6 July: Mirbach’s murder

Two days after the Fifth All-Russian Congress of Soviets had opened, Wilhelm von Mirbach, the German Ambassador, was assassinated.  An earlier exhibit caption referred to the horror with which many Left Socialist Revolutionaries greeted the armistice between Russia and Central Powers.  The assassination took place in the German Embassy in Moscow.  Mirbach’s murderers, Iakov Blumkin and Nikolai Andreev, were Lefts SRs and the murder had party approval.

The Left SRs had expected the assassination to start a series of events that would remove the Bolsheviks from power.  While they met some initial success that day, the Bolsheviks overcame the uprising with relative ease.  Not long after Mirbach’s death, the Left SR delegates at the Congress of Soviets were arrested.

Mirbach is shown here in a portrait printed in The Times History and Encyclopaedia of the War in a section about Brest-Litovsk armistice.  His appointment as Germany’s ambassador to Bolshevik Russia followed his involvement in the lengthy and difficult Brest-Litovsk negotiations.

The Times History and Encyclopaedia of the War (volume 16; 1918)  WRB.2.36

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