Conference of the Three Internationals of 1922

Conference of the Three Internationals of 1922

 

an international conference of representatives of the Comintern, including N. I. Bukharin and K. B. Radek, representatives of the Bern International, including E. Vandervelde and R. MacDonald, and representatives of the Second-and-a-Half International, including F. Adler, P. Faure, and O. Bauer. It took place in Berlin on Apr. 2–5, 1922.

Called upon the initiative of the Comintern, the conference was intended to organize a united workers’ front for the struggle against the offensive of capital, against the predatory conditions of the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919, and in support of the Soviet Republic. When the conference opened the representatives of the Bern and the Second-and-a-Half internationals rejected the above Comintern proposals and posed their own demands. The most important were that no death sentences be handed down at the trial of the Right SR’s (Socialist Revolutionaries), which was about to open in Russia, and that representatives of the three internationals be allowed to attend the trial. In addition, the Bern and Second-and-a-Half internationals asked that the Communist parties stop establishing cells in trade unions and that the Red Army be withdrawn from Georgia. (The latter demand was aimed at restoring the power of the Mensheviks in Georgia.)

After receiving assurances that their demands concerning the trial of the Right SR’s would be satisfied, the representatives of the Bern and Second-and-a-Half internationals agreed to set up a Commission of Nine to prepare an international workers’ congress and to hold a joint demonstration at the Genoa Conference of 1922.

Thus, in V. I. Lenin’s words, the Comintern “made some breach in the premises that were closed” and unmasked the reformist leaders’ rejection of a common struggle against the bourgeoisie (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 45, p. 143). At the same time, Lenin noted that too high a price had been paid for this success. He criticized the Comintern delegates for having made excessive concessions to the international bourgeoisie at the expense of the revolutionary proletariat (ibid., pp. 143–44). In May 1922 the Commission of Nine discontinued its activity because the leaders of the Bern and Second-and-a-Half internationals had broken their agreement with the Comintern.

REFERENCES

Lenin, V. I. “My zaplatili slishkom dorogo.” Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 45.
Mezhdunarodnaia sotsialisticheskaia konferentsiia: Stenograficheskii otchet. Moscow, 1922.
Kommunisticheskii internatsional: Kratkii istoricheskii ocherk. Moscow, 1969. Chapter 2.
Molchanov, lu. L. Komintern: u istokov politiki edinogo proletarskogo fronta. Moscow, 1969.

V. V. ALEKSANDROV

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