Kamenev, Lev Borisovich

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.

Kamenev, Lev Borisovich

Lev Borisovich Kamenev (lyĕf bərē´səvĬch kä´mĬnyĬf), 1883–1936, Soviet Communist leader. His original name was Rosenfeld. He joined (1901) the Social Democratic party and sided with the Bolshevik wing when the party split (1903). Banished (1915) to Siberia for his revolutionary activities, he returned after the February Revolution of 1917 and became a member of the first Politburo of the Communist party. On Lenin's death (1924), Kamenev, Stalin, and Zinoviev formed a triumvirate of successors and excluded Trotsky, Kamenev's brother-in-law, from power. In 1925 the Stalinist majority in the party defeated Kamenev and Zinoviev, who joined (1926) Trotsky's opposition. Kamenev was expelled from the party in 1927, but he recanted, was readmitted, and held minor offices. He was arrested late in 1934 on charges of complicity in the murder of Kirov and was sentenced to imprisonment. In 1936 he, Zinoviev, and 14 others were tried for treason in the first big public purge trial. They confessed and were executed. Both he and Zinoviev were posthumously rehabilitated in 1988.

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