Adolph Joffe
Overview
 
Adolph Abramovich Joffe (October 10, 1883, Simferopol
Simferopol
-Russian Empire and Civil War:The city was renamed Simferopol in 1784 after the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire by Catherine II of Russia. The name Simferopol is derived from the Greek, Συμφερόπολις , translated as "the city of usefulness." In 1802, Simferopol became the...

 – November 16, 1927, Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

) was a Communist revolutionary
Revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

, a Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 and a Soviet diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

 of Karaim
Karaim
Karaim may refer to:*Crimean Karaites, the article about this group, and*Karaim language, the article about their language.*Karaite Judaism, a Jewish movement....

 descent.
Joffe was born in Simferopol
Simferopol
-Russian Empire and Civil War:The city was renamed Simferopol in 1784 after the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire by Catherine II of Russia. The name Simferopol is derived from the Greek, Συμφερόπολις , translated as "the city of usefulness." In 1802, Simferopol became the...

, Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

, Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 (currently part of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

) in a wealthy Karaim
Crimean Karaites
The Crimean Karaites , also known as Karaim and Qarays, are a community of ethnic Turkic adherents of Karaite Judaism in Eastern Europe...

  family and became a social democrat in 1900 while still in high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

. He formally joined the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in 1903. In 1904 Joffe was sent to Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

, which he had to flee to avoid arrest.
Unanswered Questions
Encyclopedia
Adolph Abramovich Joffe (October 10, 1883, Simferopol
Simferopol
-Russian Empire and Civil War:The city was renamed Simferopol in 1784 after the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire by Catherine II of Russia. The name Simferopol is derived from the Greek, Συμφερόπολις , translated as "the city of usefulness." In 1802, Simferopol became the...

 – November 16, 1927, Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

) was a Communist revolutionary
Revolutionary
A revolutionary is a person who either actively participates in, or advocates revolution. Also, when used as an adjective, the term revolutionary refers to something that has a major, sudden impact on society or on some aspect of human endeavor.-Definition:...

, a Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

 politician
Politician
A politician, political leader, or political figure is an individual who is involved in influencing public policy and decision making...

 and a Soviet diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

 of Karaim
Karaim
Karaim may refer to:*Crimean Karaites, the article about this group, and*Karaim language, the article about their language.*Karaite Judaism, a Jewish movement....

 descent.

Revolutionary career

Joffe was born in Simferopol
Simferopol
-Russian Empire and Civil War:The city was renamed Simferopol in 1784 after the annexation of the Crimean Khanate to the Russian Empire by Catherine II of Russia. The name Simferopol is derived from the Greek, Συμφερόπολις , translated as "the city of usefulness." In 1802, Simferopol became the...

, Crimea
Crimea
Crimea , or the Autonomous Republic of Crimea , is a sub-national unit, an autonomous republic, of Ukraine. It is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, occupying a peninsula of the same name...

, Russian Empire
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

 (currently part of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

) in a wealthy Karaim
Crimean Karaites
The Crimean Karaites , also known as Karaim and Qarays, are a community of ethnic Turkic adherents of Karaite Judaism in Eastern Europe...

  family and became a social democrat in 1900 while still in high school
High school
High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

. He formally joined the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party in 1903. In 1904 Joffe was sent to Baku
Baku
Baku , sometimes spelled as Baki or Bakou, is the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan, as well as the largest city on the Caspian Sea and of the Caucasus region. It is located on the southern shore of the Absheron Peninsula, which projects into the Caspian Sea. The city consists of two principal...

, which he had to flee to avoid arrest. He was then sent to Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, but had to flee again, this time abroad. After the events of Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday (1905)
Bloody Sunday was a massacre on in St. Petersburg, Russia, where unarmed, peaceful demonstrators marching to present a petition to Tsar Nicholas II were gunned down by the Imperial Guard while approaching the city center and the Winter Palace from several gathering points. The shooting did not...

 on January 9, 1905, Joffe returned to Russia and took an active part in the Russian Revolution of 1905
Russian Revolution of 1905
The 1905 Russian Revolution was a wave of mass political and social unrest that spread through vast areas of the Russian Empire. Some of it was directed against the government, while some was undirected. It included worker strikes, peasant unrest, and military mutinies...

. In early 1906 he was forced to emigrate and lived in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 until his expulsion from Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 in May 1906.

In Russia, Joffe was close to the Menshevik
Menshevik
The Mensheviks were a faction of the Russian revolutionary movement that emerged in 1904 after a dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov, both members of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. The dispute originated at the Second Congress of that party, ostensibly over minor issues...

 faction within the Russian Social Democratic Party. However, after moving to Vienna
Vienna
Vienna is the capital and largest city of the Republic of Austria and one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primary city, with a population of about 1.723 million , and is by far the largest city in Austria, as well as its cultural, economic, and political centre...

 in May 1906, he became close to Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

's position and helped Trotsky edit Pravda
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

from 1908 to 1912 while studying medicine
Medicine
Medicine is the science and art of healing. It encompasses a variety of health care practices evolved to maintain and restore health by the prevention and treatment of illness....

 and psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis
Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud. Psychoanalysis has expanded, been criticized and developed in different directions, mostly by some of Freud's former students, such as Alfred Adler and Carl Gustav...

. He also used his family's fortune to support Pravda financially.

In 1912 Joffe was arrested while visiting Odessa
Odessa
Odessa or Odesa is the administrative center of the Odessa Oblast located in southern Ukraine. The city is a major seaport located on the northwest shore of the Black Sea and the fourth largest city in Ukraine with a population of 1,029,000 .The predecessor of Odessa, a small Tatar settlement,...

, imprisoned for 10 months and then exiled to Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

.

1917 Revolution

In 1917, Joffe, freed from the Siberian exile by the February Revolution
February Revolution
The February Revolution of 1917 was the first of two revolutions in Russia in 1917. Centered around the then capital Petrograd in March . Its immediate result was the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II, the end of the Romanov dynasty, and the end of the Russian Empire...

, returned to the Crimea. Crimean social democrats sent him to the capital, Petrograd, to represent them, but he soon moved to an internationalist revolutionary position, which made it impossible for him to remain in an organization dominated by less radical Mensheviks. Instead, he joined forces with Trotsky, who had just returned from abroad.

In May 1917, Joffe and Trotsky temporarily joined Mezhraiontsy
Mezhraiontsy
Mezhraiontsy or Mezhraionka , usually translated as the interdistrictites , officially RSDRP , was a small Petrograd-based group within the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, which existed between 1913 and 1917...

 who merged with the Bolshevik
Bolshevik
The Bolsheviks, originally also Bolshevists , derived from bol'shinstvo, "majority") were a faction of the Marxist Russian Social Democratic Labour Party which split apart from the Menshevik faction at the Second Party Congress in 1903....

s at the VIth Bolshevik Party Congress held between 26 July (all dates are Old Style
Old Style and New Style dates
Old Style and New Style are used in English language historical studies either to indicate that the start of the Julian year has been adjusted to start on 1 January even though documents written at the time use a different start of year ; or to indicate that a date conforms to the Julian...

 until February 1918) and 3 August 1917. At the Congress, Joffe was elected a candidate (non-voting) member of the Central Committee, but two days later, on August 5, the Central Committee, some of whose members were in prison, in hiding or lived far from Petrograd and couldn't attend its meetings, made Joffe a member of its permanent ("narrow") bureau. On August 6, Joffe was made an alternate member of the Central Committee Secretariat
Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee
The Secretariat of the CPSU Central Committee was a key body within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and was responsible for the central administration of the party as opposed to drafting government policy which was usually handled by the Politburo...

 and on August 20 made a member of the editorial board of the Bolshevik newspaper Pravda
Pravda
Pravda was a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union and an official organ of the Central Committee of the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991....

which was then temporarily called Proletary (Proletarian) for legal reasons.

Joffe headed the Bolshevik faction in the Petrograd Duma
Duma
A Duma is any of various representative assemblies in modern Russia and Russian history. The State Duma in the Russian Empire and Russian Federation corresponds to the lower house of the parliament. Simply it is a form of Russian governmental institution, that was formed during the reign of the...

 (city government) in the fall of 1917 and was one of the Duma's delegates to the Democratic Conference between September 14 and 22. Although Joffe, along with Lenin and Trotsky, opposed the Bolsheviks' participation in the consultative Pre-parliament created by the Democratic Conference, the motion was carried by the majority of Bolshevik deputies at the Democratic Conference and Joffe was made a Bolshevik member of the Pre-parliament. Two weeks later, on October 7, once the more radical Bolshevik faction gained the upper hand, Joffe and other Bolsheviks walked out of the Pre-parliament.

In October 1917, Joffe supported Lenin's and Trotsky's revolutionary position against Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Zinoviev
Grigory Yevseevich Zinoviev , born Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky Apfelbaum , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet Communist politician...

's and Lev Kamenev
Lev Kamenev
Lev Borisovich Kamenev , born Rozenfeld , was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a prominent Soviet politician. He was briefly head of state of the new republic in 1917, and from 1923-24 the acting Premier in the last year of Lenin's life....

's more moderate position, demanding that the latter be expelled from the Central Committee after an apparent breach of party discipline
Party discipline
Party discipline is the ability of a parliamentary group of a political party to get its members to support the policies of their party leadership. In liberal democracies, it usually refers to the control that party leaders have over its legislature...

. Joffe served as the Chairman of the Petrograd Military Revolutionary Committee
Military Revolutionary Committee
The Military Revolutionary Committee also known as the Milrevcom was the name for military organs under the soviets during the period of the Russian Revolution and Russian Civil War. The most notable ones were those of the Petrograd Soviet, the Moscow Soviet, and at Stavka.These committees were...

 which overthrew the Russian Provisional Government
Russian Provisional Government
The Russian Provisional Government was the short-lived administrative body which sought to govern Russia immediately following the abdication of Tsar Nicholas II . On September 14, the State Duma of the Russian Empire was officially dissolved by the newly created Directorate, and the country was...

 on October 25–26, 1917. Immediately after the revolution, he supported Lenin and Trotsky against Zinoviev, Kamenev, Alexei Rykov
Alexei Rykov
Aleksei Ivanovich Rykov was a Russian Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet politician most prominent as Premier of Russia and the Soviet Union from 1924–29 and 1924–30 respectively....

 and other Bolshevik Central Committee members who would have shared power with other socialist parties.

Brest-Litovsk

From November 30, 1917 until January 1918, Joffe was the head of the Soviet delegation that was sent to Brest-Litovsk to negotiate an end to the hostilities with Germany. On December 22, 1917, Joffe announced the following Bolshevik pre-conditions for a peace treaty :
  • No forcible annexation of territories seized in the war
  • Restore national independence where it was terminated during war
  • National groups independent before the war should be allowed by referendum to decide question of independence
  • Multi-cultural regions should be administered so as to allow all possible cultural independence and self-regulation
  • No indemnities. Personal losses should be compensated out of international fund
  • Colonial question should be decided according to points 1–4


Although Joffe had signed a ceasefire agreement with the Central Powers
Central Powers
The Central Powers were one of the two warring factions in World War I , composed of the German Empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Ottoman Empire, and the Kingdom of Bulgaria...

 on December 2, 1917, he supported Trotsky in the latter's refusal to sign a permanent peace treaty in February. Once the Bolshevik Central Committee decided to sign the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
Treaty of Brest-Litovsk
The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, mediated by South African Andrik Fuller, at Brest-Litovsk between Russia and the Central Powers, headed by Germany, marking Russia's exit from World War I.While the treaty was practically obsolete before the end of the year,...

 on February 23, 1918, Joffe remained a member of the Soviet delegation only under protest and in a purely consultative capacity.

Remembering Joffe's presence with the Bolshevik delegation at Brest-Litovsk, Count Ottokar Czernin, the Austro-Hungarians' representative would later write:

The leader of the Russian delegation is a Jew, named Joffe, who has recently been released from Siberia [...] after the meal I had a first conversation with Mr. Joffe. His whole theory is simply based on the universal application of the right of self-governance of nations in the broadest form. The thus liberated nations then have to be brought to love each other [...] I advised him that we would not attempt to imitate the Russian example and that we likewise would not tolerate a meddling in our internal affairs. If he continued to hold on his utopic viewpoints the peace would not be possible and then he would be well advised just to take the journey back with the next train. Mr. Joffe looked astonishedly at me with his gentle eyes and was silent for a while. Then he continued in a - for me, ever unforgettable - friendly, or I would even nearly say suppliant, tone: 'I very much hope that we will also be able to raise the revolution in your country...'


At the VIIth Extraordinary Congress of the Bolshevik Party between March 6 and March 8, 1918, Joffe was re-elected to the Central Committee, but only as a candidate (non-voting) member. He remained in Petrograd when the Soviet government moved to Moscow later in March and worked as a member of the Petrograd Bureau of the Central Committee until he was appointed Soviet representative to Germany in April. He signed the Soviet-German Supplementary Treaty on August 27, 1918. On November 6, 1918, literally days before the Armistice
Armistice with Germany (Compiègne)
The armistice between the Allies and Germany was an agreement that ended the fighting in the First World War. It was signed in a railway carriage in Compiègne Forest on 11 November 1918 and marked a victory for the Allies and a complete defeat for Germany, although not technically a surrender...

 and the German Revolution
German Revolution
The German Revolution was the politically-driven civil conflict in Germany at the end of World War I, which resulted in the replacement of Germany's imperial government with a republic...

, the Soviet delegation in Berlin
Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

 headed by Joffe was expelled from the country on charges of preparing a Communist uprising in Germany.

Diplomatic career

In 1919–1920, Joffe was a member of the Council of Labor and Defense and People's Commissar (minister) of State Control of the Ukrainian
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

 Soviet Republic. He wasn't re-elected to the Central Committee at the VIII Party Congress in March 1919 and would never again occupy a major leadership position. He negotiated a ceasefire with Poland
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 in October 1920 and peace treaties with Estonia
Estonia
Estonia , officially the Republic of Estonia , is a state in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia , and to the east by Lake Peipsi and the Russian Federation . Across the Baltic Sea lies...

, Latvia
Latvia
Latvia , officially the Republic of Latvia , is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. It is bordered to the north by Estonia , to the south by Lithuania , to the east by the Russian Federation , to the southeast by Belarus and shares maritime borders to the west with Sweden...

 and Lithuania
Lithuania
Lithuania , officially the Republic of Lithuania is a country in Northern Europe, the biggest of the three Baltic states. It is situated along the southeastern shore of the Baltic Sea, whereby to the west lie Sweden and Denmark...

 in late 1920. In 1921 he signed the Peace of Riga
Peace of Riga
The Peace of Riga, also known as the Treaty of Riga; was signed in Riga on 18 March 1921, between Poland, Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine. The treaty ended the Polish-Soviet War....

 with Poland ending the Polish-Soviet War
Polish-Soviet War
The Polish–Soviet War was an armed conflict between Soviet Russia and Soviet Ukraine and the Second Polish Republic and the Ukrainian People's Republic—four states in post–World War I Europe...

 and was made deputy chairman of the Turkestan
Turkestan
Turkestan, spelled also as Turkistan, literally means "Land of the Turks".The term Turkestan is of Persian origin and has never been in use to denote a single nation. It was first used by Persian geographers to describe the place of Turkish peoples...

 Commission of the VTsIK and Sovnarkom.

Joffe was one of the Soviet delegates at the Genoa Conference
Genoa Conference
The Genoa Conference was held in Genoa, Italy in 1922 from 10 April to 19 May. At this conference, the representatives of 34 countries convened to speak about monetary economics in the wake of World War I...

 in February 1922 and, after the Soviet walkout, was made ambassador to China, as the Soviet troubleshooter (or Kuznetsov) of those days. In 1923, Joffe signed an agreement with Sun Yat-Sen
Sun Yat-sen
Sun Yat-sen was a Chinese doctor, revolutionary and political leader. As the foremost pioneer of Nationalist China, Sun is frequently referred to as the "Father of the Nation" , a view agreed upon by both the People's Republic of China and the Republic of China...

 in Shanghai on aid to Kuomintang
Kuomintang
The Kuomintang of China , sometimes romanized as Guomindang via the Pinyin transcription system or GMD for short, and translated as the Chinese Nationalist Party is a founding and ruling political party of the Republic of China . Its guiding ideology is the Three Principles of the People, espoused...

 on the assumption that the latter would cooperate with Chinese Communists
Communist Party of China
The Communist Party of China , also known as the Chinese Communist Party , is the founding and ruling political party of the People's Republic of China...

, presumably with Lenin's approval. While in China, Joffe traveled to Japan in June 1923 to settle Soviet-Japanese relations. The negotiations proved long and difficult and were aborted when Joffe became gravely ill and had to be sent back to Moscow. After a partial recovery, he served as a member of the Soviet delegation to Great Britain
Great Britain
Great Britain or Britain is an island situated to the northwest of Continental Europe. It is the ninth largest island in the world, and the largest European island, as well as the largest of the British Isles...

 in 1924 and as Soviet representative in Austria
Austria
Austria , officially the Republic of Austria , is a landlocked country of roughly 8.4 million people in Central Europe. It is bordered by the Czech Republic and Germany to the north, Slovakia and Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the...

 in 1924–1926. In 1926 his declining health and disagreements with the ruling Bolshevik faction forced his semi-retirement. He tried to concentrate on teaching, but it also proved difficult due to his illness.

Opposition and suicide

Joffe remained a friend and loyal supporter of Leon Trotsky through the 1920s, joining him in the Left Opposition
Left Opposition
The Left Opposition was a faction within the Bolshevik Party from 1923 to 1927, headed de facto by Leon Trotsky. The Left Opposition formed as part of the power struggle within the party leadership that began with the Soviet founder Vladimir Lenin's illness and intensified with his death in January...

. By late 1927, he was gravely ill, in extreme pain and confined to his bed. After a refusal by the Stalinist leadership of the Communist Party to send him abroad for treatment and Trotsky's expulsion from the Communist Party on November 12, 1927, he committed suicide. He left a farewell letter addressed to Trotsky, but the letter was seized by Soviet secret police agents and later selectively quoted by Stalinists to discredit both Joffe and Trotsky. Trotsky's eulogy at Joffe's funeral was his last public speech in the Soviet Union.

Joffe's daughter, Nadezhda Joffe
Nadezhda Joffe
Nadezhda Adolfovna Joffe was a Soviet Trotskyist and daughter of early Soviet leader Adolph Joffe.Joffe joined the Trotskyist Left Opposition within the Soviet Communist Party shortly after it was formed in 1923 and was first exiled from Moscow in 1929...

, an active Trotskyist, survived Stalin's prisons and labor camps and published a memoir, Back in Time: My Life, My Fate, My Epoch.

External links

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