Social origin and educational level of the chief Bolshevik leaders in 1917

Bolshevik central committee 1917

A questionnaire filled in by Bolshevik leaders in 1917 reveals their social origin and educational level:

Name Profession of father Studies
Antonov-Ovseenko Officer Higher
Bukharin Mathematician ,,
Bubnov ? [Merchant?] Primary
Shliapnikov Carpenter ,,
Dzherzinski Lesser nobility Higher
Joffe Rich merchant ,,
Kalinin Poor peasant Secondary
Kamenev Engineer Higher
Kollontai Nobility ,,
Krupskaya Nobility Secondary
Lenin High functionary Higher
Lozovski Lecturer Secondary
Lunacharski Functionary Higher
Molotov Merchant ,,
Pyatakov Industrialist ,,
Podvoisky Priest ,,
Preobrazensky Priest ,,
Radek Lecturer ,,
Raskolnikov Functionary ,,
Rykov Poor shopkeeper Secondary
Smilga Big landowner ?
Stassova Lawyer Higher
Skrypnik Railway worker Secondary
Stalin Shoemaker ,,
Sverdlov Engraver ,,
Tomsky Natural child [Illegitimate] Primary
Trotsky Landowner Higher
Uritsky Merchant ,,
Zinoviev Landowner Autodidact
The above are the statistics from a questionnaire filled in at a Bolshevik conference in 1917.
Sources:
Ferro, Marc. Des Soviets au communisme bureacratique. Collection Archives, France, 1980
Haupt, G, Marie J-J, Les Bolcheviks par eux-memes, France, 1967

Posted By

Battlescarred
Nov 1 2009 13:24

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Battlescarred
Nov 1 2009 13:28

This was meant to be in columns but somehow it's compressed them. Can one of libcom administrators sort this out or tell me how to do it????

Steven.
Nov 1 2009 20:08

This is great information, thanks for posting it.

To post tables on the Internet, they need to be coded in a particular way. How to do this is here:
http://www.pageresource.com/html/table1.htm

But if you've not got time, I will go and sort it out when I get a chance this week. Cheers!

Red Marriott
Nov 2 2009 01:10

I changed the 1st column from 'age in 1917' to 'name' as no ages were given. Tomsky's 'profession of father' is given as 'natural child'??

Joseph Kay
Nov 2 2009 02:50
Ret Marut wrote:
Tomsky's 'profession of father' is given as 'natural child'??

would that be a euphemism for child out of wedlock, i.e. father's occupation unknown?

Karetelnik
Nov 2 2009 03:14

According to the biographical dictionary "Political Activists of Russia in 1917" (Moscow, 1993), Bubnov's father was a merchant.

posi
Nov 2 2009 09:17

is there equivalent information for prominent anarchist, SR, or menshevik figures?

Battlescarred
Nov 2 2009 09:22

Natural child means "illegitmate" or bastard
Perhaps Bubnov was concealing his origins.

Battlescarred
Nov 2 2009 17:03

"is there equivalent information for prominent anarchist, SR, or menshevik figures?"

I've not seen one. You'd have to first compile a list of leading members and get their bios.
But at least for the Makhnovists it was almost entirely poor peasant or worker as can be seen from the bios here on libcom.

Red Marriott
Nov 2 2009 22:14

I amended Bubnov and Tomsky.

Entdinglichung
Oct 1 2012 12:02
posi wrote:
is there equivalent information for prominent anarchist, SR, or menshevik figures?

I think it was in André Liebich's From the other shore : Russian social democracy after 1921 were I read, that the exile leadership of the Mensheviks with the exception of Nicolaevsky who came from a peasant background came from the urban intelligentsia, ... many leading Georgian Mensheviks came from the petty aristocracy and were (like Stalin) students/dropouts of the theological seminary at Tbilisi

georgestapleton
Nov 26 2012 16:01

This is interesting but I'd question how accurate it is seeing as a number of mistakes have already been noted and who the father of bolsheviks were is something none of us should know. It's really nerdy. But on that, the 'profession' for Dzherzinsky's father is also wrong. It says he was 'lesser nobility' which according to wiki he was (he was part of a szlachta family), but also according to wiki his profession was as a teacher.

Red Marriott
Nov 26 2012 16:25
george wrote:
a number of mistakes have already been noted

Read again. No mistakes have previously been noted, only additional info. As the caption above says "The above are the statistics from a questionnaire filled in at a Bolshevik conference in 1917." The info is presumably as provided by Dzherzinsky himself, so if a "mistake" then it's in how he chose to answer.

As for whether "This is interesting but ... who the father of bolsheviks were is something none of us should know" - it should hardly seem surprising that the class composition of Party leaderships within working class movements should be of some interest.

Entdinglichung
Nov 26 2012 16:32

btw., being a member of the Szlachta, especially after 1700 (mainly due to the tradition of passing the property equally divided to all sons) didn't necessarily mean that people were well off, they were of course holder of all kinds of privileges

Reddebrek
Apr 30 2013 18:32