Name of the key positions and employees in the Soviet Union
The word ‘nomenklatura’ comes from Latin (nomenclatura) and means a list.
In the history of the Soviet Union this word means a secret list of the key positions, where people were appointed and sacked by a specific party committee or another organ of power. There was a nomenklatura in the Central Committee of the Soviet Communist Party, as well as in the Central Committee of the Estonian Communist Party and in regional committees. Ministries, regional executive committees and other bodies also had their own nomenklaturas.
Nomenklaturas emerged in the mid-1920s. In Soviet Estonia they were introduced from the spring 1941 and continued after Estonia was re-invaded in 1944.
On the basis of available facts, the nomenklatura of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union had about 42 000 positions in 1946; the Estonian CP had about 1800. The total number of nomenklatura positions in the Soviet Union at that time was estimated at one million, and this number probably increased in the following decades. The key positions were included in nomenklatura in state administrative organs and the economy, industry, and culture.
The word also has another meaning – people who filled those positions, i.e. the elite of Soviet society. In that sense the term generally has a negative undertone.
Created: 26.08.2009 13:11
Modified: 02.10.2012 13:04