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Some aspects of formation and activity of local bodies of Cheka in 1917 - 1922 (on materials of the Oryol province)



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SOME ASPECTS of FORMATION AND ACTIVITY of LOCAL BODIES of Cheka In 1917 - 1922

(ON MATERIALS of the ORYOL PROVINCE)

A.C. Scherbakov

Article is devoted to activity of the local extraordinary commissions. Top trends of formation of local bodies by the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission on fight against a counterrevolution, sabotage and crimes on positions, problems which arose in the course of their formation, relationship of the local extraordinary commissions with other public authorities and also, some questions connected directly with activity of local bodies of Cheka belong to questions which are raised by this article.

The Petrograd revolutionary-military committee became the first temporary, extraordinary body working under the direction of the Central Committee RSDRP (b) and Council of People's Commissars. Treated numerous activities of VRK, both creation of new authorities, and the organization of supply of the cities and armies with food, and requisition at the bourgeoisie of goods, and many other things. Protection of law and order and fight against a counterrevolution was one of its major tasks. However, improvement of new government could not be carried out without complication of its forms. With the advent of new commissariats the activity of VRK was gradually limited to fight against a counterrevolution and sabotage.

Meanwhile, the political situation in the country was heated. On December 6 SNK considered a question & #34; About a possibility of a strike serving in government agencies in All-Russian масштабе". At the end of November (beginning of December) 1917 F.E. Dzerzhinsky at a meeting of Revolutionary-military committee raised a question of creation of special body for fight against a counterrevolution.

As a result, the decision to create the special commission for clarification of a possibility of fight against such strike by the most vigorous revolutionary measures under the chairmanship of F.E. Dzerzhinsky to whom the Council of People's Commissars to the next meeting charged to submit the list of members of the commission and to develop measures of fight against sabotage was made.

On December 1, 1917 VTsIK considered a question of reorganization of Revolutionary-military committee and formation instead of it of department of fight against a counterrevolution. On December 5 the Revolutionary-military committee declared the termination of the existence and transfer of affairs to appropriate authorities of the government.

The main objective of the commission was formulated on December 7 at the first meeting as follows: & #34; To Nip in the bud all counterrevolutionary and sabotazhny affairs and attempts to them across all Russia, to prosecute revolutionary tribunal of counter-revolutionaries and saboteurs, to develop measures of fight against them and to ruthlessly put them into practice. The commission has to conduct only preliminary следствие" [1].

Then the Council of People's Commissars adopted the resolution on creation of Cheka: "To call the commission the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission at Council of People's Commissars on fight against a counterrevolution and sabotage and to approve it." [2]

In the first half of 1918 there is a process of formation of local bodies of Cheka. Since February, 1918 on the basis of the decree of SNK & #34; The Socialist fatherland in опасности" security officers acquired emergency powers and the right to apply the highest measure extrajudicially (up to execution on the place) which was confirmed with the resolution SNK of September 5, 1918 & #34; About red терроре". Already to the middle of 1918 40 provincial and 365 district ChK acted in the provinces, bodies were created

ChK in the Red Army, on transport, on frontier.

Especially sharply this process in the Western provinces proceeds. It is connected, first of all, with a complication of a military situation and transition of the German army to approach. The part of the western territory of Russia appears under control of kayzerovsky army. The line of demarcation passes across the territory of the western counties of the Oryol, Smolensk and Chernihiv provinces. It complicates process of formation of local ChK in this connection, a part of local ChK for some time receives powers of boundary ChK. So, Surazhsky district ChK in October-November, 1918 receives functions boundary, however since February-March, 1919 receives the status of the district extraordinary commission [3] again.

In addition, in the course of formation of local ChK there were purely technical difficulties that, in no small measure, was caused by some counteraction from local executive bodies. The fact is that the part of places in local councils was taken by representatives of the left Social Revolutionaries and Mensheviks internationalists and, being afraid of weakening of the influence in government, they did not welcome creation of extraordinary bodies which could not control practically.

The Bryansk district ChK can be a striking example. Process of creation of the commission in Bryansk proceeded quite hard. Only in September, 1918, the Bryansk district executive committee of Council of working, country and Red Army deputies adopted the resolution on creation of ChK [4]. At the same time it is possible that this process could be dragged out even longer if in August to Bryansk there did not arrive Ignatiy Wiesner - one of members of the central Cheka, the head of Criminal section of Department of fight against crimes on a position [5]. The Bryansk district ChK was created on August 20, 1918 as department of Cheka. Temporary management was performed by the representative of central office of Cheka I. Wiesner.

On September 5, 1918 the Resolution of the Bryansk district Executive committee created the local commission. The commissioner on civil cases of an uispolkom of Alexander Medvedev was appointed the first chairman of ChK. Initially the commission was approved as a part of the chairman of ChK A.N. Medvedev, members - comrades Kulkov and Novikov, an atakzha of temporarily affiliated employee comrade Pereverzev [6].

The specified date (on August 20, 1918), however, can be called to some in question as in July, 1918 at meetings of the Bryansk district executive committee of Council of working, country and Red Army deputies questions on activity of ChK were brought up more than once.

In particular, minutes No. 46 of a meeting of the Bryansk regional council of Working, Country and Red Army deputies from July 22, 1918 contain data on discussion of the statement of comrade Morozov on his withdrawal from the structure of the Commission on fight against a counterrevolution, sabotage and speculation. According to this statement the positive decision was made, and on its place it was delegated by t. Ksenofontov [7].

Minutes No. 54 of a meeting of the Bryansk regional council of Working, Country and Red Army deputies from August 15, 1918 in which actions of ChK are recognized as correct are also rather interesting and the Resolution of Council of August 13, 1918 [8] at the same time is repealed, itself protocol No. 53 of August 13, 1918 in archival funds is absent that raises some questions. What specifically action of ChK and why they were negatively estimated on meetings of the Bryansk regional council of Working, Country and Red Army deputies on August 13, 1918 is unknown. Unfortunately, data on this meeting are not declassified now yet and now it is not possible to give irrefragable answers on these questions. Nevertheless, these facts put date of creation of the Bryansk district extraordinary commission under doubts.

Most likely ChK was formed the standard date of creation slightly earlier, and the commission at first worked without the relevant resolution of the Bryansk regional council of Working, Country and Red Army deputies.

As for counteraction of local councils, such counteraction took place,

both at a stage of formation of local ChK, and in the course of their activity. During work of the local commissions periodically there were friction on various questions, concerning their activity, between ChK and local Executive committees, and, generally, it is possible to speak about a peculiar confrontation of ChK and Executive committees. As the last carried out functions of the management on places, they sought to subordinate to themselves ChK which had some freedom.

The resolution adopted by the 1st Congress of Chairmen Gubsovdepov and Managers of departments of management Gubispolkomov is of great interest. In this resolution the Congress believes necessary to include provincial and district ChK in departments of management of local councils as sections [9].

In Bryansk, at the local level the resolution according to which, the Bryansk ChK was recommended to carry out a call of staff of the Soviet institutions for evidence only with the consent of managers or responsible members of board [10] was adopted.

Confrontation of bodies of Cheka and local councils was shown not only in the organizational plane. There were cases of direct collisions. So, according to the telegram of department From another town of Cheka of November 19, 1918, in Pochepe the members of Executive committee Pukhman and Kruglikov arrested all ChK headed by the chairman. At the same time, arrest was executed without the relevant resolution of all structure of Executive committee [11].

Activity of bodies of Cheka in the first months of its creation, in general caused quite big wave of criticism of the Soviet government.

Such negative attitude to ChK which developed not only at opponents of the Soviet power, but also among Red Army men was, in particular, one of the reasons for reorganization of Cheka [12]. January 20, 1919. The presidium of VTsIK adopted the resolution on abolition of district ChK by which the order and terms of transfer of affairs to provincial ChK were defined.

However it is impossible to say that it was the main reason of reorganization of ChK. Reforming of bodies of Cheka helped to improve personnel of ChK, to avoid "chrezvychayshina" and despotism of employees of local ChK who not always understood a role and the place of the device ChK in the system of public administration, including the situation and work as "special".

At the same time it is important to remember that not all local ChK were liquidated in the course of reorganization of Cheka. Trubchevsky UChK, the Surazhsky ChK operating as boundary continued the activity.

Repeatedly the question of elimination of the Bryansk ChK arose. According to minutes No. 100 of 27.01.1919 of a meeting of the Bryansk regional council of Working, Country and Red Army deputies contains the resolution on elimination of the Bryansk ChK on the basis of the decree of the center [13]. The speech probably goes about the resolution of Presidium of VTsIK of January 20, 1919. "About abolition of district ChK". The telegram of February 3 of.1919 g is very interesting. Special Inspection of Yuzhfront in pursuance of the Circular of Cheka No. 132. In this document it is offered to create liquidation commission for carrying out elimination of the Bryansk district ChK [14].

However process of elimination of the Bryansk UChK probably was dragged out as on February 17, 1919 at a meeting of the Bryansk regional council of Working, Country and Red Army deputies the question of content of employees of ChK [15] was considered.

On March 17, 1919 the statement of the member Uispolkom of t came to the Bryansk regional council of Working, Country and Red Army deputies. Samsonova about addition of a duty of the head of department of health care from it in view of production at it on the apartment of searches by employees of ChK [16]. Searches were conducted not only at t. Samsonova, but also at other employees of Uispolkom - members of the SDRP Bryansk organization (Mensheviks). These searches which were conducted by the same Bryansk ChK, were caused by a revolt in parts of local garrison. As follows from the information report of the Bryansk regional council of Working, Country and Red Army deputies from March 15, 1919 submitted at a meeting "... took place counterrevolutionary

the movement which ripened because of not satisfactory financial position, and also lack of cohesion between command structure and Red Army commissioners..." As a result of this revolt only one person - the commissioner of the 3rd Crew of t was killed. Zhilin who the day before, went on March 10, 1919 to garrison with summary crew for production of plays and lecturing. However the situation was probably so critical that the similar initiative only aggravated crisis which developed into a revolt.

Approximately in the same time, on March 10, 1919 Cheka carried out a full inspection of activity of the Bryansk district ChK. For this purpose instructors of Cheka comrade Verz (m) nek and Zinde were sent to Bryansk.

By results of check of activity of the Bryansk district ChK it is also specified in the act of inspection that the commission was organized on August 20, 1918 by I.A. Wiesner.

At the time of conducting check, the commission consisted of confidential and operational, commandant's departments, board of investigators and the general office. As a part of ChK thirty employees worked [17].

The important point noted in the report is the question of elimination of ChK. In minutes No. 20 of a meeting of board of the Bryansk district ChK together with representatives of Cheka of 11.03.1919 it is noted that "the special need in existence of ChK is not felt, but the urgent need is felt to have here strong secret-service network before clarification of a question of the Bryansk province..." [18]

In the act of inspection of activity it is specified that the Bryansk district ChK cannot be liquidated, first, before coordination of it with Cheka, and, secondly, before clarification of a question of creation of the Bryansk province [19].

When studying this document a conclusion that fight against Menshevist and eserovsky propagandists can be recognized as the main activity of the commission [20] arises. It is confirmed also by the fact that at elimination of local ChK the secret-service device remained. A part of employees transferred to provincial bodies, and a part continued secret work [21]. However it is impossible to recognize that political struggle was the main objective of local bodies of Cheka. The fact is that besides fight against Menshevist and eserovsky propagandists of the commission on places often were engaged in typically criminal offenses, actually duplicating work of bodies of protection of law and order.

The analysis of archive materials allows to draw a conclusion that big percent, the cases considered by ChK - general crimes. Especially distinctly it was shown in work of the local Extraordinary commissions which were engaged in both expeditious, and investigative work.

After suppression of the phenomena of sabotage, since August, 1918 Cheka is called as the All-Russian extraordinary commission at SNK on fight against a counterrevolution, speculation and crimes on a position. There was an urgent need of presecheniye not only counterrevolutionary performances, but also control of activity of the new, just created bureaucracy. Cases of abuses among officials of various levels became more frequent. Moreover, abuses came to light also in work of Cheka.

According to the Provision on the Extraordinary commissions on places accepted at the All-Russian Conference of the Extraordinary Commissions on June 11, 1918 the extraordinary commissions work in close contact with all provincial Soviet institutions and renders them all assistance & #34; If where in the Soviet bodies the abuse and omission is noticed, then the Commission immediately takes the appropriate measures. If abuses and disorders in the Commission are found, then provincial Council or Executive Committee takes measures against it, up to arrest and the bringing to court of members of the commission [22]."

Investigating contemporary records about work as the Bryansk district ChK, Surazhsky district ChK and Trubchevsky district ChK, it is possible to draw a conclusion that the essential share of all cases considered by ChK fell, including, and on crimes on a position, and

respectively fight against corruption was one of the main directions of work of ChK. So, about a third of all cases considered by Surazhsky district ChK is the share of general crimes and crimes on a position. The same situation on Trubchevsky and Bryansk ChK.

Special attention in activity of local bodies of Cheka was paid to control of respecting the rule of law by her employees. Such control was provided in several ways.

First, in local ChK the turnover of staff and, first of all, heads of the local commissions was very often carried out.

Secondly, on each of the facts of violations a careful inspection was carried out, up to investigation in Revtribunala. It should be noted that the Bryansk Revtribunal considered very many cases, both about illegal actions of the Bryansk ChK, and about violations of her certain employees [23]. In particular, concerning the first chairman of ChK A.N. Medvedev the Bryansk Revolutionary Tribunal considered several criminal cases about abuse of authority [24].

Summing up the result of the above, it is possible to note several important points characterizing features of the organization and activity of local ChK.

The local commissions quite often faced counteraction from local executive bodies including in the course of formation "чрезвычаек" on places.

One of features of activity of local bodies of Cheka was that these bodies were not only the instrument of political struggle of Bolsheviks, but also carried out strictly practical functions on fight against crime in all its manifestations.

As for "emergency" of methods of work of the commissions, the rigidity of these methods is a little exaggerated. It is spoken well by the fact that from March till November, 1919 Surazhsky UChK shot only 13 people, the majority of whom is killed in attempt of flight [25].

This article is settled out of the problems of The Local Extraordinary Commissions. To the questions which this article is settled out, we can refer the main tendentions of The All Russian Local Extraordinary Commissions&s organization in the struggle with the counterrevolution, sabotage and the official offenses, and the problems which were raised in the process of their formulating between The Local Extraordinary Commissions and the other state institutions, and also, some questions, which the activity of The Local Extraordinary Commissions.

The key words: All Russian Local Extraordinary Commissions, Local Extraordinary Commissions, sabotage, official offenses, revolutionary tribunal.

List of references

1. Mazokhin O.B. Obryazovaniye, development of forces and means of economic divisions of Cheka-OGPU / About B. Mazokhin. M.: 2005.
2. Pravda, 1927, No. 290.
3. State archive of the Bryansk region. T. 1781. Op. 1. 18. L. 45.
4. State arkhivbryanskoyoblast. T. 1616. Op. 1. 75. L. 59.
5. O.I. O.I. Cheka: organizational structure and personnel. 1917-1922 O.I. O.I.//Dis. edging. east. sciences. M.: 2005. Page 43.
6. GosudarstvennyyarhivBryanskiy region. T. 1616. Op. 1. 75. L. 69.
7. GosudarstvennyyarhivBryanskiy region. T. 1616. Op. 1. 75. L. 40.
8. GosudarstvennyyarhivBryanskiy region. T. 1616. Op. 1. 75. L. 46.
9. GosudarstvennyyarhivBryanskiy region. T. 1616. Op. 1. 123. L. 174.
10. GosudarstvennyyarhivBryanskiy region. T. 1616. Op. 1. 134. L. 45.
11. GosudarstvennyyarhivBryanskiy region. T. 1781. Op. 1. 3. L. 68.
12. State archive of the Russian Federation. T. 130. Op.3. 170. L. 45-48.
13. GosudarstvennyyarhivBryanskiy region. T. 1616. Op. 1. 134. L. 13.
14. GosudarstvennyyarhivBryanskiy region. T. 1616. Op. 1. 122. Part 2. L. 255.
15. State arkhivbryansky area. T. 1616. Op. 1. 134. L. 21.
16. State archive of the Bryansk region. T. 1616. Op. 1. 134. L. 30.
17. State arkhivbryansky area. T. 1616. Op. 1. 122. Part 2. L. 422.
18. State arkhivbryansky area. T. 1616. Op. 1. 122. Part 2. L. 423.
19. State archive of the Bryansk region. T. 1616. Op. 1. 122. Part 2. L. 422.
20. State arkhivbryansky area. T. 1616. Op. 1. 122. Part 2. L. 422.
21. M.N. Petrov. Formation and activity of bodies of Cheka - OGPU. 1917 - it is gray. 1920 (on Northwest material) / M.N. Petrov.//Yew. Dr.s east. Sciences. SPb.: 1995. Page 49.
22. State arkhivbryanskoyoblast. T. 1781. Op. 1. 1. L. 1.
23. State arkhivbryanskoyoblast. T. 594. Op. 1. 1506. L. 8.
24. State arkhivbryansky area. T. 594. Op. 1. 1492. L. 7.
25. State arkhivbryansky area. T. 1781. Op. 1. 25. L. 7-34.

About the author

Scherbakov A.C. - aspir. Bryansk state university of a name of the academician I.G. Petrovsky, bryanskgu@ mail.ru.

Ingvaldsen Olav
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