Mechislav Iulevich Kozlovskii
Kozlovskii, Mechislav Iul’evich
Born Jan. 1(13), 1876, in Vilnius; died Mar. 3, 1927, in Moscow. Active in the Polish, Lithuanian, and Russian revolutionary movements. Member of the Communist Party from 1900.
The son of a teacher, Kozlovskii graduated from the law faculty of Moscow University. Between 1896 and 1899 he was a member of the Workers’ Union of Lithuania and the editor of its organ, Rabochee Obozrenie (Worker’s Review). Together with F. E. Dzerzhinskii, he prepared the way for the unification of the Workers’ Union of Lithuania with the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland in 1899. At the unification congress in 1900 he was elected to the Directorate of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPiL), and he was a member of the party’s Vilnius Committee from 1900 to 1905. Kozlovskii was a member of the military-revolutionary organization and strike committee in Vilnius in 1905. He emigrated in 1906 and was a delegate to the Fifth Congress of the RSDLP in 1907. From 1909 he was active in the metalworkers’ union in St. Petersburg, and he assisted in the publication of the SDKPiL newspaper Novata Tribuna (New Tribune) in 1914.
After the February Revolution of 1917, Kozlovskii was a member of the Executive Committee of the Petrograd Soviet and of the first convocation of the Central Executive Committee and the chairman of the Vyborg district duma. He became a member of the St. Petersburg Committee of the RSDLP (Bolshevik) in April 1917, and he represented the party’s Central Committee at the Special Conference to draft legislation for elections to the Constituent Assembly. On instructions from the party’s St. Petersburg Committee, Kozlovskii defended the interests of the Bolsheviks in the proceedings (May 5, 1917) over the eviction of the party’s Central Committee and St. Petersburg Committee from Kshesinskaia’s mansion. He was arrested by Kerensky’s government during the July Days.
After the October Revolution of 1917, Kozlovskii was chairman of the investigation commission of the Military Revolutionary Committee and headed the investigation of the revolt of cadets and officers on October 29 and of Purishkevich’s monarchist organization. He served as a member of the collegium of the People’s Commissariat of Justice from December 1917 to November 1920. Between March 1918 and November 1920 he was first a member and then the chairman of the Lesser Council of People’s Commissars of the RSFSR. He was People’s Commissar of Justice and a member of the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee of the Lithuanian-Byelorussian Soviet Republic from January to April 1919. Kozlovskii helped prepare a number of Soviet decrees. He was a delegate to the Eighth Congress of the RCP (Bolshevik). In 1922–23 he served as consul general in Vienna and deputy envoy plenipotentiary in Austria. From 1923, Kozlovskii was chief legal adviser to the People’s Commissariat of Transportation and Communications.