- Birth Date:
- Death date:
- Person's maiden name:
- Jēkabs Peterss
- Extra names:
- Екабс Пэтерс, Яков Петерс, Яков Христофорович Петерс; Jēkabs Peters, Яков Пэтерс
- Bolshevik, Communist, Repression organizer, supporter, Revolutionary, Victim of repression (genocide) of the Soviet regime
- Komunarka shooting range. Communist place of mass murder
Yakov Khristoforovich Peters (Latvian: Jēkabs Peterss, Russian: Я́ков Христофо́рович Пе́терс, English: Jacob Peters, Jan Peters) (3 December [O.S. 21 November] 1886 — 25 April 1938) was a Latvian Communist revolutionary, Soviet politician, chekist, andterrorist. Together with Feliks Dzerzhinsky, he was one of the founders and chiefs of the Cheka (VChK). He was the Deputy Chairman of the Cheka from 1918 and briefly the acting Chairman of the Cheka from 7 July to 22 August 1918.
He was born in Brinken volost of Hasenpoth uyezd (Courland Governorate), to a poor farmer's family on December 3, 1886. He became a member of the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party in 1904. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1905 he was arrested in 1907 for the attempted murder of a factory director in Libau, but was later acquitted by the Riga military court in 1908. Peters emigrated toEngland and lived in London where he was a member of the London Group of the Social Democracy of Latvia and of the British Socialist Party. In 1911, he achieved notoriety in Britain when he and four others were arrested and put on trial in the aftermath of the Sidney Street Siege, following a failed jeweler's shop robbery at Houndsditch in which three police officers were killed. Despite some incriminating evidence (in connection with Peter the Painter), Peters and his companions were acquitted to the dismay of the Home Secretary Winston Churchill.
He married May Freeman, the daughter of a London banker, and together they had a daughter, Maisie Peters-Freeman (born 1914). After Peters had returned to Russia in May 1917, following the February Revolution, and became deputy head of the Cheka. He invited his wife and daughter to join him there. Upon arrival in Russia, they discovered that Peters had a new family. Maisie, despite appealing to British authorities, died in the Gulag in 1971.
In Riga, Peters became one of the leaders of the Social Democracy of Latvia working at the front-lines of the Northern Front. During the German advance he moved to Valmiera where he was an editor of the party newspaper Cīņa. Peters was a peasant representative of theGovernorate of Livonia to the Democratic discussion initiated by Kerensky.
Moving to Petrograd, he actively participated in the Bolshevik revolution of October 1917 being a member of the Military-Revolutionary Committee in Petrograd. At that time he was preparing military units for the October Revolution. Afterward, he was a member of ChekaCollegiate, the Deputy Chairman of the Commission, and the chairman of the Revolutionary Tribunal. He participated in the disclosure of the alleged Lockhart plot as well as leading the liquidation of the Left SR mutiny of 1918. Following Dzerzhinsky's resignation in the aftermath of the Left SR Uprising, assassination of Mirbach, and the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Peters briefly served as the chief of the Cheka untilDzerzhinsky resumed his duties. As one of the Cheka's leaders, Peters was responsible for the first major Cheka operations involving killings. These were against alleged anarchists in Petrograd and later in May 1918 against anarchists in Petrograd and Moscow. He also was involved in the investigation of the SR attempt on Lenin's life in August 1918 (Fanni Kaplan case), for the indiscriminate Red Terrorcampaigns and reprisals that followed. He called it a "Hysterical Terror" in the newspaper "Utro Moskvy" (#21) of November 4, 1918. During these times appeared a term "room of souls" in numerous prisons such as Butyrka.
See also: Estonian War of Independence
In March 1919 he was appointed as the Chief of internal defense in Petrograd, and then the Commandant of the reinforced raion. Following the retreat of the Yudenich forces he was appointed as the Commandant of the reinforced raion in Kiev in August 1919. Upon the sack of Kiev he was a member of the Military Council in Tula. In winter 1919-1920 Peters became the deputy chairman of the Special Committee of the STO in providing military preparations on railways.
In 1920 he represented the Cheka in the Northern Caucasus and served there as the Commissar of the Northern Caucasus Railways. In 1920-1922 was the Cheka plenipotentiary in Turkestan ASSR, where he also was the local party bureau member. There he led numerous operations against the anti-Bolshevik formations of Dutov, Annenkov, and Enver-Pasha. He returned to Moscow in 1922 and worked as a high-ranking official in the OGPU, Rabkrin, and as the chief of the Eastern department of the GPU (created on June 2, 1922).
Peters was arrested and executed during the Great Purge, on April 25, 1938. His conviction was overturned posthumously in 1956.
- Peter the Painter, a possible alternate identity of Peters' while in England.
1st Deputy Chief of Soviet State Security In office December 1917 – March 1919 Prime Minister Vladimir Lenin Preceded by position created Succeeded by Ivan Ksenofontov Chief of Petrograd Defense In office March 1919 – August 1919 Prime Minister Vladimir Lenin Chief of Kiev Defense In office August 1919 – August 1919 Prime Minister Vladimir Lenin Chief of Tashkent Cheka In office 1920–1926 Prime Minister Vladimir Lenin 1st Chief of East Department of GPU In office 2 June 1922 – 31 October 1929 Prime Minister Vladimir Lenin Aleksei Rykov Preceded by position created Chairman of Moscow Control Commission of Party In office 1930–1934 Prime Minister Vyacheslav Molotov Personal details Born 21 November [O.S. 3 December] 1886 Brinken district, Hasenpothcounty, Courland Governorate,Russian Empire Died 25 April 1938 (aged 51) Kommunarka Shooting Range,Moscow Oblast, Soviet Union Citizenship Russia, Soviet Union Nationality Latvian Political party SDLK (1904-38) Spouse(s) Maisie Freeman (1910s-1917) Children May (daughter) Alma mater none Profession Statesman and revolutionary Military service Allegiance Russia, Soviet Union
Born 1886, Курляндская губ., Бринкенская вол.; латыш; низшее;
член бюро КПК при ЦК ВКП(б).
Lived: Москва, ул. Серафимовича, д. 2 (Дом правительства), кв. 181.
Arrested: 26 November 1937.
Sentenced: ВКВС СССР 25 April 1938.
Charged: участии в к.-р. организации.
Shot: 25 April 1938.
Buried: место захоронения - Московская обл., Коммунарка.
Rehabilitated: 3 Mart 1956. ВКВС СССР
Source: Москва, расстрельные списки - Коммунарка
Source: wikipedia.org, memo.ru
|Relation name||Relation type||Description|
|5||Eduard Berzin||Coworker, Idea mate|
|8||Иван Ксенофонтов||Idea mate|
|12||Дмитрий Константинович Романов||Victim|
|14||Великий Князь Георгий Михайлович||Victim|