7.9 A short biography of Andrei Sverdlov

No 7 : 30 June 1969

Based on the samizdat document “About the unusual fate of the members of the family and relations of Ya. M. Sverdlov”.

When quite young, no more than twenty years old, Andrei Ya. Sverdlov, only son of [Lenin’s comrade] Yakov M. Sverdlov, began to work for the NKVD [pre-war KGB]. Here he was quickly promoted for his pathological cruelty and coarseness. To start with he had to deal mainly with the children of Party and government officials, with whom he had been at school and whom he had known well since childhood. When Khanna Ganetskaya , after refusing to give evidence, saw A. Sverdlov come into the investigator’s room, she rushed towards him exclaiming:  “Adik!” whereupon Sverdlov let out some coarse swear-words. In Moscow there live at least seven people whom Andrei Sverdlov personally interrogated, using torture and brutality.

He took part also in the proceedings against Elizaveta Drabkina, who from 1918-19 was secretary to Ya. M. Sverdlov. At the father’s request she took away his son, Andrei, and daughter, Vera, from the flat a few hours before his death. Andrei Sverdlov knew quite well that Drabkina had not committed the crimes with which she was charged but nevertheless he forced “confessions” and “recantations” out of her.

After a short time Andrei Sverdlov was arrested. This arrest was only for show, however. The NKVD accounts department continued paying his wages, and in prison he played the role of informer, taking advantage of the confidence which his name inspired. When the prisoners discovered what he was doing, he once more donned an NKVD uniform.  After the shooting of Yezhov, the head of the NKVD [in 1938] A. Ya. Sverdlov became one of the prominent people in Beria’s entourage. Following Stalin’s death, Andrei Sverdlov took up “research work” at the Institute of Marxism-Leninism. In 1956 after the 20th Party congress he lived through a year of hardship in the Kremlin hospital, but afterwards he again returned to the Institute, to the department of CPSU history, Andrei Sverdlov was one of the first to raise a hue and cry over the discussion of the book [22 June 1941] by Nekrich book at the Institute of Marxism-Leninism. The very same day he wrote a report on this discussions’ organizers and participants to the Party Control Committee at CPSU Central Committee and to the Party committee of the Institute, slanderously asserting that “anti-Soviet” speeches had occurred during the discussion.

Andrei Sverdlov’s address is: Moscow, 2 Serafimovich St, apartment 319 (the same Government House [House on the Embankment, see Trifonov obituary, CCE ] from which so many victims were taken). His telephone numbers: at home 231-94-97, at work 181-23-25.