Duncan Hallas

The Comintern




Second International formed at the Congress of Paris.


Stuttgart Congress of the Second International unanimously adopts resolution against war.


August: Start of First World War. German and Austrian Social Democratic Parties, French Socialist Party, British and Belgian Labour Parties all vote support for their national governments in the war.
November: Lenin writes: ‘The Second International is dead ... Long live the Third International.’


September: International socialist anti-war conference at Zimmerwald


April: International socialist anti-war conference at Kienthal. Easter Rising in Dublin.
June: 50,000 Berlin workers strike as Karl Liebknecht is tried for organising a peace demonstration.


February (old calendar): Tsar overthrown in Russia.
April: 200,000 German metalworkers strike over bread ration. Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD) formed.
September: International socialist anti-war conference at Stockholm.
October (old calendar): Bolshevik revolution in Russia.


January: Wave of anti-war strikes in Austria, Hungary and Germany.
November: Naval mutiny and revolution in Germany ends war and leaves government in the hands of an SPD/USPD ‘Council of People’s Commissars’.
December: German Communist Party (KPD) formed.


January: Spartacus Rising in Berlin: Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht murdered. Summons to first congress of Communist International issued from Moscow.
February: Berne conference of parties of the Second International.
March: First, founding congress of the Comintern in Moscow. Hungarian soviet republic established.
April: Bavarian soviet republic established. May: Bavarian soviet republic crushed.
June/July: Semi-insurrectionary riots over food prices in Italy.
August: Hungarian soviet republic crushed. September: Bologna Congress of the Italian Socialist Party (PSI) votes by a large majority to support its executive’s decision to join the Comintern.
October: Heidelberg Congress of KPD expels ultra-lefts.
November: General election in Italy: PSI gains nearly one-third of the vote.


March: Kapp Putsch in Germany.
April: General strike in Turin region of Italy to defend factory councils.
July: ‘International Trade Union Council’ formed in Moscow to organise international congress of Red trade unions.
July/August: Second Congress of Comintern. Geneva Congress of Second International.
September: Occupation of the factories in Italy. Baku Congress of Eastern Peoples.
October: Halle Congress of USPD votes to affiliate to Comintern.
December: Tours Congress of French Socialist Party votes to affiliate to Comintern.


January: Livorno Congress of Italian Socialist Party refuses to expel reformists: left wing splits away to form Italian Communist Party (PCI).
February: Vienna conference of parties that have left the Second International but not joined the Comintern forms the Vienna or ‘2½’ International.
March: March Action in Germany. Introduction of New Economic Policy (NEP) in Russia.
June/July: Third Congress of Comintern.
July: First congress of Red International of Labour Unions (RILU or Profintern) in Moscow.
December: Executive committee of Comintern issues directives on united front.


April: Meeting of representatives of Third, Second and ‘2½’ Internationals in Berlin.
October: ‘March on Rome’ brings Mussolini to power in Italy.
November/December: Fourth Congress of Comintern.


January: French and Belgian troops occupy the Ruhr.
May: Hamburg congress re-unite Second and ‘2½’ Internationals as ‘Labour and Socialist International’.
June: Right-wing coup overthrows Peasant Party government in Bulgaria.
September: Abortive Communist Party insurrection in Bulgaria.
October: German Communist Party calls off planned insurrection. Open Letter written by Trotsky begins Left Opposition in Russia.
November: General strike in Poland: workers seize Cracow.


January: Death of Lenin.
May: Thirteenth congress of Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU) confirms Troika of Zinoviev, Kamenev and Stalin in power.
June/July: Fifth congress of Comintern.
December: Abortive Communist Party uprising in Reval, Estonia.


March: Fifth plenum of the Comintern Executive declares ‘The period of revolutionary upsurge has ended.’
April: Sofia Cathedral in Bulgaria bombed by Communist Party’s military section. Formation of Anglo-Soviet Trade Union Committee in Britain.
May/June: General strike in Shanghai, China, spreading to other cities.
December: Fourteenth congress of CPSU: Zinoviev and Kamenev defeated: end of Zinoviev’s dominance of the Comintern.


March: Chiang Kai-shek launches military coup against Chinese Communist Party in Canton.
May: Pilsudski coup in Poland. General strike in Britain.
July: United Opposition of Trotsky, Zinoviev and Kamenev formed.


April: Kuomintang massacres Chinese Communist Party in Shanghai.
November: Trotsky expelled from CPSU.
December: Abortive Communist Party rising in Canton, China.


July/August: Sixth congress of Comintern: ‘Third Period’ proclaimed: end of Bukharin’s dominance of the Comintern.


May: First Five-Year Plan launched in Russia.
July: Tenth plenum of Comintern Executive revives theory of ‘social fascism’.
October: Wall Street Crash in USA.


September: Elections in Germany: Nazi vote shoots up from 1928 total of 800,000 to 6,400,000.


January: Hitler comes to power in Germany


January: Seventeenth congress of CPSU proclaims ‘the victory of socialism’ in Russia.
February: French fascists march on Chamber of Deputies, prompting big united anti-fascist demonstrations. Austrian socialists suppressed and military dictatorship established under Dolfuss.


July/August: Seventh congress of Comintern.


June: Popular Front wins elections in France: wave of factory occupations.
July: Military coup in Spain halted by workers’ uprising: start of Spanish Civil War.
August: Start of Moscow show trials.


August: Hitler-Stalin Pact.
September: Start of Second World War.


June: Germany invades Russia.


May: Comintern dissolved.


Last updated on 26 July 2018