Society of Old Bolsheviks

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Society of Old Bolsheviks


(full name, All-Union Society of Old Bolsheviks), a society founded by members of the RCP(B) who had been in the party for many years before the Revolution. It existed from 1922 to 1935, first under the Istpart and then under the V. I. Lenin Institute of the Central Committee of the ACP(B).

The society’s aims included using the experience of old Bolsheviks to educate the young in the revolutionary tradition and collecting materials on the history of the Revolution. It accepted party members who had no less than 18 years of service in the party. In 1922 it had 64 members, and in January 1934, more than 2,000. From 1922 to 1931 it was headed by a bureau. In January 1931, at the First All-Union Conference of the society, a central council headed by a presidium was elected. Subordinate to the central council were commissions and sections dealing with cultural propaganda and mass agitation, organization and planning, local branches, literature and publishing, and technical and everyday affairs. The bureau, and later the central council, included at various times A. S. Enukidze, F. V. Lengnik, P. N. Lepeshinskii, M. N. Liadov, V. P. Nogin, F. N. Samoilov, S. N. Smidovich, A. M. Stopani, and B. Z. Shumiatskii. Its chairmen were M. S. Ol’minskii (from 1922) and Em. Iaroslavskii (from 1931).

The society had branches in the republics, krais, oblasts, and large cities. Members gave lectures and presented papers at enterprises and institutions; they organized evenings of recollections and meetings of old Bolsheviks with young people. The society published collections on revolutionary history entitled The Old Bolshevik (1930–34) and Bulletins (1931–33).


Ustav Obshchestva starykh bol’shevikov: Instruktsiia po organizatsii filial’-nykh otdelenii, Spisok chlenov Obshchestvo i anketa. Moscow, 1928.
Rezoliutsii i postanovleniia pervoi Vsesoiuznoi konferentsii Obshchestva starykh bol’shevikov (25–28 ianv. 1931). Moscow, 1931.
Spisok chlenov Vsesoiuznogo obshchestvo starykh bol’shevikov na i ianv. 1933. Moscow, 1933
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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