Aralov, Semen Ivanovich
Born Dec. 18 (30), 1880, in Moscow; died there May 22, 1969. Soviet military and state figure. Member of the CPSU from March 1918.
Aralov graduated from the Commercial School and the Commercial Institute. He joined the social democratic movement in 1903 and fought in World War I. In June 1917 he became the leader of the Menshevik-Internationalist faction in the Third Army. He was elected deputy chairman and chairman of the army committee, a delegate to the second congress of Soviets, and the Third Army’s representative to the second convocation of the Central Executive Committee. After the October Revolution he was an elected regimental assistant commander. In 1918, Aralov enlisted in the Red Army, where he served as chief of the operations division of the Moscow Military District’s headquarters and the People’s Commissariat of Military and Naval Affairs. He was also a member of the Republic’s Revolutionary Military Council (October 1918-July 1919) and a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Twelfth Army and the Southwestern Front (July 1919-December 1920). After the end of the Civil War he became deputy commander of the Ukrainian Military District. After 1921 he held the diplomatic posts of plenipotentiary in Lithuania, Turkey, and Latvia; in 1925 he became a member of the collegium of the People’s Commissariat of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. In 1927 he became a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of National Economy of the USSR and then a member of the collegium of the People’s Commissariat of Finance. In 1938 he became deputy director of the State Literature Museum. In 1941 he volunteered for the army, enlisting in the people’s volunteer division of the Kiev city-raion of Moscow. As a member of the Thirty-third Army, Aralov fought in the battle of Moscow and then advanced from soldier to colonel, finishing the war in Berlin.
Aralov was awarded the Order of Lenin, the Order of the Red Banner, the Order of the Patriotic War First and Second Class, the Order of the Red Star, the Badge of Honor, Polish orders, and many medals. He held party posts in Moscow after 1946 and retired in 1957.
He published the memoirs Lenin Led Us to Victory (1962) and Memoirs of a Soviet Diplomat, 1922–1923 (1960), as well as many magazine and newspaper articles.