MIA: Encyclopedia of Marxism: Glossary of People



Dzhaparidze, Prokopius Aprasionovich (1880-1918)

One of the leaders of the Bolsheviks and the Red Army in Azerbaijan.

Educated at the Aleksandrovsk Teachers Institute in Tbilisi; Dzhaparidze joined the RSDLP in 1898. With Sultan Medjid Efendiev, Shaumyan and others, Dzhaparidze was one of the founders of Gummet meaning “energy,” set up to do political work amongst Muslims, which grew into a mass organisation, drawing large masses of Muslim people behind the Bolsheviks.

After the February revolution of 1917, Dzhaparidze was a member of the Baku Committee of the Bolshevik Party; as a delegate to the 6th congress Bolshevik Party, he was selected as a candidate member of the Central Committee; a member of Caucasian Border Committee. From December 1917 Deputy Chairman, during January – July 1918 the chairman of the Executive Committee of Baku Soviet; during March the member of the Committee of Revolutionary Defence which suppressed a mutiny in Baku; from April the Commissar for Internal Affairs in Baku, from June also Commissar for Food.

Shot by the White Army, together with a number of Baku Commissars in 1918.


Dzerzhinsky, Felix (1877-1926)

Founder of the Polish Social Democratic Party, was active in the Polish and Russian revolutionary movements. After the Russian Revolution he headed the Cheka from its formation in December 1917, and the Supreme Council of National Economy from 1924. He later became a supporter of Stalin. Died of a heart attack.

The sitting opened with a report by Dserzhinsky, that strange ascetic who, when in prison in Warsaw, insisted on doing the dirty work of emptying the slops and cleaning other people's cells besides his own, on a theory that one man should where possible take upon himself the evil which would otherwise have to be shared by all; and in the dangerous beginning of the revolution had taken upon himself the most unpopular of all posts, that of President of the Extraordinary Commission. His personal uprightness is the complement of an absolute personal courage, shown again and again during the last eighteen months. At the time of the Left Social Revolutionary mutiny he went without a guard to the headquarters of the mutineers, believing that he could bring them to reason, and when arrested by them dared them to shoot him and showed so bold a front that in the end the soldiers set to watch him set him free and returned to their allegiance. This thin, tallish man, with a fanatic face not unlike some of the traditional portraits of St. Francis, the terror of counter-revolutionaries and criminals alike, is a very bad speaker. He looks into the air over the heads of his audience and talks as if he were not addressing them at all but some one else unseen. He talks even of a subject which he knows perfectly with curious inability to form his sentences; stops, changes words, and often, recognizing that he cannot finish his sentence, ends where he is, in the middle of it, with a little odd, deprecating emphasis, as if to say: "At this point there is a full stop. At least so it seems."

Arthur Ransome
Russia in 1919

See Felix Dzerzhinsky Archive.