Andrey Vyshinsky

Andrey Vyshinsky

Andrey Vyshinsky was born in Odessa, Russia, on 28th November, 1883. As a young man he joined the Social Democratic Party.

At the Second Congress of the Social Democratic Party in London in 1903, there was a dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov, two of the party's main leaders. Lenin argued for a small party of professional revolutionaries with a large fringe of non-party sympathisers and supporters. Martov disagreed believing it was better to have a large party of activists. Martov won the vote 28-23 but Lenin was unwilling to accept the result and formed a faction known as the Bolsheviks. Those who remained loyal to Martov became known as Mensheviks.

Vyshinsky, like George Plekhanov, Pavel Axelrod, Leon Trotsky, Lev Deich, Vladimir Antonov-Ovseenko, Irakli Tsereteli, Moisei Uritsky, Noi Zhordania and Fedor Dan supported Julius Martov.

Vyshinsky became a lawyer and after the October Revolution he joined the Bolsheviks. He taught law at Moscow State University until becoming a state prosecutor. Between 1934 and 1938 Vyshinsky prosecuted many leading politicians accused of conspiring against Joseph Stalin and the Soviet government.

In 1940 Vyshinsky was given the responsibility of managing the occupation of Latvia. He also helped establish communism in Romania before becoming foreign minister in March, 1949. He survived the purge that followed the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953 and continued as the Soviet representative in the United Nations.

Andrey Vyshinsky died in New York on 22nd November, 1954.

Primary Sources

(1) Andrei Vyshinsky, Soviet Union spokesman at the United Nations, speech (18th September, 1947)

The so-called Truman Doctrine and the Marshall Plan are particularly glaring examples of the way in which the principles of the United Nations are violated, of the way in which the Organisation is ignored. As is now clear, the Marshall Plan constitutes in essence merely a variant of the Truman Doctrine adapted to the conditions of postwar Europe. In bringing forward this plan, the United States Government apparently counted on the cooperation of the Governments of the United Kingdom and France to confront the European countries in need of relief with the necessity of renouncing their inalienable right to dispose of their economic resources and to plan their national economy in their own way. The United States also counted on making all these countries directly dependent on the interests of American monopolies, which are striving to avert the approaching depression by an accelerated export of commodities and capital to Europe.

It is becoming more and more evident to everyone that the implementation of the Marshall Plan will mean placing European countries under the economic and political control of the United States and direct interference by the latter in the internal affairs of those countries. Moreover, this plan is an attempt to split Europe into two camps and, with the help of the United Kingdom and France, to complete the formation of a bloc of several European countries hostile to the interests of the democratic countries of Eastern Europe and most particularly to the interests of the Soviet Union. An important feature of this Plan is the attempt to confront the - countries of Eastern Europe with a bloc of Western European States including Western Germany. The intention is to make use of Western Germany and German heavy industry (the Ruhr) as one of the most important economic bases for American expansion in Europe, in disregard of the national interests of the countries which suffered from German aggression.