Birthday anniversary of Gleb M. Krzhizhanovsky, founder of the Power Engineering Institute under the Academy of Sciences of the USSR

24 January 1872

12 (24) January, 1872 in Samara was born Gleb Maximilianovich Krzhizhanovsky, Soviet statesman, power engineering specialist, Academician (1929), vice-president (1929-1939) of the USSR Academy of Sciences, Chairman of the State Commission for Electrification of Russia (GOELRO) (1920), the first chairman of the State Planning Commission (1921-1930), founder and director of the Power Engineering Institute of the USSR Academy of Sciences (1930).

In 1889, Krzhizhanovsky, having graduated from a non-classical secondary school in Samara, went to St. Petersburg, where he entered the Institute of Technology. In 1891 he became a member of the Marxist circle of students, where, among other things, was he engaged in drawing up proclamations. Two years later, student Krzhizhanovsky met with V. I. Ulyanov (Lenin), with whom he became one of the organizers of the St. Petersburg "League of Struggle for the liberation of the working class." In 1894, Krzhizhanovsky graduated with honors from college and his name was placed on a marble plaque.

In December of 1895, he was arrested for his revolutionary activities and two months later was sent to Eastern Siberia. While in detention in Butyrka prison in Moscow, the revolutionary wrote the "Winds blowing over us hostile ...." to the tune of the Polish "Varshavyanka". After his exile, he was hired as the chief of a depot in Samara.

In winter 1904-05, Krzhizhanovsky took part in preparing and organizing the 3rd Russian Social Democratic Labor Party Congress. In October 1905 he was one of the organizers of the railway strike and the strike committee chairman of the South-Western Railway. After the suppression of the revolution, he moved to St. Petersburg. Enrolling in a private "Electric Lighting Company" as an electrician, he soon became head of the cable network of the Vasileostrovsky district of St. Petersburg.

In 1910, on the invitation of a power engineer R. E. Klasson, Krzhizhanovsky went to Moscow to head the Moscow cable network. There he began to carry out work for the conversion of the network and took part in the construction and operation of the first district power station on the turf. In 1912, Krzhizhanovsky was appointed head of this station. At the same time he continued cooperation with the Bolshevik organization. After the February Revolution, he began serving at the Moscow council, and headed the department of fuel.

After the October Revolution, under Lenin’s support, Krzhizhanovsky improved the operation of the "Transmission" station and helped to supply Moscow with electricity during the difficult time of fuel crisis. In 1918 he headed the Committee of public buildings of the All-Russian Council of National Economy (SEC) and, as one of the leading power of the country - General Directorate of Electrical Industry.

In 1920, Krzhizhanovsky was appointed chairman of the State Commission for Electrification of Russia (GOELRO). According to Krzhizhanovsky working on its plan was the culmination of his life. "Plan for the Electrification of the RSFSR" was released for the XIII Congress of Soviets. In February 1921, on Lenin's instructions, Krzhizhanovsky organized the State Planning Commission (Gosplan) under the Labor and Defense Council of the RSFSR. The chief power engineering specialist of the country chaired the commission until the end of 1930.

In January 1929, Krzhizhanovsky was elected a member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, and in May the same year - the vice-president of the Academy. In 1930-1932 he was chairman of the Main Directorate of Energy Resources (Glavenergo) under the People's Commissariat of Heavy Industry, and from 1932 to 1936 - Chairman of the Committee on Higher Technical Educationunder the USSR Central Executive Committee and Deputy People's Commissar for Education of the RSFSR.

In 1930, Krzhizhanovsky founded and became the first director of the Power Engineering Research Institute (ENIN) of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR. Developing the ideas of electrification plan, ENIN was being formed as an institution designed to solve large complex problems faced by Soviet energy. Under the guidance of the academician at the Institute were developed scientific foundations of the interconnection of energy systems and the creation of the Unified Power System (UES) of the USSR. The first Soviet power plants were constructed under the direct guidance of the scientist.

Krzhizhanovsky was a member of the editorial board of the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, the author of several scientific researches in the field of energy and planning. In 1933-1937 he was elected chairman of the All-Union Council of Scientific-Engineering and Technological Societies (VSNITO), and in 1937-1945 - Deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. During the Great Patriotic War, the scientist was evacuated to Kazan along with the staff of the Power Engineering Institute.

January 23, 1957 by the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, for his outstanding services to the energy sector, a major contribution to the communist movement and in honor of the 85th birthday anniversary, Krzhizhanovsky was awarded the title of the Hero of Socialist Labor and the Order of Lenin and the Gold Medal.

March 31, 1959 Gleb Maximilianovich Krzhizhanovsky died.


Lit.: Глеб Максимилианович Кржижановский: Жизнь и деятельность в фотографиях и документах : [Альбом / Сост. В. П.  Карцев]. М., 1986; Карцев В. П. Кржижановский. М., 1985; Красильщиков В. В начале будущего: Повесть о Глебе Кржижановском. М., 1973; Кржижановский Глеб Максимилианович. М., 1975; Кржижановский Г. М. Об электрификации (Речь на 8-м съезде Советов). М., 1990; Он же. Социалистическое строительство. М.; Л., 1936; Он же. Сочинения. Т. 1-3. М. ; Л., 1933-1936; Круглов А. А. Глеб Максимилианович Кржижановский. М., 1978; Флаксерман Ю. Н. Г. М. Кржижановский. М., 1964.


Based on the Presidential Library’s materials:

Lenin's plan for electrification / Academician GM Krzhizhanovsky // Our country: a monthly magazine devoted to the study of the USSR. Moscow, 1940, No. 4/5. P. 4-9.