Socialist Youth International


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Socialist Youth International

 

(SYI), an international youth organization that was founded in 1907 and disbanded during World War II. The SYI was founded at the International Conference of Socialist Youth Leagues, held in Stuttgart from Aug. 24 to Aug. 26, 1907, with K. Liebknecht playing a leading role. By 1912 it included youth organizations in 17 countries and had approximately 170,000 members. During World War I, most of the socialist youth organizations took internationalist positions, in opposition to the leadership’s rightist views. The Bern International Socialist Conference of Youth of 1915 came out in protest against the war.

As a result of the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, many youth organizations in the SYI sided with the communist movement, and in November 1919 the Communist International of Youth was founded. In 1923 the rightist and centrist elements in the youth leagues of Austria, Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, and Switzerland, which had become affiliated with the Socialist Labor International, revived the SYI at a conference in Hamburg.

When the SYI disintegrated during World War II, the International Union of Socialist Youth was founded in its place in 1946. By the time the new organization had taken final shape in 1948, it included student and youth groups in more than 30 countries and had 2 million members. The union supports the basic principles of the Socialist International.

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