Peters, Iakov

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Peters, Iakov Khristoforovich


(Jēkabs Peterss). Born Nov. 21 (Dec. 3), 1886, in Briņķu Volost (small rural district), Aizpute District (now Nīkrāce Rural Soviet, Kuldiga Raion, Latvian SSR); died Apr. 25, 1938. Soviet Party and state official. Member of the Communist Party from 1904.

The son of a farmhand, Peters joined the Liepāja organization of the Latvian Social Democratic Labor Party in 1904 and conducted agitation among peasants and farmhands during the Revolution of 1905-07. An émigré from 1909, Peters was a member of both the London group of the Social Democracy of the Latvian Territory (SDLT) and the British Socialist Party. After the February Revolution of 1917 he worked in Riga and was a member of the Central Committee (CC) of the SDLT, a representative of the SDLT to the CC of the RSDLP(B), and an editor of the newspaper Cīņ a. During the October Days he was a member of the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee, a delegate to the Second All-Russian Congress of Soviets, and a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.

As a member of the collegium and deputy chairman of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (Cheka) and a chairman of the Revolutionary Tribunal after the October Revolution, Peters helped uncover the plot of Lockhart, Reilly, and others (seeLOCKHART CONSPIRACY). He played a prominent part in the suppression of the Left Socialist Revolutionary uprising in 1918 and conducted the investigation of the Socialist Revolutionary F. Kaplan, the woman who had made an attempt on V. I. Lenin’s life. In 1919 he was commandant of the Petrograd and then of the Kiev Fortified Region and served on the Military Council of the Tula Fortified Region. From 1920 to 1922 he was a member of the Turkestan bureau of the CC of the RCP(B) and plenipotentiary of the Cheka in Turkestan. In 1923 he became a member of the collegium of the Unified State Political Directorate (OGPU).

Peters was elected to the Central Control Commission at the Twelfth through Sixteenth Party Congresses. He was also a member of the Presidium of the Central Control Commission. Peters was chairman of the Moscow Control Commission of the ACP(B) from 1930 to 1934 and was elected a member of the Party Control Commission of the CC of the ACP(B) at the Seventeenth Party Congress. Peters was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.


Lenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See Index, part 2, p. 463.)
Mende, J. “Jēkabs Peterss.” Cēnētāji par Oktobri. Biogrāfiski apraksti. Riga, 1967.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.