Communist Party of Denmark
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Communist Party of Denmark
(CPD; Danmarks Kommunistiske Parti), a party founded on Nov. 9, 1919, through a merger of the left-wing forces of the Socialist Youth League and the Socialist Labor Party of Denmark (founded in April 1918) to form the Left Socialist Party of Denmark. After its decision to join the Comintern, it renamed itself the Communist Party of Denmark in November 1920.
In the 1920’s the CPD fought for the unity of the working class and against social-reformist and anarcho-syndicalist tendencies in its ranks. By the early 1930’s it had largely overcome these tendencies and had broadened its ties with the working people. The first Communists were elected to the Danish parliament in 1932. The decisions of the Seventh Congress of the Comintern (1935) had a beneficial influence on the work of the CPD. At its Fourteenth Congress, held in 1936, the party adopted a decision that defined the principles of the united front policy in terms of Danish conditions. The CPD was instrumental in setting up the Committee of Solidarity With the Struggle of Republican Spain, and many CPD members fought in the International Brigades in Spain from 1936 to 1939.
During the fascist German occupation of Denmark (from April 1940 to May 1945), the CPD, which went underground in June 1941, organized and led the Danish Resistance. Representatives of the CPD sat on the Liberty Council, the highest directing body of the Resistance.
After World War II the CPD greatly increased its influence among the working people. CPD representatives joined the postwar “liberation government” (May 5-Nov. 6, 1945). The party headed the movement of the progressive forces of the Danish people for peace and against Denmark’s participation in NATO and monopolist incursions on the vital interests of the working people. The movement forced the Danish ruling circles in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s to refuse permission to place NATO airfields in Denmark and compelled the entrepreneurs to satisfy a number of economic demands of the workers.
The program of the CPD, “Path of the Danish People,” which was adopted by the Seventeenth Congress (1952), formulated the ultimate goal of the party as the conquest of political power in the country by the working class and the building of a socialist society. The “Program for the Rejuvenation of Democracy,” adopted by a party conference in September 1960, guided the CPD in the fight for immediate goals in the 1960’s. The program viewed the struggle for the democratic transformations in Danish society as “a necessary first step on the road to a better future for the Danish people.”
The Twentieth Congress of the CPD (1958) marked the ideological and organizational rout of the revisionist group, which was headed from 1956 to 1958 by A. Larsen, chairman of the CPD at that time. The congress adopted resolutions aimed at rallying the party’s ranks on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and at strengthening its internationalist position. The Twenty-fourth Congress (1973) focused its attention on the unity of action of the working class and all the left-wing forces in the struggle against monopolies and on broadening the social and democratic rights of the working people; the congress demanded that Denmark refuse to participate in the European Economic Community and that it quit NATO. The resolution “For the Struggle Against Monopoly Capital, for the Interests of the Working Class, and for Socialism” and the “Program of the Communists in the Struggle for a Better Future for the People,” which were adopted by the congress and which reflected its deliberations, defined the party’s ideological and political task in the contemporary phase and set forth the long-range goals in the struggle for Denmark’s transition to socialism. The congress directed the party to become more active in the trade unions and other mass organizations and movements as a task of first priority. In the 1975 parliamentary elections, the CPD won 4.2 percent of the votes and received seven seats in parliament.
Delegations of the CPD participated in the international Conferences of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Moscow in 1957, 1960, and 1969. The CPD approved the documents adopted at the conferences.
According to the rules adopted in 1958, the CPD is organized along the principles of democratic centralism. The Congress is the supreme body; between congresses this function is performed by the Central Committee, which elects the Executive Committee to direct the party’s day-to-day work. K. Jespersen is the chairman of the CPD. The central organ is the newspaper Land og Folk, and its theoretical organ is the magazine Tiden. (See Table 1 for a list of the congresses of the CPD.)
|Table 1. Congresses of the Communist Party of Denmark1|
|1The author has no information on the time and place of the first through 13th congresses|
|Fourteenth ...............||Copenhagen||December 1936|
|Fifteenth ...............||Copenhagen||May 1946|
|Sixteenth ...............||Copenhagen||May 1949|
|Seventeenth ...............||Copenhagen||May 1952|
|Eighteenth ...............||Copenhagen||October 1955|
|Nineteenth ...............||Copenhagen||January 1957|
|Twentieth ...............||Copenhagen||Oct. 31–Nov. 2, 1958|
|Twenty-first ...............||Copenhagen||May 31–June 3, 1962|
|Twenty-second ...............||Copenhagen||Nov. 5–7, 1965|
|Twenty-third ...............||Copenhagen||Feb. 14–16, 1969|
|Twenty-fourth ...............||Copenhagen||Jan. 12–14, 1973|
REFERENCESDet danske folksvej. Copenhagen, 1952.
Nye veje for Danmark. Copenhagen, 1965.
Venstrekroefternes veje til demokrati og Socialisme. Copenhagen, 1949.
Ib Nørlund. Det Knager i samfundets fuger og band. Copenhagen, 1967.
Kommunisternes program for fornyelse af demokratiet. Copenhagen, 1960.
V. S. SAVKO