Communist Party of Slovakia


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Communist Party of Slovakia

 

(CPS, Komunistická Strana Slovenska), a territorial organization of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (CPC), guided in its activity by the decisions of congresses of the CPC and the resolutions of the Central Committee of the CPC.

The organized Communist movement in Slovakia developed from the left wing of the Social Democratic Party of Slovakia and the Transcarpathian Ukraine. The congress of left Marxist revolutionary organizations of all the nationalities in Slovakia and the Transcarpathian Ukraine, held in L’ubochña on Jan. 16–17,1921, adopted a resolution on the creation of unified party organizations in Slovakia and the Transcarpathian Ukraine on the basis of the principles of proletarian internationalism; it also unanimously endorsed the decision to join the Comintern. In May 1921 a congress of the Social Democratic Party of Czechoslovakia (Leftist) decided to amalgamate Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, and Transcarpathian-Ukrainian Communist groups and organizations into a single Czechoslovak party. After the Unity Congress of the CPC (Oct. 30-Nov. 4, 1921), at which German and Polish Communist organizations joined the party, four regional organizations of the CPC were established in Slovakia, headed by regional committees in Bratislava, Žiliná, Banska Bystrica, and Kosice. In January 1930 an all-Slovakia conference in Žilina decided to unify the regional party organizations and set up a single territorial leadership in Bratislava.

After the Czechoslovakian republic was dismembered as a result of the Munich Pact of 1938, the fascist German aggressors occupied the Czech lands, and the Communist Party went underground, which necessitated changes in the party’s organizational forms and work methods. In order to ensure more effective guidance of the antifascist struggle under the conditions created in the so-called Slovakian state, the party organizations of the Slovakian regions separated themselves organizationally and in May 1939 formed the CPS. At the same time, the unity of the party’s political line and the common direction of party organizations were retained and exercised by the party center of the CPC, which was in exile.

During World War II, the CPS led the antifascist Resistance Movement of the Slovakian people. In 1943 the Slovakian National Council was instituted on the initiative of the CPS. The party worked to expand the partisan movement in Slovakia, a movement that was international in nature; it prepared and led the Slovakian National Uprising of 1944, which, along with the uprising of the Czech people in May 1945, constituted the apogee of the antifascist struggle and started the national-democratic revolution in the country. Direct leadership of the uprising was exercised by the fifth of the underground Central Committees of the CPS, which included K. Smidke, G. Husák, and L. Novomesky (the members of the first four Central Committees had been arrested by the authorities of the clerical fascist regime, and many had been executed). At the time of the uprising, on Sept. 17, 1944, the CPS and the Social Democratic Party of Slovakia merged at a congress in Banská Bystrica; the merger was founded on the principles of Marxism-Leninism and used the CPS as its organizational base. The CPS adopted the Košice Program, worked out by the CPC, and joined the National Front of Czechs and Slovaks, which had been created on the initiative of the CPC. The Communists of Slovakia joined the first Czechoslovakian government of the National Front, formed in Kosice on Apr. 4, 1945.

After the liberation of Czechoslovakia from the fascist aggressors, the CPS and the entire CPC struggled to implement profound socioeconomic reforms. In February 1948, under the leadership of the CPS, the workers of Slovakia joined the working class and toiling peasantry of the entire country, led by the CPC, to inflict a decisive defeat on the bourgeoisie, which was attempting to carry out a counterrevolutionary coup (the February Events of 1948 in Czechoslovakia).

In September 1948 the Central Committee of the CPS approved the CPC resolution on the organizational unification of the CPS and the CPC. The CPS became a territorial organization of the CPC. The party mobilized the workers of Slovakia for the implementation of fundamental socioeconomic reforms to build a socialist society. Under the party’s leadership, Slovakia was turned from an agrarian region to an industrially developed one; great strides were achieved in the development of the national culture, and the standard of living of the people rose substantially. Certain difficulties arose in the course of socialist construction; shortcomings were manifested and certain errors committed. After January 1968 the activity of rightist and antisocialist forces was stepped up in Slovakia, as in Czechoslovakia as a whole. Attacks against the party’s Marxist-Leninist course and against socialism unfolded, a counterrevolutionary situation took shape, and the threat to the cause of socialism grew, a threat that was eliminated by the working people with the international aid of the allied socialist countries.

The Extraordinary Congress of the CPS held in Bratislava on Aug. 26–29, 1968, approved the results of the negotiations carried out in the USSR in August 1968 by the Czechoslovakian delegation, and it elected G. Husák first secretary of the Central Committee of the CPS. In the period that followed, healthy internationalist forces in the CPS expanded the struggle to overcome the crisis and normalize the situation in the country. After the April 1969 Plenum of the Central Committee of the CPC, which elected a new CPC leadership headed by G. Husák, the CPS closed ranks on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and began work to restore its leading role in society. There was an exchange of party cards in the CPS, in the course of which party organizations were purged of revisionists and careerists.

The regular congress of the CPS in 1971 stated that the party’s Marxist-Leninist character and its leading role in society had been reestablished. The congress approved measures aimed at further strengthening party unity and at developing the socialist economy and culture of Slovakia.

The highest body of the CPS is the Congress, convened by the Central Committee of the CPS in coordination with the Central Committee of the CPC. Between congresses, party activity is directed by the Central Committee, which elects the Presidium and Secretariat from its members. The CPS numbers 300,000 members (January 1975). The first secretary of the Central Committee is J. Lenárt, and its central organ is the newspaper Pravda. (See Table 1 for a list of the congresses of the CPS.)

Table 1. Congresses of the Communist Party of Slovakia1
PlaceDate
1Congresses were not specifically numbered 2Unity congress 3Extraordinary congress
Banská Bystrica2 ...............Sept. 17, 1944
Bratislava ...............May 24–27, 1950
Bratislava ...............June 13–15, 1953
Bratislava ...............Apr. 22–24, 1955
Bratislava ...............Apr. 26–28, 1957
Bratislava ...............May 16–18, 1958
Bratislava ...............Nov. 23–25, 1962
Bratislava ...............May 12–14, 1966
Bratislava3 ...............Aug. 26–29, 1968
Bratislava ...............May 13–15, 1971

IU. N. ZHURAVLEV and S. I. KOLESNIKOV

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