Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov

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Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov (1937)

Andrei Zhdanov ( Russian Андрей Александрович Жданов in East German transliteration Zhdanov , scientific. Transliteration Andrey Aleksandrovich Ždanov ; born 14 jul. / 26. February  1896 greg. In Mariupol , yekaterinoslav governorate , Russian Empire (now Donetsk Oblast , Ukraine ); † August 31, 1948 in Moscow ) was a Soviet politician and close collaborator of Stalin .


Zhdanov lost his father, an elementary school inspector, at an early age, which is why his schooling showed gaps. He attended the 3rd to 7th grade of the Realschule in Tver , spent half a year at the Moscow Agricultural School and four months at the NCO School in Tbilisi , where he was certified as having an "incomplete secondary education". In 1916 he was drafted into the Russian army .

In 1915 he joined the Bolshevik wing of the RSDLP . In 1917, when Zhdanov was a staff sergeant in the 136th Infantry Regiment, he was actively involved in the revolutionary movement. Zhdanov's leadership and agitation skills earned him the post of chairman in the revolutionary soldiers' council. From January 1918 on, he worked as the county agriculture secretary in Schadrinsk . From 1918 to 1920 he was a political agitator in the Red Army and at the same time editor of the Tverskaya Pravda newspaper . Since 1925 he was a candidate and since 1930 a member of the Central Committee of the CPSU (B) , from 1935 a candidate and from 1939 a member of the Politburo .

As the successor to the murdered Kirov , Zhdanov was area and city secretary of the Leningrad party organization from 1934 to 1944 . During this time he was known as a radical and merciless " purger ". In June 1940 he was sent to the previously occupied Estonia to set up a Soviet-friendly government and annex the country to the Soviet Union. During the Second World War and the 900-day blockade of Leningrad by the German Wehrmacht , he was Colonel General in the city's war Soviet . 1944-1947 he was chairman of the Allied Control Commission for Finland.

After 1945, as the leader of a repressive cultural policy named after him, the so-called Zhdanovshchina , he fought against writers like Akhmatova , Pasternak and Soschtschenko , directors like Eisenstein and composers like Prokofiev and Shostakovich . In this context, he was the one who gave the expression “salivary of the West” ( низкопоклонство перед Западом ).

On September 25, 1947, as a representative of the Soviet delegation at the founding meeting of the Cominform, he gave his famous two-camp theory speech as a counter-speech to the ideas presented by US President Truman on March 12, 1947 in the so-called Truman Doctrine . Both speeches are considered to be important milestones in the development away from the anti-Hitler coalition towards the Cold War .

Until his death he was considered a possible successor to Stalin. In 1948 he fell ill and died unexpectedly of a heart attack on August 31, 1948 . Malpractice in his treatment, although no Jewish doctor was involved, contributed to the anti-Semitic campaign against an alleged medical conspiracy in the Kremlin two years after his death . Zhdanov was buried at the Kremlin wall .

Zhdanov's son Yuri was married to Stalin's daughter Svetlana Allilueva from 1949 to 1952 .

Zhdanov's birthplace Mariupol in the Ukrainian SSR was renamed Zhdanov in his honor in 1948 and kept this name until 1989.

The Leningrad State University was named Zhdanov from 1948 to 1989.


  • AA Shdanov at the First Union Congress of Soviet Writers in 1934 . In: Walther Victor (ed.): Pushkin - A reading book for our time . Thüringer Volksverlag, Weimar 1954.
  • The results of the November plenary session of the CPSU Central Committee. AA Shdanov: Presentation to the functionaries' meeting of the Leningrad party organization of the CPSU on December 15, 1934. Appendix: Resolutions of the plenary . Publishing Cooperative of Foreign Workers in the USSR, Moscow 1935.
  • AA Zhdanov: The preparation of the party organizations for the elections to the Supreme Soviet of the USSR according to the new electoral system and the corresponding reorganization of party and political work. Report and closing words at the plenum of the CPSU Central Committee. lags Cooperative of Foreign Workers in the USSR, Moscow 1937.
  • A. Zhdanov: Changes to the statute of the CPSU (B). Report on the XVIII. Party conference of the CPSU (B) on March 18, 1939 . Foreign Language Publishing House, Moscow 1939.
    • A. Zhdanov: Changes to the statute of the CPSU (B). Report on the XVIII. Party conference of the CPSU (B) on March 18, 1939 . Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1950.
  • A. Zhdanov: About the international situation. Lecture given at the information meeting of representatives of some communist parties in Poland at the end of September 1947 . SWA-Verlag, Berlin 1947.
    • A. Zhdanov: About the international situation . Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1951.
  • A. Zhdanov: Critical remarks on the book GF Alexandrows : History of West European Philosophy. Speech at the Philosophers' Conference in Moscow in June 1947 . Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1950.
  • A. Zhdanov: About art and science. Speeches and presentations from the years 1934 and 1946 to 1948 . Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1951. (= Small Library of Marxism-Leninism )
  • A. Zhdanov: Questions of Soviet musical culture . Verlag Neues Leben, Berlin 1951 (= Forum. Scientific supplement 2)
  • AA Zhdanov: About the magazines "Zvezda" and "Leningrad". Translated by Heinz Stern. Märkische Druck- und Verlags GmbH, Rüdersdorf 1951.
  • Contributions to socialist realism. Basics about art and literature . Verlag Kultur und progress, Berlin 1953. pp. 13–59. Table of Contents / [AA Shdanow ...]


  • Schadanov in a French judgment . In: Social Democratic Press Service of September 22, 1948, p. 7. Digitized
  • Franz Marek : Andrei Shdanow. On the 5th anniversary of his death on Aug. 21, 1953 . Stern-Verlag, Vienna 1953.
  • Werner G. Hahn: Postwar Soviet politics: the fall of Zhdanov and the defeat of moderation 1946-53 . Cornell University Press, Ithaca 1982. ISBN 0-8014-1410-5
  • Kees Boterbloem: The life and times of Andrei Zhdanov, 1896–1948 . McGill-Queen's University Press, Montreal [u. a.] 2004, ISBN 0-7735-2666-8 .
  • Aleksej Volynec: Ždanov . Molodaja Gvardija, Moskva 2013. Table of contents

Web links

Commons : Andrei Alexandrowitsch Zhdanow  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Wolfgang Benz , Hermann Graml , Gert Robel et al .: The Twentieth Century: Europe after the Second World War, 1945-1982 (= Fischer Weltgeschichte , vol. 25. Fischer, Frankfurt am Main 1983, p. 233.)
  2. ^ Matthias Vetter: Conspiracy of the Kremlin doctors . In: Wolfgang Benz (Ed.) Handbook of Antisemitism , Vol. 4: Events, Decrees, Controversies . de Gruyter Saur, Berlin / New York 2011, ISBN 978-3-598-24076-8 , p. 416 (accessed via De Gruyter Online).
  3. A. Zhdanov et al. a .: Problems of Soviet literature. Reports and speeches at the first Writers' Congress . Co-operative Publ. Soc. of Foreign Workers in the USSR, Moscow; Leningrad 1935.
  4. From: Bolshevik . 1948, No. 13/14.