Cheka Head Felix Dzerzhinsky Writes To Trotsky

Felix Dzerzhinsky, nickname "Iron Felix", was of Polish descent and is best known for developing the Soviet secret police forces, serving as their director from 1917 to 1926. His Cheka was the forerunner of the NKVD and the KGB. Under his direction the Cheka soon became notorious for mass summary executions, performed especially during the Red Terror and the Russian Civil War. In this April 1920 document, Dzerzhinsky writes to Trotsky, president of the Military Council of the Republic: "Dear Comrade, Returning toyou herein the telegram of Comrade Bitker, the member of the military council. The arrested citizen, Borisov, the personal secretary of the Regional Military Council was arrested for giving a fake commander certificate and a false leave certificate to his cousin who had no true relationship to the Regional Military Council. Borisov admitted his crime. Comrade Bitker was informed of the arrest on the very same day, and the next day Borsov was released. We were informed about this case by Comrade Bakaev, president of the Extraordinary Committee to fight against counterrevolution, sabotage, and speculation, in St. Petersburg." Dzerzhinsky then goes on to complain that Bitker should have come to him first instead of going around him to Bakaev. He signs it in blue pencil, "F.Dzerzhinsky." Trotsky has also signed the document in dark blue crayon with his usual "M."

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