Liudwig Karlovich Martens

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Martens, Liudwig Karlovich


Born Dec. 20, 1874 (Jan. 1, 1875), in Bakhmut, now Artemovsk; died Oct. 19, 1948, in Moscow. Member of the Russian and international revolutionary movement; Soviet scientist; management figure; doctor of technical sciences (1935). Member of the Communist Party from 1893. Son of a bourgeois.

Martens took part in Marxist circles as a student of the St. Petersburg Technological Institute and joined Lenin’s Union of Struggle for the Emancipation of the Working Class in 1895. In 1896 he was arrested, held in prison for three years, and then exiled to Germany, where he joined the German Social Democratic Party. He emigrated to Britain in 1906 and to the USA in 1916, continuing revolutionary work abroad. In 1919, Martens was appointed official representative of the Soviet government in the USA and organized the Society of Technical Assistance to Soviet Russia. In view of the American government’s refusal to recognize the RSFSR, he was recalled to Moscow.

In 1921, Martens became a member of the Presidium of the Supreme Council on the National Economy (VSNKh) and chairman of the Central Board of the Metal Industry. Martens served as chairman of the Committee on Inventions of the VSNKh from 1924 to 1926, director of a research institute on diesel engines from 1926 to 1936, and editor in chief of the Technical Encyclopedia from 1927 to 1941. He wrote works on diesel construction and the theory of internal-combustion piston engines. From 1941 he received a special pension and engaged in scientific and editorial work.


Evgen’ev, G. E., and B. S. Shapik. Revoliutsioner, diplomat, uchenyi. Moscow, 1960.
Reikhberg, G. E., and B. S. Shapik. “DeloMartensa. Moscow, 1966.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.