The foundation of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia

The Communist Party of Czechoslovakia (in Czech Komunistická strana Československa) was founded at the establishing congress, which took place on 14 – 16 May 1921 in the National House in Karlín (part of Prague). Nowadays there is a historical board commemorating this important event.

The congress passed 21 conditions necessary to meet in order to become a member of the Comintern and unified the program of Czech, Slovak, Hungarian and Ukrainian communists.The party was Communist and Marxist – Leninist political oriented. First leaders of the party were Václav Šturc, Bohumír Šmeral and Václav Bolen.

Before the party was founded, some important incidents happened in the Czechoslovak Social-Democratic Party. In 1920 there was a controversy between two sections of the party – the democratic section and the Marxist section. In these times, political parties were prohibited from owning real estate, hence the owner of the People’s House (in Czech Lidový dům) was Antonín Němec, one of the leaders of the democratic fraction of the Czechoslovak Social-Democratic Party. That house was used by the party as their seat. The Marxist fraction started to use the house to prepare their propaganda without Antonín Němec’s consent. Therefore the police seized the People’s House in order to prevent the Marxist fraction from the unauthorised usage.

In response to that the Marxist fraction declared the December General Strike in 1920 and published their requests such as growth of salaries, formation of labourers’ councils and the caretaker government’s resignation. The strike was held on 10 – 17 December 1920, some violent incidents occurred and martial law was declared. More than 3 000 attenders were arrested.

As the consequence of those events the Marxist fraction founded in 1921 the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak Social-Democratic Party lost a lot of its voters. The role of the biggest party in Czechoslovakia overtook the Agrarian Party.

In 1925 parliamentary election the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia gained 13.2% of votes and 41 mandates as the second most successful party in the election.