at school, he did badly. Felix Dzerzhinsky studied poorly at school - in the first class he stayed two years, and in the future successes in individual subjects were combined with failure in other disciplines. This was explained not so much by Felix's abilities as by the conditions of training - the Tsar's gymnasium of the late nineteenth century was a rather rigid system of not only education but also upbringing, which many outstanding figures in Russia recollected with hostility.
Closer to the end of the gymnasium Dzerzhinsky and completely abandoned his studies, carried away by reading romance novels. At the same time, Felix woke up with a preposterous character trait - insolence. Once he insulted a German teacher and publicly slapped him, after which he was immediately expelled from the gymnasium. In the end, Dzerzhinsky left the gymnasium, not finishing eighth grade, in 1895. After the end of the gymnasium, the future outstanding statesman received a certificate in place of the certificate, in which there were unsatisfactory grades in Russian and Greek.
In his youth Dzerzhinsky, who did not have special talents, approached the criminal element, often taking part in street fights. There is a version that it was Felix who shot his sister Wanda (on the other version - his brother Stanislav shot). Later, the young man, along with his fellow Zionists, was carried away by underground circles, posting leaflets of anti-government content around the city.
Dzerzhinsky joined revolutionary activity in 1895 as a schoolboy. The first time he was arrested in 1897, and the next twenty years turned into a series of arrests, imprisonments, exiles, escapes and new arrests. In the interval between the arrests Dzerzhinsky in 1910 married a companion-in-arms Sophia Mushkat. Dzerzhinsky's only son, Jan, was born in the Warsaw Women's Prison "Serbia", where Sofya Mushkat-Dzerzhinskaya was serving another term.
In 1898 he joined the Jewish social-democratic group. Dzerzhinsky led the propaganda of the ideas of socialism among craftsmen and factory students and, in the end, finished badly: in 1897 he was arrested on denunciation and imprisoned in the Kovno prison. A year later he was sent for a three-year term under the supervision of the police in Vyatka province.
Felix Dzerzhinsky's numerous relatives did not accept his revolutionary choice, as a result of which relations between one of the Soviet leaders and his brothers and sisters were interrupted. His brother Vladislav Dzerzhinsky, who became an outstanding neurologist, the author of the first Polish academic textbook on neurology, did not receive the October Revolution and condemned his relative [in 1942 Vladislav Dzerzhinsky was shot by the Nazis in the Polish city of Zgierz].
In 1904, Dzerzhinsky tried to activate explosives at an officers' meeting in the city of Novo-Alexandria, intending to massacre Russian officers to provoke distemper. It did not work out. His partner at the last moment was scared, and the bomb did not explode. According to the testimony of fellow revolutionaries, Felix Dzerzhinsky mercilessly killed everyone who was suspected of having links with the police. He was arrested six times, but without finding evidence, they released him. They could not have been, since Dzerzhinsky's associates quickly eliminated the witnesses of the massacre. If the prosecutor had any questions to Dzerzhinsky, then after the threat of murder of their children, the attendants of the theme closed the case.
In his memoirs, Dzerzhinsky wrote how he often bribed the authorities. The money went to the release of terrorists on bail, to bribe police officers and forgery of documents. Where are the means? For the most part, this is the proceeds from robbery attacks. Felix could afford to wear dandy suits and overseas shoes, drink expensive cognacs and wines, stop at luxury hotels in Europe.
He actively participated in the first Russian revolution of 1905-1907, in 1905 he headed the May Day demonstration in Warsaw, worked in the Warsaw Military Revolutionary Organization of the RSDLP. In July 1905, at the Warsaw Party Conference, Dzerzhinsky was arrested and imprisoned in the Warsaw citadel, in October he was released under an amnesty. In 1906 he was a delegate to the Fourth Congress of the RSDLP, where he first met with Vladimir Lenin and was introduced to the Central Committee of the RSDLP as a representative of SDCT and L. In 1906-1917, Dzerzhinsky was repeatedly arrested , in total spent 11 years in prison and in penal servitude, ill with tuberculosis. Was three times in exile. After his release from Butyrskaya prison in the spring of 1917, Felix Dzerzhinsky was engaged in the formation of the Red Guard detachments in Moscow. During the October Revolution, he was one of its military leaders. As a member of the Military Revolutionary Center, Dzerzhinsky successfully seized the Main Post Office and Telegraph.
On December 20, 1917, the Council of People's Commissars established the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission at the Council of People's Commissars for Combating Counter-Revolution and Sabotage (VChK). When discussing candidates for the post of head of the new structure, Lenin chose a man who did not aspire to this role - Felix Dzerzhinsky. Lenin needed a new man in his new position, selflessly and fanatically devoted to the ideals of the revolution, but he was not burdened by a craving for punitive methods. Dzerzhinsky met these requirements.
In 1918, Felix Dzerzhinsky was in disgrace. It happened after the mutiny of the Left Socialist-Revolutionaries in Moscow, when the structures of the Cheka turned out to be incapable of repelling the coup. Dzerzhinsky was removed from office on July 7, 1918, but on August 22, 1918, he was reinstated. Just a few days after Dzerzhinsky's return to the post of head of the Cheka, two terrorist attacks took place: in Petrograd, the Socialist Leonid Kannegiser kills the head of the Petrograd Cheka, Moses Uritsky , while in Moscow the Socialist-Revolutionary Fanny Kaplan seriously injures Lenin. The answer to this was the "Red Terror", during which the structures of the Cheka, under the leadership of Dzerzhinsky, acted with determination and determination.
Karl Radek, then a fellow leader of the SDPP, wrote: "Dzerzhinsky came to be the most beloved of all the Polish leaders. Tall, well built, with ardent eyes, quick, passionate speech, thus I first met him in the autumn of 1903. He won the love and esteem not only of the older workers, but also of the youth then coming into the movement. In their eyes he was surrounded by a halo by reason of his terms in prison and exile and his reputation as Party organizer.... On all practical questions of the movement Joseph’s opinion was almost decisive. How did he obtain this authority? In fact, what was the personal origin of this energetic revolutionist, so strict towards himself and towards everybody else too, this man able to inspire and lead them all?"
Dzerzhinsky explained in July 1918: "We stand for organized terror - this should be frankly admitted. Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution. Our aim is to fight against the enemies of the Soviet Government and of the new order of life. We judge quickly. In most cases only a day passes between the apprehension of the criminal and his sentence. When confronted with evidence criminals in almost every case confess; and what argument can have greater weight than a criminal's own confession."
Dzerzhinsky constantly said: "The right to shoot for the Cheka is extremely important." There were executions without preliminary investigations and court sessions, massacres against civilians and people who were accidentally caught - all in defense of the revolution. As Dzerzhinsky said: "The Cheka is not a court, the Cheka is the defense of the revolution. The Cheka should defend the revolution and defeat the enemy, even if its sword accidentally falls on the heads of innocents." The Red Terror, in which Dzerzhinsky took a direct part, was a complex of punitive measures carried out by the Bolsheviks in order to protect the revolution from class enemies-noblemen, landlords, priests, scientists, industrialists. Even taking into account the confirmed data, the account goes to thousands of dead.
One of the greatest merits of Felix Dzerzhinsky was the successful solution of the problem of child homelessness that arose after the Civil War. Only according to official data, about 5 million people became homeless during the war years. Dzerzhinsky, who became chairman of the commission to combat child abandonment, supported the creation of a system of children's institutions - orphanages and "communes", in which yesterday's street children received medical care, education, food. Among those who were returned to normal life by Dzerzhinsky were future academicians, engineers, designers, military, brought glory to the Soviet Union.
There were other successful social projects. It was Dzerzhinsky that contributed to the birth of mass popularity of sports in the USSR. Popular society "Dynamo" is considered his brainchild.
Since 1920, he supported Joseph Stalin in his struggle against Leon Trotsky for power. After depriving the GPU of the right to issue death sentences in 1922, he succeeded in creating a special meeting with the NKVD, where he was chairman, with the right to exile "counterrevolutionaries." He was one of the inspirers of the expulsion in 1922 of many famous figures of science and culture abroad.
In February 1924, Felix Dzerzhinsky became chairman of the Supreme Council of the National Economy of the USSR - VSNKh USSR - the body responsible for developing general principles for regulating the economic life of the Soviet Republic and coordinating the activities of central and local economic management bodies. In the last years of his life, the economic problems of the country he paid the most attention.
On 20 July 1926, Dzerzhinsky gave a speech about the work of the bureaucracy:
"To ensure that the state does not go bankrupt, it is necessary to resolve the problem of state machinery. The irresistible inflation of the states, the monstrous bureaucratization of every business-the mountains of papers and hundreds of thousands of scribblers; The seizure of large buildings and premises; car epidemic; millions of excesses. This is legal feeding and devouring state property by this locust. In addition to this unheard-of, shameless bribery, theft, negligence, blatant mismanagement, which characterizes our so-called "self-financing", crimes that transfer state property into private pockets. "
"If you look at our entire apparatus, our whole system of government, if you look at our unprecedented bureaucracy, on our unprecedented scuffle with all sorts of coordination, then from all this I come straight into horror. I repeatedly came to the Chairman of the SRT and the Council of People's Commissars and said: give me your resignation! You can not work like that! "
"It is necessary to conduct economic construction in such a way that the USSR from the country importing machinery and equipment will be turned into a country producing machines and equipment ... to widely introduce scientific and technical progress into production. If this work is not carried out, we are threatened with the closure of our plants and slavery to foreign capital. If we are now a wooden, bastard Russia, then we must become a metallic Russia. "
On July 20, 1926 at 16 o'clock 40 minutes suddenly Felix Dzerzhinsky suddenly died. Dzerzhinsky died during a meeting of the Joint Plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission of the CPSU (B.), after a speech in which he spoke against the Trotskyites and a departure from the policy of the then party majority.
One of the brightest and most mysterious figures in the history of the Russian Revolution. Dzerzhinsky died at the age of forty eight years. But that's not weird. The main strangeness was in the examination of his death. When it comes to the figure of such significance as Dzerzhinsky, many expect that there will be a full medical document, which in all details establish the cause of death. The autopsy of the body of Dzerzhinsky was really produced the luminaries of the domestic pathological anatomy Professor A.I. Apricots. The reason the medics set was presented in the final paper - heart paralysis.
However, in medical specialists this conclusion still causes perplexing questions, and first of all such - where are the descriptions of all the illnesses from which Dzerzhinsky suffered? First of all, there was a serious form of tuberculosis, which had been repeatedly recorded at Dzerzhinsky and domestic and foreign medical luminaries.
The question arises whether Felix Dzerzhinsky died natural death? Did someone substitute his body, which led to the absence of traces of tuberculosis in the protocol of posthumous autopsy? And the main question was who wanted to remove Dzerzhinsky from politics and life? Historians and medics are trying to find answers to these questions.
Among the numerous monuments Felix Dzerzhinsky is most famous monument erected in 1958 in Moscow on the Lubyanka Square. In August 1991, the monument was deposed from the pedestal and later placed in the Museon Art Park.
Felix Dzerzhinsky was married to Sophia Mushkat (1882-1968), a participant in the revolutionary movement in Poland and Russia. In Soviet Russia, she worked in the People's Commissariat for Education, in the Polish bureau attached to the Central Committee of the RCP (B.). She was a research associate and a responsible editor at the Institute of Marx-Engels-Lenin, worked in the Executive Committee of the Comintern.
Their son Jan was born in 1911 in the Warsaw Women's Prison during his mother's imprisonment. He graduated from the Military Engineering Academy, since 1943 he worked in the apparatus of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b). Until 1953 he lived with his wife and sons in the Kremlin, then in the "House on the Embankment." He died in 1960 in Moscow.
Thus, "merciless and ruthless" Felix Dzerzhinsky went down in history as an eternal toiler. He was very modest and unselfish enough, he never got drunk and did not steal. In addition, the head of the Cheka gained the reputation of an absolutely incorruptible, unshakable and persistent person who achieved his goals in cold blood by the cost of living "infidels". Dzerzhinsky became a true Soviet icon, a symbol of law and order and inflexibility. Disputes about his personality will not abate, probably never, because not all the actions of iron Felix can be called positive.
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