Gregory Zinoviev

To the Proletarian Youth

First Published: The Communist, October 25, 1919
Online Version: Zinoviev Internet Archive, August 2002
Transciption: Sally Ryan
HTML Markup: Roland Ferguson


DURING the imperialist war it was the industrial and agricultural workers who bore the heaviest losses. Millions and millions of factory and rural workers fell,--in the flower of their youth a sacrifice to the interests of the small cliques of capitalists. The bourgeois governments sent the conscious South of the working class into battle for a twofold purpose: 1) to conquer their fellow-bourgeois competitors, and thus increase their profits; and 2) to annihilate the most restless, the most aggressive and the most revolutionary among their workers.

The proletarian youth it was that suffered most during the war of 1914-1919. But the proletarian youth it was also that first raised the voice of protest against that destructive war. When the official Socialist and Social-Democratic parties went over to the bourgeoisie and began to praise the bandit-war as a war of "right" and "freedom", the organizations of the youth rose up against this treachery. The Scheidemanns and Eberts in Germany, the Renaudels and Thomases in France, the Hyndmans and Hendersons in England, the Renners and Austelitzes in Austria, the Brantings in Sweden, the Gomperses in America, and the impostors and traitors in all other lands met with opposition on the part of the proletarian youth.

The time has now come to strengthen the YOUTH'S INTERNATIONAL. The working youth of all the world must determinedly make their own history.

The Communist International, founded in Moscow in the month of March 1919, invites all the organizations of the youth to align and unite themselves with the Communist International. The Communists consider the activity in the working youth's ranks as of the highest obligation, a work which must suffer no delay. Karl Liebknecht, the International's great warrior, murdered by the treacherous Scheidemann-Socialists, was one of the most energetic organizers of the movement of the youth. The Soviet Republic seeks to help the industrial and rural working youth with all the strength and apparatus at its command.

In Berne a Yellow "International" has been founded. The murderers of Karl Liebknecht have united themselves with the betrayers of the French workmen. This Yellow "International" is a fighting weapon in the hands of the Entente Imperialists. Kautsky, who stands for "unity", is, together with Scheidemann, in reality a bourgeois servant.

We are convinced that the working youth can have nothing in common with this fraudulent, lying, treacherous "International". The working youth of all the world are uniting themselves as one man with the living INTERNATIONAL, with the Communist International. The long-awaited battle for workers' power, for proletarian dictatorship, for Communism, is coming. The working class will have revenge for the insults cast upon the workers' banner during the five years' war. All over the world the workers are forming their councils as the means to the realization of Socialism. Against the bourgeois black army we are organizing our own red army, and the working youth shall fight on the foremost barricade for the victory of the Soviet system.

Long live the Proletarian Youth!

Long live the Youth's Communist International!


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