Nikita Khrushchev (8 Feb 1955 Jahr – 14 Okt 1964 Jahr)


Served as the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Soviet Union (from September 1953) and Chairman of the Council of Ministers from 27 March 1958 to 14 October 1964. While vacationing in Abkhazia, Khrushchev was called by Leonid Brezhnev to return to Moscow for a special meeting of the Presidium, to be held on 13 October 1964. There, at the most fiery session since the so-called "anti-party group" crisis of 1957, he was fired from all his posts. He was largely left in peace in retirement, but was made a "non-person" to the extent that his name was removed even from the thirty-volume Soviet Encyclopedia. He died in 1971. He was seen overseas as a reformer of a "petrified structure" and described his main contribution as removing the fear that Stalin had brought, but many of his reforms were later reversed.


Khrushchev's economic policies were liable to be inconsistent from year to year, but were alike in the sense that they were all disastrous. Having been born into a peasant community, yet with much of his childhood spent in the coal mines of Ukraine, he gravitated more towards his latter industrial background and eschewed mentions of his peasant birth. However, this didn't stop him from taking an extremely hands on approach to agriculture, which ended up in fact being the main focus of his most notable economic policies.

When it came to farming, Khrushchev tended to micromanage, often advising far below his level of authority and far beyond his level of expertise. He would go as far as tell farmers what specific kinds of crops to plant, or what kinds of irrigation techniques to employ. He was impressed by American agriculture, and often tried to emulate its success, notably with his Virgin Lands project in which he tried to switch Ukrainian agriculture to corn production, or later in his career when he suggested that farms start producing potato chips. Khrushchev even ordered shipments of wheat from the United States, which likely led to private misgivings from his colleagues, who were already concerned with his approach to relations with the West.

He also made several attempts to reform economic establishments, such as his invention of Agro-towns with the intention of combining the traditional kolkhozes with one another in the hopes of establishing larger economic units and urbanizing agriculture. It proved unsuccessful. Another came in the earlier 60s when he attempted to split the economic bureaucracy into two halves, one for industry and one for agriculture. With this Khrushchev was trying to streamline both facets of the economy and create greater specialization, but in doing so he violated Communist Party edict, which placed importance on unity between worker and peasant.

Khrushchev also violated Soviet traditions by raising the price of meat in order to subsidize farmers at a time when agriculture was suffering. However the price of meat had been kept relatively low since Stalin's time, and its increase infuriated Soviet consumers, who in some places started protests and riots that had to be quelled by the army. The combination of all these failings was used against him by Brezhnev and other opposition figures during his deposition in 1964.

Zugefügt zum Band der Zeit:

25 Okt 2017


8 Feb 1955 Jahr
14 Okt 1964 Jahr
~ 9 years and 8.0 months


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