Communist University for National Minorities of the West

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Communist University for National Minorities of the West


(KUNMZ; full name, J. Marchlewski Communist University for National Minorities of the West), a university established in Moscow by the Nov. 28, 1921, decree of the Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR for the training of political workers of various Western nationalities living in the USSR.

The university was created from the Lithuanian-Jewish-Latvian, German, Polish, and Rumanian higher party schools, which made up corresponding sectors of KUNMZ. Byelorussian, Bulgarian, Italian, Moldavian, and Yugoslavian sectors were subsequently organized. On Sept. 18, 1922, a branch of KUNMZ was opened in Petrograd, as a result of the merging of the Latvian, Estonian, and Finnish party schools. In 1924 the Latvian sector of the Petrograd branch was combined with the main sector in Moscow. The first graduation was held in 1922, with 352 graduates. By the 1922–23 academic year a three-year program was established and a number of divisions were organized for party work and political education, the trade union movement, economics, and administration and law. Most sectors had also had one-year programs.

Admission to KUNMZ was by recommendation of local party and Komsomol organizations. By 1927 representatives of 14 nationalities were studying at the university. J. Marchlewski was the first head of KUNMZ, serving until 1925. Under the guidance of the instructors of KUNMZ, students conducted much agitational and propagandistic work. As a result of the restructuring of the system of party and political education, the university closed in 1936. KUNMZ and its Petrograd branch trained several thousand party, Komsomol, and trade union workers of the various Western nationalities.


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