Zhdanov, Andrei Aleksandrovich

Zhdanov, Andrei Aleksandrovich

(əndrā` əlyĭksän`drəvĭch zhdä`nôf), 1896–1948, Soviet Communist leader. A loyal supporter of StalinStalin, Joseph Vissarionovich
, 1879–1953, Soviet Communist leader and head of the USSR from the death of V. I. Lenin (1924) until his own death, b. Gori, Georgia.
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, he was made (1934) secretary of the Leningrad Communist party and in 1939 became a full member of the politburo, the ruling body of the Communist party of the Soviet Union. As the party boss of Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), he helped defend that city in the Finnish-Russian War (1939–40) and in World War II. After the war he was instrumental in formulating an aggressive, anti-Western foreign policy, and he organized (1947) the Cominform (Communist Information Bureau), aimed at better coordination of Communist efforts in Europe. Zhdanov was largely responsible for the extreme nationalism and strict political control (known as Zhdanovism) of intellectuals and the arts in the postwar period. After his death in 1948, his Leningrad party organization was purged, ostensibly for its connections with Tito of Yugoslavia, but in fact to diminish the political influence of Leningrad relative to Moscow.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Zhdanov, Andrei Aleksandrovich

 

Born Feb. 14 (26), 1896, in Mariupol’, now Zhdanov; died Aug. 31, 1948, in Moscow. Soviet statesman and party figure. Joined the Communist Party in 1915.

Zhdanov, the son of a school inspector, graduated from a Realschule. He joined the revolutionary movement in 1912 and became a member of the Tver’ committee of the RSDLP in 1916. In 1917, while serving in the army in the 139th Reserve Regiment in Shadrinsk, he conducted Bolshevik propaganda among the soldiers. After the February Revolution of 1917, he was elected a member of the regimental committee and then chairman of the first soviet in Shadrinsk. He became chairman of the Shadrinsk committee of the RSDLP (Bolshevik) in August 1917. From 1918 to 1920 he did political work in the Red Army in the Urals and in Tver’ and was editor of the newspaper Tverskaia Pravda. He became chairman of the Tver’ provincial executive committee in 1922.

Zhdanov was secretary of the Nizhny Novgorod provincial party committee and secretary of the Gorky regional committee of the ACP (Bolshevik) from 1924 to 1934. After the Seventeenth Congress of the ACP(B) in 1934, he served as secretary of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) and at the same time, beginning in December 1934, as secretary of the Leningrad regional and municipal party committees. During the Great Patriotic War he was a member of the military council of the Northwestern Sector in July and August 1941 and a member of the military soviet of the Leningrad Front from August 1941 to August 1944. He became a colonel general in 1944. That year he began to work in Moscow as secretary of the CC ACP(B), dealing with ideological questions.

He was a delegate to the Ninth and Twelfth through Eighteenth Party Congresses. He was elected a candidate member of the CC ACP(B) at the Fourteenth (1925) and Fifteenth (1927) Party Congresses, and a full member of the CC at the Sixteenth through Eighteenth Congresses. In February 1935 he became a candidate member of the Politburo and in March 1939, a full member of the Politburo of the CC ACP(B). Zhdanov was a member of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and the Central Executive Committee of the USSR and a deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (first and second convocations). He was awarded two orders of Lenin, four other orders, and various medals. He is buried in Moscow in Red Square.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.