September 11] 1883 – August 25, 1936), born Hirsch Apfelbaum, known also under the name Ovsei-Gershon Aronovich Radomyslsky, was a Bolshevik revolutionary and a Soviet Communist politician.
Zinoviev was one of the seven members of the first Politburo, founded in 1917 in order to manage the Bolshevik Revolution: Lenin, Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky, Stalin, Sokolnikov and Bubnov.
Zinoviev is best remembered as the longtime head of the Communist International and the architect of several failed attempts to transform Germany into a communist country during the early 1920s.
He was in competition against Joseph Stalin who eliminated him from the Soviet political leadership in 1925, followed by removal from the Petrograd Soviet in 1926.
Zinoviev was a chief defendant in a 1936 show trial, the Trial of the Sixteen, that marked the start of the Great Terror in the USSR and resulted in his execution the day after his conviction in August 1936.
Zinoviev was the alleged author of the Zinoviev letter to British communists, urging revolution, and published just before the 1924 general election.