Šmeral, Bohumír

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Šmeral, Bohumír


Born Oct. 25, 1880, in Třebíč; died May 8, 1941, in Moscow. Figure in the Czechoslovak and international working-class and communist movements.

Šmeral was the son of a teacher. A lawyer by education, he received the degree of doctor of law in 1904. In 1897 he joined the Social Democratic Labor Party of Czechoslovakia, and from 1906 to 1918 he edited its central organ, the newspaper Právo lidu. In 1909, Šmeral was elected to the Central Executive Committee of the SDLPC; he was a member of the Presidium of the Central Executive Committee from 1911 to 1917 and chairman from 1914 to 1917. Šmeral was a Social Democratic deputy to the Austrian Reichsrat from 1911 to 1918. He was one of the organizers of the October general political strike of 1918 in the Czech lands, and in 1919 he became a leader of the group known as the Marxist Left, the revolutionary wing of the SDLPC.

In 1920, Šmeral visited Soviet Russia and met V. I. Lenin. When he returned to Prague he published the book The Truth About Soviet Russia (1920), in which he stressed the international significance of the October Revolution of 1917. In May 1921, Šmeral helped found the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia, and from 1921 to 1929 he served on its Central Committee; in 1936 he was again elected to the Central Committee. He was a CPC deputy to the National Assembly of Czechoslovakia from 1920 to 1929, and a senator in the National Assembly from 1935 to 1938.

From 1922 to 1935, Šmeral served on the Executive Committee of the Communist International and was a member of the Executive Committee’s Presidium. In 1935 he became a member of the International Control Commission of the Comintern. In 1938 he moved to Moscow in accordance with a decision by the Central Committee of the CPC. In Moscow, Šmeral worked for the Comintern and served on the governing central board of the CPC.


Historicképráce, 1908–1940. Prague, 1961.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.