First Congress of the Communist International

The Organisation of the Communist International

Source: Theses Resolutions and Manifestos of the First Four Congress of the Third International, translated by Alix Holt and Barbara Holland. Ink Links 1980;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

6 March, 1919 read by Platten

So as to be able to begin its activity without delay, the Congress is electing the necessary bodies immediately with the idea that the definitive statutory constitution of the Communist International will be submitted to the next congress at the Bureau’s proposal. The leadership of the Communist International is entrusted to an Executive Committee. The latter is made up of a representative from the Communist Parties of each of the most important countries. The Russian, German, German Austrian, Hungarian, Balkan Federation, Swiss and Scandinavian Parties should immediately send their representatives to the first Executive Committee.

The parties of those countries which declare their adherence to the Communist International before the Second Congress will obtain a seat on the Executive Committee.

Until the arrival of the foreign representatives, the comrades of the country where the Executive Committee has its headquarters undertake to carry out the work. The executive Committee elects a Bureau of five people.'

Lenin: Does anyone wish to discuss this? – That is not the case. The proposal is therefore carried.

The five were to be nominated by the Executive: Lenin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Rakovsky and Platten. Platten was to leave Russia for Switzerland: arrested in Finland on 8 April, he was sent back to Russia in May, then tried to go through Rumania where he was also arrested, and only arrived in Switzerland in 1920. Lenin, Trotsky and Rakovsky left the responsibility of running the International to Zinoviev alone, with Angelica Balabanoff as secretary and two associates, Victor L. Kibaltchitch, a French ex-anarchist known as ‘Restless’ and later as Victor Serge, and Lichtenstadt, known as Mazine. (See Victor Serge: ‘Memoirs of a Revolutionary’.)