Karl Pauker (January 1893, in Lviv – 14 August 1937, in Moscow) was an NKVD officer and head of Joseph Stalin's personal security until his arrest and execution.

Pauker came from a Jewish family in Lviv, which was then part of Austria-Hungary. Prior to the war he was a hairdresser working in the Budapest Opera, according to Sebag-Montefiore. Pauker served in the Austro-Hungarian army in World War I and was taken as a prisoner of war by the Russians in 1916. Pauker elected to stay in Russia after the revolution and joined the Communist Party in 1918.

Pauker joined the Cheka and became Stalin's bodyguard in 1924. Pauker took an active part in the purges, including the executions of Grigory Zinoviev and Lev Kamenev.

He was dismissed in April 1937, according to Sebag-Montefiore, because he "knew too much and lived too well". He was arrested and executed quietly without trial in August 1937. He was not posthumously rehabilitated.

Swedish writer Jan Guillou has used K. V. Pauker as a pseudonym on the internet when he has, among other things, criticized Jewish influence in the early Soviet Union.

References[edit | edit source]

de:Karl Wiktorowitsch Pauker ru:Паукер, Карл Викторович

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