Aleksandr Eiduk

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Aleksandr Vladimirovich Eiduk (Russian: Александр Владимирович Эйдук, Latvian: Aleksandrs Eiduks, 1886–1938) was a Soviet Cheka operative and poet of Latvian ethnicity.


Eiduk was born in Kreis Wenden of the Governorate of Livonia, then part of the Russian Empire.

In 1919, an American diplomat testified to Congress that Eiduk was, with another Cheka leader, considered the "most blood-thirsty monster in Russia".[1] In the 1920s, Eiduk served as a Soviet representative to the American Relief Administration, whose agents appreciated him for "moving with a celerity not characteristically Russian".[2]

During the Great Purge, Eiduk was arrested on June 4, 1938 as a part of the so-called "Latvian Operation of the NKVD". He was shot by the NKVD on August 28, 1938. He was rehabilitated in 1956.


Eiduk is best remembered for his poetry extolling the political terror of the Soviet secret police. In Moscow, Eiduk reportedly admitted to a friend, with 'enjoyment in his voice like that of an ecstatic sexual maniac', how pleasing he found the roar of truck engines used at the Lubyanka to drown out the noise of executions.

In the early 1920s, soon after the Red Army invasion of Georgia, he published the following poem in an anthology entitled The Cheka's Smile:

There is no greater joy, nor better music
Than the crunch of broken lives and bones.
This is why when our eyes are languid
And passions begin to seethe stormily in the breast,
I want to write on your sentence
One unquivering thing: 'Up against the wall! Shoot!'[3]


  • Alexander Wladimirovic Eiduck, Die russische Hungersnot 1921-1922 und ihre Bekämpfung im Lichte der Tatsachen, Berlin, Vereinigung internationaler Verlagsanstalten, 1922.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bertrand M. Patenaude. The Big Show in Bololand. (chapter 22, Comrade Eiduk), Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2002, pp. 346–353.


  1. ^ "R.E. Simmons and W.W. Welsh Tell Senators of Brutalities of Bolsheviki". The New York Times. 16 February 1919. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  2. ^ David C. Engerman (2003). Modernization from the Other Shore: American Intellectuals and the Romance of Russian Development. Harvard University Press. p. 107. ISBN 0-674-01151-1.
  3. ^ From Gosudarstvo i revoliutsii by Valerii Shambarov (2001), translated in Stalin and his Hangmen by Donald Rayfield, 2005, p. 76. Reproduced here under the terms of fair use.