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Lazer Kaganovich, the son of Jewish parents, was born in Kabany, on 10th November, 1893. He worked as a shoemaker and joined the the Social Democratic Labour Party in 1911. A member of the Bolshevik faction, he took part in the October Revolution and afterwards became leader of the Communist Party in the Ukraine.
With the support of Joseph Stalin Kaganovich rose quickly in the party hierarchy and by 1930 was a full member of the Politburo. As Stalin's loyal servant, Kaganovich played a significant role in the collectivization programme and joined with Vyacheslav Molotov to oppose suggestions made by Sergey Kirov to free those imprisoned for political offences. Kaganovich was also involved in the great purses (1936-38) that removed all of Stalin's opponents from power.
Kaganovich held a series of posts as people's commissar including transport (1935-37), heavy industry (1937-39) and the fuel industry (1939). In the Second World War Malenkov was part of the five-man defence council which managed the Soviet Union's war effort.
Kaganovich lost power on the death of Joseph Stalin in 1953. He opposed the de-Stalinization policies and in the summer of 1957 he joined with Nikolai Bulganin, Vyacheslav Molotov, Georgy Malenkov in an attempt to oust Nikita Khrushchev. This was unsuccessful and Kaganovich lost all his government posts and was expelled from the Communist Party.
Lazer Kaganovich died in Moscow on 25th July, 1991.