Vilhelm Knorin

Vilgelm Georgiyevich Knorin (Russian: Вильге́льм Гео́ргиевич Кно́рин, Latvian: Vilhelms "Vilis" Knoriņš; (1890–1939)) was a Latvian Bolshevik revolutionary, Soviet politician, publicist and historian.

Vilgelm Georgiyevich Knorin

He served as the second First secretary of the Central Committee of the Byelorussian SSR from 1920 to 1923 and from 1927 to 1928. He was executed in the Great Purge as a part of the Latvian Operation of the NKVD.

Being a Moscow-appointed de facto head of state of Belarus, Knorin is known for his notorious quote about the Belarusian independence: "We believe that Byelorussians are not a nation, and the ethnographic specifics, which differentiate them from Russians, must be erased. We, communists, in the region that you call Byelorussia, work without thinking of what tribe we are."[1]

A street in Minsk is named after Knorin.[1]


  1. ^ a b Лукашевич, Татьяна (23 November 2017). "Именем революции. Гид по улицам Минска" [In the Name of the Revolution. A guide through the streets of Minsk]. Bolshoi; original quote: Zviazda, 6 October 1918. Retrieved 27 November 2017. Мы считаем, что белорусы не являются нацией, и те этнографические особенности, которые отличают их от остальных русских, должны быть изжиты. Мы, коммунисты, в том крае, который вы называете Белоруссией, работаем, не считаясь с тем, какого мы роду и племени

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