New Director of the State Bank

Stanislav Pestkovskii, Recollections about the First Days of Soviet Power. November 1917


Original Source: “Ob oktiabrskikh dniakh v Pitere,” Proletarskaia Revoliutsiia, No. 10 (1922), pp. 99-100.

{Pestkovskii relates that he visited Smolnyi in search of a job in the government. After visiting Trotsky and Lenin, he entered the room opposite Lenin’s office.}

The room was rather large. In one corner the Secretary of the Sovnarkom, Comrade N. P. Gorbunov, was working at a small table … Farther on, Comrade Menzhinskii, looking very tired, was lounging on a sofa … over which was the sign: “The People’s Commissariat of Finance.”

I sat down near Menzhinskii and began to talk with him. In the most innocent way he started to question me about my earlier career and became curious in regard to my past studies.

I answered … that I had worked at the University of London, where, among other subjects, I had studied finance.

Menzhinskii suddenly arose, fixed his eyes upon me, and categorically declared: In that case we shall make you the director of the State Bank.

Source: James Bunyan and H.H. Fisher, ed., Bolshevik Revolution, 1917-1918; Documents and Materials (Stanford: Stanford University Press; H. Milford, Oxford University Press, 1934), p. 187.

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