Arkady Rosengolts

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A.P. Rosengolts

Arkady Pavlovich Rosengolts (1889–1938), sometimes spelled 'Rosengoltz' or 'Rosenholz', was a Bolshevik politician, a Soviet Commissar of Foreign Trade and a defendant at the Moscow Trial of the Twenty-One in 1938.


A.P. Rosengolts was born in Vitebsk on November 4, 1889. He was the son of a Jewish merchant. He joined the Bolshevik faction of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party (RSDRP) in 1905, the year of the first, abortive Russian Revolution. He worked as an insurance agent and carried out work for the Bolshevik party in Vitebsk, Kiev, Ekaterinoslav and Moscow. Rosengolts played an active role in the Revolution of 1917. He was a member of the Executive Committee of the Moscow City Council, the Moscow Military-Revolutionary Committee and the All-Russian Military-Revolutionary Committee. He was a leading officer in the Red Army and, during the Russian Civil War, worked closely with L.D. Trotsky. After the Civil War, Rosengolts worked successively for the Commissariats of Transportation and Finance and the Directorate of the Red Army Air Force. He served as ambassador to Britain from 1925 to 1927 and oversaw Soviet espionage in Britain. He became a member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1927 and held various high positions in the Communist Party and the Soviet government. In 1930 he was appointed People's Commissar of Foreign Trade. On June 14, 1937, Rosengolts was dismissed from this office and on October 7, 1937, he was arrested. He was one of the defendants of the third Moscow Trial, along with Nikolai Bukharin, Alexey Rykov and other prominent Soviet officials. The accused faced a long list of capital charges, including plotting to assassinate Lenin and Stalin, espionage and sabotage. Like most of his co-defendants, Rosengolts confessed. He was convicted, sentenced to death and shot on March 15, 1938 in Moscow. He was rehabilitated in 1988.



On the Moscow Trials generally, see:

  • Khruschev, Nikita, 'Speech to the Twentieth Communist Party Congress' (1956).
  • Orlov, Alexander, The Secret History of Stalin's Crimes. Random House, 1953.
  • Report Of Court Proceedings In The Case Of The Anti-Soviet "Bloc Of Rights And Trotskyites". Heard Before The Military Collegium Of The Supreme Court Of The U.S.S.R., Moscow, March 2–13, 1938. In Re: N.I. Bukharin, A.I. Rykov, G.G. Yagoda et al. Verbatim Report. People's Commissariat of Justice of the U.S.S.R., Moscow, 1938.
  • 'The Great Conspiracy.' Marxist Internet Archive. Online at: