David Wijnkoop | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 130, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 0040-7518
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1163



The Social-Democratic Party (SDP) of David Wijnkoop was, like the Bolsheviks, one of the first parties to break away from the social-democratic parties of the Second International. Like an intermediary Wijnkoop used the authority of Moscow to support his position as a leader of the Dutch left socialist movement and was able to develop and push his own independent line within the Comintern. He was convinced that the mainly Amsterdam-based party was more or less at the same level as the Russian party. His first appearance in Moscow at the second congress of the Comintern made quite an impression. Lenin and also some other leaders of the communist movement were irritated by the so-called verbal radicalist interventions of Wijnkoop. His aggressive appearance was very much criticized, not only by Lenin, Zinoviev, and Bukharin, but also by the German, Paul Levi. The latter was trying to create a mass communist party, but these efforts encountered strong opposition from Wijnkoop, who blamed the Germans for not being sufficiently left wing. Although the Dutch communist leader was outvoted again and again at the congress, he was still elected among the leadership of the Comintern. During those first years the Communist International presented many contending views. After attending the 1920 congress, Wijnkoop was no longer a troublesome intermediary, but instead accommodated himself to the Stalinization of the Moscow-based Comintern.


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