Berne International
The International Socialist Commission, also known as the International Socialist Committee or the Berne International was a coordinating committee of socialists parties that adhered to the idea of the Zimmerwald Conference
Zimmerwald Conference
The Zimmerwald Conference was held in Zimmerwald, Switzerland, from September 5 through September 8, 1915. It was an international socialist conference, which saw the beginning of the end of the coalition between revolutionary socialists and reformist socialists in the Second International.-...

 of 1915.

Early History

The Zimmerwald Conference
Zimmerwald Conference
The Zimmerwald Conference was held in Zimmerwald, Switzerland, from September 5 through September 8, 1915. It was an international socialist conference, which saw the beginning of the end of the coalition between revolutionary socialists and reformist socialists in the Second International.-...

 elected Angelica Balabanoff
Angelica Balabanoff
Angelica Balabanoff was a Jewish-Italian communist and social democratic activist.-Revolutionary activities:...

, Odino Morgari and Charles Naine to the Commission, with the Swiss socialist Robert Grimm
Robert Grimm
Robert Grimm was the leading Swiss Socialist politician during the first half of the 20th century.As a leading member of the Social Democratic Party of Switzerland he opposed the First World War. Grimm was the main organiser of the Zimmerwald Movement and the chairman of the International...

 as chairman and Balabanoff as interpreter. The Committee was charged with setting up a temporary secretariat and begin publishing a bulletin. The ISCs initial purpose was to act as an intermediary between the affiliated groups in their struggle for peace. It was not to act as a replacement for the International Socialist Bureau
International Socialist Bureau
The International Socialist Bureau was the permanent organization of the Second International, established at the Paris congress of 1900. Before this there was no organizational infrastructure to the "Second International" beyond a series of periodical congresses, which weren't even given a...

 and dissolve as soon as the ISB could begin functioning normally. Others adherents of the Zimmerwald movement, such as Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Lenin
Vladimir Ilyich Lenin was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and communist politician who led the October Revolution of 1917. As leader of the Bolsheviks, he headed the Soviet state during its initial years , as it fought to establish control of Russia in the Russian Civil War and worked to create a...

 saw it as the beginning of a new International.

The Commissions activity in the first months of its existences consisted of translating the manifesto and resolutions of the conference and distributing as widely as possible. To that end they first forwarded copies of the first number of their Bulletin to the socialist and trade union papers of the neutral countries. Within the belligerent countries the ISC was able to have the full documents published in
Italy, Russia, France, England and Bulgaria but only summaries in Austria and Germany. They also sent a circular to all the parties adhering to the ISB announcing their existence and the objects of the group. Only the Danish party replied, official disapproving of the Zimmerwald venture. However, at the Congress of the Swiss Socialist Democratic Party at Aarau
Aarau is the capital of the northern Swiss canton of Aargau. The city is also the capital of the district of Aarau. It is German-speaking and predominantly Protestant. Aarau is situated on the Swiss plateau, in the valley of the Aar, on the river's right bank, and at the southern foot of the Jura...

 November 20–21, the delegates declared their adherence to the ISC and granted the organization 300 francs
Swiss franc
The franc is the currency and legal tender of Switzerland and Liechtenstein; it is also legal tender in the Italian exclave Campione d'Italia. Although not formally legal tender in the German exclave Büsingen , it is in wide daily use there...


On September 27, 1915, ISC sent out a confidential circular (which was nevertheless leaked to the unfriendly press) suggesting that the adhering groups appoint up to three extra delegates to join the Commissioners as part of an Enlarged Committee. The first session of this Enlarged Committee of the International Socialist Commission was held in Berne February 5–8, 1915. No official list of attendee was published and sources disagree about who was present. Fainsod lists the following: Robert Grimm and Fritz Platten
Fritz Platten
Fritz Platten was a Swiss Communist.After the collapse of the Second International, Platten joined the Zimmerwald Movement and became a Communist....

 from the Swiss Social Democratic Party; Lenin, Zinoviev
Zinoviev, Zinovyev, Zinovieff , or Zinovieva is a Russian surname and may refer to:* Aleksandr Zinovyev , a Russian logician, sociologist, writer, and satirist* Alexander S...

, from the Bolsheviks, Julius Martov
Julius Martov
Julius Martov or L. Martov was born in Constantinople in 1873...

, and Pavel Axelrod
Pavel Axelrod
Pavel Borisovich Axelrod was a Russian Menshevik.- Early life and career :Born Pinches Borutsch in Potscheff near Chernigov and raised to Shklov, a small provincial town in and Mogilev, the biggest town of the three in the Russian Empire , Axelrod was the son of a Jewish innkeeper.In 1875 in...

 from the Mensheviks; David Riazanov
David Riazanov
David Riazanov , born David Borisovich Goldendakh , was a political revolutionary, Marxist theoretician, and archivist. Riazanov is best remembered as the founder of the Marx-Engels Institute and editor of the first large-scale effort to publish the collected works of these two founders of the...

 of the Mezhraiontsy
Mezhraiontsy or Mezhraionka , usually translated as the interdistrictites , officially RSDRP , was a small Petrograd-based group within the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party, which existed between 1913 and 1917...

 (also known as the Inter-District Committee); Feliks Kon
Feliks Kon
Feliks Yakovlevich Kon was a Polish communist activist.-Career:Born in Warsaw, Kon's mother was Georgian and was brought up in Russia. He was trained as a historian and a journalist, but was involved in politics...

 and Pawel Lewinson from the Polish Socialist Party - Left; Bertha Thalheimer, Adolf Hoffman and Georg Ledebour, dissidents form the German Social Democratic Party; Serrati, Modigliani
Modigliani may refer to:* Amedeo Modigliani , painter and sculptor** Modigliani, a 2004 biographical film about the painter and sculptor* Elio Modigliani , anthropologist, zoologist, and plant collector...

 and Angelica Balabanoff from the Italian Socialist Party; Christian Rakovsky
Christian Rakovsky
Christian Rakovsky was a Bulgarian socialist revolutionary, a Bolshevik politician and Soviet diplomat; he was also noted as a journalist, physician, and essayist...

 from the Social Democratic Party of Romania and Edmondo Peluso from the Social Democratic Party of Portugal. However the Hoover Institution adds Alexander Martynov, for the Mensheviks, Franz Koritschoner
Franz Koritschoner
Franz Koritschoner was an Austrian communist politician. Koritschoner was one of the founders of the Communist Party of Austria in 1918, and a member of its Central Committee until 1927. He edited the central party organ, Die Rote Fahne....

, a dissident member of the Social Democratic Party of Austria
Social Democratic Party of Austria
The Social Democratic Party of Austria is one of the oldest political parties in Austria. The SPÖ is one of the two major parties in Austria, and has ties to trade unions and the Austrian Chamber of Labour. The SPÖ is among the few mainstream European social-democratic parties that have preserved...

; Henri Guilbeaux
Henri Guilbeaux
Henri Guilbeaux was a French socialist politician. Active in the Zimmerwald Anti-War Movement during World War I. Became a Communist and was active in the Comintern. Supporter of Trotsky....

, editor of the Demain; Karl Radek
Karl Radek
Karl Bernhardovic Radek was a socialist active in the Polish and German movements before World War I and an international Communist leader after the Russian Revolution....

 of the Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania; and Willi Münzenberg
Willi Münzenberg
Willi Münzenberg was a communist political activist. Münzenberg was the first head of the Young Communist International in 1919-20 and established the famine-relief and propaganda organization Workers International Relief in 1921...

, secretary of the International Socialist Youth League. Furthermore there was apparently a representative of the Dutch Zimmerwaldists present, or one of the above may have held the Dutch mandate. The identity of this person remains unclear.

After some debate the meeting decided to issue a circular (though not a full manifesto as the Zimmerwald Left
Zimmerwald Left
The Zimmerwald Left was a revolutionary minority fraction at the Zimmerwald Peace Conference of 1915, headed by Lenin. The Left of the Zimmerwald Congress was made up of eight out of 38 people: Lenin, Zinoviev , Jānis K. Bērziņš , Karl Radek , Julian Borchardt , Fritz Platten , Zeth Höglund and...

s had advocated) on the basis of a draft written by Grimm and extensively rewritten by a commission consisting of Zinoviev, Rakovsky, Serrati, Martov,Grimm and two delegates representing Germany and the ISC whose identity is not apparent. The Lefts were still not entirely satisfied with the circular, but considered it an improvement over the Zimmerwald Manifesto. The meeting also decided to arrange a new conference, and drew up conditions for participation and a provisional agenda.

Kienthal to the Russian Revolution

The ISC set to work arranging for a new congress of Zimmerald adherents which met at Kienthal on April 24, 1916. Forty three delegates met at this conference, representing Germany, France, Italy, Russia, Poland, Switzerland, Serbia, Portugal and Great Britain. The ISC publicly announced that the Conference was going to be held in the Netherlands to avoid passport denial or secret police surveillance, but a number of delegates were prevented from attending anyway.

The Kienthal Conference
Kienthal Conference
The Kienthal Conference was held from April 24 to 30, 1916. Like its 1915 predecessor in Zimmerwald, it was an international conference of socialists who opposed the First World War.- Background :...

 adopted another manifesto and some important resolutions, but it declined to advocate a policy to be followed by its adherents toward the conference of Neutral Socialists
Neutral Socialist Conferences during the First World War
During the First World War there were three conferences of the Socialist parties of the non-belligerent countries.- Lugano, 1914 :The first joint meeting of any of the socialist parties after the out break of the war was held by representatives of the Swiss Social Democratic Party and the Italian...

 scheduled to meet at the Hague that summer. This was deferred to the second meeting of the ISC Enlarged Committee on May 2. Each organization that participated in the Kienthal Conference was represented by one delegate. This meeting "considered some administrative matters, authenticated the Kienthal resolutions, and discussed matters of parliamentary action" as well as the Hague Conference. One group, headed by Martov, advocated participation, arguing that no opportunity should be missed to expose to the workers to the "cause of the failure" of the International Socialist Bureau. Zinoviev argued against, claiming it would only confuse the workers. The meeting ultimately became deadlocked, with five votes for each proposition, so it was decided that each party should make up its own mind whether to attend, but they should uphold the Zimmerwald resolutions if they did.

The ISC Enlarged Committee attempted to meet again time at Olten
Olten is a town in the canton of Solothurn in Switzerland and capital of the district of the same name.Olten's railway station is within 30 minutes of Zurich, Bern, Basel, and Lucerne by train, and is a rail hub of Switzerland.-History:...

 on February 1, 1917 to consider a proposed Paris conference of Entente socialist parties. The ISC called a meeting of the Enlarged Committee members of the Allied countries, but only those groups with a presence in Switzerland were able to attend. The meeting therefore, only issued a none binding declaration recommending its affiliates not to attend. An official list of delegates was, again, not published, but the official communique stated "only those delegates of the three Russian socialist parties, who were in Switzerland - the representatives of the National Committee of the Polish Socialist Party (the Levitsa)
and of the Bund, as well as a representative of Lav Vie Ouvriere in Paris, who resides in Switzerland - came to the conference." The editors of the Hoover Institution
Hoover Institution
The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace is a public policy think tank and library founded in 1919 by then future U.S. president, Herbert Hoover, an early alumnus of Stanford....

s The Bolsheviks and the World War, however, state specifically that the organizations represented included the Bolsheviks, the Mensheviks, and the Russian Social Revolutionaries, as well as Henri Guilbeaux and Willi Münzenberg.

The Russian Revolution and Stockholm

After the March Revolution in Russia the ISC decided to transfer its headquarters to Stockholm
Stockholm is the capital and the largest city of Sweden and constitutes the most populated urban area in Scandinavia. Stockholm is the most populous city in Sweden, with a population of 851,155 in the municipality , 1.37 million in the urban area , and around 2.1 million in the metropolitan area...

, to be closer to be closer to the center of revolutionary activity. Grimm left Switzerland on April 20, and arrived at Stockholm on April 24. Three days before he left, however, Grimm had agreed to an appeal of assistance from the Central Committee for the Return of Political Exiles to Russia to intervene on their behalf with the Provisional Government
Provisional government
A provisional government is an emergency or interim government set up when a political void has been created by the collapse of a very large government. The early provisional governments were created to prepare for the return of royal rule...

 and the Petrograd Soviet
Petrograd Soviet
The Petrograd Soviet of Workers' and Soldiers' Deputies , usually called the Petrograd Soviet , was the soviet in Petrograd , Russia, established in March 1917 after the February Revolution as the representative body of the city's workers.The Petrograd Soviet became important during the Russian...

 for their return to Russia in exchange for German civil prisoners in Russia. However, Grimm was denied entry into Russia for the moment on the suspicion that he was a German spy. In the meantime, Grimm and the ISC learned that several affiliated parties had declared themselves sympathetic to the movement for a general socialist congress at Stockholm and issued an appeal on May 10 to all the European Zimmerwaldist parties to meet in a third Zimmerwaldist conference in Stockholm for May 31 to decide the Zimmerwald movements attitude toward the proposed Stockholm Conference.

A train full of Russia exiles arrived from Switzerland in mid May, carrying fellow ISC member and interpreter Angelica Balabanoff, as well as Martov, Riazanov, Pavel Axelrod and a number of other Russian socialist luminaries. Grimm boarded this train and set off for the Russian frontier. Before he got to the Russian border he learned that the foreign minister who denied him a visa, Miliukov
Miliukov note
The Milyukov note was an incident on the 20th of April 1917, one which resulted in the bolstering of support for the Bolsheviks in Russia, and a widespread mistrust of the Russian Provisional Government...

 had resigned, and three more socialist had entered the government. The new government issued him a visa but it did not get to him until after he had crossed the Russian border under the protection of the Helsingfors Soviet. Grimm and Balabanoff arrived in Petrograd in time to speak at the All-Russian Conference of the Menshevik party and convince the organization to approve attending the Third Zimmerwald Conference (they also vote to advocate participation at the proposed Stockholm Congress).

On May 28–29 they had an informal conference with members of Zimmerwaldist parties in the city. According Balabanoffs notes this was attended by Lenin, Zinoviev and Kamenev of the Bolsheviks; Bobrov of the Social Revolutionaries; Grigorii Bienstock, Martov, Martynov, and Larin
Larin may refer to:*Liz Larin, Detroit-based singer-songwriter*Rafael Menjívar Larín, Salvadoran economist and politician ‎*Sergei Larin, Kazakh professional footballer*Vladimir Larin, Soviet/Russian geologist*Sergejus Larinas, Latvian-Russian opera singer...

 of the Mensheviks; Abramovich of the Bund; Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky
Leon Trotsky , born Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, was a Russian Marxist revolutionary and theorist, Soviet politician, and the founder and first leader of the Red Army....

, Mikhail Urinovich
Mikhail Urinovich
Mikhail Aleksandrovich Urinovich is a Russian professional football player. In 2009, he played in the Russian Second Division for FC Metallurg Krasnoyarsk.-External links:*...

 and Riazanov of the Inter-District Committee;Lapinski of the Polish Socialist Party - Left and Christian Rakovsky of the Romanian Social Democrats. According to he notes Trotsky, Kamenev, Zinoviev, Riazanov and herself were opposed to participation in the purposed Stockholm conference, while Rakovsky, Grimm, Bobrov and Martynov were for attending. In any case, decision would have to wait until the next Zimmerwaldist Conference. The Bolshevik delegation also tried to prevail on the ISC to issue a condemnation of socialists serving as ministers in the Provisional Government. While most at the meeting who gave an opinion were against socialist participation in the Provisional Government, there was also a broad consensus that the ISC did not have the authority to make such a statement without first consulting its affiliates).

The "Grimm Affair"

While in Petrograd both Balabanoff and Grimm were vigorously criticized in the press as being German agents working for a separate peace
Separate peace
The phrase "separate peace" refers to a nation's agreement to cease military hostilities with another, even though the former country had previously entered into a military alliance with other states that remain at war with the latter country...

 between Germany and Allied countries. Balabanoff was accused of negotiating with the Germans on behalf the Italian Socialist Party, but the Party quickly cleared her. However, Robert Grimm faced a more substantial charge. On May 26/27 he sent a telegram to Swiss Federal Council
Swiss Federal Council
The Federal Council is the seven-member executive council which constitutes the federal government of Switzerland and serves as the Swiss collective head of state....

or Hermann Hoffmann
Hermann Hoffmann
Heinrich Karl Hermann Hoffmann was a German botanist and mycologist born in Rödelheim.He studied medicine at the University of Giessen, and in 1839 furthered his education in Berlin as a student of physiologist Johannes Peter Müller. In 1842 he earned his habilitation at Giessen, where he worked...

 stating that there was a general desire for peace in Russia and that the only thing that could hinder it was a German offensive
Offensive (military)
An offensive is a military operation that seeks through aggressive projection of armed force to occupy territory, gain an objective or achieve some larger strategic, operational or tactical goal...

. Hoffmann responded on June 3, stating that people he spoke to in the German government would not launch an offensive while there was still a possibility of peace, as well as comment on possible territorial exchanges involving Poland, Lithuania and Galicia
Territorial dispute
A territorial dispute is a disagreement over the possession/control of land between two or more states or over the possession or control of land by a new state and occupying power after it has conquered the land from a former state no longer currently recognized by the new state.-Context and...

. The Provisional Government published these exchanges on June 16 and ordered Grimm deported. The event caused a scandal
A scandal is a widely publicized allegation or set of allegations that damages the reputation of an institution, individual or creed...

 and opponents of the Zimmerwaldist movement from many sides used it as evidence that Zimmerwald movement was part of a German conspiracy.

On June 20 Grimm resigned as Chairman of the International Socialist Commission. On the same day Carl Hoglund, acting on behalf of the Swedish Left Social Democratic Party and Youth League, appointed a commission of three to look after the affairs of the ISC -- Zota Hoglund, Ture Nerman
Ture Nerman
Ture Nerman was a Swedish socialist. As a journalist and author, he was a well-known political activist in his time. He also wrote poems and songs.Nerman was a vegetarian and a strict teetotaler...

 and Carl Carlson. The first act of this new leadership was to recall Balabanoff from Russia. She would thenceforth be the secretary of the ISC. The ISC then appointed a commission of inquiry to look into the "Grimm affair". The membership of this commission consisted of Carl Lindhagen
Carl Lindhagen
Carl Albert Lindhagen was a Swedish lawyer, socialist politician, and pacifist.Carl Lindhagen was the Chief Magistrate of Stockholm 1903 – 1930...

 and Carl Hogland of Sweden; Kirkov of Bulgaria; Karl Radek of Poland; Christian Rakovsky of Romania; Orlovsky
Orlovsky , Orlovskaya , or Orlovskoye may refer to:People*Alexander Orlovsky , Russian battle painter*Anton Orlovsky , Russian composer and violinist...

 of Russia; and Karl Moor
Karl Moor
Karl Moor was a Swiss Communist, and a channel for German financing of the 19th century European Bolshevik movement....

 of Switzerland

The commission found that Grimm had made the telegraphic exchange without the knowledge of Balabanoff or any of the other Zimmerwaldists in Petrograd, and, while condemning him for practicing a kind of secret diplomacy, absolved him of attempting to reach a separate peace with Germany. It also absolved the International Socialist Commission itself, as no other member besides Grimm knew about the telegraphs.

The "affair" also had repercussions in Switzerland. Councilor Hoffman resigned on June 19. When Grimm returned he faced another commission of inquiry, this time appointed by the presidium of the Swiss Social Democratic Party. On September 1, 1917 the presidium voted 18-15 to accept the majority report of the commission, which came to most of the same conclusions as the Stockholm commission and recommended Grimm be restored to his previous party posts. A minority report signed by Charles Naine, Grimms former ISC colleague, was more condemnatory and denied the right of the presidium to restore Grimm to his previous mandates.

The Third Zimmerwald Conference

Meanwhile, the ISC in Stockholm held a meeting at the office of the Stormklocken newspaper on July 3, with representatives of the Soviets to attempt to clarified the situation. Present at this meeting were Linstrom, Lindhagen and Hoglund for Sweden; Olausen for Norway; Otto Lang for Switzerland; Karl Kautsky, Hugo Haase, Lousie Zeitz, and Oskar Cohn for Germany; Sirola for Finland; Orlovsky, Radek and Hanecki for the Bolsheviks; Boris Reinstein for the US Socialist Labor Party
Socialist Labor Party of America
The Socialist Labor Party of America , established in 1876 as the Workingmen's Party, is the oldest socialist political party in the United States and the second oldest socialist party in the world. Originally known as the Workingmen's Party of America, the party changed its name in 1877 and has...

; Kirkov for Bulgaria and Balabanoff in her capacity as secretary of the ISC. The representatives of the Soviet were Joseph Goldenberg
Goldenberg is a surname of Jewish-Austrian origin, which may refer to:People:* Billy Goldenberg , American composer* Carl Goldenberg , Canadian lawyer & politician* Charles Goldenberg , American football player...

, Vladimir Rozanov and "Smirnov". At this meeting Balabanoff, Orlavsky and Reinstien stated their objections to the invitation of the majority Socialist parties. Goldberg replied that the proposed conference was open to socialist parties without conditions, and would include minorities as well as majorities. Radek re-emphasized the Bolshevik party's disapproval of the Stockholm Conference and the Party's determination to quit the Zimmerwald movement if the Third Zimmerwald Conference chose to participate. Haase, of the Independent Socialist Party of Germany, however, was for the Conference and stated that his party would attend. Again, Balabanoff reminded everybody that no single party could dictate the ISCs position, which would be decided by the third Zimmerwald Conference. On the next day the conclave resumed, this time without the Soviet delegates. A statement was adopted in the name of the "Bureau of the International Socialist Commission" to the effect that the Third Zimmerwald Conference would take place five days before the proposed general Stockholm Conference, but should the conference not meet by September 15, 1917 the commission was empowered to call a conference of affiliates anyway.

On July 9, once their meetings with the Ditch-Scandinavian Committee were finished, the Soviet delegation tried once again to enlist the ISc in the preparation work for the Stockholm Conference. This meeting, held at the ISCs "quarters" was between Balabanoff, Hoglund and Carlson for the ISC and Hendrik Ehrlich and another representative The Soviet delegation did not get a formal answer until July 11, when the ISC sent them a formal letter stating that they would not be able to participate in the preparations because the Stockholm Conference invitations had been "altered" to include the pro-war socialist parties and that the breaking of the "civil peace" was not a requirement of the parties to the conference

On July 13, according to Fainsod, there was another meeting of the ISC with Zimmerwaldists in Stockholm. Participants reported included Radek, Alexandra Kollontai
Alexandra Kollontai
Alexandra Mikhailovna Kollontai was a Russian Communist revolutionary, first as a member of the Mensheviks, then from 1914 on as a Bolshevik. In 1919 she became the first female government minister in Europe...

, Orowski, Martinov and Jermanski of Russia, "Mohr of Switzerland", Sirola
Sirola, Širola are the surnames of:* Yrjö Elias Sirola, né Sirén , a Finnish socialist politician* Hannes Juho Rikhard Sirola , a Finnish gymnast...

 of Finland, Storm and Kilborn of Sweden. Radek and Kollantai are supposed to have argued against going to the proposed Stockholm Conference while it was still reiterated that only the Third Zimmerwald Conference could decide that.

On July 18 Balabanoff did issue a revised invitation to the Third Zimmerwald Conference. The invitation gave the date as August 10, 1917 and included a provisional agenda, stated that the condition for participation were the same as those published in Bulletin #3 and also included an invitation to a socialist women's conference to be held in connection with the Zimmerwald conference

On August 1 another meeting of the ISC with Zimmerwald adherents in Stockholm decided to call the Third Zimmerwald Conference and meet in Stockholm on September 5 regardless of what happened to the movement for the proposed general Conference. The participants at this meeting included Lindhagen, Lindstorm, and Otto Strom of Sweden; Osip Arkadievich Ermanski of the Menshiviks; Yrjo Sirola of Finland; J. Eads How of the United States; Ledebour of Germany; and Radek and Hanecki "representing both the Bolsheviks and the Social Democracy of Poland and Lithuania"

Finally, the Third Zimmerwald Conference
Third Zimmerwald Conference
The Third Zimmerwald Conference or the Stockholm Conference of 1917 was the third and final of the anti-war socialist conferences that had included Zimmerwald and Kienthal .- Background :...

 met at Stockholm on September 5–12, 1917. It had a smaller number of participants that any of the previous Zimmerwaldist Conferences, with only about thirty delegates from Russia, Germany, Poland, Finland, Rumania, Switzerland, the United States, Sweden and Norway, as well as the members of the ISC itself. By this point the question of attending the proposed general Stockholm Conference had been rendered practically moot because of the inability of the organizers to realize the project. The question was discussed anyway because some delegates felt that the issues raised by the movement for the Stockholm Congress were of a "fundamental" nature and the proletarians needed to be educated as to why the proposal foundered. No resolution was passed on the issue, though the movement for the Stockholm Conference is condemned, in passing, in the Conferences manifesto.

Final months in Stockholm

The manifesto itself caused some trouble for the ISC. It was agreed that it would not be immediately released because it contained a call for co-ordinated mass action
Mass action
In Chemistry, the law of mass action is a mathematical model that explains and predicts behaviors of solutions in dynamic equilibrium. It can be described with two aspects: 1) the equilibrium aspect, concerning the composition of a reaction mixture at equilibrium and 2) the kinetic aspect...

 against the war by the proletarians of all countries. The Conference felt it would be best to postpone publication until all the Zimmerwaldist groups had consented to this. A messenger was to memorize the text in English and go to London where he would deliver the manifesto orally. There it would be translated into French, memorized by another messenger who would travel to Paris. Meanwhile, on September 28, Louise Zeitz of the German Independent Socialists arrived in Stockholm and the ISC met to discuss her request that the publication of the manifesto be postponed further. The ISP had been getting into trouble lately because of mutinies in the German navy led by alleged party members. The groups parliamentary leaders denied impressibility and pleaded that they were only for legal action. The publication of the manifesto at this time might lead to dissolution of the party by the government. Karl Radek, on the other hand, argued for immediate publication. The Commission decided to postpone issuing the manifesto for the time being. the ISC would publish it only after personal or telegraphic communication with the ISP and, barring that, on its own discretion. Radek threated to publish the manifesto himself—and he did so, in a Finnish newspaper that November.

The ISC held a meeting with a visiting Serb delegation October 10. The Serbs were represented by Kaslerovic and Popvic. In addition to the Serbs, the following were present: Christian Rakovksy of the Romania; Katerina Tinev Bulgarian Trade Union Federation and Kharlokov of the opposition with the "Broad" Bulgarian socialist party; Radek, Orlovsky and Haneki of the Bolsheviks; Yrjo Sirola of Finland and Fritz Rosen of the Socialist Propaganda League of America
Socialist Propaganda League of America
The Socialist Propaganda League of America was established in 1915, apparently by C.W. Fitzgerald of Beverly, Massachusetts. The group was a membership organization established within the ranks of the Socialist Party of America and is best remembered as direct lineal antecedent of the Left Wing...

. No desicions or resolutions appear to have been made at this meeting. The Serb delegation were there to submit a memorandum to the Dutch-Scandinavian committee.

The ISC held two meetings on November 8, 1917, the day after the Bolshevik seizure of power in Petrograd
October Revolution
The October Revolution , also known as the Great October Socialist Revolution , Red October, the October Uprising or the Bolshevik Revolution, was a political revolution and a part of the Russian Revolution of 1917...

. Present, beside the formal members of the Commission, were Radek, Racovsky Tinev and Kharlakov. At the first it was moved that the ISC send a telegram of congratulations to Petrograd Soviet in the name of all the affiliated parties. Racovsky protesting against this, suggesting they wait until the situation in Russia was clear and all the parties were able to take a stand on what happened. He was overruled. Radek offered an already written appeal that he wanted issued jointly by the Bolsheviks and the ISC which urged workers around the world to strike and form soviets to defend the Russian revolution from counter-revolution and defend peace. It also asked all the parties which approved of the revolution to send delegates to Stockholm. This was approved. At a second meeting later that night the publication of the manifesto adopted at the Third Zimmerwald Conference was approved.

The ISc spent the remainder of its existence publishing its newsletter and other material supportive of the Bolshevik revolution. In March 1918 its published a special illustrated "Zimmerwald Russia Review", Freiden, Brot Freiheit in twelve languages. It also published a pamphlet of Bukharin, Thesen uber der sozialistische Revolution und die Aufgaben des Proletariats wahrend seiner Diktatur in Russland. The final issue of Nachtrichten was published on September 1, 1918 and contain an appeal to the workers in German, French, Swedish, Italian and English. That month Balabanoff went on a tour of several countries to try to revive the influence of the ISC and fight off calls for its return to Switzerland. She was not especially successful, being expelled from Switzerland and denied reentry into Sweden. As secretary of the International Socialist Commission, she consented into its formal dissolution into the Communist International at its first congress in March 1919.


  • Bulletin published in German, English and French at Berne
      1. September 21, 1915
      2. November 27, 1915
      3. February 29, 1916
      4. April 22, 1916
      5. July 10, 1916
      6. January 6, 1917

  • Nachrichtendientst published in German at Stockholm 44 issues. Some of the more significant of which were:
      1. 3 May 12, 1917 (announces 3rd Zimmerwald conference)
      2. 9 June 20, 1917 (announces Grimm resignation and formation of a new ISC)
      3. 10 June 22, 1917 (announces a commission of inquiry into the Grimm affair; July 3 meeting)
      4. 13 July 8, 1917 (publishes findings of the above commission)
      5. 28 November 10, 1917 (publishes Third Conference manifesto; endorses October Revolution)
      6. 44 September 1, 1918 (final issue)


  • Das Wiedererwachen der Internationale by Christian Rakovsky Bern: Internationale Sozialistische Kommission, 1916
  • Lenin: am Tage nach der Revolution by Fritz Platten Zürich : Genossenschaftsdruckerei, 1918


Two membership lists of organizations adhering to Zimmerwald were published in Bulletins #3 and #4. Not included in either lists were the opposition sections within the German and French socialist parties. Additionally, the Finnish Social Democrats adhered in the summer of 1917. There were also other groups whose allegiance to the ISC and Zimmerwald ambiguous.

Entente countries (other than Russia)

  • Italian Socialist Party
    Italian Socialist Party
    The Italian Socialist Party was a socialist and later social-democratic political party in Italy founded in Genoa in 1892.Once the dominant leftist party in Italy, it was eclipsed in status by the Italian Communist Party following World War II...

     (October 12, 1915)
  • Confederazione Generale del Lavoro (Itay)
    Confederazione Generale del Lavoro
    Confederazione Generale del Lavoro was an Italian labor union, founded in 1906, under the initiative of communist and socialist militants...

  • American Socialist Party(before December 27, 1915)
  • German Speaking group of the Socialist Party of America
    Language federation
    Language Federations were formed in the late 19th and early 20th century by immigrants to the United States, primarily from Eastern and Southern Europe, who shared a commitment to some form of socialist politics...

  • Socialist Labor Party (before December 27, 1915)
  • Independent Labour Party
    Independent Labour Party
    The Independent Labour Party was a socialist political party in Britain established in 1893. The ILP was affiliated to the Labour Party from 1906 to 1932, when it voted to leave...

  • British Socialist Party
    British Socialist Party
    The British Socialist Party was a Marxist political organisation established in Great Britain in 1911. Following a protracted period of factional struggle, in 1916 the party's anti-war forces gained decisive control of the party and saw the defection of its pro-war Right Wing...

  • Romanian Social Democratic Party
  • Social Democratic Party of Serbia
  • Portuguese Socialist Party
    Portuguese Socialist Party
    The Portuguese Socialist Party was a political party in Portugal.The party was founded in 1875. During its initial phase the party was heavily influenced by Proudhonism, and rejected revolutionary Marxism. The party suffered constant factional struggles...

     (before December 27, 1915)
  • International Socialist League of South Africa
  • Socialist Workers' Federation
    Socialist Workers' Federation
    The Socialist Workers' Federation , led by Avraam Benaroya, was an attempt at union of different nationalities' workers in Ottoman Thessaloniki within a single labor movement.-The Federation in the Ottoman Empire:...

    Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....


Czarist Russia

  • Central Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Workers Party (Bolsheviks)
  • Organization Committee of the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Mensheviks)
    The Mensheviks were a faction of the Russian revolutionary movement that emerged in 1904 after a dispute between Vladimir Lenin and Julius Martov, both members of the Russian Social-Democratic Labour Party. The dispute originated at the Second Congress of that party, ostensibly over minor issues...

  • Social Revolutionaty Party of Russia (Internationalist)
  • General Jewish Labour Bund in Lithuania, Poland and Russia
  • Polish Socialist Party – Left
  • Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania
    Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania
    The Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland and Lithuania was a Marxist political party founded in 1893. Its original name was the "Social Democracy of the Kingdom of Poland" and it eventually became part of the Communist Workers Party of Poland...

  • Lettish Social Democratic Labour Party
    Communist Party of Latvia
    Communist Party of Latvia was a political party in Latvia.- Latvian Social-Democracy prior to 1919 :The party was founded at a congress in June 1904. Initially the party was known as the Latvian Social Democratic Workers' Party . During its second party congress in 1905 it adopted the programme of...

  • Social Democratic Party of Finland
    Social Democratic Party of Finland
    The Social Democratic Party of Finland is one of the three major political parties in Finland, along with the Centre Party and the National Coalition Party. Jutta Urpilainen is the current SDP leader. The party has been in the Finnish government cabinet for long periods and has set many...

    (June 15–18, 1917)
  • Ukrainian Social Democrats - Borotbists
    The Borotba Party was a peasant based left-nationalist political party in Ukraine. It arose in May 1918 after the split in the Ukrainian Socialist-Revolutionary Party on the basis of supporting Soviet power in Ukraine. Similar to Russian Left-SR it got its name from the central organ of the...

Neutral countries

  • Swiss Socialist Party (November 21, 1915)
  • Swedish Social Democratic Youth League
    Young Left (Sweden)
    Young Left is the youth organization of the Swedish Left Party.-Ideology:It is an organization that organizes the youth of today to fight for socialist and feminist social change. Young Left is a youth organization developed out of the labour movement, with influences from environmentalism, the...

  • Young Social Democrats of Norway
    Young Communist League of Norway
    Young Communist League of Norway was until April 2006 the youth league of Norges Kommunistiske Parti . April 1st 2006 NKP declared that NKU was no longer its youth organization, and that all youths interested in joining the movement should contact the party directly...

  • Social Democratic Youth of Denmark
    Social Democratic Youth of Denmark
    The Danmarks Socialdemokratiske Ungdom is the youth organisation of the Danish Social Democrats.- History :The Social Democratic Youth movement of Denmark was established in 1920 after a break-up of the former youth organisation, the Social Democratic Youth League...

  • Madrid Socialist Youth
  • Revolutionary Socialist League (Netherlands)
    Revolutionary Socialist League
    The Revolutionary Socialist League is the name of more than one group:*Revolutionary Socialist League **Revolutionary Socialist League **Revolutionary Socialist League *Revolutionary Socialist League...

Central Empires

  • Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers' Party (Narrow Socialists)
  • Bulgarian Social Democratic Workers Party (Broad Socialists)
  • Federation of Trade Unions of Bulgaria
  • Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany
    Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany
    The Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany was a short-lived political party in Germany during the Second Reich and the Weimar Republic. The organization was established in 1917 as the result of a split of left wing members of the Social Democratic Party of Germany...


See also

  • Vienna Socialist Conference of 1915
    Vienna Socialist Conference of 1915
    The Vienna Socialist Conference of 1915 gathered representatives from the Socialist parties of Germany, Austria and Hungary to the only meeting of the pro-war socialist parties of the Central Powers during World War I....

  • Neutral Socialist Conferences during the First World War
    Neutral Socialist Conferences during the First World War
    During the First World War there were three conferences of the Socialist parties of the non-belligerent countries.- Lugano, 1914 :The first joint meeting of any of the socialist parties after the out break of the war was held by representatives of the Swiss Social Democratic Party and the Italian...

External links

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