Nikolay Shvernik

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Nikolay Shvernik
Николай Шверник
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union
In office
19 March 1946 – 15 March 1953
General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Preceded by Mikhail Kalinin
Succeeded by Kliment Voroshilov
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR
In office
4 March 1944 – 25 June 1946
Preceded by Ivan Vlasov
Succeeded by Ivan Vlasov
Full member of the 20th, 22nd Presidium
In office
29 June 1957 – 8 April 1966
In office
16 October 1952 – 5 March 1953
Candidate member of the 18th, 19th Presidium
In office
5 March 1953 – 29 June 1957
Full member of the 14th, 16th, 17th Orgburo
In office
22 March 1939 – 16 October 1952
In office
9 April 1926 – 16 April 1927
Full member of the 16th Secretariat
In office
13 July 1930 – 10 February 1934
Candidate member of the 14th Secretariat
In office
9 April 1926 – 16 April 1927
Personal details
Born (1888-05-07)7 May 1888
St. Petersburg, Russian Empire
Died 24 December 1970(1970-12-24) (aged 82)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
Nationality Soviet
Political party Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Spouse(s) Mariya Fedorovna Ulazovskaya
Ethnicity Russian

Nikolay Mikhailovich Shvernik (Russian: Никола́й Миха́йлович Шве́рник, 19 May [O.S. 7 May] 1888 – 24 December 1970) was a Russian politician, who was the Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (or President of the USSR) from March 19, 1946 until March 15, 1953. Though the titular head of state Shvernik had, in fact, little power because the real authority lay with Joseph Stalin as General Secretary of the Communist Party.


Shvernik was born in St. Petersburg.

Shvernik joined the Bolsheviks in 1905. In 1924 he became a People's Commissar in the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic and became a full member of the Central Committee of the party in 1925. In 1927 he was demoted and sent to the Urals to head the local party organization. Stalin found him a loyal supporter of his policy of rapid industrialisation and moved him back to Moscow in 1929 making him chairman of the Metallurgist Trade Union. He resumed his rise in the party becoming a member of the Orgburo and the party Secretariat. He also served as first secretary of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions from July 1930 to March 1944. As such, Shvernik presided over the 1931 Menshevik Trial,[1] in which fourteen Russian economists came up for trial on charges of treason.

During the Second World War Shvernik was responsible for evacuating Soviet industry away from the advancing Wehrmacht. He was Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR from 1943 to 1946. In 1946 he became Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, succeeding Mikhail Kalinin. He only became a member of the Politburo of the CPSU Central Committee (then named the Presidium of the Party's Central Committee) in 1952 but was demoted in 1953 when the body was reduced in size.

Following the death of Stalin, Shvernik was removed as titular president of the USSR and replaced by Kliment Voroshilov on March 15, 1953. Shvernik returned to his work as the chairman of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions. In 1956, after his work in the Pospelov Commission, which was the basis of Khrushchev's "Secret Speech" denouncing Stalinism, Khrushchev recommended Shvernik for the post of chairman of the Party Control Committee and later put him in charge of rehabilitating the victims of Stalin's purges (Shvernik Commission). In 1957, Shvernik again became a full member of the Presidium and remained on the body until he retired in 1966.


  1. "NEW MASS TRIAL IN MOSCOW". Aberdeen Journal. British Newspaper Archive. 2 March 1931. Retrieved 17 May 2015. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Political offices
Preceded by
Mikhail Kalinin
Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet
Succeeded by
Kliment Voroshilov