Lentsman, Ian Davydovich
(Lencmanis, Janīs). Born Nov. 17 (29), 1881; died Mar. 7, 1939. Soviet party figure; one of the founders of the Communist Party of Latvia. Member of the Communist Party from 1899. Born in the volost (small rural district) of Naudītes, Mitava District, now Jelgava Raion, Latvian SSR; son of a farmhand; a worker.
Lentsman was a member of the central committee of the Social Democracy of the Latvian Krai (SDLK) from 1905 and a delegate to the Fifth Congress of the RSDLP (1907). In early 1908 he became a member of the central committee of the RSDLP as a representative of the central committee of the SDLK. After serving as member of the Baku committee of the RSDLP and member of the administration of the Petroleum Workers’ Union from 1908 to 1911, Lentsman became a member of the Riga committee in 1911 and of the central committee of the SDLK in 1914. He was arrested and exiled several times. He was a participant in the February Revolution of 1917 in Moscow and a delegate to the Seventh (April) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP (Bolshevik). Lentsman was a member of the Riga soviet in May 1917, a member of the first Convocation of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, and a delegate to the Sixth Congress of the RSDLP(B). After working underground in Riga from August 1917 to March 1918, he became chairman of the Yaroslavl Military Revolutionary Committee in July 1918 and directed the suppression of the Yaroslavl anti-Soviet rebellion.
He became vice-chairman of the Soviet government and commissar of the interior of Soviet Latvia in December 1918. Lentsman served as member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the Fifteenth Army from 1919 to 1921, chief of the Petrograd Commercial Port from 1921 to 1924, chairman of the directorate of the Soviet Merchant Marine in 1925–26, and director of Kuznetskstroi from 1926 to 1928. From 1931 to 1937 he worked in the Latvian section of the Comintern. He is the author of works on the history of Latvia. Lentsman was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.