‘The Career and Funeral of Comrade Peter Lasarevitch Voykov’ from International Press Correspondence. Vol. 7 No. 35. June 16, 1927.

Voykov’s funeral.
‘The Career and Funeral of Comrade Peter Lasarevitch Voykov’ from International Press Correspondence. Vol. 7 No. 35. June 16, 1927.

Comrade Voykov was born in 1888 in the town of Kertchi. In his early youth as a student he was politically active and joined a social democratic circle for which he performed various Party tasks. On account of illegal political work he was expelled from the Sixth form of the College in Kertchi.

In 1903 he was in the Crimea and joined the “United Russian Social Democratic Workers Party.” In the early years of his Party membership, Comrade Voykov held many and various Party posts. He assisted in the production of illegal literature and finally became a member of the Party Committee.

In 1905 he took part in the conference of the southern organisations in Melitopol. In Yalta he was compelled to disappear into illegality. At this time the Czarist police were on the look out for him as a participator in the attempt upon Dumbadse. The affair was handed over to the military court, and, as a death sentence was threatened, Comrade Voykov decided at the end of 1907 to flee to Switzerland. He had no opportunity of returning to Russia and remained in Switzerland up to the time of the February revolution. Whilst abroad, Comrade Voykov studied scientific subjects. He acquired an education in mathematics and physics: Physics, Anatomy, Natural Science and Mathematics. Comrade Voykov applied himself to scientific investigation with great perseverance.

In May 1917, he travelled together with other comrades through Germany in a sealed wagon to Russia. From ‘August 1917 he belonged to the Bolshevist Party. In October 1917, Comrade Voykov worked as secretary of the District Bureau of the Trade Unions. Later he was elected by the Duma in Ekaterinburg in which the bolsheviks had the majority, to the post of chairman.

After the October revolution Comrade Voykov worked as chairman of the factory councils for the Urals and was later elected by the Soviet Congress to the post of Minister of Food Supplies for the Ural district. This post he maintained until the invasion of Koltchak.

Voykov, right, with Chicherin.

In 1919 he was elected to be representative of the Council of People’s Commissars in the leadership of the “Centrosoyus” (Central Co-operative Union of the U.S.S.R.) and after the congress of the Centrosoyus he was made vice-chairman of the executive of the Centrosoyus. Here Comrade Voykov did great work for the reorganization and consolidation of the Central Committee of the Co-operatives.

From 1920 onwards he was a member of the College of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs. In 1921. He became Chairman of the Soviet Delegation in the Russo-Polish Commission which was elected to put into effect the Riga Treaty. At the same time, he was a member of the Trust Management of “Severoles” (”Northern Wood”). At a later date, Comrade Voykov became Chairman of the Delegation for concluding the Commercial Treaty with Poland. In 1924, Comrade Voykov went to Poland as Ambassador of the Soviet Union.

Comrade Voykov’s Funeral. Moscow, 12th June 1927.

Today comrade Voykov was buried in the Red Square by the Kremlin Wall. The corpse was met at the station by representatives of the Government and the Communist Party and by delegations from the factories and workshops. The body was escorted from the station by a military guard of honour.

In the Red Square the coffin was placed on a bier before the Lenin Mausoleum, and a memorial meeting was held. Comrade Rykov spoke in the name of the Soviet Government, Comrade Bucharin in the name of the C.C. of the C.P.S.U., Comrade Engdahl in the name of the E.C.C.I. Comrade Litvinov for the Foreign· Office, Comrade Melnichansky for the Central Council of Soviet Labour Unions and representatives of the Moscow Soviet.

Comrade Rykov declared that the Soviet Government had indications in its hands that the British Government financed and encouraged· white guardist organizations, particularly in Poland. Despite all provocations, the Soviet Government would pursue the policy of peace and protect the building up of socialism.

Comrade Bucharin pointed out that recent events were the beginning of a new epoch of active struggle against the Soviet Union and that Voykov was the first victim. Despite the events in Pekin, Shanghai, London and Warsaw, the will of the workers and peasants of the Soviet Union for peace remained unchanged. The question of peace or war, however, was not dependent upon the Soviet Union alone, but also upon the wishes of the bourgeois governments. The workers of the Soviet Union would not budge from the achievements of the revolution by so much as a hair’s breadth.

The representative of the Communist International stressed in particular the role of British imperialism in the assassination of Comrade Voykov and in connection with the counter revolutionary activity inside the Soviet Union itself.

Comrade Litvinov pointed out that the representatives of the Soviet Union abroad were making the greatest efforts to create friendly relations with Western Europe. The activity of Voykov in this direction was developing very favourably when he was struck down.

Alter the speeches were concluded, the coffin was carried to the grave by Rykov, Bucharin and other comrades. As the coffin was lowered into the grave, the last volley was fired. Many thousands of workers from all the districts of Moscow defiled past the grave with dipped banners.

International Press Correspondence, widely known as”Inprecor” was published by the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI) regularly in German and English, occasionally in many other languages, beginning in 1921 and lasting in English until 1938. Inprecor’s role was to supply translated articles to the English-speaking press of the International from the Comintern’s different sections, as well as news and statements from the ECCI. Many ‘Daily Worker’ and ‘Communist’ articles originated in Inprecorr, and it also published articles by American comrades for use in other countries. It was published at least weekly, and often thrice weekly. The ECCI also published the glossy magazine ‘Communist International’ edited by Zinoviev and Karl Radek from 1919 until 1926 monthly in German, French, Russian, and English. Unlike, Inprecor, CI contained long-form articles by the leading figures of the International as well as proceedings, statements, and notices of the Comintern. No complete run of Communist International is available in English. Both were largely published outside of Soviet territory, with Communist International printed in London, to facilitate distribution and both were major contributors to the Communist press in the U.S. Communist International and Inprecor are an invaluable English-language source on the history of the Communist International and its sections.

PDF of issue: https://www.marxists.org/history/international/comintern/inprecor/1927/v07n35-jun-16-1927-inprecor-op.pdf

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