Andrei Vyshinskii

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Vyshinskii, Andrei Ianuar’evich


Born Nov. 28 (Dec. 10), 1883, in Odessa; died Nov. 22, 1954, in New York, USA. Soviet statesman, jurist, and diplomat. Member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1939). Member of the Menshevik Party from 1903; member of the RCP (Bolshevik) from 1920.

After graduating from the law department of the University of Kiev in 1913, Vyshinskii engaged in literary work and teaching. He was rector of Moscow State University from 1925 to 1928, and he was a member of the collegium of the People’s Commissariat for Education of the RSFSR during 1928-31. From 1931 he worked in judicial bodies, and he served as procurator of the USSR from 1935 to 1939. During 1939-44, Vyshinskii was deputy chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR, and in 1940-49 he was deputy minister of foreign affairs of the USSR. He served as minister of foreign affairs of the USSR from 1949 to March 1953, and he was deputy minister of foreign affairs. Vyshinskii was the permanent representative of the USSR at the UN during 1953-54. At the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Congresses of the ACP (Bolshevik) he was elected to the Central Committee. A deputy to the Supreme Soviet at its first through fourth convocations, Vyshinskii was awarded seven orders as well as medals.

Vyshinskii was the author of works on problems of state and law, including A Course in Criminal Procedure (1927. with V. Undrevich), The Administration of Justice in tht. USSR (1939), The Theory of Court Evidence in Soviet Law (1941), and Problems in the Theory of the State and Law (1949). His theoretical works contain serious errors, which resulted in an incorrect characterization of the Soviet state and law. Vyshinskii overemphasized the role of compulsion and underestimated the role of education and prevention. He also exaggerated the importance of the confession of the accused as evidence in cases of counterrevolutionary conspiracies, and he made other errors as well. In practice, his mistakes led to major violations of the socialist legal order.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
If one studies individual documents out of context--for example, Andrei Vyshinskii's report to Stalin on 2 February--one could come to Oberender's conclusion that Vyshinskii "took the lead" (944).
They include celebrated filmmakers who willingly served utopian secret police goals; prosecutors, like the notorious Lev Sheinin, a friend of Babel and Vasilii Grossman, who wrote popular detective thrillers while helping to prepare show trials as an assistant to Stalin's chief prosecutor Andrei Vyshinskii, until he was himself arrested and deported during the antisemitic repression in the late 1940s; and isolated novelists like Bulgakov, who hinted at the system's diabolical features by making the Devil himself a major character in his fictional rendering of the insane atmosphere of Moscow in the 1930s.
One of the most noteworthy results of Ruggenthaler's efforts is the discovery that quite a large number of actors exercised influence on Moscow's foreign policy and took part in the process that led to the Stalin note: Andrei Vyshinskii, who had replaced Viacheslav Molotov as minister of foreign affairs in March 1949; Vyshinskii's deputies Andrei Gromyko and Valerian Zorin; the Ministry of State Security (MGB); representatives of the Soviet Military Administration in Germany (SVAG); and the East German leadership, above all Walter Ulbricht.