Source: Published in Toward the United Front: Proceedings of the Fourth Congress of the Communist International, 1922 (https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/897-to-the-masses), p. 960.
Translation: Translations by John Riddell
HTML Markup: David Walters & Andy Blunden for the Marxists Internet Archive, 2018
Copyright: John Riddell, 2017. Republished here with permission.
The capitalist offensive is increasing the number of Communists and non-party workers who have taken part in the struggle against capitalism and who are languishing in jail in all the bourgeois countries.
The Fourth Congress instructs all Communist parties to create an organisation that provides the imprisoned victims of capitalism with material and moral assistance, and greets the initiative of the Association of Old Bolsheviks, which is in the process of creating an international association of such organisations. (Applause)
1. Committees for Red aid were formed in Germany, early in 1921, to aid political prisoners in that country. International Red Aid (Russian acronym: MOPR) was founded on 30 November 1922, the day of this session, with Julian Marchlewski as chairman and Clara Zetkin as vice-chairman. Heinz Sommer records that in 1932 it claimed 13.8 million members, including 8.2 million outside the Soviet Union.
2. This appeal, taken from the German text of the proceedings, is not found in the collection of congress resolutions published: in 1923. In its place is the following resolution (Thesen und Resolutionen des IV. Weltkongresses der Kommunistischen Internationale, Hamburg: Verlag der Kommunistischen Internationale, 1923, p. 111):
Resolution on Assistance for Vanguard Fighters of the Communist Movement
The Comintern recognises the need to organise international material assistance for vanguard fighters for communism – whether or not they belong to the party – who are held prisoner by the reactionary governments of various countries. This initiative is placed on the agenda by the sympathy of the broad masses for the cause of struggling to eliminate the old, outlived forms of social life and replacing them by new forms that represent the beginning of communism. The Comintern therefore addresses the following appeal to all Communist parties:
1. Take the initiative – or support it, if it has already been taken – to organise material and moral assistance to vanguard fighters for the cause of communism who are locked in prison, forced into exile, or for any reason excluded against their will from our fighting ranks.
2. The Communists of Soviet Russia must take a very special initiative here. Such organisations to support victims of political struggle for communism can take on large scope as measures toward uniting internationally all those who sympathise with the cause of communism.