"Quiet" life of the People's Commissar Podvoisky
Seminarist and Bolshevik, emigrant and prisoner
Nikolai Ilyich Podvoisky, a native of the Chernigov province, the son of a rural priest-teacher, was one of the first Bolsheviks. And not the oldest - by the time of the October Revolution he was only 37 years old. But it was he who turned out to be one of the first Soviet personal pensioners, although for health reasons - only 55.
Nikolai's father is Ilya Podvoisky (his surname is spelled without a short one), who taught both in parish schools and in the Nizhyn Theological School, and sent him there. Already at the age of 14, young Podvoisky entered the Chernigov Theological Seminary, where he studied for almost eight years. But unlike Stalin, he graduated from the seminary quite officially, which is confirmed by his classmate, D. Ye. Kisel, a local historian from Sednev.
Where the young Podvoisky accumulated Marxist ideas, for which he was even expelled from the seminary, is not easy to say - although access to books for a literate person was then free. Therefore, one should not be surprised that Nikolai entered the RSDLP even before graduating from an educational institution of a completely different profile.
It is interesting that the future party functionary also managed to enter the Demidov Legal Lyceum, and very far from Chernigov - in Yaroslavl. From there he knew almost everything about the Second Congress of the RSDLP and immediately joined the Bolshevik faction. He became the chairman of the student committee of the party and was admitted to its Northern Committee.
In the 1905 revolution, Nikolai Podvoisky was the organizer of fighting workers 'squads in Yaroslavl and a member of the Council of Workers' Deputies in Ivanovo-Voznesensk. He - one of the leaders of the famous textile workers' strike, was seriously wounded in one of the clashes with the gendarmes. In 1918, Podvoisky was injured again, which would cause serious health problems.
When the first Russian revolution was suppressed, Podvoisky emigrated to Germany, from there to Switzerland. Returning to Russia, he led party work in St. Petersburg, Kostroma and Baku, headed the legal publishing house "Zerno" in the capital. Podvoisky participated in the publication of Pravda, Zvezda, and even the magazine Voprosy Strakhovaniya, here he was the editor-in-chief. The latter, in fact, is not surprising, since Podvoisky became the head of the financial commission of the Russian Bureau of the Central Committee of the RSDLP.
The security service began hunting him in 1914, as soon as it got the opportunity to accuse the Bolshevik of evading military conscription. But Podvoisky could be arrested only in November 1916, and only in February 1917 he was exiled to Siberia. But then there happened the abdication of Nicholas the Bloody, absolutely unexpected for many, but not for real Bolsheviks.
Expropriator and organizer
Podvoisky's return from exile to revolutionary Petrograd, of course, was not as triumphant as that of Lenin or Trotsky, but he was also met with a whole group of comrades, but not at Finland, but at Nikolaevsky (now Moscow) station. Podvoisky was immediately elected a deputy of the Petrograd Soviet, made a member of the Petrograd Committee of the Bolsheviks, and then the head of its military organization.
Long before the seizure of power, the Bolsheviks embarked on a different kind of seizure - expropriation.
Perhaps the first thing they did, under the leadership of Nikolai Podvoisky, who took over the command of the armored division, expropriated the mansion under their party headquarters, or rather, the real palace of the retired ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya. The very dubious, to put it mildly, reputation of the former mistress of the former emperor prevented her from recapturing her property, although she even turned to the Minister-Chairman Kerensky, with whom she was well acquainted personally.
From the Kshesinskaya mansion, Podvoisky began organizing the Red Guard detachments. He edited the newspapers Soldatskaya Pravda, Rabochy and Soldier, and Soldier, although he himself wrote very little. Despite the fact that he was at the front only as an agitator, Podvoisky was elected chairman of the All-Russian Bureau of front and rear military organizations under the Bolshevik Central Committee. He is a participant in all conferences and congresses, and in April he was elected to the All-Russian Central Executive Committee, so far only a candidate for membership.
In the October Revolution, his role simply cannot be overestimated: he was a member of the operational troika in the leadership of the armed uprising, and was also a member of the Military Revolutionary Committee. Podvoisky is one of those who directly led the storming of the Winter Palace. Antonov-Ovseenko went to report on his capture, while Podvoisky was cleaning the palace from cadets and marauders.
Immediately after October 25, Podvoisky was assigned to the leadership of the military people's commissariat, and it was he who was instructed to deal with the old apparatus of the ministry, from which General Verkhovsky (HYPER) had just been removed and did not have time to actually replace him with Manikovsky. But before that, Podvoisky, who took command of the Petrograd military district, had to take part in the liquidation of the Kerensky-Krasnov rebellion.
How exactly Podvoisky replaced the three Antonov-Krylenko-Dybenko at the head of the military department, historians cannot figure out to this day, although there are various notes of Lenin, and even the order of the same Krylenko. Although how the commander-in-chief could appoint the people's commissar, it is also not clear. But given the then revolutionary confusion, this is not so important.
Podvoisky then, just as strangely, will leave the post of the Russian People's Commissar, about this, as well as about replacing him with Trotsky, it became known exclusively from the newspapers. Even later, and also somewhat spontaneously, Podvoisky became the People's Commissar for Military and Naval Affairs of Ukraine. He also learns about this from the newspapers with subsequent confirmation from Sverdlov, and only after telegraphic negotiations with Lenin.
But more importantly, Podvoisky really did manage the newly formed People's Commissariat for some time and even appointed General Potapov, a little-known general, to be the manager of the affairs of the newly-formed People's Commissariat. That, incidentally, safely and relocated the department with almost all the cadres from one capital to another - from Petrograd to Moscow.
There are researchers who are convinced that it was Potapov who actually headed the People's Commissariat of Military and Naval Affairs under Podvoisky. Podvoisky, on the other hand, must be given credit for the retention of cadres, who subsequently coped well with the tasks of organizing a new Workers 'and Peasants' Red Army - the Red Army. There is evidence that the very abbreviation was proposed by Podvoisky.
Many people write him down as the authors of the symbol of the Red Army - a five-pointed star, although the stars, in fact, were even on the shoulder straps of the officers of the tsarist army. More precisely, it is known that Podvoisky had a hand in establishing the Order of the Red Banner - the first personal award for those who distinguished themselves on the fronts of the Civil War.
In the post of People's Commissar, Podvoisky signed decrees on the elective beginning in the army and equal rights for all servicemen. His departure from the post of People's Commissar was very quiet, most likely because the People's Commissariat had to be directly subordinated to the newly formed Revolutionary Military Council of the republic - the RVSR, which was headed by Leon Trotsky. Nothing better than to take over the People's Commissariat, he did not come up with. Podvoisky, who was very wounded by this, remained chairmanship of the All-Russian Collegium for the Organization and Formation of the Red Army, and then - in the Supreme Military Inspectorate.
Podvoisky is fighting with all his might to ensure that even the RVSR itself is controlled by this structure, writes countless letters to Lenin, Sverdlov, Trotsky himself on this matter, outlines plans and projects. But instead, he is simply enrolled as a member of the RVSR, and then completely sent to Ukraine - so that he becomes the head of the local military commissariat. Podvoisky quickly put together an apparatus of many thousands there, using old cadres from the fronts, armies and military districts.
However, this did not bring victories, and he was transferred to different fronts, where Podvoisky often clashed with the RVSR and personally with its chairman Trotsky. It is interesting that long before that, among other things, Podvoisky very successfully sided with Stalin, Voroshilov and Mitin in a dispute with Trotsky over the commander of the Southern Front, military expert General Sytin. Apparently, the old Bolshevik subsequently reckoned all this.
And Podvoisky completed his participation in the Civil War already in a very modest post of a member of the Revolutionary Military Council of the 10th Army of the Caucasian Front.
Athlete and functionary
After the Civil War, Podvoisky, with some delay - only in 1922 was awarded the Order of the Red Banner, which, it is believed, he himself invented, and even participated in the discussion of the sketches. The old communist, who turned out to be not the best commander and military organizer, was decided to be thrown into sports.
To begin with, Podvoisky was assigned to head the Supreme Council of Physical Culture, and at the same time the notorious Vsevobuch - the state system of training future military personnel.
And already in 1921, Podvoisky was elected chairman of the Sportintern, that is, the Red Sports International, and with the ambitious task of opposing bourgeois sport, with its stake on stars and Olympic ideals, proletarian sport is massive. It is characteristic that about the development of sports and physical culture movement in the USSR, Podvoisky immediately entered into a very heated discussion with the People's Commissar of Health Nikolai Semashko.
Interestingly, the press got involved in the disputes, and then the country's top leadership, right up to Stalin. Apparently, it was not for nothing that he favorably accepted something like the title of "the best friend of Soviet athletes." And it is not without reason that the Olympic Games were so actively opposed by the workers of the Spartakiad and the Spartakiad of the peoples of the USSR, and usually with the participation of numerous foreign guests.
In the discussion itself, its participants literally threw from side to side, although the main debaters - Nikolai Semashko and Nikolai Podvoisky, both were more for mass character than for the notorious Olympism with its records and disguised professionalism. But both of them did not live quite a bit until the moment when athletes from the USSR finally joined the Olympic movement and went to the 1952 Games in Helsinki.
It is clear that a person like Podvoisky had interests in addition to sports. And he not only was listed, but actively worked in the Central Control Commission - the control commission of the CPSU (b), considered for a long time almost omnipotent, until the time of the omnipotence of the NKVD came and only then - the MGB and the KGB. At the same time, Nikolai Ilyich worked in Isparta, where he took part in an unprecedented "purge" of party publications even from references to Trotskyists and other deviators.
And he also starred in films - in the semi-official newsreel-art film "October" by Sergei Eisenstein. Moreover, in the role of himself (in the photo he is together with one of the Vasiliev brothers and Sergei Eisenstein).
If Mikhail Ivanovich Kalinin had to become the all-Union headman, then Nikolai Ilyich Podvoisky turned out to be one of the first all-Union personal pensioners. Health once again let him down, and already at the age of 55, Podvoisky was lucky to retire.
Why I was lucky is hardly necessary to explain. Already in 1935, when the competent authorities were just trying to spin the flywheel of repression, the Stalinist comrade-in-arms got the opportunity to engage in propaganda and literary journalism. He did not write much, edited more, and was also involved in organizing work in the publishing field.
Almost nothing is known about how difficult years passed for him, although he did not even try to go into the shadows. Nevertheless, at the very beginning of the war, Podvoisky began to ask for military service. He was refused, and harshly, although he nevertheless took part in the organization of the Moscow militia divisions. Several personal archives even preserved some orders and orders signed by him.
And in October 1941, when his son was already at the front, and the German threat to the capital became real, Podvoisky went to its western outskirts to dig trenches. More precisely, to direct the work, as evidenced by the then chairman of the Moscow City Council Vasily Pronin. Nikolai Podvoisky, 61, remained one of the main organizers of defense work near Moscow; he traveled around the Moscow region on suburban trains, inspecting mainly anti-aircraft gunners and radio-technical troops.
And at the same time, an experienced party member and agitator delivers posters, newspapers, books to military units, towns and villages, speaks a lot in clubs, village councils and in hospitals. So their medals "For Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945." and "For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945." Podvoisky deserved it honestly.
He died three years after the victory - in the summer of 1948 from a heart attack. The funeral was quiet, the old revolutionary rested in the first section of the Novodevichy cemetery. Why was Podvoisky not buried near the Kremlin wall? It's hard to say. Even his heirs preferred to remain silent about this.
- Alexey Podymov
- ic.pics.livejournal.com, drugoigorod.ru, pbs.twimg.com, wikimedia.com, bigenc.ru
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