MIA: History: International: Socialist International: Zimmerwald Conference

International Socialist Conference at Zimmerwald
September/October 1915


The outbreak of the Great War in 1914 a group of Social-Democrats, minorities within their own parties, met at Zimmerwald in 1915 to try to work out a joint platform of opposition to the slaughter taking place around them. The Zimmerwald Conference failed to unite all the Social Democrats or end the War, but did bring together a Left wing which supported the Russian Revolution and laid the basis for the Third (Communist) International.

After being presented with three drafts (from the right wing of the German delegation, from the Zimmerwald Left, and from “the Nashe Slovo representative” - ie Trotsky, the Commission outlined some fundamental theses and requested Robert Grimm and L. Trosky to write the final text. The manifesto which was adopted by the Conference is almost identical with Trotsky's draft manifesto. The sources used are Lenin's Sbornik, a Bundist publication and Trotsky's own writings.

The Zimmerwald Manifesto was signed by Georg Ledebour, Adolf Hoffmann (Germany); A. Bourderon, A. Merrheim (France); G.E. Modigliani, Constantino Lazzari (Italy); Lenin, Pavel Axelrod, M. Bobrov (Russia); St. Lapinski, A. Warski, Cz. Hanecki (Poland); for the Inter-Balkan Socialist Federation Rakovsky (Rumania), Wassil Kolarov (Bulgaria); for Sweden and Norway Z. Hoglund, Ture Nerman, H. Roland-Holst (Holland); Robert Grimm, Charles Naine (Swiss).

Declaration of sympathy for the war victims and the persecuted, adopted by the International Socialist Conference at Zimmerwald.

Draft resolution of the leftwing delegates, signed by two representatives of the Central Committee of the Russian Social-Democratic Labor Party (Zinoviev and Lenin), a representative of the Opposition of the Polish Social-Democracy (Radek), a representative of the Latvian province (Winter), a representative each of the Left Social-Democrats of Sweden (Hoglund) and Norway (Nerman), a Swiss delegate (Platten), and a German delegate.

On the question of submitting the draft to the commission, 12 delegates voted for (the eight mentioned above, two Socialist-Revolutionaries, Trotsky, and Roland-Holst) .

Two declarations, signed by Lenin, Zinoviev, Radek, Nerman, Hoglund and Winter.