The “Red Director,” People's Commissar, Minister, he was, according to the writer Alexandra Rekemchuk, “a legendary personality, a cult figure inthe hierarchy of Soviet idols –slightly less than Chapaev, but bigger than Stakhanov.” His biography is typical of that of Soviet industry organizers: he was born in a village in the Tula oblast, worked at the Putilov Works as a repairman, fought in the Baltic Fleet in the First World War, joined Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, organized detachments of the Red Guard in Helsingfors, was an employee of the VChK during the time of war communism, was engaged in trade union work. He studied at several institutes, but did not graduate any: he was thrown into the hot spot – to organize production cars at the AMO plant founded before the revolution. Likhachev got acquainted with the technologies from Ford himself. “We have sewn a coat to the button,” said Ivan Alekseevich about the gigantic work on creation of a modern truck production plant. Since 1931, this plant bore the name of Stalin, and in 1956, when the “red director “found his rest in the Kremlin wall,” the plant was named after him. Millions of ZILs – trucks and refrigerators – are the moving monuments to Ivan Alekseevich Likhachev.
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