22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union

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The 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was held from 17 to 31 October 1961. In fourteen days of sessions (22 October was a day off), 4,413 delegates, in addition to delegates from 83 foreign Communist parties, listened to Nikita Khrushchev and others review policy issues.[1] It was the congress which officially cemented the Sino-Soviet split, and so the last to be attended by the Chinese Communist Party.

Speeches, splits and plans[edit]

In his opening speech at the 22nd Congress, Khrushchev attacked the Communist regime of Albania for its unreformed Stalinist orthodoxy.[2] A number of other Soviet and foreign Communist speakers joined the attack. However, Zhou Enlai, head of the Chinese Communist delegation, refused to agree and criticized Khrushchev for airing ideological differences in front of the world.[3] "To lay bare a dispute between fraternal parties or fraternal countries openly in the face of the enemy," he said, "cannot be regarded as a serious Marxist-Leninist attitude."[4] Speakers for five other Asian Communist parties (Korea, Vietnam, Japan, Indonesia, and India) sided with China in refusing to criticize Albania.

On 21 October, Zhou Enlai placed two wreaths at the base of the Lenin-Stalin Mausoleum, one of them "Dedicated to the great Marxist, Comrade Stalin" and at the end of the next day, he walked out of the Congress. Moscow said his departure for Peking on the 23rd was connected with an approaching session of the All-China Assembly, but when Mao Zedong and others met Zhou in Peking, no such meeting was mentioned. Although Khrushchev accompanied Zhou to the airport on the evening of his departure it was evident that there was a genuine ideological rift that could not be smoothed over.[4]

Among other issues discussed were accepting the CPSU's Third Program and statute, opening of the Volgograd Hydroelectric Plant, the largest in Europe as of 2007, test of the most powerful thermonuclear bomb ("Tsar Bomba") in Novaya Zemlya, removing Stalin's remains from the Lenin Mausoleum, renaming of several cities named after Stalin and other stalinist-era politicians, and Khrushchev's declaration and plans to build communism in 20 years.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Anthony Trawick (1973). Is the Cold War Over?: A New Look at Communist Imperialism. Capitol Hill Press. 
  2. ^ Tony Cliff (November 1961). "The 22nd Congress". Marxist Internet Archives, originally The Socialist Review. Archived from the original on 28 December 2007. Retrieved 10 December 2007. 
  3. ^ Ang, Cheng Guan (1997). Vietnamese Communists' Relations with China and the Second Indochina. McFarland. p. 206. ISBN 0-7864-0404-3. 
  4. ^ a b MacFarquhar, Roderick (1997). The origins of the cultural revolution. Columbia University Press. p. 128. ISBN 0-231-11083-9. 

External links[edit]