Alexander Nikolayevich Jakowlew

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Alexander Nikolayevich Jakowlew

Alexander Nikolaevich Yakovlev ( Russian Александр Николаевич Яковлев ; * 2. December 1923 in Korolevo in the province of Yaroslavl , Soviet Union ; †  18th October 2005 in Moscow ) was a Soviet politician , who as a close advisor to Mikhail Gorbachev and as an initiator of the policy of reform ( Perestroika ) was true.


Youth and participation in the war

Yakovlev, the son of peasant parents, was born in a village on the Volga near Yaroslavl . He attended school in the Rote Weber settlement (Красные Ткачи). He served in the Second World War as a sergeant in the marine infantry in the Red Fleet and as a platoon leader on the Volkhov Front . He was seriously wounded and was then awarded the Order of the Red Banner . In 1944 he became a member of the CPSU .


From 1946 he studied history at the Pedagogical Institute in Yaroslavl. From 1946 to 1948 he was also a teacher, in 1950 deputy head and in 1951 head of the propaganda department at the local party organization in Yaroslavl. From 1953 to 1956 he worked as an instructor in the school system of the Central Committee of the CPSU in Moscow , from 1956 to 1958 he was delegated to study at the Academy for Social Sciences of the Central Committee. 1958/59 he was an exchange student at Columbia University in New York . In 1956 he witnessed Nikita Khrushchev's famous secret speech at the XX. Party congress of the CPSU .

In 1960 he received his doctorate on the subject of "The criticism of American bourgeois literature on US foreign policy 1953–1957". In 1967 Yakovlev completed his habilitation on the subject of "Political Science of the United States and the Important Foreign Policy Doctrine of US Imperialism".

Further ascent

After graduating, he worked for various party newspapers and for the radio. In 1969 Yakovlev became a professor. As the official observer of the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact states during the Prague Spring of 1968 , he spoke to General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev against the dismissal of the Czech 1st Party Secretary Alexander Dubček . From 1960 to 1969 he was an employee and from 1969 to 1973 head of the department for ideology and propaganda of the Central Committee of the CPSU . A critical article from 1972 in the Literaturnaja Gazeta may have been the reason that he was initially promoted to the diplomatic career. In 1984 he became a correspondent and in 1990 a member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. In 1990 he also received honorary doctorates from Durham University and Soka University in Japan.

Reformer in the center of power

From 1973 to 1983 Yakovlev was the USSR Ambassador to Canada . He was on friendly terms with Canada's Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau . In 1982 he met the later Soviet state and party leader Mikhail Gorbachev for the first time . He accompanied Gorbachev on his visit to Canada. He has now been called back to Moscow and was director of the Institute for World Economy and International Relations of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR from 1983 to 1985 .

Yakovlev has since been considered a thought leader and architect of perestroika (redesign).

From March 6, 1986 to 1990, he was Secretary of the Central Committee . From January to June 1987 he was a candidate member of the Politburo of the CPSU to rise in the same year in the highest political body of the USSR, he became a full member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and that in the period from 26 June 1987 to 14 July 1990.

After the Soviet Union

Yakovlev resigned from the Communist Party after the end of the Soviet Union . The Russian President Boris Yeltsin entrusted Yakovlev with the management of the state television broadcaster ORT , the partial privatization of which he initiated. In 2003 the German translation of Jakowlew's autobiography was published with the title The Abysses of My Century (translated by Friedrich Hitzer ). Until his death he headed the Foundation for International Democracy he founded a few years ago.

Yakovlev died in a Moscow hospital at the age of 81. He was buried in the Trojekurovo cemetery.

Fonts (selection)

  • Alexander N. Jakowlew: The Abysses of My Century: An Autobiography . Faber and Faber, Leipzig 2003, ISBN 3-936618-12-7 .
  • Alexander N. Jakowlew: A Century of Violence in Soviet Russia . Berlin Verlag 2004, ISBN 3-8270-0547-7 .
  • Alexander N. Jakowlew: Open conclusion: a reformer takes stock. Conversations with Lilly Marcou . Gustav Kiepenheuer Verlag, Leipzig / Weimar 1992, ISBN 3-378-00502-5 .
  • NN Jakowlew: Franklin D Roosevelt. A political biography , Deutscher Verlag der Wissenschaften, Berlin (East) 1977.


Web links

Commons : Alexander Nikolajewitsch Jakowlew  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files