Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

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Staraya Square No. 4 in Moscow: seat of the Central Committee from 1920 to 1991; Building from 1914

The Secretariat of the Central Committee was an institution of the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Russia (RSDLP) or the Communist Party of Russia or the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU).

Establishment and initial leadership

From August 1917 to 1919, by resolution of the VI. At the party congress a secretariat of the Central Committee as an institution of the Social Democratic Workers' Party of Russia (Bolsheviks) under the leadership or from 1918 under the chairmanship of Sverdlov , who died on March 16, 1919.

In February 1919, the 8th Party Congress created the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Russia (B) as a permanent establishment of the party. The secretariat was initially headed by “responsible secretaries”.

In addition to the more important secretariat, the so-called Orgbüro existed for a time from the spring of 1919 . The party's organizational office was elected by the plenum of the Central Committee and was composed of members of the Central Committee. Some ZK members were active in both bodies. The XIX. The party congress of 1952 transferred the purely organizational competencies of the org office to the secretariat of the Central Committee.

In April 1922, by resolution of the XI. At the party congress the designation General Secretary of the Central Committee of the KPR (B) was introduced and Josef Stalin was elected General Secretary. Until 1991 the secretariat was headed by the general secretary or by the first secretary (from 1952 to 1966) (see also CPSU ; leadership, general secretaries or first secretaries of the party).

Tasks and organization of the secretariat

The Secretariat of the Central Committee directed the day-to-day tasks of the party leadership, especially the selection of personnel, the control of the implementation of decisions of the Central Committee and the supervision of the activities of the employees of the Central Committee. It had the following organization:

  • Initially there were six to nine departments for general, cadre, organization and instruction, propaganda, training, agriculture, special, which were mostly headed by Central Committee secretaries.
  • In 1948 the secretariat was divided into 11 departments for general, organs, propaganda and agitation, heavy industry, light industry, agriculture, traffic, planning and finance, foreign countries, armed forces and special.
  • In 1987 there were eleven Central Committee secretaries, including the Secretary General.

Head of the Secretariat of the Central Committee

Official Term of office Offices
Yakov Sverdlov August 1917 -
March 16, 1919 (†)
Senior Secretary (1917–1918)
Chairman of the Secretariat (1918–1919)
Elena Stasova March 1919 -
April 1920
Secretary in charge
Nikolai Krestinsky April 1920 -
March 16, 1921
Secretary in charge
Vyacheslav Molotov March 16, 1921 -
April 2, 1922
Secretary in charge
Joseph Stalin April 2, 1922 -
March 5, 1953 (†)
Secretary General
The office of general secretary had been formally abolished in October 1952 while Stalin was still alive. After Stalin's death, the business of the secretariat was initially headed by Georgi Malenkov , who had largely represented Stalin during his lifetime. Malenkov succeeded Stalin as prime minister , but had to resign on March 14th from the secretariat, whose business was now led by Nikita Khrushchev .
Nikita Khrushchev September 14, 1953 -
October 14, 1964
First secretary
Leonid Brezhnev October 14, 1964 -
November 10, 1982 (†)
First Secretary (1964–1966)
General Secretary (1966–1982)
Yuri Andropov November 10, 1982 -
February 9, 1984 (†)
Secretary General
Konstantin Chernenko February 9, 1984 -
March 10, 1985 (†)
Secretary General
Mikhail Gorbachev March 11, 1985 -
August 24, 1991
Secretary General
Vladimir Ivashko 24.-29. August 1991 Managing Secretary General
(since July 11, 1990 Deputy Secretary General)


The Central Committee secretaries were mostly men, women (Ekaterina Furzewa, Galina Semjonowa, Jelena Stassowa, Alexandra Biryukova) were only rarely active as Central Committee secretaries. Most of the secretaries were also full members or candidates in the Communist Party's Politburo. The list is largely complete.

Jakow Sverdlov (August 1917 - March 16, 1919)
Jelena Stassowa (March 1919 - April 1920)
Nikolai Krestinsky (April 1920 - March 16, 1921)
Vyacheslav Molotov (March 16, 1921 - April 2, 1922)
Josef Stalin (April 2, 1922 - March 5, 1953)
Nikita Khrushchev (September 14, 1953 - October 14, 1964)
Leonid Brezhnev (October 14, 1964 - November 10, 1982)
Yuri Andropov (November 10, 1982 - February 9, 1984)
Konstantin Tschernenko (February 9, 1984 - March 10, 1985)
Composition of the secretariat unchanged.
Mikhail Gorbachev (March 11, 1985 - August 24, 1991)

See also


  • Georg von Rauch: History of Bolshevik Russia ; Fischer Bücherei books of knowledge , Frankfurt am Main and Hamburg, 1963
  • Leonard Schapiro: The History of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union . Frankfurt 1962
  • Merle Fainsod: How Russia is governed . Kiepenheuer & Witsch, Study Library, 1965
  • Michel Tatu: Power and Powerlessness in the Kremlin . Ullstein-Verlag, 1967
  • Mikhail Gorbachev: Memories . Siedler-Verlag, 1995


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