Aleksandr Petrovich Smirnov

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Smirnov, Aleksandr Petrovich


Born 1877, in the village of Nikola, in the volost (small rural district) of Vasil’evskoe, Tver’ Province; died Feb. 9, 1938. Soviet state and party figure. Member of the Communist Party from 1896.

The son of peasants, Smirnov became a worker in 1894. He conducted party work in Tver’ (present-day Kalinin), St. Petersburg, and Moscow. Arrested on several occasions, he was exiled but managed to escape. In 1904 he became a member of the Tver’ committee of the RSDLP, and in 1905 deputy chairman of the soviet. In 1906 he became a member of the St. Petersburg committee of the RSDLP. Smirnov was a delegate to the Fourth (1906) and Fifth (1907) Congresses of the RSDLP. At the Sixth (Prague) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP (1912), he was elected in absentia a candidate member of the Central Committee.

During World War I, Smirnov was drafted into the army. In 1917 he became chairman of the soviet in Bogorodsk (present-day Noginsk) and a member of the presidium of the soviet of Moscow Province. After the October Revolution of 1917, he was a member of the Collegium of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs, for which he also served as deputy people’s commissar. From 1919 to 1922 he was deputy people’s commissar of food, and from 1923 to 1928 he was people’s commissar for agriculture of the RSFSR, simultaneously holding the position of general secretary of the Peasant International. In the years 1928-30, Smirnov was both deputy chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR and secretary of the Central Committee of the ACP(B). In 1930 and 1931 he was a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Council on National Economy, and in 1933 he began administrative and economic work.

Smirnov was a delegate to the Eighth, Eleventh, and Thirteenth through Sixteenth Party Congresses; at the Fifth and Eleventh through Sixteenth Congresses, he was elected a member of the Central Committee. He was a member of the Orgburo of the Central Committee from 1924 to 1930 and a candidate member of the Orgburo from 1930 to 1933. Smirnov was a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. [23–1816–]

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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