Eestimaa Kommunistliku Partei Keskkomitee nomen klatuur 1945–1990: areng ja statistika [Abstract: The nomenklatura of the Estonian Communist Party Central Committee 1945–1990: development and statistics]


  • Mariliis Hämäläinen



The nomenklatura system that had taken shape in the Soviet Union in the 1920s was implemented in the Estonian SSR in the post-war years, even though this issue was already on the agenda during the first year of Soviet occupation. The year 1945 was the most important from the standpoint of getting the nomenklatura system to start functioning since it was then that the system for documenting nomenklatura cadres was worked out, personal fi les were drawn up, a card fi le of personal cards of the nomenklatura cadres was established, and the ECP CC nomenklatura was approved. The specification of the principles of the nomenklatura carried out at the USSR-wide level in 1946 and the drawing up of a new USSR-wide list also brought changes in the nomenklaturas of the local Party committees. The first post-war ECP CC nomenklatura was approved in September of 1946 and it listed a total of 1739 official posts. The total number of positions that belonged to the ECP CC nomenklatura increased with each approved list starting from 1946 to 1950, when 3155 positions were included in the nomenklatura. Based on the decision of the CPSU CC, the new ECP CC nomenklatura was approved in August of 1953 with a total of 2252 positions. The reduction in nomenklatura posts continued during the subsequent years as well both at the USSR-wide level as well as regionally. The smallest number of ECP CC nomenklatura positions is found in the list from 1961, when their number had dropped to 1579 positions. Two years later, on the other hand, there were once again over 2000 posts in the ECP CC nomenklatura, remaining in this order of magnitude with small variations until 1971, when the total number of ECP CC nomenklatura extended to nearly 3000 positions. The total number of nomenklatura positions was 2166 in the full listing that was approved four years later. The ECP CC nomenklatura was of the same order of magnitude in the 1980s as well, shrinking to 1761 positions by 1988 and 1349 posts by 1990. In 1947–50, the number of posts belonging to the listed nomenklatura increased and the number of posts belonging to the list of potential replacements for nomenklatura positions decreased with each new listing of official positions. This meant that during these years, the number of positions that required the direct approval of the ECP CC increased. The relative proportion of listed nomenklatura began decreasing in the ECP CC nomenklatura in the latter half of the 1950s, reaching its lowest point in the full listing of 1956, when only 55% of the ECP CC nomenklatura required the approval of the ECP CC Bureau or Secretariat. From this point onward, the relative proportion of listed nomenklatura began increasing again, levelling off at between 74 and 83% in the 1960s. Positions in the Party apparat, the ideological, agricultural and other administrative apparats formed the bulk of the ECP CC nomenklatura in 1946–75. The relative proportion of these spheres of activity remained somewhere in the range of 52–73% in total in the different listings. The institutions that belonged to the ECP CC nomenklatura in 1946–90 went through several changes in their designations and structure over the years. For the most part, the number of positions included in the ECP CC nomenklatura in the jurisdiction of such institutions decreased or increased with the approved listings or by way of decisions made during the intervening periods. Regardless of frequent changes, the core of the ECP CC nomenklatura remained essentially the same over this period of 45 years. Keywords: nomenklatura, political elite, cadre policy, sovietization, Estonian SSR


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