Platten, Friedrich

Platten, Friedrich

 

(also Fritz Platten). Born July 8, 1883; died Apr. 22, 1942. Figure in the Swiss and international labor movements.

The son of a worker, Platten joined the workers’ educational league known as Eintracht in 1904. In 1906 he illegally entered Russia, where he participated in the revolutionary movement in Latvia. From 1911 to 1921, Platten was a member of the board of the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland; beginning in 1912, he served as party secretary. He attended the Zimmerwald (1915) and Kienthal (1916) conferences. In the spring of 1917 he organized the journey of a group of political émigrés, headed by V. I. Lenin, from Switzerland to Russia. At the time of the first assassination attempt against Lenin, on Jan. 14, 1918, he shielded Lenin from the bullets and was wounded.

Platten attended the First Congress of the Comintern and was a member of the presidium. In 1919 and 1920 he was arrested many times by Finnish, Rumanian, Lithuanian, German, and Petliurite authorities. In 1921 he helped organize the Communist Party of Switzerland and was elected party secretary.

In the summer of 1923, Platten moved to the USSR and organized a commune of Swiss émigré workers in the village of Novaia Lava, Syzran’ District. In 1931 he became a senior research worker at the International Agrarian Institute in Moscow; he also taught at the Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages.

REFERENCES

Ivanov, A. F. Platten. Moscow, 1963.
Sventsitskaia, O. V. F. Platten—plamennyi revoliutsioner. Moscow, 1974.
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