Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania

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Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania


(SDKPL; Socjaldemokracja Krolestwa Polskiego i Litwy), a party founded in July 1893, as the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland, through the merger of the Union of Polish Workers and the working-class members of the Second Proletariat.

In March 1894, at its first congress, held in Warsaw, the party declared the necessity of the struggle for socialism and the establishment of the power of the proletariat; as its minimum program, it called for struggle for the overthrow of tsarism and the achievement of political and economic freedom. The programmatic theses reflected the mistaken conceptions of the party’s theorist, R. Luxemburg. In August 1900, at the second party congress, internationalist elements of the Lithuanian workers’ movement, on the initiative of F. Dzerzhinskii, joined with party members to form a unified SDKPL.

During the Revolution of 1905-07 in Russia, the SDKPL, with about 30,000 members, led the struggle of the Polish working class. In April 1906 it adhered to the RSDLP, at the same time retaining its organizational independence. In December 1911 the vacillation of SDKPL leaders-J. Tyszka (L. Jogiches) and others-over tactical issues led to a schism in the party. The Zarzadowcy were partisans of the Central Board, located abroad. The Rozlamowcy, the breakaway group, which consisted essentially of the Warsaw and Lódź organizations, worked closely with the Bolsheviks, approved the resolutions of the Prague Conference of the RSDLP in 1912, and took part in the Poronin 1913 Meeting of the Central Committee of the RSDLP with Party Officials.

During World War I, the SDKPL took an internationalist position. In 1916 the two wings of the party were reunited. The SDKPL welcomed the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, and several party figures, including Dzerzhinskii, B. Wesok>wski, and J. Lenski, took part in the creation of the Soviet state and helped defend it on the fronts during the Civil War of 1918-20. SDKPL figures, such as Luxemburg, J. Marchlewski, and Tyszka, took part in the German workers’ movement and helped organize the Communist Party of Germany. In 1918, under the leadership of the SDKPL, more than 100 Soviets of workers’ deputies were created in Poland. In December 1918, at a unity congress of the SDKPL and Polish Socialist Party-Left Wing, the Communist Party of Poland was founded.

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