Lauristin, Johannes

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lauristin, Johannes


(pen name, Juhan Madarik). Born Oct. 29 (Nov. 10), 1899, in Tallinn; died there Aug. 28, 1941. Soviet statesman and party figure. Estonian writer. Member of the Communist Party from May 1917. Son of a worker.

Lauristin began his revolutionary activity in 1917, while working at a plant in Tallinn. In 1922 he became a member of the Central Council of the Trade Unions of Estonia and of the Central Committee of the Communist Youth League of Estonia. He edited the newspaper Tallinskii Rabochii, a left trade union organ, in 1922–23.

Lauristin was in prison from 1923 to 1938. He was elected a deputy to the Second State Assembly of Estonia in 1923, but the assembly’s bourgeois majority refused to free him from prison. From 1938 to 1940 he was a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Estonia (CPE). After the reestablishment of Soviet power in Estonia (July 1940), Lauristin became the first chairman of the Council of People’s Commissars of the Estonian SSR and secretary of the Central Committee of the CPE (Bolshevik). He perished in the defense of Tallinn during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45.

Lauristin wrote a series of works on the history of the revolutionary movement in Estonia. The manuscript of his first novel, The Overthrowers, written in jail, was smuggled into Leningrad and published in 1929. He did not complete his novel The Republic. Part 1 was published in Tallinn in 1941 and Parts 2 and 4 in 1953; a Russian translation appeared in Moscow in 1957. Lauristin was awarded the Order of Lenin posthumously in 1946.


Vabariik: Riigikukutajad. Tallinn, 1970.


Kivi, K. “I. Lauristin-Madarik—vydaiushchiisia estonskii proletarskii pisatel’.” In Ob estonskoi literature. Tallinn, 1956.
Rudnev, D. Johannes Lauristin. Tallinn, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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