Ian Borisovich Gamarnik
Gamarnik, Ian Borisovich
Born June 2, 1894, in Zhitomir; died May 31, 1937, in Moscow. Soviet party and military figure, army commissar first class (1935). Joined the Communist Party in 1916.
Gamarnik began revolutionary work in 1913. He studied at the law department of Kiev University. Before October 1917, Gamarnik was a member and for some time secretary of the Kiev committee of the RSDLP (Bolshevik). He participated in the preparation for the October uprising in Kiev; on October 27 (November 9) he was elected to the revolutionary committee. In spring 1918, at a conference of the active party members (aktiv) of the Ukraine in Taganrog, he was elected to the organizational bureau for preparing the First Congress of the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of the Ukraine. From 1918 to 1920 he was a member of the underground All-Ukrainian Center and a leader of the Odessa, Kharkov, and Crimean party organizations. In 1919, Gamarnik was a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Southern Troop Group of the Twelfth Army and later commissar of the 58th Infantry Division. From 1920 to 1923 he was chairman of the Odessa and Kiev province committees of the CP (Bolshevik) of the Ukraine and chairman of the Kiev Province Executive Committee. From 1923 to 1928 he was chairman of the Far Eastern Revolutionary Committee and of the Far Eastern Krai’s Executive Committee and was secretary of the Far Eastern Committee of the Party. He was secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Byelorussia in 1928. In October 1929, Gamarnik became chief of the Political Directorate of the Red Army, a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR, and editor in chief of the newspaper Krasnaia zvezda. In June 1930 he became deputy people’s commissar for defense and vice-chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR. Gamarnik was a delegate to the Tenth through the Seventeenth Congresses of the party; at the Fourteenth Congress he was elected a candidate member of the Central Committee and at the Fifteenth through Seventeenth Congresses, a member of the Central Committee of the party. He was awarded the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner. Gamarnik committed suicide.