KEVIN McDERMOTT (Leeds, U.K) THE SPLIT IN THE CZECH SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC TRADE UNIONS AND THE FORMATION OF THE RED UNIONS, 1919-1922 The origins of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (Komunistickd strana Ceskoslovenska-KSC) have been rea- sonably well documented in Western studies,l but as yet little work has been done on the equally dramatic events surrounding the formation of the Czechoslovak Red Unions. This article at- tempts to redress the balance by focusing on developments in the Czech trade union movement in the years 1919-22.2 These four years witnessed an increasingly bitter struggle between Social Democrats and Communists for control of the largest and most powerful union in the Republic, the Social Democratic Czechoslo- vak Trade Union Association (Odborovg sdruzent œskosloven- The leftist opposition endeavored to steer the OS? to- ward a pro-Moscow orientation based on "non-compromising so- cialism" in contrast to the moderate reformism of the union leadership. By late 1921 the communists were strong enough to force the OSC executive to convene an extraordinary congress 1. For details on the origins of the Communist Party, see H. Gordon Skilling, "The Formation of a Communist Party in Czechoslovakia," American Slavic and East European Review, 14, No. 3 (1955),
East Central Europe – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1989
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