Baku Congress of the Peoples of the East

Appeal from the Netherlands

Appeal of the Communist Party of the Netherlands to the Peoples of the East represented in Baku:

Comrades of the East! I greet you in the name of the Communist Party of Holland, and also on behalf of the Communists of the Dutch East Indies, who are fighting out there in the Far East, along with us, the Communists of the West, for the destruction of Dutch capitalism. And I know that thousands of Indonesians whom Sarekat Islam has united for the common struggle against the Dutch oppressors will join with me to send you their greetings.

Comrades of the East! The Dutch Communists and their supporters in the Dutch East Indies feel unspeakable joy this day: for the first time in the world’s history the representatives of the proletariat which is exploited by the capitalists of the West are meeting here in Baku, at this Congress of the Third International, with the representatives of the peoples of the East who are also oppressed by the Western capitalists.

We Communists of the West greet with enthusiasm this Congress of the Third International at which, together with you, we have taken the decision to fight against capitalism until it is completely destroyed.

Comrades of the East! I represent the revolutionary proletariat of Holland. Our country is not large: it has only six million inhabitants. But our masters, the capitalists, are rich and powerful.

They have been exploiting the Dutch proletariat for over 300 years, and for the same length of time they have also been oppressing all the peoples of the East Indian Archipelago, the population of which exceeds 50 millions.

For over 300 years the white Dutch proletarians have by their labour been making their masters and bosses ever richer and richer, and for over 300 years these same Dutch capitalists have been oppressing minions of inhabitants of Asia, robbing and ravaging the Dutch East Indies and drawing countless riches from them.

The Dutch capitalists, exploiters and masters of white serfs in Holland, are at the same time exploiters of the native population of the East Indian Archipelago.

Comrades of the East! Our capitalists, by exploiting the proletarian masses of their own country and squeezing their colonies in the East Indies, have acquired riches not inferior to those of the biggest capitalists of Great Britain, although the latter is a much stronger country.

The Dutch oil kings, who have drawn their wealth from the soil of the Indies, have formed, along with their British colleagues, an oil trust in which they hold a big share and which intends to monopolise the entire oil industry everywhere in the world.

The British government, behind which the big Dutch capitalists hide themselves. is aiming at the conquest of Persia, and these capitalists hope, with the help of the Anglo — Dutch oil trust, to extract fresh profits from the oil-wells of Persia.

The Dutch proletariat, striving to bring about the downfall of its own capitalists, is happy and proud to salute its Persian brothers, who are driving the British imperialists out of their country.

Comrades of the East! The Great War, in which Holland did not take part, gave Dutch capitalism such an impetus that victorious Entente capitalism treats it as an equal. The League of Nations has formally proposed to the Dutch government that it undertake a protectorate over Armenia.

This means that the imperialist great powers which have emerged victorious from the Great War, and which today have divided the surface of the globe amongst themselves, want to hand Armenia to the Dutch capitalists for exploitation.

Comrades of the East! The Dutch Communists are fighting to prevent these aims from being realised. The revolutionary proletariat of Holland will learn with joy that its brothers in Armenia are opposing with all their strength the acquisition of new wealth by Dutch capitalism through exploiting and despoiling Armenia.

Peoples of the East! The revolutionary Dutch proletariat will rejoice to learn that each one of you, in your respective countries, is working to prevent the big Dutch capitalists from investing their capital profitably and so adding to their riches.

Comrades of the East! The Great War has brought all the capitalist countries to bankruptcy, and today capitalism has been considerably weakened.

Our Russian brothers have smashed capitalism in Russia and established there the power of the workers’ Soviets.

In Central Europe, as in Western Europe, the peoples are rising, or are preparing to revolt, against the capitalists and the powers that be, who are also your masters and oppressors.

The proletarians of all the countries of Central and Western Europe are ready to join with their brothers, the Russian workers, in striking capitalism down for good and all. This is why the strength of capitalism is today so much weakened.

European capitalism has become so weak that it has only one resource left for meeting the harsh consequences of the war, namely, the colonies, or, in other words, exploitation and oppression of the colonial peoples.

This is why, at this moment when capitalism is showing so many weak sides, the time has come for you to strike your blow. If you all unite for this struggle with the heroic, victorious proletariat of Russia, which is holding at bay, single-handed, all the capitalist powers, and if you all unite for this purpose with the proletariat of Europe, which is rising against its oppressors, then capitalism’s days are numbered.

Comrades of the East! The Dutch Communist Party ardently desires the end and the collapse of Dutch capitalism: it knows that it is from the Indies that the Dutch capitalists draw all their strength and their wealth, which has increased immeasurably since the War.

During the last eighteen years, our oil kings have pocketed more than 1,600 million florins profit, and the sugar-cane, harvest, reaped in May of this year, brought the Dutch capitalists 500 million florins, whereas before the war these profits never exceeded 900 million florins.

The Dutch Communists know that the strength of their oppressors is rooted in the wealth they get from exploiting the East Indies. This is why they fight against the economic policy that the Dutch capitalists are pursuing so rapaciously in the Indies, just as they also fight against the oppression of their brothers out there. ‘Hands off Indonesia’ is their slogan.

At this Congress of the Third International, assembled in Baku, we address our appeal to you and we hope that it will reach the remotest corners of the Dutch East Indies.

Enslaved peoples of the Dutch East Indies! The struggle you are waging against your oppressors is the same as that which the Dutch proletariat is waging against its oppressors: the Dutch capitalists are our common foe.

This is why we must wage our struggle in a united way. Indonesian brothers! Do not rest content with the miserable wage-increases which you try to wrest from your exploiters by means of strikes. Indonesian brothers! Do not let yourselves be seduced by the insignificant political rights which the Government of the Dutch East Indies has granted to some of you. Beware of this fraud: it is only a sort of dole they have thrown to you with the sole aim of sowing discord in your ranks.

Indonesian brothers! Drive out your oppressors, the Dutch barbarians, from your islands, which are distinguished by a very ancient and lofty culture.

Drive out the Dutch slaveowners, their police and their soldiers — throw them into the sea!

Indonesian brothers! The revolutionary Dutch proletariat will hail the day when you rise up against your masters, who are also ours.

The Dutch proletariat is striving to smash the domination of the capitalists in its own country. If you rebel, the Dutch proletariat will do everything possible to prevent its Government from sending troops to put your movement down.

In a joint effort, we in Holland and you in the Indies will crush Dutch capitalism.

Indonesian brothers! Rise up against Dutch capitalism.

Indonesian brothers! Join with your oppressed brothers of the East who are also rebelling, against the British capitalists, the allies of your oppressors, the Dutch capitalists!

Peoples of Asia! The Third International calls on you to come together under the standard of the great Russian revolt which is gradually spreading all over the world.

Come together for a universal insurrection of all the slaves of the earth, without distinction of race or colour, against capitalist domination and tyranny.

This is what the Congress of the Third International calls upon you to do.

Enslaved peoples of all parts of the world! Unite to destroy the tyranny of capitalism, attack it without delay, take advantage of its weakness, do not wait for it to recover from the blows it suffered in the Great War. Smash it! And, with the same effort, build the new society of the workers and peasants, on the basis of Soviet power.

The Communist Party of the Netherlands