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The legacy of the 1st festival

Prague, Czechoslovakia, 1947

More than 60 years have elapsed between the first World Festival of Youth and Students, that was held in 1947 in Prague, the capital of Czechoslovakia and the current 17th festival in Pretoria in 2010.

The World Federation of Democratic Youth had decided to celebrate its first festival there in remembrance of the events of October and November of 1939, when thousands of young Czechs rose in demonstrations against the occupation of the country by Nazi Germany. This caused a wave of repression that included the closing of all universities, the arrest of about 1850 students and the internment of 1200 of them in Nazi concentration camps.  

The slogan of the 1st festival in Prague proclaimed: Youth Unite, forward for lasting Peace! For the next 40 years Czechoslovakia was one of the most progressive socialist countries and the legacy of the first festival was living in the ideas of Socialism.

In 1989 the ideas of peace and social justice were defeated. After more than sixty years, the Czech Republic ranks among world's most corrupted countries, with growing poverty and criminality.

The Communist Youth Union (KSM) is a sole member of WFDY in the Czech Republic. In 2008 the KSM was illegalized by the state power. After two years, thanks to the enormously important support and solidarity of WFDY and its member organizations as well as many thousands of members and sympathizer of other foreign democratic organizations, the Municipality Court of Prague cancelled in 2010 the judgment from 2008. It means a legalization and a great victory of the KSM. But in the same year the KSM was faced with a new criminal charge again.

The first attempts to ban the organization of young communists in the Czech countries had occurred before the World War II as a first symptom and prevision of transformation of the bourgeois political culture to fascism. No comment is necessary, because the facts speak.

It is necessary to revive a legacy of the 1st festival!

Youth Unite, forward for lasting Peace!



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