Shvernik, Nikolai Mikhailovich
Born May 7 (19), 1888, in St. Petersburg; died Dec. 24, 1970, in Moscow. Soviet state and party figure. Hero of Socialist Labor (1958). Member of the CPSU from 1905.
The son of a worker, Shvernik became a metalworker in 1902. Between 1905 and 1917 he was a member of the St. Petersburg, Nikolaev, Tula, and Samara committees of the RSDLP, and in 1910 and 1911 he served on the administrative board of the union of metalworkers in St. Petersburg. After the February Revolution of 1917 he was chairman of the plant committee of the pipe plant in Samara, and in October 1917 he became chairman of the All-Russian Committee of Artillery Plant Workers. After the October Revolution of 1917, Shvernik became chairman of the Samara soviet. From 1918 to 1920 he was a commissar on the Eastern and Southern fronts and deputy extraordinary commissioner of the Council of Defense for supplying the armies of the Caucasian Front.
From 1921 to 1923, Shvernik engaged in trade union work. From 1923 to 1925 he was a member of the Presidium of the Central Control Commission of the RCP(B) and people’s commissar of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Inspectorate of the RSFSR. In 1925 and 1926 he was secretary of the Leningrad oblast committee and the Northwestern Bureau of the Central Committee of the ACP(B). In 1926 and 1927 he was a secretary of the Central Committee of the ACP(B). Shvernik was secretary of the Ural’sk oblast party committee in 1927 and 1928. In 1929 he served as chairman of the central committee of the metalworkers’ trade union, and from 1930 until 1944 he was first secretary of the All-Union Central Committee of Trade Unions (AUCCTU).
Between 1944 and 1946, Shvernik served as first deputy chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR and chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR; from 1938 to 1946 he was chairman of the Soviet of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. During the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 he also served as chairman of the Extraordinary Commission to Establish and Investigate the Crimes of the German Fascist Aggressors. From 1946 to 1953, Shvernik was chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, and from 1953 until 1956 he served as chairman of the AUCCTU. From 1956 to 1962 he was chairman of the Party Control Committee of the Central Committee of the CPSU. From 1962 to 1966 he was chairman of the Party Commission of the Central Committee of the CPSU.
Shvernik served as a delegate to the Fourteenth through Twenty-third Party Congresses. Having become a member of the Central Committee in 1925, he served as a member of the Organizational Bureau of the Central Committee in 1926 and 1927 and again from 1930 to 1946; a candidate member of the Politburo of the Central Committee from 1939 to 1952, he was a candidate member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU from 1953 to 1957 and a member of the Presidium in 1952 and 1953 and again from 1957 to 1966. From 1927 to 1938, Shvernik was a member of the All-Union Central Executive Committee and from 1935 to 1938 he was a member of the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. He was a deputy to the first through sixth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.
Shvernik, who was awarded five Orders of Lenin, is buried on Red Square near the Kremlin wall.