Chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of Soviets
Born in a Jewish family, Lev Kamenev (1) became a professional revolutionary, joining the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party (RSDRP) in 1901. In 1908 he emigrated to western Europe, where he worked closely with the Bolsheviks, headed by Vladimir Ulyanov (Lenin). After a three-year exile in Siberia, he returned to Petrograd and was elected to the party Central Committee as full member (April [May] - Nov. 4 , 1917]. On Oct. 10 , 1917, he was also elected to the Political Bureau of the RSDRP, but he opposed the idea of violent seizure of the state power. Despite this grave confrontation with Lenin, Kamenev was elected the first nominal head of the Soviet Russia as chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee (Oct. 27 [Nov. 9], 1917). However, soon Kamenev resigned from the Bolshevik Central Committee (Nov. 4 , 1917) as he supported the government including various political parties rather than only the Bolsheviks as Lenin suggested. On Nov. 8  Kamenev resigned as chairman of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee.
In 1918-1926, Kamenev served as chairman of the Moscow Soviet (municipal council). The 8th party congress again elected him full member of the Central Committee (March 1919 - Nov. 14, 1927). Also, Kamenev became full member of the Politburo (March 25, 1919 - Dec. 18, 1925). On Sep. 14, 1922, Kamenev joined Aleksey Rykov and Aleksandr Tsyurupa as one of the deputy chairmen of the RSFSR Council of People's Commissars and the Council of Labor and Defense. On formation of the first government of the USSR, Kamenev was made first deputy chairman (July 6, 1923 - Jan. 16, 1926) and later succeeded Lenin as chairman of the Council of Labor and Defense of the USSR (Feb. 2, 1924 - Jan. 19, 1926). The "triumvirate" of Zinovyev, Kamenev, and Stalin assumed the control over the nation after Lenin's death, but Zinovyev and Kamenev soon found their positions being undermined by Stalin, and they went over to a "Left" stance.
The fall of Kamenev began in 1925, when the 14th party congress condemned him as a member of a "New Opposition" and demoted to candidate membership in the Politburo (Jan. 1 - Oct. 23, 1926). He was removed from key positions in the Soviet government and was appointed people's commissar for internal and external trade of the USSR (Jan. 16 - Aug. 14, 1926). Then he was sent to Italy as ambassador (1926-1927). The joint plenum of the Central Committee and the Central Control Commission expelled him from the Politburo (Oct. 23, 1926). Kamenev returned to Russia in 1927 to find that the Central Committee excluded him from its ranks (Nov. 14, 1927). The 15th party congress cracked down on the Zinovyevites and the Trotskyites and expelled Kamenev and thousands of their supporters from the party (Dec. 1927).
In 1927-1929, Kamenev headed the scientific department of the All-Union Council of People's Economy and was readmitted to the party on June 22, 1928. In 1929-1932, he was a chairman of the Main Department for Industrial Concessions. In October 1932, Kamenev was tried for involvement in the Marxist-Leninist Association. For the second time, he was expelled from the party on Oct. 9, 1932, and sentenced to exile to Minusinsk. In December 1933 Kamenev was released and returned to Moscow. The Central Control Commission restored his party membership on Dec. 14, 1933. He received a job as director of the Academia publishing house, and then as director of the World Literature Institute. After the party leader Sergey Kirov was assassinated, Kamenev was arrested on Dec. 16, 1934, and ultimately expelled from the party on Dec. 20. Sentenced on Jan. 16, 1935, in the Zinovyevite "Moscow center" case to imprisonment for five years and again on July 27, 1935, to imprisonment for ten years, Kamenev served his term in Chelyabinsk. In August 1936, however, he and Zinovyev were tried again in the first public-show trial of the Great Purge. Accused of conspiring to assassinate Stalin and other Soviet leaders, Kamenev confessed to the fabricated charges and was sentenced to death on August 24, 1936.