Document Type


Publication Date


Department 1

Eisenhower Institute


Although the World Youth Congress Movement (1936-1939) was established by liberal internationalists as an umbrella movement for youth organizations interested in advancing peace and international cooperation, it drew suspicion from conservatives, Catholics, and fascists over its inclusion of avowed communists and because of allegations—later verified—of covert communist influence among the movement’s youth leadership. Despite this, treating the WYCM exclusively as a communist front organization ignores the significance of the ideological accommodation that took place within the WYCM as both liberals and communists sought new allies and opportunities to bolster their causes at a turbulent time. Mutual accommodation was above all possible because liberal and communist stakeholders shared a vision of young people as a constituency that could be mobilized to advance the causes of peace and cooperation. As the following decades would show, however, the WYCM papered over these divisions rather than transcending them.


Presentation given at the Friday Forum on Febuaray 15, 2019. The Friday Forum is a series of lectures given by members of the Gettysburg College community on their personal scholarly research, creative activities, or professional or curricular development activities.

Additional Files

Friday Forum- Kevin Lavery.pdf (4302 kB)