KANNEGISER, LEONID AKIMOVICH (1873–1918). Russian poet who assassinated M.S. Uritsky, the chairman of the Petrograd Secret Police, the Cheka. Kannegiser's grandfather, a physician, attained the status of nobility while his father was a famous engineer. Both were involved in Jewish communal life. Kannegiser was born in St. Petersburg. From 1915 to 1917 he studied at the Petrograd Polytechnical Institute, then joined the Union of Jewish polytechnic students. After the February Revolution of 1917 he entered the military academy and was elected chairman of the socialist cadets. His attitude toward the October Revolution was positive but after the conclusion of the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty he began to be highly critical of the Bolsheviks. The assassination of Uritsky and the attempt on the life of Lenin on the same day (August 30, 1918) served as a pretext for the Soviet authorities to declare their "red terror." Kannegiser was executed by the Cheka in Petrograd soon after.
From childhood Kannegiser had written poetry. He was close to the Acmeists (see O. *Mandelstamm). Jewish motifs appear in his poetry (e.g. in "Yevreyskoe venchanie"; "Jewish Betrothal"). The anthology Leonid Kannegiser containing several of his surviving lyric poems with memoirs of him by M. *Aldanov and others appeared in Paris in 1928. A major part of Kannegiser's literary heritage is preserved in the closed files of the Central Government Archives of Literature and Art in Moscow.
[The Shorter Jewish Encylopaedia in Russian]