Zemlyachka (Zalkind), Rozaliya Samoylovna

views updated


ZEMLYACHKA (Zalkind), ROZALIYA SAMOYLOVNA (other Party pseudonyms – Samoylova, Demon, and Osipov ; 1876–1947), Soviet government and Party official. Born in Kiev, daughter of a merchant, she became a member of the Social-Democratic Party in 1896. In 1901 she was a representative of the newspaper Iskra in Odessa and Yekaterinoslav. After the Party split of 1903, Zemlyachka became a member of the Bolshevik Central Committee and in 1905 secretary of the Moscow committee of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party, working in the Party's military organization.

She was arrested on a number of occasions. In 1909 she was secretary of the Baku Party organization and then spent some time abroad. In 1915–16 Zemlyachka was a member of the Moscow bureau of the Central Committee of the Bolshevik Party. During the February Revolution of 1917 she was secretary of the Moscow Committee of the Bolsheviks and participated in the armed seizure of power. From 1918 to 1920 she headed the political departments of the 8th and 13th armies and was the first woman in Soviet Russia to be awarded a medal (that of the Combat Red Banner). From 1920 to 1926 she occupied various Party posts, including, from Nov. 1920, that of secretary of the provincial Party committee in the Crimea where, together with B. *Kun, she carried out a policy of mass terror. From 1926 she was a member, deputy chairman, and then chairman of state and Party control organs. She was notorious for her merciless attitude in regard to Party purges and sanctioned repressions. From 1939 to 1943, in addition to serving in other capacities, she was deputy chairman of the Council of Peoples' Commissars of the U.S.S.R.

[Mark Kipnis and

The Shorter Jewish Encylopaedia in Russian (2nd ed.)]