Ivan Teodorovich

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Teodorovich in 1917

Ivan Adolfovich Teodorovich (Russian: Ива́н Адольфо́вич Теодо́рович; Polish: Iwan Adolfowicz Teodorowicz) (September 10 (O. S. August 29), 1875 in Smolensk – September 20, 1937[1]) was a Russian Bolshevik activist, and the first Commissar for Food when the Council of People's Commissars was established (October - November 1917).

Teodorovich, the son of a land surveyor from Smolensk, was born into a family of ethnic Polish origin.[2] His father, two maternal uncles, and grandfather had all participated in insurrectionary activity; it was from this background, Teodorovich would write, that he first learned to hate "czarism, its officials, and military establishment."[2] Teodorovich's childhood was spent in severe poverty: his mother, struggling to support six sons, worked as a seamstress and laundrywoman.[2]

Teodorovich was educated at Moscow State University, where he joined an early Marxist group in 1895. In 1902-1903 he was a member of the Moscow Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party. After a series of arrests, in 1903 the czarist authorities sent Teodorovich to an exile in Yakutia. Escaping in 1905, he fled to Switzerland, where he made personal contacts with Vladimir Lenin. In October 1905 Teodorovich returned to Russia and operated in Saint Petersburg, promoted to a member of the Central Committee in 1907. In May 1909 he was arrested again and remained in custody until the February Revolution of 1917. In Summer 1917 Teodorovich co-chaired Saint Petersburg City Hall, at the same time working towards the Bolshevik revolt against the Provisional Government.[1]

Immediately after the October Revolution Teodorovich became the first Commissar for Agriculture in the first Bolshevik Government. In November he resigned due to political disagreement with Lenin's majority over a coalition with the Mensheviks and other factions (Teodorovich supported a broad coalition, against Lenin's will). In 1920 he returned to the board of the Commissariat for Agriculture and rose to Deputy Commissar in May 1922; in 1928-1930 he chaired the Peasants branch of Comintern.[1]

As the Bolsheviks' expert on agriculture, Teodorovich delivered speeches to various councils and international forums, and authored brochures, journal and newspaper articles dealing with agriculture and agrarian policy. Teodorovich was a proponent of Lenin’s New Economic Policy, he further endorsed liberal land reforms (delegating authority from state to peasant on land) Contrary to the Bolshevik’s platform on agrarian policy, Teodorovich vehemently opposed the policy of food requisition and War Communism.[2]

In November 1930 Teodorovich was condemned as a counter-revolutionary "Kondratievist".[3]

Teodorovich was convicted in the trial of the so-called Moskva Center group (involving a total of 120 people). The trial was sanctioned by Joseph Stalin and Vyacheslav Molotov on September 15, 1937. [4] Teodorovich was executed five days later.

Ivan Teodorovich was posthumously rehabilitated on April 11th 1956,and is buried in the Don Cemetery in Moscow.


  1. ^ a b c Zalessky, K. A. (2000). Imperia Stalina (in Russian). Moscow: Veche. ISBN 5-7838-0716-8. 
  2. ^ a b c d Budaev, I.D. "Теодорович Иван Адольфович" ("Teodorovich Ivan Adolfovich"). Культурное наследие земли Смоленской (The Cultural Heritage of Smolensk's Land). Retrieved 2 March 2009. http://nasledie.smolensk.ru/pkns/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=2005&Itemid=61[permanent dead link] (in Russian)
  3. ^ Trotsky, Leon. (1927). The Stalin School of Falsification, by Leon Trotsky, Introduction by Max Shachtman.
  4. ^ "Protocol dated September 15, 1937". Memorial Society.