Tuesday 7 July 2020

4th Congress of the Czechoslovak Union of Youth (the then Czechoslovakia, 1963)

The Czechoslovak Union of Youth (CSM) was established in 1948 by the new ruling Communist Party. Its members were aged 15-25; there was another organisation (Pionyrs, or Pioneers, but more closely translated as Scouts) for those aged 8-15. The Communist Party saw these as feeder movements for the party overall. However, during the 1960s, fewer than half of eligble young people were members and by the 1970s, membership had fallen to fewer than a third of what was possible. Czech and Slovak youngsters rebelled against some of the more formal aspects (uniforms, salutes) as part of broader discontent with Communist rule.

Those who did participate found themselves embraced by the Communist Party and favoured for certain jobs and careers: university students and graduates were more likely to be members because they could access certain career paths, whereas young industrial and agricultural workers were less likely to join.


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