Lazar Moiseyevich Kaganovich was a Soviet politician and administrator and one of the main associates of Joseph Stalin. At his death in 1991, he was the last surviving Old Bolshevik, the Soviet Union itself outlived him by a mere five months. Kaganovich was born in 1893 to Jewish parents in the village of Kabany, Radomyshl uyezd, Kiev Governorate, early in his political career, in 1915, Kaganovich became a Communist organizer at a shoe-factory where he worked. Circa 1911 he entered the Bolshevik party, in 1915 Kaganovich was arrested and sent back to Kabany. During March–April 1917 he served as the Chairman of the Tanners Union, in May 1917 he became the leader of the military organization of Bolsheviks in Saratov, and in August 1917, he became the leader of the Polessky Committee of the Bolshevik party in Belarus. During the October Revolution of 1917 he led the revolt in Gomel, in 1918 Kaganovich acted as Commissar of the propaganda department of the Red Army. From May 1918 to August 1919 he was the Chairman of the Ispolkom of the Nizhny Novgorod gubernia, in 1919–1920, he served as governor of the Voronezh gubernia. In May 1922, Stalin became the General Secretary of the Communist Party and this department was responsible for all assignments within the apparatus of the Communist Party. Working there, Kaganovich helped to place Stalins supporters in important jobs within the Communist Party bureaucracy, in this position he became noted for his great work capacity and for his personal loyalty to Stalin. He stated publicly that he would execute any order from Stalin. In 1924 Kaganovich became a member of the Central Committee, from 1925 to 1928, Kaganovich was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Ukrainian SSR. He was given the task of ukrainizatsiya - meaning at that time the building up of Ukrainian communist popular cadres and he also had the duty of implementing collectivization and the policy of economic suppression of the kulaks. He opposed the more moderate policy of Nikolai Bukharin, who argued in favor of the integration of kulaks into socialism. As Secretary, he endorsed Stalins struggle against the so-called Left and Right Oppositions within the Communist Party, in 1934, at the XVII Congress of the Communist Party, Kaganovich chaired the Counting Committee. He falsified voting for positions in the Central Committee, deleting 290 votes opposing the Stalin candidacy and his actions resulted in Stalins being re-elected as the General Secretary instead of Sergey Kirov. By the rules, the candidate receiving fewer opposing votes should become the General Secretary, before Kaganovichs falsification, Stalin received 292 opposing votes and Kirov only three. However, the result saw Stalin with just two opposing votes. In 1930 Kaganovich became a member of the Soviet Politburo and the First Secretary of the Moscow Obkom of the Communist Party and he later headed the Moscow Gorkom of the Communist Party
Kaganovich on the tribune.
Kaganovich and his wife M. Privorotskaya during WW1