Industrial Party

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Industrial Party

 

(Prompartiia, also known as the Union of Engineers’ Organizations), a counterrevolutionary sabotage organization of the bourgeois engineering and technical intelligentsia and capitalists. The organization functioned in the USSR from 1925 to 1930; prior to 1928 it was known as the Engineers’ Center. Among its leaders were the engineers P. I. Pal’chinskii, L. G. Rabinovich, and N. K. von Mekk. Pal’chinskii had served as deputy minister of trade and industry under the Provisional Government and had headed the defense of the Winter Palace against the revolutionary people in October 1917. After their arrest in 1928, leadership of the Industrial Party passed to L. K. Ramzin, V. A. Larichev, and N. F. Charnovskii.

The members of the organization, who held a number of responsible positions in Vesenkha (Supreme Council on the National Economy) and Gosplan (State Planning Committee), carried out sabotage in industry and transportation, created disproportions among the different branches of the national economy, “froze” capital funds, and disrupted the supply process in an effort to hinder socialist construction and provoke the discontent of the working people. The ultimate aim of the anti-Soviet underground was the overthrow of the dictatorship of the proletariat in the USSR and the restoration of capitalism. The Industrial Party had between 2,000 and 3,000 members and was not supported by the majority of the intelligentsia. Its leaders counted on aid from abroad and support from such other underground counterrevolutionary organizations as the Party of the Toiling Peasantry, headed by A. V. Chaianov and N. D. Kondrat’ev, and the Menshevik Union Bureau. The Industrial Party’s leaders were also linked with White Guard émigrée organizations, notably Torgprom (Commercial-Industrial Committee), an association of former Russian industrialists in Paris.

After the Shakhty Trial of 1928, sabotage organizations of the Industrial Party were uncovered between 1928 and 1930 in a number of branches of industry and transportation. In the spring of 1930, the party’s leaders were arrested. In an open trial held from Nov. 25 to Dec. 7, 1930, all eight defendants admitted their guilt. The Supreme Court of the USSR sentenced Ramzin, Larichev, Charnovskii, I. A. Kalinnikov, and A. A. Fedotov to death by shooting. S. V. Kupriianov, V. I. Ochkin, and K. V. Sytnin were sentenced to deprivation of freedom for ten years. Upon the petition of the convicted, the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR commuted the sentences of execution to ten-year prison terms and decreased the punishment for the others. Subsequently, Professor Ramzin completed a number of valuable technical projects. The trial of the Industrial Party helped to isolate the counterrevolutionary elements among the intelligentsia and played a significant role in the old technical intelligentsia’s turn to socialism.

REFERENCES:

Udarpo kontrrevoliutsii: Obvinitel’noe zakliucheniepo delu kontrrevoliutsionnoi organizatsii Soiuza inzhenernykh organizatsii (“Promyshlennaia partiia”). Moscow-Leningrad, 1930.
Protsess Prompartii (25 noiabria-7 dekabria 1930): Stenogramma sudebnogoprotsessa i materialy, priobshchennye k delu. Moscow, 1931.

D. L. GOLINKOV

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