Communist International

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The Communist International - Theoretical magazine of the AI, which was published in the languages ​​of the member parties throughout its existence
Soviet poster of the Comintern on the occasion of the IV World Congress of the AI ​​and the 5th anniversary of the October Revolution in 1922

The Communist International ( Comintern for short , also KI ), also known as the Third International , was an international union of communist parties to form a worldwide common organization. It was founded in 1919 in Moscow at the initiative of Lenin , of the Second International with the outbreak of the First World War, had declared 1,914 dead. During the Second World War , in 1943 , Stalin surprisingly dissolved the Communist International as a concession to his western allies in the anti-Hitler coalition - the USA and Great Britain .

From the mid-1920s, the Comintern was largely dominated by the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in the course of the so-called Bolshevization of the communist parties and served as an instrument of influence on communist parties and organizations in other countries. The most important section outside of the Soviet Union was the Communist Party of Germany .

The Comintern is one of the most important political organizations of the first half of the 20th century. Its original goal was a proletarian world revolution , which - based on individual national revolutions - should seize all countries in the world. However, this goal shifted in the course of the 1920s after the failure of the German October - the implementation of the revolution in Germany was initially seen as an indispensable prerequisite for international success - to a politics of interests in the sense of Stalinism with its doctrine of socialism in one Country , the Soviet Union . The highest formal body of the Comintern was its World Congress. The actual center of power, however, was formed by the secretariat and the presidium of the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ECCI) established in Moscow.


The Comintern referred to Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels in its program and objectives . However, the ideas of Lenin and the Russian Bolsheviks were decisive for the concrete implementation at the time of its founding . After these, world history found itself in a phase of imperialism and wars and thus in a revolutionary situation. The immediate background was formed by the experiences of the First World War from 1914 to 1918 and the developments that followed, such as the overthrow of the Habsburg Monarchy in Austria, the November Revolution of 1918 in Germany and mass strikes in Europe and overseas. Ultimately, however, the success of the Russian October Revolution of 1917 paved the way. There, the takeover of power by the left-wing revolutionary Bolsheviks for the first time created the possibility of building a socialist state. In the ideas of the Comintern founders, it was important to extend the October Revolution to a world revolution to establish the “ dictatorship of the proletariat ”. In this process, the Comintern, as a tightly organized, communist world party, should take over the coordination and leadership.

The influence of the Bolsheviks, the later Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU), was decisive for the history of the Comintern. The Communist Party of the Soviet Union surpassed the other Communists in terms of both membership and material resources. For the comparatively small communist parties of other countries, the Bolsheviks served as role models; they were ideologically, organizationally and often financially dependent on these revolutionaries who were already successful in Russia. Against this background, the development of the Comintern can be divided into three phases: First, immediately after the October Revolution from 1917 to around 1920, the building of a communist world movement and the goal of the world revolution were very important in the eyes of the Soviet leaders, for which even the Soviet state could have been sacrificed. In a second phase, at the beginning of the 1920s, there was a consolidation of Soviet power. Now the commitment to Soviet Russia was already equally weighted alongside world revolutionary goals. Since the mid-1920s, a third phase was marked by the seizure of power by Josef Stalin in the Soviet Union. The Comintern was completely subjected to the interests of the Soviet state. Stalin dictated the course of the organization and used it as an instrument of his foreign policy.

The Comintern's original goal of a proletarian-communist world revolution could not be implemented by it and from the mid-1920s was no longer the focus of its policy. Although the Communist International became a mass organization, none of the national CPs organized in it succeeded in seizing power outside the Soviet Union. The politics of the Comintern meant a political polarization and division of the labor movement in the left spectrum and was accompanied by the simultaneous rise of fascism in Europe.

In 1922 the Comintern comprised 66 parties with a total of 1.2 million members. In 1928 it still had 40 parties with 1.6 million members, of which only 440,000 were outside the Soviet Union. In 1935 there were 61 parties with 3.1 million members, 785,000 of them outside the Soviet Union.

In 1921 the Red Union International (RGI) was founded, which existed until 1937. In addition to the RGI, there was also a Communist Youth International (KJI), which had over 200,000 members, and the Peasant International , led by the Comintern . Grigory Zinoviev was chairman of the Comintern until 1926 , after which it was headed by Nikolai Bukharin until 1928. In 1935 Georgi Dimitrov became general secretary.

The Comintern was dissolved in 1943. However, as a result of Stalin's policy, it had become largely politically insignificant years earlier. Under completely different historical conditions, the Communist Information Office (Kominform) was established by the Soviet Union in 1947 as a quasi-successor organization .

The organ of the Communist International was the International Press Correspondence .


The Communist International emerged in 1919 on Lenin's initiative as the Third International and was a reaction to the failure of the Second International . This Second International was founded in Paris in 1889 as an alliance of socialist parties and had its roots in the International Workers' Association (IAA) initiated by Karl Marx , which was founded as the First International in 1864. With the outbreak of World War I , the Second International broke up in 1914. Left-wing parties such as the German SPD , the Austrian SDAPÖ and the British Labor Party, at that time, mostly accepted the political positions of their respective national governments, for example within the framework of a truce policy in the German Reich. Left war opponents met in Switzerland in 1915 for the so-called Zimmerwald Conference and again in 1916 in the nearby village of Kienthal. The Zimmerwald Manifesto , written by Trotsky , was adopted in Zimmerwald . The concept of a closed international cooperation within the labor movement could not be reactivated.

Ultimately, the October Revolution in 1917 led by the Bolsheviks under Lenin and Trotsky in Russia and the establishment of the Soviet system there led to the division of numerous left-wing parties into reform-oriented socialist / social-democratic parties on the one hand and communist parties with revolutionary claims on the other. An international conference of socialist and social democratic parties met in Bern from February 3rd to 10th, 1919. 97 representatives from 21 countries were present there who wanted to tie in with the Second International. The left-wing revolutionary communist parties and groups organized in Moscow in March 1919 to form the Third International.

I. World Congress 1919 - Founding Congress

51 delegates from 29 countries were present at the 1st World Congress in Moscow from March 2 to 6, 1919. However, these mostly only represented small and insignificant revolutionary groups. Apart from the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which at that time still bore the name Communist Party of Russia (B) , KPR (B), with the addition (B) for Bolsheviks , the German KPD was the only major, larger party. Its representative, Hugo Eberlein , abstained from the decisive vote on the establishment of the Third International. This was done on the instructions of his Berlin party headquarters, which considered the establishment to be premature. At that time, the KPD leadership was still acting and arguing in the interests of Rosa Luxemburg , who was murdered in January and who in previous years had repeatedly kept a critical distance from Lenin's and Bolshevik positions. Eberlein, under the code name Albert, on the third day of the meeting:

"[...] If it is said here that the foundation of the III. International is an absolute necessity, we dare to deny that. […] [W] as a III. Must be international is not just a spiritual center, not just an institution in which theoreticians give each other hot speeches, but it must be the basis of an organizational power. Do we want to get out of the III. To make the International a usable tool, if we want to turn this International into a weapon of war, then it is necessary that the preconditions for this also exist. [...] I always have the feeling that the comrades who are pushing for the founding let themselves be significantly influenced by the development of the Second International, that they want to oppose a competing company after the Berne Conference has come about. [...] "

Most of the other congress participants, including the Communist Party of German Austria (KPDÖ, later Communist Party of Austria, KPÖ), however, largely followed Lenin's views. This demanded an immediate foundation of the Third International. In his opinion, the existing international situation could only be overcome by a proletarian revolution on a world scale, to which the Russian October Revolution was only the prologue. In contrast to the Second International, the Comintern was supposed to form a tight, quasi-militarily organized world party with national sections. In choosing the means, violent seizures of power were expressly legitimized. In the guidelines of the Communist International , adopted by the Congress in Moscow, the last section, 4. The Road to Victory , begins with the following sentences:

“The revolutionary epoch demands from the proletariat the use of such weapons which concentrate all its energy, namely the method of mass actions and their logical end - direct clash with the bourgeois state machine in open struggle. All other methods, such as B. the revolutionary exploitation of bourgeois parliamentarism, be subordinate. [...] "

These means were also seen in the political opponent, insofar as the guidelines end with:

“[…] The capitalist criminals claimed at the beginning of the world war that they were only defending the common fatherland. But German imperialism soon showed its real predatory nature through its bloody deeds in Russia, Ukraine and Finland. Now the Entente states are unmasking themselves to the backward strata of the population as world robbers and murderers of the proletariat. [...] The white terror of the bourgeois cannibals is indescribable. The victims of the working class are innumerable. She has lost her best leaders - Liebknecht, Luxemburg. The proletariat must defend itself against this, defend itself at all costs! The Communist International calls the whole world proletariat to this final struggle. Weapon against weapon! Violence against violence! Down with the imperialist conspiracy of capital! Long live the international republic of proletarian councils! "

II. World Congress 1920 - organizational structure

Lenin (in the front left) and other delegates to the Second World Congress of the Comintern on July 19, 1920

The Second World Congress of the Comintern, from July 19 to August 7, 1920, established the organizational structure of the association and, in particular, cemented the dominant role of the Bolsheviks, the later Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Lenin's principle of organization and leadership, so-called democratic centralism , was transferred to the Comintern as binding. As a result, the individual communist member parties had to give up their independence. In the following years these CP had to understand themselves exclusively as territorial divisions, as national sections, of the Comintern.

The World Congress, which was to meet annually, was established as the highest formal body of the Comintern. In practice, in the 24 years that the Comintern was in existence, this happened only seven times, each time in Moscow. Instead, the actual power center was formed by the Executive Committee of the Communist International (EKKI) set up in Moscow, which was dominated by members of the CPSU. The EKKI, headed by a presidium, was the governing body between the world congresses and had the right to intervene in the internal affairs of each member party.

Without discussion, Lenin's Congress passed 21 guiding principles on the conditions of admission to the Communist International , which were supposed to prevent the cooperation of “ centrist ” parties. This meant those who vacillated between reformist and revolutionary politics. As a result, for example, the German USPD split , with only the left-wing revolutionary wing becoming a member of the Comintern. The same thing happened within the Italian and French socialists. In the first point of the 21 conditions it was called for "the reformists of all shades to be systematically and ruthlessly branded" . In point two, the planned removal of all “reformists and center people” from all organizations that want to join the Comintern is ordered. “The Communist International demands unconditionally and ultimately the implementation of this break in the shortest possible time”. The conditions also require that press, parliamentary and trade union work be made firmly under the decisions of the party leadership - i.e. the ECCI. All sections were obliged to "create a parallel organizational apparatus that will help the party to fulfill its duty to the revolution at the decisive moment". In fact, this was the call for an underground organization to be set up.

III. and IV. World Congress 1921 and 1922 - United Front

Delegate at the III. World Congress of the Comintern. Pictured in the front row u. a. two important representatives of the socialist women's movement: on the right the Russian revolutionary Alexandra Kollontai , next to her in the middle of the picture, i.e. fourth from the left, the German KPD delegate Clara Zetkin .

With the III. (June 22 to July 12, 1921) and the 4th World Congress (November 5 to December 5, 1922), a phase of comparatively moderate Comintern policy is connected. This happened after the international revolutionary currents - which also appeared in the context of the First World War - did not condense into the expected world revolution. Instead, these evidently even ebbed on a world scale. The leaders of the Russian Communist Party, Lenin and Trotsky, were therefore forced to adapt their previous strategy. As a direct consequence, the Communist Party organized in the Comintern was now looking for allies in other parties within the political left under the slogan of the “ united front ”.

Following the III. At the 1st World Congress, Lenin had developed a united front tactic, which the ECCI adopted in December 1921. As a consequence, negotiations between the Comintern and representatives of other left-wing parties took place in Berlin in 1922. This line was officially confirmed at the IV World Congress in 1922. As a result, workers' governments of the Social Democrats and the KPD were briefly established in 1923 in the German states of Saxony and Thuringia, but the Comintern's relationship with Social Democrats and non-revolutionary socialists remained tense.

Subversion of the Comintern

Hamburg uprising 1923

The first major Comintern enterprise was a planned revolution in Germany organized by Karl Radek . On the night of October 22-23, 1923, several large cities were to be taken over by communist raiders, but at the last minute Radek gave the order to postpone the revolution by three months. This news no longer reached Ernst Thälmann in Hamburg, where workers attacked numerous police stations ( Hamburg uprising ).

Attempted coup in Estonia in 1924

After the fiasco of the Hamburg uprising, the revolution should first be tried out in a smaller country, with Estonia being the choice . On December 1, 1924 , a communist unit attacked the strategic points in the capital Tallinn . These attacks were also repulsed.

Bomb attack in Sofia in 1925

In 1925, the tsar family was supposed to be murdered at a funeral service in the old cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria . More than a hundred people were killed in the explosion , but Tsar Boris III. and the ministers escaped unharmed.

V World Congress 1924 - Stalin

The 5th World Congress, from June 17 to July 8, 1924, took place against the backdrop of Lenin's death on January 24 of the same year and the power struggle for his successor. Here, in the end, Stalin asserted himself within the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and thus also in the Comintern. Stalin's theory of building socialism in a country , which stood as an alternative to Trotsky's theory of permanent revolution , subsequently led the Comintern to abandon the goal of world revolution. Instead, the focus was on consolidating the Comintern and securing the political system of the Soviet Union. In fact, the Comintern finally became an appendage of the CPSU and the vehicle of Soviet foreign policy. The national CP, the sections were completely subjected to the instructions of the Moscow Executive Committee, the ECCI.

The Congress decided to Bolshevize the communist parties . With it the social-democratic past of the CP, which was founded in the common workers' movement , was to be overcome and replaced by the ideology of Marxism-Leninism . Grigory Zinoviev , chairman of the ECCI, declared on June 19 before the Congress in his report on the executive branch: "The remnants of social democracy in our own camp are larger than we have ever imagined". This Bolshevization was also supported by the leadership of the German Communist Party, as here in a speech by Clara Zetkins at the 5th Extended Plenum of the Executive Committee of the Communist International on March 30, 1925:

"Enjoyed! I sincerely welcome these theses on Bolshevization. Comrade Zinoviev is absolutely right. Unfortunately! The objective world situation is not immediately revolutionary at this moment. [...] I therefore consider the theses on the Bolshevization of the communist parties to be an absolute necessity. [...] I value them very highly as an indispensable tool in turning our communist parties into real Bolshevik mass parties, and it is time that this happened. I see in the theses the firm will to summarize in the communist parties all honestly revolutionary-minded elements in a clean separation from opportunism on the right and from fantastic putschism, from revolutionary romanticism on the left, tightly, firmly, on a unified ideological and organizational one Basis. [...] "

As part of factional struggles within the Comintern, a left-wing opposition based on the positions of Trotsky and Zinoviev was ostracized from 1925 to 1927. Left communists , who particularly opposed the Comintern's dependence on Stalin's positions, gathered in partly newly founded organizations. In Germany there was the Left Communists (KPD) from which the Leninbund emerged , or the Left Opposition (KPD), which later merged with the Weddinger Opposition to the United Left Opposition (KPD) , which in turn merged with the Leninbund and then the Left Opposition of the KPD (Bolshevik Leninists) or Left Opposition of the KPD ( Left Opposition (KPD) ) was called. The Soviet model of the split around Trotsky was called the Platform of the Left Opposition (Bolshevik-Leninists) ( Left Opposition in the Soviet Union ) and internationally these factions called themselves first the United Opposition (Comintern) and a little later the International Left Opposition (Comintern).

At first, Trotsky and the Left Opposition believed that the national sections of the Comintern were centrist and too bureaucratic workers' parties , so the Stalinized Comintern itself was accused of being a monolithic bureaucracy. In the Comintern, all goals were subordinated to the leadership claim of the CPSU under Stalin and its concept of building socialism in one country . With the defeat of the Chinese Revolution and the victory of National Socialism ( Fascism ) in Germany, Trotsky, who was himself a centrist in the period before the October Revolution of 1917 , and the Left Opposition changed the assessment of the Comintern and its national sections to "non-reformable, degenerate workers' parties ”. Opposition communists were called upon to quit the communist parties (if not already excluded) and the establishment of independent revolutionary parties was sought. In Germany, the International Communists of Germany (IKD) (internationally there was initially the International Communist League (IKL)), from 1938 IKD emerged. Internationally, the Fourth International was founded. The political orientation of these organizations was based on the theories and assessments of Trotsky and therefore bears the external name Trotskyist .

Another communist current, that of the “right deviator”, arose around the same time. This direction was based on the theorist Nikolai Iwanowitsch Bukharin (CPSU) or was organized in Germany around August Thalheimer and Heinrich Brandler , both of whom were initially in the KPD, but later founded the Communist Party Opposition (international: International United Communist Opposition ( IVKO)), from which the Labor Policy Group emerged after 1945 . However, this split remained relatively unsuccessful and the organizations fell apart.

VI. World Congress 1928 - Social Fascism Thesis

The path of Stalinization of the Comintern, which had already been taken in 1924, was continued on the VI. World Congress continued from July 17 to September 1, 1928, yes, tightened. Under the influence of Stalin and after the marginalization of Trotsky and Zinoviev themselves, the Comintern carried out a kind of left swing, which in the following years proved fatal for Germany: the Congress completely deviated from the model of the united front of the left parties. Instead, within the framework of the social fascism thesis , the social democrats in particular were declared the main enemy of the world communist movement. This Comintern policy not only prevented any cooperation between the German section of the KPD and the Social Democrats. The KPD also worked actively to destabilize the governments in Germany provided by social democrats. These contradictions within the left are considered to be directly responsible for the rise of fascism and the rise of the Nazis to power in 1933.

The chairman of the KPD, Ernst Thälmann , claimed in his welcoming address to the congress that the “counterrevolutionary social democracy” had “completely united with the war operations of the capitalist bourgeoisie against the Soviet Union” and that Hermann Müller, the incumbent social democratic chancellor, was primarily concerned with it "Preparations for war against the Soviet Union". Thälmann called for all social democratic governments in Europe to be combated “as treasonous” and “to mobilize the proletarian masses to overthrow these governments”.

The global economic crisis that began in 1929 brought about a radicalization of the workforce in many industrialized nations and with it new opportunities for left-wing revolutionary communist parties. The sections of the Comintern were only able to benefit from this to a limited extent. The most important outside the Soviet Union, the Communist Party of Germany, grew from 1928 with 130,000 members and 3.2 million voters to 252,000 members and six million voters by November 1932. Due to the radical Comintern line and its social fascism thesis, however, the party was unable to form a coalition as far as the Social Democrats were concerned as potential partners. The KPD found itself in a self-chosen isolation and was thus excluded from parliamentary legitimized government power. On the other side of the political spectrum, fascism grew at the same time.

In 1933, after Hitler's " seizure of power " in Germany, first the KPD and then the SPD were banned. Numerous members of both parties were deported to the newly established concentration camps of the National Socialists . This smashed the Comintern's strongest section outside of the Soviet Union. But at first this did not mean moving away from the previous social-fascism strategy. From November 28th to December 12th the XIII. Plenary session of the EKKI. Secretary Otto Kuusinen gave the main speech:

"Regardless of whether there is a threat of fascist upheaval or the danger of imperialist war, whether there is already a revolutionary situation in the country in question for the proletariat to seize power - under all circumstances the influence of the social fascists on the working class is the obstacle that must be overcome."

In this context, Thälmann's successor, EKKI presidium member Wilhelm Pieck , stated at the end of 1933: “Germany is marching against the proletarian revolution”. Pieck cited as “proof” that the “undefeated working class” in Germany from the fascist dictatorship was gathering to attack again. The dictatorship could only be established because the Social Democratic policy had "robbed the KPD of the support of the majority of the working class".

Apparently leading Comintern functionaries initially regarded National Socialism as a brief episode of German politics and expected it to end quickly. In the course of 1934, however, Hitler consolidated his power domestically, for example by eliminating the SA leadership in the so-called Röhm Putsch . In terms of foreign policy, he took a course that the Soviet Union must perceive as a threat, such as the increase in German arms spending, the introduction of conscription and a naval agreement with Great Britain. Against this background, Stalin changed the foreign policy of the Soviet Union and, as a result, the formation of the Comintern. An alliance with the democratic western powers against National Socialist Germany was sought .

VII and last World Congress 1935 - Popular Front

The VII World Congress from July 25 to August 20, 1935 officially ended the Comintern's previous line and said goodbye to the social fascism thesis . As early as July 1934, the French CP under Maurice Thorez had concluded an action pact with the socialists. Based on this model and under the concept of the “ popular front ”, an alliance between the individual national CPs with socialists, social democrats and other anti-fascist liberal and bourgeois forces was sought. The new line was welcomed by the individual sections, as this ended the self-imposed political isolation of recent years. However, this popular front policy is often referred to as a popular front strategy, because it did not represent a fundamental programmatic shift: the ultimate goal, the dictatorship of the proletariat and the establishment of socialism based on the Soviet model, was not changed.

In the course of the Stalinist purges of the 1930s, numerous Comintern functionaries were targeted by the dictator and victims of show trials and persecution, such as Zinoviev and Bukharin . Wolfgang Leonhard , who witnessed this phase in Moscow, writes about it in his political autobiography published in the 1950s:

“The foreign communists living in the Soviet Union were particularly hard hit. In a few months more functionaries of the Comintern apparatus were arrested than had previously been put together by all bourgeois governments in twenty years. Just listing the names would fill entire pages. "

Among those persecuted were many KPD functionaries, such as members of the KPD Central Committee, who believed that they had found safe asylum in the Soviet Union after Hitler came to power. Including Hugo Eberlein , who was present at the 1919 Comintern founding congress.

Trotsky and other communists, who were also ostracized and persecuted by Stalin, founded the Fourth International in 1938 as an opposition alternative to the Comintern, which was dominated by Stalin . In the years that followed, however, their sections rarely surpassed the status of the smallest cadre or splinter parties.

After the General Association of German Anti-Communist Associations had been in existence in Berlin since 1933 as part of the Nazi state's propaganda against the Soviet Union and the Comintern, an assistance agreement, the Anti-Comintern Pact, was concluded between Germany and Japan in 1936 . In it, the two states agreed to fight the Comintern and assured each other that they would not conclude any treaties with the Soviet Union that would contradict the anti-communist spirit of the agreement. However, this did not prevent Hitler from concluding the German-Soviet non-aggression pact with Stalin in August 1939 , which in turn meant the end of popular front policy and, in fact, that of the Comintern as well.

The German-Soviet non-aggression treaty contained far-reaching agreements on spheres of interest, which the two powers implemented with military means over the next two years. The Comintern sections found themselves in the politically suicidal situation, for example having to represent the annexation of eastern Poland . As a result of the pact, the Soviet Union invaded Finland in October 1939, in the so-called Winter War , which in particular isolated the Scandinavian CPs from the population of their countries. On September 3, 1939, France and Great Britain declared war on the German Reich after its invasion of Poland . The Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov declared on October 31 that it was not Hitler's Germany but England and France that were to be viewed as attackers. The weakened and decimated Comintern had to officially declare on November 6th that it was an imperialist war on both sides and that England and France were to blame.

This phase, in which the Comintern allowed Hitler's fascism, did not end until June 22, 1941 with Germany's attack on the Soviet Union . During these two years, many communists turned their backs on their sections and the Comintern lost political credibility and importance. Experience with the fateful ties of the national Communist Party to the CPSU and the foreign policy of the Soviet Union led to a new orientation in many states after 1945. These schools of thought within communist parties, independent of Soviet models, have been known as Eurocommunism since the 1970s .

Dissolution in 1943

In the autumn of 1941 the Moscow headquarters of the Comintern apparatus had been evacuated in response to the German advance to the city of Ufa in Bashkiria further east . On May 15, 1943, the Executive Committee of the Communist International passed the resolution to dissolve the Comintern on June 10. Its publication came as a complete surprise even to Comintern officials. After receiving positive responses from 31 affiliated CPs, the Comintern organs ceased their activities.

It is assumed that the ECCI decision goes back directly to a decision by Stalin. In an interview with the Reuters agency on May 28, 1943, he stated that with the dissolution in front of the whole world, two moments should be underlined: that Moscow does not interfere “in the lives of other states” and that the communist parties “in the interests of their own People ”and not“ on orders from outside ”. In general, the dissolution of the Comintern is seen as a concession by Stalin to the western allies, the USA and Great Britain, on whose support Stalin was dependent after Hitler's attack on the Soviet Union. At this point in time, the organization no longer had any political influence.

Archive and online archive

The archive of the Communist International is (as of 2007 ) housed in the Russian State Archives for Socio-Political History (RGASPI). In 1992 the archive was opened, i.e. made accessible to researchers.

The Comintern archives contain around 55 million pages. The archive directory is digitized; Parts of the Comintern archive are also accessible online.

See also


  • Reiner Tosstorff: Congresses of the Comintern. Collective review about:
    • John Riddell (Ed.): Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922 (= Historical Materialism Books ). Brill, Leiden 2012, ISBN 978-90-04-20778-3 .
    • John Riddell: To the Masses: Proceedings of the Third Congress of the Communist International, 1921 (= Historical Materialism Book ). Brill, Leiden 2015, ISBN 978-90-04-28802-7 .
  • Hermann Weber , Jakov Drabkin, Bernhard H. Bayerlein, Alexander Galkin: Germany, Russia, Comintern (= Archives of Communism - Paths of the 20th Century ). 3 volumes. De Gruyter Berlin 2014, ISBN 978-3-11-034168-3 .
  • Akim Hadi: Panafricanism and Communism: The Communist International, Africa and the Diaspora, 1919-1939. AWP, 2014.
  • The Communist International in Resolutions and Decisions. Publishing house Olga Benario and Herbert Baum, Offenbach 1998.
  1. 1919-1924. ISBN 3-932636-27-9 .
  2. 1925-1943. ISBN 3-932636-28-7 .
  • Bernhard H. Bayerlein: The new Babylon. Structures and networks of the Communist International and their classification. In: Yearbook for Historical Research on Communism. 2004, ISSN  0944-629X , pp. 181-270.
  • Bernhard H. Bayerlein: “The traitor, Stalin, you are!” From the end of left solidarity. Comintern and communist parties in the Second World War 1939–1941 (= Archives of Communism - Paths of the XXth Century. Volume 4). Structure, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-351-02623-3 .
  • Фридрих Игоревич Фирсов: Секретные коды истории Коминтерна, 1919–1943. АИРО-XXI, Москва 2007 ISBN 978-5-91022-052-6 .
  • Michael Buckmiller , Klaus Meschkat (ed.): Biographical manual for the history of the Communist International. A German-Russian research project. Oldenbourg, Munich 2007, ISBN 978-3-05-004158-2 . With CD to search through the inventory
  • Wladislaw Hedeler , Alexander Vatlin (ed.): The world party from Moscow. The founding congress of the Communist International in 1919. Protocol and new documents. Academy, Berlin 2008, ISBN 978-3-05-004495-8 .
  • Wladislaw Hedeler (ed.): The world party from Moscow. 100 years of the Comintern . Main topic in: Berliner Debatte Initial , 30th year (2019), Issue 3, ISBN 978-3-947802-25-8 .
  • Wolfgang Leonhard : Völker hears the signals. The founding years of world communism 1919–1924. Bertelsmann, Munich 1989, ISBN 3-570-02583-7 .
  • Mario Keßler : The Comintern and the Poale Zion 1919 to 1922. A failed synthesis of communism and Zionism , in: Work - Movement - History , 2, 2017, pp. 15-30.
  • Theo Pirker (Ed.): Utopia and Myth of the World Revolution. On the history of the Comintern 1920–1940 (= dtv documents, 253). Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag dtv, Munich 1964.
  • Tim Rees, Andrew Thorpe (Eds.): International Communism and the Communist International, 1919-1943. Manchester University Press , 1998 ISBN 0-7190-5546-6 .
  • Alfred Rosmer : Moscow in Lenin's time. isp-Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1989, ISBN 3-88332-160-5 .
  • Joachim Schröder: Internationalism after the war. Relations between German and French Communists 1918–1923. Klartext, Essen 2008, ISBN 978-3-89861-803-8 (Zugl. Diss. Phil., Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf 2006).
  • Hermann Weber: The Communist International. A documentation. Dietz, Hanover 1966.

Web links

Commons : Communist International  - collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Communist International  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ After Hermann Weber: Communist International. In: Lexicon of Socialism. Bund-Verlag, Cologne 1986.
  2. ^ Numbers from Hermann Weber: Communist International . In: Lexicon of Socialism . Bund-Verlag, Cologne 1986.
  3. On the way to the Youth International
  5. online at:
  6. Infopartisan: Principles on the Conditions of Admission to the Communist International .
  7. Quoted from Peter Lübbe: Kommunismus und Sozialdemokratie , JHW ​​Dietz Nachf., Berlin / Bonn 1978, ISBN 3-8012-1113-4 , p. 52 f.
  8. Aino Kuusinen : The god overthrows his angels. Molden, Vienna, Munich and Zurich 1972, ISBN 3-217-00448-5 , pp. 76–86. (The author was the wife of the secretary of the Executive Committee Otto Kuusinen and a member of the Comintern from 1924 onwards. She witnessed the argument between Karl Radek , Ernst Thälmann and Béla Kun after the failed revolution in Germany.)
  9. online ( Memento from May 10, 2007 in the Internet Archive )
  10. Quoted from Peter Lübbe: Communism and Social Democracy. JHW Dietz Nachf., Berlin / Bonn 1978, ISBN 3-8012-1113-4 , p. 75.
  11. Both quotations from Peter Lübbe: Communism and Social Democracy. JHW Dietz Nachf., Berlin / Bonn 1978, ISBN 3-8012-1113-4 , p. 141.
  12. Wolfgang Leonhard: The revolution releases its children. Ullstein, Frankfurt a. M./Berlin, paperback edition, 10th edition 1968, p. 44.
  13. Both quotations from Wolfgang Leonhard: Eurokommunismus. Bertelsmann, Munich 1978, ISBN 3-570-05106-4 , p. 48.
  14. Wolfgang Leonhard: The revolution releases its children. Ullstein Verlag, ISBN 3-548-02337-1 , pp. 203 ff.
  15. Quoted from Othmar Nicola Haberl : Communist International. In: Piper's Dictionary of Politics. Volume 4: Socialist Systems. Piper 1981, p. 216.
  16. Biographical Handbook on the History of the Communist International: A German-Russian Research Project, p. 15.
  17. [1] in October 2006 there were 1.3 million pages. “The digital copies concentrate on the commissions, secretariats and departments that worked under the Executive Committee of the Communist International (ICKI), on the country secretariats and regional offices, the party delegations to the Comintern and on other units of particular interest such as the Lenin Schools and the International Workers' aid . "
  18. Alexander Vatlin: Review by: FI Firsov :kretnye kody istorii Kominterna 1919–1943, Moscow: AIRO XXI 2007. Translated from the Russian by Jürgen Zarusky . In: Sehepunkte . 8 (2008), No. 12, December 15, 2008, accessed on August 6, 2020.