Pēteris Stučka

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Pēteris Stučka
Pēteris Stučka at Brest-Litovsk (1918) 1.jpg
Pēteris Stučka at Brest-Litovsk Conference in 1918
Chairman of the Supreme Court
of the RSFSR
In office
Premier Vladimir Lenin (until 1924)
Alexey Rykov
Preceded by None—position established
Succeeded by Ivan Lazarevic Bulat
Chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the Latvian Socialist Soviet Republic
In office
17 December 1918 – 13 January 1920
Preceded by None—position established
Succeeded by None—position dissolved
People's Commissar for Justice of the RSFSR
In office
29 November – 22 December 1917
Premier Vladimir Lenin
Preceded by Georgy Oppokov
Succeeded by Isaac Steinberg
In office
18 March – 14 September 1918
Premier Vladimir Lenin
Preceded by Isaac Steinberg
Succeeded by Dmitry Kursky
Personal details
Born July 26 [O.S. July 14] 1865
Koknese parish, Governorate of Livonia, Russian Empire
Died January 25, 1932(1932-01-25) (aged 66)
Moscow, Soviet Union
Nationality Soviet
Political party All-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks)
Spouse(s) Dora Pliekšāne
Alma mater St. Petersburg University
Profession Lawyer

Pēteris Stučka, sometimes spelt Pyotr Ivanovich Stuchka (Russian: Пётр Ива́нович Сту́чка, German: Peter Stutschka (in contemporary writings); b. July 26 [O.S. July 14] 1865 in Koknese parish, Governorate of Livonia – d. January 25, 1932 in Moscow), was the head of the Bolshevik government in Latvia during the Latvian War of Independence, one of the leaders of the New Current movement in the late 19th century, a prolific writer and translator, an editor of major Latvian and Russian socialist and communist newspapers and periodicals, a prominent jurist and educator, and the first president of the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union. Stučka's wife, Dora Pliekšāne (1870–1950), was the sister of the Latvian poet Rainis (Jānis Pliekšāns), with whom Stučka shared a room during their law studies at St. Petersburg University.[citation needed]

The Latvian socialists split at the turn of the twentieth century. Stučka, a member of Lenin's inner circle, believed that the goals of global communism were more important than cultural identity.[citation needed]. Rainis, Stučka's brother-in-law, supported socialism, but stressed that national culture was also important. Although Rainis initially supported a free Latvia within a free Russia, he would later support an independent Latvian nation. During Latvia's War of Independence, 1918-1920, Stučka and his army of Latvian and Russian soldiers was defeated by the Latvian provisional government. Despite having the initial support of many Latvians, he lost this by breaking his promise to provide land to individuals, supporting collective farms.[citation needed]

In the USSR during the 1920s, Stučka was one of the main Soviet legal theoreticians who promoted the "revolutionary" or "proletarian" model of socialist legality.[citation needed]

After his death in 1932, Stučka's remains were interred amongst those of other Communist dignitaries in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis, near Lenin's Mausoleum in Moscow's Red Square.

Places and organizations named in honour of Stučka[edit]

  • During the Soviet period, from 1958 to 1990, the University of Latvia was officially known as Pēteris Stučka Latvian State University (Latvian: Pētera Stučkas Latvijas Valsts universitāte).
  • The town of Aizkraukle was named Stučka, after Pēteris Stučka, from the time when it was established in 1960s until the fall of Communism in 1991, when it was renamed Aizkraukle.
  • In the GDR, Polytechnic Secondary School No. 55 (German: 55. Polytechnische Oberschule) in Rostock was named "Peter Stucka" in honour of the Latvian Communist.


A comprehensive bibliography of the works by and about Stučka, with explanatory material in both Latvian and Russian, is:

  • Olmane, P.; Pūce, O. (1988). Pēteris Stučka: Biobibliogrāfiskais rādītājs / Петр Стучка: Биобиблиографический указатель (in Latvian and Russian). Riga: Viļa Lāča Latvijas PSR Valsts bibliotēka. OCLC 22544777. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Stuchka, P.I. (1988). Selected Writings on Soviet Law and Marxism. Robert Sharlet, Peter B. Maggs, and Piers Beirne (eds.). Armonk, N.Y.: M.E. Sharpe. ISBN 0-87332-473-0. OCLC 17353762. 

External links[edit]