Communist International (1919–1943)

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"Communist International" redirects here. For other uses, see Communist International (disambiguation).

Communist International
Symbol of Communist International
• General Secretary
Georgi Dimitrov
• First Congress
March 1919
• Second Congress
July 1920
• Third Congress
June 1921
• Fourth Congress
November 1922
• Fifth Congress
July 1924
• Sixth Congress
July 1928
• Seventh Congress
July 1935
• Dissolution
Preceded by
International Workingmen's Association
Second International

The Communist International, also known as the Third International or Comintern, was an international communist organization led by the Soviet Union. It was established in 1919 after the October Revolution and dissolved in 1943 after the Nazi invasion of the USSR. It was briefly succeeded by the Cominform in 1947.


Delegates from communist parties around the world participated in World Congresses of the Comintern. The Congress decided the number of votes for each party based on its membership and the political importance of the country it is from. The World Congress elected an Executive Committee to lead between congresses, and all parties in the Comintern had to follow the decisions of the Executive Committee. Individual parties could appeal against resolutions of the Executive Committee to the World Congress but had to follow the Congress's decision.

The Executive Committee often invited delegates from communist parties to their meetings but only members elected to the Committee at the World Congress could vote. The Executive Committee elected a Presidium that met at least once a month and the Presidium elected a Political Secretariat.[1]


First Congress

The First Congress of the Comintern was held in Moscow in 1919. It included communist parties from many countries, including Russia, Hungary, Germany, Japan, Italy, and the United States.

Second Congress

Third Congress

Fourth Congress

In 1922, Tan Malaka of Indonesia proposed collaboration between communism and pan-Islamism. The Congress rejected it because of the reactionary roles of many Muslim clerics.[2]

Fifth Congress

In 1927, the Comintern adopted the line that bourgeois national liberation movements would betray the proletariat.[3]

Sixth Congress

At its Sixth Congress in 1928, the Comintern warned of a new fascist offensive against the proletariat.[4]

Seventh Congress

The Comintern revised its position on national liberation in 1935 to encourage a temporary alliance between the proletariat and national bourgeoisie of colonized nations.[3] It also encouraged communists in Europe to form popular fronts against fascism with all anti-fascist forces.[5]

Anti-Comintern Pact

In 1936, Nazi Germany and Japan signed a pact against the Comintern.[6] Fascist Spain and the rest of the Axis later signed the pact.


  1. J. Peters (1935). A Manual on Organisation: 'Structure and Functions of the Party Organizations'. New York City: Workers Library Publishers. [MIA]
  2. Vijay Prashad (2017). Red Star over the Third World: 'Soviet Asia' (pp. 73–74). [PDF] New Delhi: LeftWord Books.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Vijay Prashad (2008). The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World: 'Brussels' (p. 22). [PDF] The New Press. ISBN 9781595583420 [LG]
  4. Georgi Dimitrov (1937). The United Front: 'The Fascist Offensive and the Tasks of the Communist International' (p. 9). San Francisco: Proletarian Publishers.
  5. Vijay Prashad (2008). The Darker Nations: A People's History of the Third World: 'Bali' (p. 157). [PDF] The New Press. ISBN 9781595583420 [LG]
  6. Ludo Martens (1996). Another View of Stalin: 'Stalin and the anti-fascist war' (pp. 185–190). [PDF] Editions EPO. ISBN 9782872620814