Józef Unszlicht or Iosif Stanislavovich Unshlikht (Russian:
Ио́сиф Станисла́вович У́ншлихт; nicknames
"Jurowski", "Leon") (December 31 [O.S. 19 December] 1879 -
July 28, 1938) was a
Bolshevik revolutionary activist, one of the
founders of the Cheka, and Soviet government official of Polish-Jewish
extraction from the Masovian region. Unschlicht participated in and in
fact initiated some of the worst excesses of the
including mass murders of political opponents. In 1924, he was
Genrikh Yagoda who continued and amplified Unschlicht's
A member of Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania
from 1900 and the
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party
Russian Social Democratic Labour Party from 1906
(following their merger), Unszlicht took part in Vladimir Lenin's
October Revolution and in 1918 joined the Red Army.
Unszlicht was born in Mława, Płock Governorate. In 1919 he served
briefly as an authority in
Lithuania and Belarus, and in 1920 joined
the Politburo of the Communist Party. During the
Polish-Soviet War in
August 1920 he became a member of Provisional Polish Revolutionary
Committee, the Bolshevist puppet government of Poland in Białystok.
His brother, Julian, was a journalist who "fought against the
socialist movement in general and especially against Jewish
involvement in it." In later years, Julian converted to Catholicism
and joined the priesthood.
Józef Unszlicht was arrested in 1937, during the Great Purge, and
executed in 1938 on a shooting range in Moscow Oblast. He was
rehabilitated in 1956.
^ a b Hoffman, Stefani, and Ezra Mendelsohn. The Revolution of 1905
and Russia's Jews. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press,
2008. ISBN 0-8122-4064-2, ISBN 978-0-8122-4064-1 P. 283.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Jozef Unszlicht.
Unszlicht files from his trial in 1937
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