|Second Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union|
May 1941 – August 1948
|General Secretary||Joseph Stalin|
|Preceded by||Lazar Kaganovich|
|Succeeded by||Georgy Malenkov|
|Chairman of the Soviet of the Union|
12 March 1946 – 25 February 1947
|Preceded by||Andrey Andreyev|
|Succeeded by||Ivan Parfenov|
|Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of the Russian SFSR|
15 July 1938 – 19 July 1938
|Preceded by||Mikhail Kalinin|
|Succeeded by||Mikhail Tarasov|
|Born||Andrei Alexandrovich Zhdanov
26 February 1896
Mariupol, Russian Empire
|Died||31 August 1948
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
|Political party||All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks)|
Zhdanov enlisted with the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Bolshevik) in 1915 and was promoted through the party ranks, becoming the All-Union Communist Party manager in Leningrad after the assassination of Sergei Kirov in 1934. He was Chairman of the RSFSR Supreme Soviet from 20 July 1938–20 June 1947. Though somewhat less active than Vyacheslav Molotov, Joseph Stalin, Lazar Kaganovich and Kliment Voroshilov, Zhdanov was a major perpetrator of the Great Terror and personally approved 176 documented execution lists. In June 1940, he was sent to Estonia to supervise the establishment of the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic and its annexation by the USSR. After the cease-fire agreement between Finland and the USSR was signed in Moscow on 4 September 1944, Zhdanov directed the Allied Control Commission in Finland until the Paris peace treaty of 1947.
Zhdanov was appointed by Joseph Stalin to direct the Soviet Union's cultural policy in 1946. His first action (in December 1946) was to censor Russian writers such as Anna Akhmatova and Mikhail Zoshchenko. He formulated what became known as the Zhdanov Doctrine ("The only conflict that is possible in Soviet culture is the conflict between good and best"). During 1946–1947, Zhdanov was Chairman of the Soviet of the Union. In 1947, he organized the Cominform, designed to coordinate the communist parties of Europe. In February 1948, he initiated purges among musicians, widely known as a struggle against formalism. Dmitri Shostakovich, Sergei Prokofiev, Aram Khachaturian and many other composers were reprimanded during this period. In June 1948, Stalin sent Zhdanov to the Cominform meeting in Bucharest. The purpose of the meeting was to condemn Yugoslavia, but Zhdanov took a more restrained line, in contrast to his co-delegate and rival Georgy Malenkov. This infuriated Stalin, who removed Zhdanov from all his posts and replaced him with Malenkov. Zhdanov was transferred to a sanatorium, where he died. It is possible that his death was the result of an intentional misdiagnosis.
Zhdanov died on 31 August 1948 in Moscow of heart failure; Nikita Khrushchev recalled in Khrushchev Remembers that Zhdanov was an alcoholic, and that during his "last days", Stalin would shout at him to stop drinking and insist that he drink only fruit juice. Stalin had talked of Zhdanov being his successor but Zhdanov's ill health gave his rivals, Lavrentiy Beria and Georgy Malenkov, an opportunity to undermine him.
Until the late 1950s, Zhdanov's ideological code, known as the Zhdanov doctrine, Zhdanovism or zhdanovshchina, defined cultural production in the Soviet Union. Zhdanov intended to create a new philosophy of artistic creation valid for the entire world. His method reduced all of culture to a sort of chart, wherein a given symbol corresponded to a simple moral value. Zhdanov and his associates further sought to eliminate foreign influence from Soviet art, proclaiming that "incorrect art" was an ideological diversion.
Honours and awards
- Two Orders of Lenin
- Order of the Red Banner
- Order of Suvorov, 1st class
- Order of Kutuzov, 1st class
- Order of the Red Banner of Labour
- Medal "For the Defence of Leningrad"
- Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945"
Andrei Zhdanov's birthplace, Mariupol, was renamed Zhdanov in his honor at Joseph Stalin's instigation in 1948, and a monument to Zhdanov was built in the central square of the city. The name reverted to Mariupol in 1989, and the monument was dismantled in 1990.
|Chairman of the Supreme Soviet of Russia
|Chairman of the Soviet of the Union
- "Analytical list of documents, V. Friction in the Baltic States and Balkans, June 4–21 September 1940". Telegram of German Ambassador in the Soviet Union (Schulenburg) to the German Foreign Office. Retrieved 2007-03-03.
- Haslam, Jonathan. Russia's Cold War. Yale University Press: 2011. 104.
- Simon Sebag Montefiore, in "Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar", ISBN 1-4000-4230-5
- The Iron Heel, Time Magazine, 14 December 1953
- Stites, Richard. Soviet Popular Culture. Cambridge University Press: 1992. 117.
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