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Vecheka ( Russian ВЧК ) is the abbreviation for the Extraordinary All-Russian Commission for Combating Counterrevolution , Speculation and Sabotage (russ. В сероссийская ч резвычайная к омиссия по борьбе с контрреволюцией, спекуляцией и саботажем Wserossijskaja tschreswytschainaja komissija po borbe s kontrrewoljuziej, spekuljaziej i sabotaschem ) , the State Security of Soviet Russia , founded after the October Revolution on December 20, 1917 , to whose tradition the political police of the Soviet Union , founded in late 1922, referred. From this the expression Chekists was derived for the employees of secret services in the states of the Eastern Bloc .


On December 20, 1917, the Soviet Russian government, chaired by Lenin, instructed the member of the Military Revolutionary Committee of Petrograd (MRKP), Feliks Dzierżyński , to set up a special commission to combat the opposition .

From August 1918, on Lenin's instructions, the first prison camps were set up and officially called concentration camps in the Penza province to accommodate political opponents . The number of those detained in the camps organized by the Cheka was around 16,000 in May 1921 and rose to over 70,000 by September 1921.

In February 1922 the Cheka was dissolved and the organization's archives destroyed on Lenin's orders; their duties were entrusted to the newly established military GPU .

Development of the number of employees

  • March 1918: 600
  • June 1918: 12,000
  • End of 1918: 40,000
  • Early 1921: 280,000

Casualty numbers

Estimates of the number of those executed by the Cheka vary dramatically depending on the source. The lowest (official) numbers were given by Dzierżyński's deputy Martyn Lazis (RSFSR only): 1918 to 1920: 12,733 executed. It is widely believed that these numbers are gross underestimates of the actual number of victims. Other estimates range from 50,000 to 250,000 victims.


  • Operatsiya Trest (TV-USSR 1967, 4 parts, directed by Sergei Kolosov, dubbed by DEFA in 1968 under the title Operation “Trust” ). The television series was created on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Cheka.
  • Heroes of the Cheka (Сотрудник ЧК / Sotrudnik ChK , literally employee of the Cheka , USSR 1964, directed by Boris Volchek, DEFA-Synchron 1964, based on the literature by Alexander Lukin / Dmitri Poljanowski: The Cheka intervenes , Berlin, German military publisher 1961).
  • Strange among his own kind , ( Swoi sredi tschuschich, tschuschoi sredi swoich , USSR 1974, directed by Nikita Sergejewitsch Michalkow ).
  • The Chekist (Чекист, Le tchékiste , F / RU 1992, directed by Alexander Wladimirowitsch Rogoschkin ).
  • Enemy whirlwind ( Vikhri vrazhdebnye / Wichri wraschdebnye , USSR 1953, director: Michail Kalatosow . With Micheil Gelowani (Stalin), Mikhail Kondratjew (Lenin), Vladimir Jemeljanow (Dzerzhinsky), Leonidubaschewski (Swerdlowin) and Vladimir).


  • Georg Popoff: Cheka. The state within the state. Experiences and experiences with the Russian extraordinary commission . Frankfurt: Societäts-Druckerei, 1925.
  • George Leggett: The Cheka. Lenin's political police , Oxford (Clarendon Press) 1981. ISBN 0-19-822552-0 .
  • Павел Георгиевич Софинов: Очерки истории Всероссийской Чрезвычайной Комиссии (1917–1922 гг.). Госполитиздат, Москва 1960 (In German: PG Sofinow: Outline of the History of the All-Russian Extraordinary Commission (1917–1922). Law School, Potsdam 1967).
  • Sergej P. Melgunow: The red terror in Russia 1918–1923. Diakow, Berlin 1924 (In Russian: Сергей Петрович Мельгунов: "Красный террор" в России, 1918–1923. Sn, Берлин 1924). Reprint: OEZ - Verlag, Berlin 2017, ISBN 978-3-940452-47-4 .
  • Walter Zeutschel: In the service of the communist terror organization. Dietz, Berlin 1931 (Tscheka work in Germany).
  • Borys Lewytzkyi: The Red Inquisition, History of the Soviet Security Systems. Societäts-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1967.
  • Courtois, Werth, Panne, Paczkowski, Bartosec, Margolin, Gauck, Neubert: The Black Book of Communism .
  • Helmut Roewer , Stefan Schäfer, Matthias Uhl : Lexicon of the secret services in the 20th century . Herbig, Munich 2003, ISBN 3-7766-2317-9 .
  • Helmut Roewer: Unscrupulous. The machinations of the secret services in Russia and Germany. 1914-1941. Faber & Faber, Leipzig 2004, ISBN 3-936618-46-1 .

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Doris Liebermann: Founding of the Soviet Russian secret police Cheka. On December 20, 1917, Lenin commissioned the Polish revolutionary Feliks Dzierżyński to form an "extraordinary commission for the fight against counterrevolution and sabotage". The Cheka, the first secret police in Soviet Russia, became a symbol of terror and tyranny. December 20, 2017. Retrieved April 29, 2018 .
  2. Joël Kotek , Pierre Rigoulot: The century of the camp. Captivity, forced labor, extermination. Propylaen-Verlag, Berlin 2001, ISBN 3-549-07143-4 , p. 129.
  3. Donald Rayfield . Stalin and His Hangmen : The Tyrant and Those Who Killed for Him. Random House , 2004. ISBN 0-375-50632-2 , p.1926: GBYi .
  4. page 28 , Andrew and Mitrokhin, The Sword and the Shield , paperback edition, Basic books, 1999.
  5. page 180, Overy, The Dictators: Hitler's Germany, Stalin's Russia, WW Norton & Company; 1st American Ed edition, 2004.