Lev Kamenev

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Lev Borisovich Kamenev (Russian: Лев Бори́сович Ка́менев, IPA: [ˈlʲef ˈkamʲɪnʲɪf]  ( listen); 18 July [O.S. 6 July] 1883 – 25 August 1936), born Rozenfeld (Russian: Ро́зенфельд), was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a prominent Soviet politician. He was briefly the nominal head of the Soviet state in 1917 and a founding member (1919) and later chairman (1923-1924) of the ruling Politburo.


Early life and career

Kamenev was born in Moscow, the son of a Jewish railway worker and a Russian Orthodox mother.[1] He joined the Communists in 1901 and supported Lenin.[2] He went to school in Tiflis, Georgia (now Tbilisi) and attended Moscow University, but his education was interrupted by an arrest in 1902. From that point on, he was a professional revolutionary, working in St. Petersburg, Moscow and Tiflis. Kamenev married a fellow Marxist (and Leon Trotsky's sister), Olga Kameneva, in the early 1900s and the couple had two sons.

A brief trip abroad in 1902 introduced Kamenev to Russian social democratic leaders living in exile, including Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov Lenin, whose adherent and close associate he became. He also visited Paris and met the Iskra group. After attending the 3rd Congress of the RSDLP Party in London in March 1905, Kamenev went back to Russia to participate in the Russian Revolution of 1905 in St. Petersburg in October-December. He went back to London to attend the 5th RSDLP Party Congress, where he was elected to the party's Central Committee and the Bolshevik Center, in May 1907, but was arrested upon his return to Russia. Kamenev was released from prison in 1908 and the Kamenevs went abroad later in the year to help Lenin edit Bolshevik magazine Proletariy. After Lenin's split with another senior Bolshevik leader, Alexander Bogdanov, in mid-1908, Kamenev and Grigory Zinoviev became Lenin's main assistants abroad. They helped him expel Bogdanov and his Otzovist (Recallist) followers from the Bolshevik faction of the RSDLP in mid-1909.

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