Unshlikht, Iosif Stanislavovich
(Polish, Józef Unszlicht; Lithuanian, Josifas Unšlichtas). Born Dec. 19 (31), 1879, in the city of Mława, Płock Province, in what is now the Polish People’s Republic; died July 29, 1938. Soviet state, party, and military figure. Member of the Communist Party from 1900.
A member of the meshchantsvo (a social class of townspeople), Unshlikht was trained as an electrical engineer. In 1900 he joined the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania (SDKPL), which in 1906 became part of the RSDLP. In 1907, Unshlikht served as a delegate to the Fifth (London) Congress of the RSDLP. From 1907 to 1911 he was a member of the Warsaw province and Łodz okrug committees and of the Main Administrative Board of the SDKPL. He suffered arrest and exile a number of times.
After the February Revolution of 1917, Unshlikht served in Irkutsk on the executive committee of the soviet and on the committee of the RSDLP. In April 1917 he became a member of the Petrograd soviet. He was a delegate to the Sixth Congress of the RSDLP(B).
During the October Days of 1917, Unshlikht was first a member of the Petrograd military revolutionary committee and then of the collegium of the People’s Commissariat of Internal Affairs (NKVD). In 1919 he was people’s commissar for military affairs of the Lithuanian-Byelorussian SSR and a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Lithuania and Byelorussia.
Unshlikht was a member of the revolutionary military council of the Sixteenth Army from April to December 1919 and a member of the revolutionary military council of the Western Front from December 1919 to April 1921. During 1920 he was also a member of the Provisional Polish Revolutionary Committee.
From 1921 to 1923, Unshlikht was deputy chairman of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (All-Russian Cheka; reorganized in 1922 as the State Political Directorate). From 1923 to 1925 he was a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR and chief of supplies for the Red Army. Between 1925 and 1930, Unshlikht served as deputy chairman of the Revolutionary Military Council of the USSR and deputy people’s commissar for naval affairs of the USSR. In 1927 he also became deputy chairman of the Society for Assistance to Defense, Aviation, and Chemical Construction of the USSR. From 1930 to 1933, Unshlikht was deputy chairman of the Supreme Council on the National Economy, and from 1933 to 1935 he headed the Central Civil Aviation Board.
In 1935 he became secretary of the Union Soviet of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. He was a delegate to the Ninth, Tenth, Twelfth, and Fourteenth through Seventeenth Congresses of the ACP(B). He became a member of the Auditing Commission in 1924 and a candidate member of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) in 1925. He was a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR. Unshlikht was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.
REFERENCESLenin, V. I. Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed. (See Index Volume, part 2, page 479.)
Golub, P. A. “Zhizn’—podvig.” Voprosy istorii KPSS, 1964, no. 7.