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Polrewkom 1920 (in center left to right: Feliks Dzierzynski, Julian Marchlewski, Feliks Kon)

Feliks Yakovlevich Kon (1864 in Warsaw - July 30, 1941 in Moscow) was a Polish communist activist.



Born in Warsaw, Kon's mother was Georgian and was brought up in Russia.[1] He was trained as a historian and a journalist, but was involved in politics.[2] He had limited knowledge of Polish affairs at first, but intuitively felt the revolutionary element among Polish workers that he could mobilize.[1]

He was a member of the anti-Piłsudski faction of the Polish Socialist Party. Kon gravitated towards the anti-independence, pro-communism point of view. In January 1897 an administrative decision was at last taken to banish him.[3] He was exiled to Irkutsk and began working on the progressive newspaper "Vostochnoye Obozrenie" (Eastern Review).[4]

As the Bolsheviks began to prepare for the Polish-Soviet War, they summoned an increasing number of Polish communists, active elsewhere in Soviet service, to Moscow in order to form a cadre of party and state officials to move into ethnographic Poland with the Red Army.[5] He was put on the Provisional Polish Revolutionary Committee (formed in Białystok on July 30, 1920 - dissolved August 20, 1920)[6] during the Polish-Soviet War.

During this period he was editor-in-chief of the Goniec Czerwony newspaper, the official organ of the temporary revolutionary committee. The first issue appeared on August 7th. Its purpose was to agitate and it printed all the appeals issued by the Communist puppet government, as well as distinctly skewed news from the war. Twelve issues appeared, the last on August 20th as the Polish army approached the city. In the last issue he triumphantly proclaimed in an article entitled "Dwa światy" (Two Worlds): The old world disappears, but a new one is born: great, powerful and a genuinely independent Polish Socialist Republic will hold the prominent post in this world.[7]

After the war, he decided to remain in the Soviet Union, where he was an activist in the Communist Party (Bolshevik) of Ukraine, Comintern. However, letters written by Vladimir Lenin referred to Kon, whom he "couldn't stand", as simply an "old fool" (staryi duren).[8]

Kon also served as an editor at several newspapers including Krasnaya Zvezda. In 1941, became the director of Polish-directed propaganda section at Radio Moscow. The first broadcasts in Polish were on June 22, 1941. However, he died a natural death shortly afterwards at age 77, at Moscow's Chimkach water station during the evacuation of the city before the advancing German army and the Battle of Moscow.[9] All the other members of the Polish Socialist Party-Left were later liquidated by the NKVD.[10]


During his exile for revolutionary activity turned to ethnographic research although he had no preparation for it. He also recorded literature possessions in Siberia.[11]

During the late 1920s and 1930s, he was the head of the museum department in the People's Commissariat for Education. As an "old Bolshevik" he managed to secure many pictures for the Kyrgyz Gallery.[12]

In 1936, he published his memoirs (in Russian) entitled Za Pietdziesiat Let (also translated into Polish in 1969: Narodziny wieku – wspomnienia published by Książka i Wiedza).


A Russian sea vessel named in his honor, the Feliks Kon, sank in 1996 in the Sea of Okhotsk, releasing 1000 tons of fuel oil.[13]


  1. ^ a b Nowicki, Michał. "Stanisław Kunicki w polskiej historiografii", retrieved on: August 12, 2007. (Polish)
  2. ^ Jewish Encyclopedia of Russia (Rossiyskaya Evreiskaya Entsiclopediya); first edition; 1995, Moscow., retrieved on: August 10, 2007.
  3. ^ P. Iu. Savel'ev and S. V. Tiutiukin (2006) "Iulii Osipovich Martov (1873-1923): The Man and the Politician" Russian Studies in History V 45, N 1.
  4. ^ Solzhenitsyn, Alexandr I. (1974) The Gulag Archipelago, 1918-1956, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-0060139148. Page 337.
  5. ^ Debo, Richard K. (1992) Survival and Consolidation: The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia, 1918-1921, McGill-Queen's Press. ISBN 0773508287. Page 225.
  6. ^ Polish Soviet Socialist Republic, retrieved on: August 9, 2007.
  7. ^ Przemysław Sieradzan "Julian Marchlewski i Krótka Historia Polskiego Rewolucyjnego Komitetu", retrieved on: August 12, 2007. (Polish)
  8. ^ Elwood, Carter. "Lenin and Armand: New evidence on an old affair" Canadian Slavonic Papers, March 2001, retrieved on: August 9, 2007.
  9. ^ Because of an BOT deletion, the following link must be done manually -- it is a page in Polish (with no spam) pertaining to the History of the Polish broadcasts by the Radio Voice of Russia, retrieved on: August 12, 2007. (Polish)
  10. ^ Poland's Communist Party: Its History, Character and Composition page 2-3, retrieved on: August 9, 2007.
  11. ^ Michałowski, Witold Stanisław "Szamańskie safari (2)", retrieved on: August 10, 2007. (Polish)
  12. ^ Brief information about the history of the Fine Arts Museum and the founders of fine arts in Kyrgyzstan, retrieved on: August 10, 2007.
  13. ^ Environmental Problems in the Russian Federation, page 12, retrieved on: August 9, 2007.


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