RUSSIA: Black Pope

Vladimir Ilich Lenin bathed, personally, in blood as seldom as he could. When it became necessary to sign death warrants by the thousands and eventually by the tens of thousands, that task was passed on to Felix E. Dzerzhinsky, a Pole, the son of a little almost-bourgeois nobleman, the man whom Russian émigrés christened in sheer terror, "The Black Pope of Bolshevism." Last week he died in Moscow (of overwork) at 49.

He might have died from the same cause at any time in the last 20 years. Something froze Dzerzhinsky's soul...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!