3rd World Festival of Youth and Students

The Third World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) was held in 1951, in East Berlin, East Germany, and organised by World Federation of Democratic Youth. The theme of the festival was "Peace and Friendship against Nuclear Weapons."[1]

3rd World Festival of Youth and Students
Bundesarchiv Bild 183-11500-1440, Berlin, III. Weltfestspiele, Festumzug.jpg
Demonstration at 3rd World Festival of Youth and Students
Host countryEast Germany
Date1951 (1951)
CitiesEast Berlin
Participants26,000, from 104 countries

The third WFYS was held in a period of growing international tension between the Soviet Union and the western powers; it took place against the background of the Korean War and the spread of communism in Central Europe and China. The festival was meant to showcase the young German Democratic Republic, formed in the Soviet sector of postwar Germany.

West German police and the American military tried to prevent international delegates from crossing the western sector of Germany to attend the festival. In response, an operation was arranged to smuggle young people across the country in small groups.[2] Jan Myrdal wrote about incidents where young people were shot at when trying to cross the border.[3]

The festival's sports programme featured an athletics competition.[4]


  1. ^ Sherif, Ann (August 2020). "Popular Protest in Postwar Japan: the Antiwar Art of Shikoku Gorō".
  2. ^ Rosa Branson (23 August 2008). My Dad Was a Communist (Television production). BBC 4. Event occurs at 13:36.
  3. ^ Myrdal, Jan (1988). Ett femtiotal. Stockholm: Askelin & Hägglund. pp. 15–16. ISBN 9789176841419.
  4. ^ World Student Games (UIE). GBR Athletics. Retrieved on 2014-12-09.

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