Sources on the Development of the Socialist International (1907-1919)

- Vienna 1914 -

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The X International Socialist Congress in Vienna(1)

by Gerd Callesen

The congress was planned for the days between the 23 and 29 August 1914, but in July the Austrian Social Democratic Party had realized that because the threat of war had become imminent and because of the risk this would entail for the participants the congress could not be held in Vienna. Therefore the party suggested that the congress be held in another country - but in the event the congress was never held as a result of the outbreak of war on 4 August 1914. Following the conclusion of World War I a X congress of the International was held in Geneva 1920 with a considerably reduced scope.

The preparations for the Vienna congress had been largely completed and the majority of committee reports to the congress as well as the reports of the affiliated organizations were available in print; some of them in the three official languages of the International (German, English and French), others in one or two languages. The material relating to the Women's International which, according to the plans, would be held in continuation of the X congress will only be prepared for publication in connection with the development of the Women's International 1907-1915. The same is true mutatis mutandis for the material relating to the Youth International.

In this connection, too, the abovementioned bibliographical work by Georges Haupt constitutes the point of departure. In the course of the search for the 47 titles mentioned there, a number of other texts and reports were located so that the present collection now numbers 65. We assume that this collection is incomplete - for instance mention has been made that the report of the Social Democratic Party of Hungary also exists in French; similarly short reports from Switzerland in German and from Serbia in English are said to exist in an archive, however we have never gained access to this material.(2) Nevertheless, it must be assumed that with the present collection by far the largest part of the reports published but not circulated at the time are included. We hope that this collection will provide stimulation for locating other printed materials and that they will be made available to us for inclusion on the Internet edition.

A number of organizations that had submitted reports to the 1910 International Socialist Congress are not represented here. This is true, for instance, of the Social Democratic parties of Norway and Sweden, the various parties and organizations of Russia including Finland and the Trans Caucasian Social Democratic parties, the "Bund" and other organizations, but also of parties outside Europe. Furthermore, parties that had not hitherto been represented at the congress like the Portuguese Social Democratic Party and the Socialist Labour Party of Australia(3) submitted their reports. It is possible that other parties had similar plans and that these plans were in some cases realized.

To the extent that the language versions have been located, the texts are published in English, French and German.(4) The publications take the following sequence as established by Georges Haupt:

  1. Circulars to the affiliated organizations or their secretaries;
  2. Reports to the five committees (a. Unemployment, b. the High Cost of Living, c. Imperialism and Arbitration, d. Alcoholism, and e. The Russian Prison Atrocities);
  3. Reports on Activities of the parties (the following sequence had been planned): 1. Great Britain; 2. Germany; 3. Luxemburg; 4A. Austria; 4B. Bohemia; 5A. Hungary-Croatia; 5B. Bosnia-Herzegovina; 6. France; 7. Italy; 8. Spain; 9. Portugal; 10. Russia; 10F. Finland; 10L. Latvia; 11. Poland; 12. Norway; 13. Sweden; 14. Denmark; 15. Holland; 16. Belgium; 17. Switzerland; 18. Greece; 19. Turkey; 20. Serbia; 21. Bulgaria; 22. Rumania; 23. Japan; 23C. China; 24. South Africa; 25. Canada; 26. Mexico; 27. Cuba; 28. United States; 29. Brazil; 30. Argentina; 31. Chile; 32. Uruguay; 33. Austral Asia.
    (Those countries whose reports have been published are in italics);
  4. Other Texts

The texts published have been found in the following institutions:
Arbeiderbevegelsens Arkiv og Bibliotek, Oslo,
Arbejderbevćgelsens Bibliotek og Arkiv, Copenhagen,
Arbetarrörelsens Arkiv, Stockholm,
Biblioteka Sejmowa, Wydzial Zbiorów Historii Spolecznej, Warsaw,
Bibliothek der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Bonn
Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, Milan
Fondazione Lelio e Lisli Basso, Rome,
Fövárosi Szabo Ervin Könyvtár, Budapest,
Gosudarstvennaia Obshchestvenno-Politicheskaia Biblioteka (Socio-Political State Social Political Library), Moscow,
Internationaal Instituut voor Sociale Geschiedenis, Amsterdam,
Institut Emile Vandervelde, Brussels,
New York Public Library, New York,
Rossiiskii Gosudarstvennyi Arkhiv Sotsial'no-Politicheskoi Istorii (Russian State Archive of Social and Political History), Moscow,
Socialist Labor Party USA, Mountain View/San Jose,
Stiftung Archiv der Parteien und Massenorganisationen der DDR, Berlin,
Työväen Arkisto, Helsinki.


1 - Since Georges Haupt published his study Le congrčs manqué. L'Internationale ŕ la veille de la premičre guerre mondiale (German 1967, English 1973) a number of studies have been published which have not been bibliographically included here as many of them are found in periodicals and the like, e.g. Christl Wickert: Eine Dokumentation zu Clara Zetkins Vorbereitungen der 3. Internationalen Sozialistischen Frauenkonferenz, geplant für August 1914 in Wien: Internationale Wissenschaftliche Korrespondenz 1983 No 3, p. 325-329. From 1976 the Library of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation has been publishing the bibliography Bibliographie zur Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterbewegung. This bibliography also includes the material of the International. For the time prior to this Klaus Tenfelde and Gerhard A. Ritter have published a comprehensive bibliography, Bibliographie zur Geschichte der deutschen Arbeiterschaft und Arbeiterbewegung 1863-1914. Berichtsraum 1945-1975 in 1981 as an annex to Archiv für Sozialgeschichte. This volume includes a section on "Die deutsche und internationale Arbeiterbewegung" (p.614-643).

2 - The information originates in Georges Haupt's bibliography. According to the Swiss Schweizerisches Sozialarchiv in Zurich, the report of the Swiss Social Democratic Party at the Archief en Museum voor het Vlaamse Cultuurleven in Antwerp should not be categorized as the official report of the party. The protocols and minutes of the party's executive committee do not show that such a report was ever adopted by any party body.

3 - According to the biography by Georges Haupt, the SLP had sent an English and a German report to the organizing committee in Vienna. Apparently these reports have not survived. However, the English language version can be found as an excerpt in the document collection edited by William English Walling (ed.): The Socialism of To-Day, New York 1916, p. 335-339.

4 - The rule was that the reports had to be forwarded to the organizing committee in each of the three languages in 1000 copies.

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