Young Communist League logo.
Young Communist League logo.
Communist youth marching in 1925 May Day rally in Berlin.
Communist youth marching in 1925 May Day rally in Berlin.

The Young Communist League of Germany (Kommunistischer Jugendverband Deutschlands, abbreviated KJVD) was a political youth organization in Germany.

History

The KJVD was formed in 1920 from the Free Socialist Youth (Freie Sozialistische Jugend) of the Communist Party of Germany,[1][2][3] A prior youth wing had been formed in October 1918, with support from the Spartacus League (Spartakusbund).[4] It was unable to attract new members and its membership peaked in the last years of the Weimar Republic at between 35,000 and 50,000.[4] However, those who did join were commonly children of communist parents that were extremely devoted to the Communist Party.[4]

Their activities included selling party newspapers, painting slogans, gluing posters, collecting dues, taking part in agitation, and they made up the voice choruses for Communist songs at demonstrations and other events.[4] The KJVD had its own publishing house, the "Young Guard".[4] The KJVD followed the Communist Party propaganda of attacking the Social Democratic Party of Germany as a proponent of "social fascism" resulting in hostility to the Social Democrats becoming a feature of the KJVD.[5]

Political rifts between the KJVD and its parent organization, the Communist Party, appeared, including support by members of the KJVD for the young Communist intellectual Heinz Neumann who advocated increased use of physical violence against political enemies, including the Nazis.[6]

Future leader of East Germany, Erich Honecker was a member of the KJVD and became KJVD leader of Saarland in 1931.[5]

After the majority of the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany joined the Communist Party of Germany at the end of 1920, the Independents' Socialist Workers Youth group followed suit and merged with the Communist Party's youth organization and then in 1925, became known as the Young Communists League.[7]

The central organ of KJVD was Die Arbeit, which was published illegally.[8]

In 2002 the KPD (1990) established their youth organisation, also calling it the KJVD.[9]

List of chairman

See also

References

  1. ^ Köster, Barabara (2005). "Die Junge Garde des Proletariats" Untersuchungen zum Kommunistischen Jungendverband Deutschlands in der Weimarer Republik ["The Young Guard of the Proletariat" Investigations into the Communist Youth Association of Germany in the Weimar Republic.] (PDF) (PhD) (in German). Retrieved 20 March 2010.
  2. ^ Broué, Pierre; Birchall, Ian; Weitz, Eric D.; Archer, John (2006). The German Revolution, 1917–1923. Chicago, Illinois: Haymarket Books. pp. ix.
  3. ^ Brown, Timothy Scott (2009). Weimar radicals: Nazis and communists between authenticity and performance. Oxford, England, UK; New York, New York, USA: Berghahn Books. p. 27.
  4. ^ a b c d e Epstein, Catherine (2003). The last revolutionaries: German communists and their century. Harvard University Press. p. 38.
  5. ^ a b Epstein, Catherine (2003). The last revolutionaries: German communists and their century. Harvard University Press. p. 40.
  6. ^ Epstein, Catherine (2003). The last revolutionaries: German communists and their century. Harvard University Press. pp. 38–39.
  7. ^ Honecker, Erich (1981). From my life. Pergamon. p. 16. ISBN 978-0-08-024532-4.
  8. ^ International of Youth. No. 1. Communist Youth International. 1924. p. 17. ((cite magazine)): Missing or empty |title= (help)
  9. ^ "KJVD – Der kommunistische Jugendverband für Deutschland" [KJVD - The Communist Youth Association for Germany]. www.kjvd.de (in German). Retrieved 26 August 2019.