Communist Party of Czechoslovakia - Membership

Membership

Since assuming power in 1948, the KSČ had one of the largest per capita membership rolls in the communist world (11 percent of the population). The membership roll was often alleged by party ideologues to contain a large component of inactive, opportunistic, and "counterrevolutionary" elements. These charges were used on two occasions—between 1948 and 1950 and again between 1969 and 1971—as a pretext to conduct massive purges of the membership. In the first case, the great Stalinist purges, nearly 1 million members were removed; in the wake of the Prague Spring and subsequent invasion, about half that number either resigned or were purged from the KSČ. The purges after the 1968 invasion hit especially the Czechs, youth, blue-collar workers, and the intelligentsia within the party membership. As a result, recruitment was especially strong among youth and the working class during the 1970s. The party's membership efforts in the 1980s focused on recruiting politically and professionally well-qualified people willing to exercise greater activism in implementing the party's program. Party leaders at the Seventeenth Party Congress in 1986 urged the recruitment of more workers, young people, and women. In 1981 it had 1,538,179 members (10% of the population)

Membership in the KSČ was contingent upon completion of an oneyear period as a candidate member. Candidate members could not vote or be elected to party committees. In addition to candidates for party membership, there were also candidates for party leadership groups from the local levels to the Presidium. These candidates, already party members, were considered interns training for the future assumption of particular leadership responsibilities.

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Famous quotes containing the word membership:

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