The emergence of the Komsomol movement
The history of the All-Union Leninist Communist Youth League (the Komsomol) organization dates back to the late 19th - early 20th cc., the time of the growing student movement in Russia. Vladimir Lenin’s theoretical studies highlighted the importance of propaganda among the young people and the need to involve them in the revolutionary struggle. The revolution of 1917 led to dramatic increase in the number of working youth circles. At the 6th Congress of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party (Bolsheviks) in July-August 1917 it was decided to set up youth organizations (Unions of Working Youth) associated with the party in the cities and towns of Russia. The working youth played an important role in the armed uprising. In particular, in the autumn of 1917 about 5,000 young workers joined the Red Guard through the efforts of the Petrograd Soviet.
The 1st All-Russian Congress of the Workers' and Peasants' Youth Leagues was held from October 29th through November 4th, 1918. The Russian Communist Youth League was established in order to band together separate unions into the all-Russian organization with one center, working under the guidance of the Communist Party of Bolsheviks. October 29th is considered the day of the foundation of the Komsomol. The League was intended to spread the ideas of communism and involve the working and peasant youth in the active construction of the Soviet Russia. To honour Lenin’s memory the name was changed in July 1924 to the Russian Leninist Communist Youth League. After the USSR was formed, in March 1926 the organization was renamed the All-Union Leninist Communist Youth League.
Komsomol members took an active part in the Civil War. From 1918 to 1920 the Komsomol sent over 75,000 of its members to the Red Army. Underground Komsomol groups struggled with the White Army behind the lines of the enemy. By 1920 the Komsomol numbered 482,000 members.
The collection includes Soviet time publications dating from the 1920s, 1940s, which shed light on the history of the emergence of the Komsomol movement in Russia in the early 20th c., its famous members (V. Alexeev, A. Deev, A. Kasimenko, I. Krasnoshchyokina) and the youth policy of the Bolsheviks.
The history of the Communist Youth League further on is available for study via “The Komsomol in the National History” collection.
Об организации молодёжного движения в Петрограде в 1917-1918 г., деятельности Васи Алексеева и создании Социалистического союза рабочей молодёжи – одного из предшественников ВЛКСМ
Об организации комсомольского движения в России, участии молодёжи в революции и гражданской войне