Communist Party of the Netherlands

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Communist Party of the Netherlands


(CPN; Communistische Partij van Nederland), founded Nov. 17, 1918, it grew out of the Social Democratic Party of the Netherlands. In April 1919 the CPN joined the Comintern. The CPN participated actively in the struggle for the vital interests of the Dutch working people and came out in defense of Soviet Russia. In subsequent years the party experienced serious difficulties. “Leftist” and right-opportunist views became widespread in the Central Committee and among party members; individual leaders conducted a policy that threatened to split the party. The membership and influence of the party declined sharply. The 1930 congress, for which preparations were made with the help of the Comintern, exposed the opportunists and elected a new party leadership. In the 1930’s the CPN broadened its ties with the masses. Its membership rose from 1,100 in 1930 to 11,000 in 1940.

During the fascist German occupation of the Netherlands (from May 1940 to May 1945) the CPN, which operated underground, was active in the Resistance Movement and the organizing in February 1941 of a general strike of the Dutch working people. More than half the membership and almost the entire Politburo of the CC of the party died in the struggle against the fascist invaders.

The influence of the CPN among the masses grew after World War II (1939–45). In the 1946 elections the CPN received 502,900 votes (10.6 percent) and ten seats in the lower house of parliament. The CPN adopted a program in 1945. The party launched a struggle for the social and democratic rights of the working people and came out in support of the Indonesian people’s struggle for national liberation. A new party program was adopted at the Sixteenth Congress of the CPN (1952), a program of struggle for building a people’s democratic state. In the 1950’s and early 1960’s the party organized and led the struggle of the Dutch people for the peaceful settlement of the question concerning the transfer of West Irian to Indonesia, the struggle against the arms race, including nuclear weapons, and the struggle for the elimination of foreign military bases from Dutch territory and the return of the Netherlands to its traditional policy of neutrality. The Twenty-first Congress of the CPN (1964) adopted a resolution on a “new orientation of party policy,” in which a narrow nationalistic approach to the tasks of the party manifested itself to the detriment of its international activity. The Twenty-second (1968), Twenty-third (1970), and Twenty-fourth (1972) Congresses were held under the banner of the policy of the “new orientation.”

Table 1. Congresses of the Communist Party of the Netherlands1
1The author does not have at his disposal complete information regarding the date and place of the congresses held prior to and during World War II
Fourteenth ...............AmsterdamDec. 26–28, 1947
Fifteenth ...............RotterdamFeb. 25–28, 1950
Sixteenth ...............AmsterdamNov. 22–25, 1952
Seventeenth ...............AmsterdamApr. 9–11, 1955
Eighteenth ...............AmsterdamOct. 5–7, 1956
Nineteenth ...............AmsterdamDec. 26–29, 1958
Twentieth ...............AmsterdamMay 20–22, 1961
Twenty-first ...............AmsterdamMar. 28–30, 1964
Twenty-second ...............AmsterdamDec. 22–24, 1967
Twenty-third ...............AmsterdamFeb. 6–8, 1970
Twenty-fourth ...............AmsterdamJuly 26–28, 1972

Delegations of the CPN participated in the international Conferences of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Moscow in 1957 and 1960. The CPN approved the documents adopted by the conferences. It refused to send a delegation to the 1969 conference.

In the 1972 parliamentary elections the CPN received 3.9 percent of the votes and seven seats in the lower house.

In accordance with the rules adopted in 1958, the CPN is organized on the principles of democratic centralism. The Congress is the party’s supreme body (in the intervals between congresses it is the Central Committee). The CC elects its Presidium to provide leadership for the party’s day-to-day work. The chairman of the CC is H. J. Hoekstra. The central organ is the newspaper De Waarheid; the journal Politick en Cultuur is the theoretical organ. (See Table 1 for a list of the congresses of the CPN.)


XIX s”ezd Kommunisticheskoi partii Niderlandov. Moscow, 1959. (Materials; translated from Dutch.)
CPN in de oorlos. Amsterdam, 1958.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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