Pēteris Stučka

Pēteris Stučka, sometimes spelt Pyotr Ivanovich Stuchka (Russian: Пётр Ива́нович Сту́чка, German: Peter Stutschka (in contemporary writings); July 26 [O.S. July 14] 1865 – 25 January 1932), was a Latvian jurist and communist politician who served as the leader of Bolshevik government in Latvian SSR during the Latvian War of Independence and later a statesman in the Soviet Union.

Pēteris Stučka
Pēteris Stučka at Brest-Litovsk (1918) 1.jpg
Chairman of the Supreme Court
of the RSFSR
In office
PremierVladimir Lenin (until 1924)
Alexey Rykov (until 1930)
Vyacheslav Molotov
Preceded byNone—position established
Succeeded byIvan 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 byNone—position established
Succeeded byNone—position dissolved
People's Commissar for Justice of the RSFSR
In office
29 November – 22 December 1917
PremierVladimir Lenin
Preceded byGeorgy Oppokov
Succeeded byIsaac Steinberg
In office
18 March – 14 September 1918
PremierVladimir Lenin
Preceded byIsaac Steinberg
Succeeded byDmitry Kursky
Personal details
BornJuly 26 [O.S. July 14] 1865
Koknese, Livonia, Russian Empire
(now Koknese, Latvia)
DiedJanuary 25, 1932(1932-01-25) (aged 66)
Moscow, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union
(now Moscow, Russia)
Political partyAll-Union Communist Party (bolsheviks)
Spouse(s)Dora Pliekšāne
Alma materSt. Petersburg University

Born in to the family of wealthy farmer and singing teacher, Stučka was 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]

Stučka was a member of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party and of the founders of the Social Democracy of the Latvian Territory. 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 StučkaEdit

  • 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 readingEdit

  • 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 linksEdit