Martyn Latsis

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Latsis, Martyn Ivanovich


(pseudonym of Jan Fridri-khovich Sudrabs; party pseudonyms, Diadia [Uncle], Garais, and Milns). Born Dec. 16, 1888, in the volost (small rural district) of Večpiebalga, now Cēsis Raion, Latvian SSR; died Mar. 20, 1938. Soviet state and party figure. Became a member of the Communist Party in 1905. The son of a farm laborer.

Latsis was active in the revolution in Latvia in 1905–07. He passed the examination for the title of people’s teacher in 1908. From 1912 to 1916, Latsis attended lectures at the Shaniavskii University in Moscow and organized a Latvian social democratic group. He was repeatedly arrested and exiled. After the February Revolution of 1917, Latsis headed the Bolshevik organization of the Vyborg district in Petrograd and was a delegate to the Seventh (April) All-Russian Conference of the RSDLP (Bolshevik). One of the organizers of the Red Guard of Vyborg Raion, he was a member of the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee, where he was in charge of the work of the commissars’ bureau, and attended the Oct. 16 (29), 1917, session of the Central Committee of the RSDLP(B). A member of the collegium of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs after the October Revolution of 1917, Latsis was a member of the collegium of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (All-Russian Cheka) from May 1918, chairman of the Cheka and of the Military Tribunal of the Fifth Army of the Eastern Front from July to November 1918, and chairman of the All-Ukrainian Cheka from 1919 to 1921.

After 1921, Latsis was chairman of the Central Salt Administration, deputy chief of the Central Board of the Mining Industry, a member of the collegium of the People’s Commissariat of Agriculture of the RSFSR, deputy chief of the rural department of the Central Committee of the ACP (Bolshevik), and, from 1932, director of the G. V. Plekhanov Institute of National Economy. Latsis was a delegate to the Sixth and the Eighth through Tenth Congresses of the RCP (Bolshevik) and the author of several works on the history of the party and of the Soviet state. He was awarded two orders.


Sazonov, I. “M. Ia. Latsis.” In Geroi Oktiabria, vol. 2. Leningrad, 1967.
Latsis, M. Ia. “Iz dnevnika agitatora.” In Petrograd ν dni Velikogo Oktiabria: Vospominaniia uchastnikov revoliutsionnykh sobytii ν Petrograde ν 1917 g. [Leningrad] 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Cheka official Martyn Latsis explained in the December 25, 1918 issue of Pravda that "during investigations one need not look for evidence or proof of what the accused said or did against Soviet authority.