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Lazar Kaganovich

Lazar Kaganovich rose to prominence under Stalin as Moscow City Party Boss, Moscow Province Party Boss, and Stalin's personal representative to the Central Committee.

Kaganovich was Jewish by birth; though ideologically he was a staunch atheist. He was, until 1957, a full member of the Politburo and its successor, the Presidium. Kaganovich was an early mentor of Nikita Kruschev, who first rose to prominence as his Moscow City deputy in the 1930s. In 1947, when Kruschev was stripped of the Party leadership in the Ukraine (he remained in the somewhat lesser head of government job), Stalin dispatched Kaganovich to replace him until the former was reinstated late that year.

Kaganovich was a rigid Stalinist, and though he remained in the Presidium, quickly lost influence after Stalin's death in March 1953. In 1957, along with fellow hard-line Stalinist V. Molotov, he participated in an abortive coup against his former protege, Nikita Kruschev, who had over the past two years increasingly condemned his former master, Marshal Stalin. As a result, Kaganovich was forced to retire from the Presidium, and from the Central Committee, though he was permitted to retain his Party membership. Later removed from the Party in 1964, he committed suicide in 1991 after the defeat of the August coup.