December Political Strike of 1920

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

December Political Strike of 1920


in Czechoslovakia. A strike directed against the attempts of the Czechoslovakian bourgeoisie and the right-wing Social Democrats to put down the revolutionary movement of the working class, which had gained great momentum as a result of the October Revolution in Russia.

On December 9, in reply to the forcible seizure by the gendarmerie and police of the People’s House in Prague, which was the headquarters of the executive committee of the Marxist left wing and of the editors and printers of the newspaper Rude Pravo, the left wing called on the workers to go out on a general strike. In a few days the strike spread to practically the whole country and included up to 1 million industrial and farm workers. The strikers demanded the resignation of the Černy government, control over industrial and agricultural enterprises, the creation of workers’ councils, and the defense of civic and democratic freedoms. Revolutionary committees and workers’ and factory councils were set up in various areas of the country, and in a number of industrial centers the workers seized factories and plants and occupied postal buildings, railway stations, and other buildings. In the districts of Kladno, Slany, Louny, and České Budějovice and in many areas in Slovakia, agricultural workers occupied large estates. Spontaneous strikes broke out in a number of towns. The revolutionary activities were led by the proletariat of Kladno led by A. Zapotocki. A state of emergency was proclaimed in many provinces. In Prague, Most, Oslavany, Vrable (Slovakia), and a number of other centers, workers were fired upon. By December 15 the resistance of the proletariat in the main centers of the strike had been overcome. More than 3,000 persons were arrested. The December political strike was one of the most important confrontations that occurred between the working class and the bourgeoisie between the two world wars. The experience gained in the strike proved invaluable for the political training of the Czechoslovakian working class and accelerated the formation of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia.


Barta, D. Dekabr’skaia vseobshchaia stachka 1920 v Chekhoslovakii. Moscow, 1955. (Translated from Czech.)


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