Pavel Postyshev


Pavel Postyshev

Pavel Petrovich Postyshev ( _ru. Павел Петрович Постышев) (Ivanovo-Voznesensk, September 18, 1887 – February 26, 1939, Kuibyshev) was a Soviet politician, seen as a man, who presented Soviet children with New Year tree in the Soviet Union and Russia [ [http://magazines.russ.ru/oz/2003/1/2003_01_28.html Legend of a man, who presented Soviet children with New Year's tree] ru icon] and as one of the people responsible for the Holodomor.

Postyshev was a member or Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party since 1904, then member of Communist Party (Bolshevik) in Siberia. In 1923 Postyshev was reassigned from his job in the Far Eastern Republic to supervise organization of the Communist Party committee in Kiev Governorate "(guberniya)" in central Ukraine. In 1925 Postyshev became secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine, the CP(b)U. In 1926–30 he became a member of Politburo and Organizational Bureau of Ukraine's Bolshevik Party.

In his role of secretary of the Kharkiv Oblast and city Party committees Postyshev organized the purge of Trotskyists and Ukrainian national-communists as well as industrialization and collectivization campaigns in the region. Fact|date=February 2007 In July 1930 he was promoted to position of secretary of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik) in Moscow and put in charge of propaganda and organization.

In January 1933 Postyshev was once again sent to Ukraine as Stalin's personal representative, along with thousands of political appointees from Russia. Upon Postyshev's arrival in Ukraine he was elected second secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine and first secretary of the Kharkiv city and Kharkiv Oblast Party organizations. From July 1934 to January 1937 he was in charge of the Kiev Oblast Party organization. As second secretary he was nominally subordinate to First Secretary Stanislav Kosior, but his appointment by Stalin effectively gave him supreme power.

Postyshev is known for reviving New Year tree tradition in the Soviet Union; the famous letter by him was published in "Pravda" on December 28, 1935, where he asked for installing New Year trees in schools, children's homes, Young Pioneer Palaces, children's clubs, children's theaters and cinema theatersKaren Petrone, "Life Has Become More Joyous, Comrades: Celebrations in the Time of Stalin", Indiana University Press, 2000, ISBN 0-253-33768-2, [http://books.google.com/books?vid=ISBN0253337682&id=O_DSAvPZ7GAC&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&ots=VmH4K7zvZn&dq=Postyshev+New+Year%27s+holiday&sig=hJhRHf8ExeT0JMS8KXRIsNvYj2g Google Print, p.85] ] .

Postyshev's mission in Ukraine was to eliminate any remaining opposition to Stalin by purging all traces of 'nationalist deviation' from the Party, to end the cultural policy of Ukrainization, and to bring collectivization to completion at any cost. [Paul Robert Magocsi (1996), p 567, Subtelny (1998), p 418.]

A prominent scapegoat was Mykola Skrypnyk, the director of Ukrainization, who was removed from his post within a month (he later shot himself rather than face a show trial). [Magocsi (1996), p 567, Subtelny (1998), p 419.] The end of Ukrainization was accompanied by an attack on cultural institutions in Ukraine and the new Soviet intelligentsia. Under Postyshev, thousands of authors, scholars, philosophers, artists, musicians, and editors were exiled to labour camps, executed, or simply disappeared. Many others avoided being denounced by working according to the dictates of Moscow. "Nests of nationalist counter-revolutionaries" like the commissariats of education, agriculture, and justice, newspapers, journals, encyclopedias and film studios were purged. [Subtelny (1988), p 419.] On the charge of nationalism, over 15,000 in responsible positions were eliminated. [Subtelny (1988), p 419.]

The Ukrainian Communist Party was targeted too. In a prelude to the Great Purge, almost 100,000 members were expelled during Postyshev's first year in Ukraine, and a further 168,000 up to 1938. [Magocsi (1996), p 567–68, Subtelny (1988), p 419.] Postyshev wrote in his report that the majority were exiled or shot. [Subtelny (1988), p 419.] The highest ranking were paraded through elaborate show trials. As the purges progressed after 1933, eventually affecting millions throughout the Soviet Union, in Ukraine they spread beyond just perceived Ukrainianizers and opponents of collectivization, but eventually to include the liquidation of entire classes such as kulaks, priests, people who had been members of anti-Bolshevik armies or had even travelled abroad or immigrated from Galicia. [Magocsi (1996), p 567, Subtelny (1988), p 420–21.]

Postyshev criticized the Ukrainian Communists for their "lack of Bolshevik vigilance" in Stalin's systematic enforcement of increased grain quotas. His party activists conducted a brutal campaign through farms and homes, searching for suspected hiding places and confiscating every bit of grain, with disregard for the starvation they encountered. Millions died in the man-made famine of 1932–33, the "Holodomor". [Subtelny (1988), p 414.]

After the famine, Postyshev appears to have begun identifying with Ukraine and have doubts about Stalin—he and the party leadership refused to take the purge as far as Stalin demanded, raising the Soviet leader's suspicions. [Subtelny (1998), p 420.] In August 1937 [Subtelny (1998), p 420.] Postyshev was removed from Ukraine and appointed first secretary of the Kuibyshev Oblast Party Committee. He was arrested in early 1938 and later shot. [Magocsi (1996), p 570.] Nikita Khrushchev was sent to take over Postyshev's post in Ukraine, along with Vyacheslav Molotov and Nikolai Yezhov. Khrushchev had to be appointed by Moscow—he couldn't be elected because after Postyshev's removal, the entire Central Committee of the CP(b)U "had been purged spotless", in Khrushchev's own words. [Magocsi (1996), p 570, Subtelny (1998), p 420.]

Under the influence of Nikita Khrushchev Postyshev was rehabilitated in 1956.

Notes

References

* Magocsi, Paul Robert (1996). "A History of Ukraine". Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-0830-5.
* Subtelny, Orest (1988). "Ukraine: A History", 1st edition, Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 0-8020-8390-0.

External links

* [http://www.encyclopediaofukraine.com/pages/P/O/PostyshevPavel.htm Postyshev, Pavel]


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