Otto Kuusinen

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Kuusinen, Otto Vil’gel’movich

 

Born Oct. 4, 1881, in the village of Laukaa, Finland; died May 17,1964, in Moscow. Leader in the Communist Party and the Soviet state, as well as in the international communist and workers’ movement. Hero of Socialist Labor (1961); academician of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (1958). Became a member of the Communist Party in 1904. The son of a tailor.

Kuusinen graduated in 1905 from the historical-philological department of the University of Helsingfors [Helsinki]. Beginning in 1904 he headed the left wing of the Finnish Social Democratic Party. During the Revolution of 1905–07 he commanded the detachment of Red Guards in Helsinki. From 1906 to 1908 he was editor of Sosialistinen aikakauslehti, a theoretical organ of the Finnish Social Democratic Party, and from 1907 to 1916 he served as editor of Tyomies, the central organ of the Social Democratic Party. Kuusinen was a member in 1909–10 and the chairman from 1911 to 1917 of the Executive Committee of the Finnish Social Democratic Party. From 1908 to 1917 he was a deputy to the Finnish parliament. Kuusinen attended the Copenhagen (1910) and Basel (1912) congresses of the Second International. He was acquainted with V. I. Lenin. In 1918 he was one of the leaders of the workers’ revolution in Finland, serving as people’s representative for education in the revolutionary government. In August 1918 he helped found the Communist Party of Finland. He was engaged in underground party work in Finland from May 1919 to the summer of 1920.

Kuusinen was a delegate to the First and to the Third through Seventh Congresses of the Comintern. At a number of congresses and plenary sessions of the Executive Committee of the Comintern he delivered reports on the problems of the international communist movement. The Third Congress of the Comintern (1921) elected Kuusinen to membership in its Executive Committee. His work in the Comintern was highly valued by V. I. Lenin (see Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 35, p. 90; vol. 44, p. 56). From 1921 to 1939, Kuusinen was secretary of the Executive Committee of the Comintern. From 1940 to 1958 he served as chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Karelo Finnish SSR and as deputy chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. He was a delegate to the Twelfth through Seventeenth and the Nineteenth through Twenty-second Congresses of the party. In 1941 he became a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU. In 1952–53 and beginning in 1957, Kuusinen was a member of the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU and secretary of the Central Committee of the CPSU. He was a deputy to the first through sixth convocations of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. From 1956 to 1962 he was chairman of the parliamentary group of the USSR. He was chairman of the Commission on Foreign Affairs of the Soviet of Nationalities of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

Kuusinen wrote a number of works on the history of the revolutionary movement in Finland, as well as on problems of the international communist and workers’ movement. He was awarded five Orders of Lenin and also medals. Kuusinen is buried in Red Square by the Kremlin wall.

WORKS

Izbr. proizv. (1918–1964). Moscow, 1966.

REFERENCE

Vikström, U. K. Otto Kuusinen. [Moscow, 1972.] (Translated from Finnish.)
References in periodicals archive ?
Among the influx of new members, there was a core group of Helsinki University students or Masters of Arts, such as the sons of parish priests Yrjo Sirola (born 1876) and Kullervo Manner (1880), and two former class-mates from that shrine of national ideas, Jyvaskyla high school, Otto Ville Kuusinen (1881) and Edvard Gylling (1881).
(28) Imitating contemporary Soviet descriptions of Lenin and Stalin, the reference to Kuusinen was to Otto Ville Kuusinen, Moscow-based secretary of the Comintern, who had a central position in the SKP leadership, although he was never officially its chairman.
(33) It was only after the movement's exclusion from the government in mid-1948 that the SKP began to foster a more definite leader cult around Otto Ville Kuusinen.
(37) In Jyvaskyla, where Kuusinen had been to school, communists proposed to the city council that the street leading towards Kuusinen's home village should be renamed Otto Ville Kuusinen street.
Thus Pessi's fiftieth birthday in March 1952 was marked by a portrait photograph on the front page of Tyokansan Sanomat, together with an article depicting him as 'a merited colleague and student of Otto Ville Kuusinen'.
(35.) The description on Kuusinen's celebration is based on Tauno Saarela, 'Otto Ville Kuusinen Commemorated' in Juhana Aunesluoma and Pauli Kettunen (eds), The Cold War and the Politics of History, University of Helsinki, 2008, pp151-68.