Chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the RSFSR
Nikolay Shvernik joined the Russian Social Democratic Workers' Party in 1905 and was an activist of revolutionary movement in Samara. In 1924 Shvernik was appointed people's commissar for the workers' and peasants' inspection of the Russian SFSR and member of the Presidium of the party Central Control Commission. The 14th party congress elected Shvernik full member of the Central Committee in Dec. 1925. In 1925-26 he served as a secretary of the Leningrad province party organization. His party career was successful as he earned promotion to the post of secretary of the Central Committee (Apr. 9, 1926 - Apr. 16, 1927) and became full member of the Orgburo (Apr. 9, 1926 - Apr. 16, 1927). However, in 1927 Shvernik was dismissed from his position in the Secretariat and Orgburo and was transferred to the Urals to head local party organization (1927-28). He proved to be loyal supporter of the industrialization policy and returned to Moscow in 1929 as chairman of the Metallurgist Trade Union. He was again made a candidate member of the Orgburo (Nov. 17, 1929 - June 26, 1930). After the 16th party congress, Shvernik was elected full member of the Orgburo (July 13, 1930 - March 18, 1946) and a candidate member of the Secretariat (July 13, 1930 - Jan. 26, 1934). From that time his career was closely connected with Soviet trade unions. In 1930 he assumed the office of first secretary of the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions (July 1930 - March 1944).
Elected at parliamentary elections a member of the Supreme Soviet, Shvernik was involved in creation of the new Soviet parliament. He was elected chairman of the Soviet of Nationalities (Jan. 12, 1938 - Feb. 10, 1946), one of the chamber of bicameral Soviet parliament. Shvernik became candidate member of the Politburo (March 22, 1939 - Oct. 5, 1952) after the 18th party congress. During World War II, he was responsible for evacuation of Soviet industry to the eastern part of the Soviet Union. In 1944 he became the first deputy chairman of the USSR Presidium of the Supreme Soviet (Feb. 1, 1944 - March 19, 1946) and chairman of the Presidium of the Russian Supreme Soviet (March 4, 1944 - June 25, 1946). During the second world war Shvernik also chaired the extraordinary commission on investigation of war crimes committed by the Nazis on the occupied territories of Soviet Union.
On March 19, 1946, Shvernik replaced Mikhail Kalinin as chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR (March 19, 1946 - March 15, 1953). As a result of reformation of Politburo in October 1952, Shvernik was promoted to full membership (Oct. 16, 1952 - March 5, 1953) in the party Presidium, but Stalin's death interrupted Shvernik accession to party top leadership. The joint session of the Central Committee, the Council of Ministers and the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet held on March 5, 1953, made a recommendation on replacement of Shvernik as titular head of Soviet state and demoted him to candidate membership of the Presidium (March 5, 1953 - June 29, 1957). The session of Supreme Soviet followed the recommendation and elected Kliment Voroshilov as new head of state on March 15, 1953. Shvernik again returned to the All-Union Central Council of Trade Unions as its chairman (March 1953 - Feb. 1956). He regained in part his position with the rise of Khrushchev as chairman of the Party Control Commission (Feb. 1956 - March 1966) put in charge of political rehabilitation of victims of Stalinist purges. In 1957, Shvernik was made full member of the Presidium (June 29, 1957 - March 29, 1966). Advanced age made him to retire from politics after the party's 23th congress in 1966.