The Commissar Vanishes Page One of Five
Joined Bolsheviks in 1906 and took active part in October
Revolution. Elected full member of Central Committee, and served
as secretary of Moscow Party organization. Arrested in October 1937
on Stalin's orders as “an enemy of the people.” Along with 20 other
defendants in a show trial on March 1938, including Bukharin, Zelensky
was found guilty of “spoiling” 50 truckloads of eggs, and shot. This
haunting image of Zelensky’s defaced photograph comes from a photographic
album in possession of artist Rodchenko, who defaced the photo in 1937
in order to avoid arrest and possible imprisonment.
Meeting in St. Petersburg in February 1897 with Lenin.
Left standing is Alexander Marchenko. Along with the others Marchenko
was exiled for 3 years in Siberia. Returning from exile in 1900 he
abandoned revolutionary politics. In 1929 he was arrested, wrongfully
accused of being a "wrecker," and executed in 1930. For 30 years
he was air-brushed out of the photo whenever it was reproduced. In
1958 he was rehabilitated, at which time his presence was allowed to re-appear.
The Commissar Vanishes
Lenin and Trotsky [center, top of stairs] celebrating
second anniversary of the revolution in November 1919. A heavily
retouched version was published in 1967. Trotsky has been air-brushed
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