Krzhizhanovskii, Gleb Maksimilianovich

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Krzhizhanovskii, Gleb Maksimilianovich


Born Jan. 12 (24), 1872, in Samara; died Mar. 31, 1959, in Moscow. Russian revolutionary, Soviet government and party figure; power engineering specialist, academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1929); writer, Hero of Socialist Labor (1957). Became a member of the Communist Party in 1893. The son of a member of the intelligentsia.

Krzhizhanovskii joined a Marxist circle in 1891. Together with V. I. Lenin he helped organize the St. Petersburg Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class. In 1894 he graduated from the St. Petersburg Institute of Technology. He was arrested in December 1895. In 1897 he was banished to the village of Tesinskoe (present-day Tes’) in Minusinsk Okrug for three years. In 1899 he signed the “Protest of the Russian Social Democrats,” which was written by Lenin in answer to the “Credo’’ of the Economists. In 1901 he began directing the Iskra center in Samara, where he worked in the railroad depot. Krzhizhanovskii became a member of the organizational committee for the convening of the Second Congress of the RSDLP; at this congress he was elected in absentia to the Central Committee of the party. He participated in the preparation of the Third Congress of the RSDLP.

In the Revolution of 1905–07, Krzhizhanovskii was chairman of the strike committee of the Southwest Railroad in October 1905, and in early 1906 in St. Petersburg he collaborated on the Bolshevik newspaper Volna and the journal MysV (Thought). In 1910 in Moscow he became head of the cable electrical network. He was involved in the planning and construction of Russia’s first peat-burning electric power station, Elektroperedacha, and worked in the Moscow organization of the Bolsheviks. During the February Revolution of 1917 he was a member of the Bolshevik faction in the Moscow soviet. After the October Revolution of 1917 he worked on the restoration and development of the power system of Moscow. In 1919 he became chairman of the Central Administration of the Electrical Engineering Industry of the Supreme Council on the National Economy. In early 1920, at Lenin’s request, he wrote the work The Basic Tasks in the Electrification of Russia. In 1920 he was appointed chairman of GOELRO (State Commission for the Electrification of Russia); in December 1920 he gave a report on the commission’s plan at the Eighth Congress of soviets. The first Soviet electric power plants were built under his direct supervision.

Krzhizhanovskii played a prominent role in the organization of socialist planning, serving as the first chairman of the State Planning Commission (1921–30), participating in the drawing up of the first five-year plan for development of the national economy of the USSR, and presenting reports on the first five-year plan at the sixteenth conference of the ACP (Bolshevik) and Fifth All-Union Congress of soviets of the USSR (April, May, 1929). From 1930 to 1932 he was chairman of the Central Energy Administration of the People’s Commissariat for Heavy Industry. From 1932 to 1936 he served as chairman of the Committee on Higher Technical Education of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR and deputy people’s commissar of education of the RSFSR. From 1929 to 1939 he was vice-president of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR; in 1930 he founded the Energy Institute of the academy, which he directed until his death. He devoted considerable effort to involving scientists in the solution of important problems of the economy.

In his works Krzhizhanovskii investigated the formation of a power balance and the scientific bases of the development of power systems, the creation of a single power system for the country, the electrification of the sectors of the national economy, and the comprehensive use of power resources and power zoning. In the field of industrial power engineering he studied the role of the electrification of machines and electrical engineering in the development of technology, investigated the influence of power engineering on the integration and distribution of industrial production, and worked out a number of questions regarding the comprehensive use of fuel resources on a power-chemical basis.

Krzhizhanovskii wrote a number of memoirs of Lenin. In Butyrka Prison and Siberian exile he created famous songs of the revolutionary underground (adaptations of Polish revolutionary songs), including “Varshavianka” (”Hostile Whirlwinds Blow Over Us”), “The Red Banner,” “The Boundless World Is Flooded With Tears,” and “Rage, Tyrants.” He also wrote a number of sonnets, many of which evoke the image of Lenin.

Krzhizhanovskii was a delegate at the Fourteenth through Seventeenth Congresses of the party; at the Thirteenth through Seventeenth Congresses he was elected a member of the Central Committee of the ACP (B). He was a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and Central Executive Committee of the USSR, as well as a deputy to the first convocation of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was awarded five Orders of Lenin and two other orders.


Soch., vols. 1–3. Moscow-Leningrad, 1933–36.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1957.
Velikii Lenin. Moscow, 1968.


Flakserman, Iu. N. G. M. Krzhizhanovskii. Moscow, 1964.


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