Gertrud Baer

Overview

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Gertrud Baer born Hamburg, Germany November 25, 1890 (d. 1981). German-American feminist; pacifist; delegate to WILPF conference Hague, 1919; International President WILPF, 1932-7; head of Equal Rights International, Open Door International for Economic Emancipation of the Woman Worker.

Quotations

"Conflicts will never be settled by brute force. Brute force breeds brute force, which means destruction; what Europe needs today is productive work and peaceful reconstruction." ("Germany's Part in World Reconstruction", Annals of Am. Academy, July 1922, p. 146; photo Swarth. Col. Peace Col.)

Zuleikhan Bagalova

Overview

Zuleikhan Bagalova born Kara-Balta, Kazakhstan June 2, 1945. Leading Chechen actress and director. Demonstrated horrors of first Chechen War in Moscow, 1997; joined Russian appeals to world leaders against second war, 2001, 2003. Nobel Peace Prize nominee, 2005.

Quotations

[T]his is a commercial war. We see how the Russians export oil in convoys protected by armoured personnel carriers and helicopters. Maybe Putin wishes to end this conflict but not all of his generals are rich enough yet and not all the 'mercenaries' are generals.” (Institute for War and Peace Reporting, July 6, 2001; photo Wikimedia)

Dora Bakoyannis

Overview

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Dora Bakoyannis (née Mitsotakis) born Athens, Greece May 6, 1954. Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs 2006; Mayor of Athens 2002-6; Minister of Culture 1992-3; chaired UN Security Council 2006 ceasefire Lebanon; promoted European Union Lisbon Treaty 2007.

Quotations

"Smart power is much more than brains. . . Much of our success depends on the heart; on the force of our values. These common principles include respect of democracy, human rights, free trade, free enterprise, tolerance of cultural, linguistic and religious diversity." (Feb. 13, 2008, Washington D.C.; photo Wikipedia)

Edith Ballantyne

Overview

Edith Ballantyne born Czechoslovakia December 10, 1922. WILPF International President, 1992-8; Secretary General, Representative at UN; awarded Gandhi Peace Award, 1996; awarded first International Peace Woman Award, 2003.

Quotations

"As education is an important force in bringing about enlightened change, disarmament and non-proliferation education can be such a force to help our world move from militarism to a culture of peace—a goal of the United Nations." (with Felicity Hill, Disarmament Forum 2001; WILPF photo 1983)

Lagi Ballestrem

Overview

Lagi Ballestrem-Solf (née So'oa'emalelagi Solf) born Vailima, Upolu, Samoa August 31, 1909 (d. 1945). Samoan-born German Countess. Member of Solf Circle, a Nazi resistance group. Helped rescue many Jews. Imprisoned, 1944; died before war ended.

Quotations

I do not think of the past, since it has lost its meaning. The world has learned nothing from it—neither the butcher, nor the victim or the spectator. Our time is like a dance of death, few understand its uncanny rhythm. All whirl around bewildered, without seeing the abyss.” (Wikipedia; photo ballestrem.de)

Gualberta Alaide Beccari

Overview

Gualberta Alaide Beccari born Padua, Italy May 7, 1842 (d. 1906). Journalist, suffragist, pacifist and feminist; at age 18 founded first Italian women's rights journal La Donna 1868-1891; pioneered advocacy of women and peace 1870.

Quotations

"I felt myself stirred to rebellion when I learned of some brutal husband who had beaten his wife; and I felt myself. . . painfully humiliated if I heard what happened from the woman herself." (Judith Howard, "Patriot Mothers in Post-Risorgimento" in Berkin & Lovett, eds. Women, War and Revolution, pp. 237-52, 1980; photo maldura.unipd.it)

Angelika Beer

Overview

Angelika Beer born Kiel, Germany April 24, 1957. Co-founded Green Party, 1980; member of German parliament, 1987-90, 1994-2002. Coordinated international campaign against landmines, 1992-94; co-signed leaders' declaration against nuclear weapons, 1998; chaired European delegation to Iran; supported democratization of UN.

Quotations

On American use of force: "Force breeds more force, terror breeds more terror." (Berlin forum, June 14, 2007; photo Wikipedia)

Helena Blavatsky

Overview

Helena Blavatsky born Yekaterinoslav, Ukraine August 12, 1831 (d. 1891). Founder of Theosophy, universal brotherhood 1875; profoundly influenced Gandhi.

Quotations

"[I]t is only by all men becoming brothers and all women sisters, and by all practicing in their daily lives true brotherhood and true sisterhood, that the real human solidarity. . . can ever be attained." (Key to Theosophy, p. 234, 1889; photo Wikipedia)

Karola Bloch

Overview

Karola Bloch (née Piotrkowska) born Lodz, Poland January 22, 1905 (d. 1994). Socialist; architect; opposed Hitler, Stalin and East German regimes; supported Solidarity movement. Visited Nicaragua in opposition of US-supported Contra aggression; co-founded International Society Culture of Peace, 1988.

Quotations

"In politics, God knows, men have not exactly covered themselves with glory, especially when one thinks of all the wars they have been involved in." (Tübingen, "For the Dignity of Women", Feb. 19, 1981; photo http://bit.ly/wjbdAG)

Undine von Blottnitz

Overview

Undine-Uta Bloch von Blottnitz born Berlin, Germany August 20, 1936 (d. 2001). Politician; dedicated to nonviolence, sustainable ecology, and anti-nuclear action. Core member of Green Party. Member of European Parliament, 1984-89, 1994-99. Fined 50,000 deutschmarks for organizing tractor blockade of Gorleben interim nuclear waste storage site, 1979.

Quotations

At this moment we can do something both useful and beautiful.” (her comment at time of action, Der Spiegel, Feb. 1, 2009; photo wendland.net)

Csilla von Boeselager

Overview

Csilla von Boeselager (née Fényes) born Budapest, Hungary May 17, 1941 (d. 1994). "Angel of Budapest" who rescued thousands of East German refugees before fall of Iron Curtain; founded Hungarian Maltese Caritas 1988; won European Human Rights Prize 1992, Liborius Peace Medal 1992.

Quotations

"There are now almost 7,000 East Germans waiting for word that Hungary will become the first East Bloc government to help the citizens of another communist nation go west." (Associated Press, Sept. 9, 1989; photo netzwerk-ebd.de)

Fanny Fligelman Brin

Overview

Fanny Fligelman Brin born Berlad, Romania October 10, 1884 (d. 1961). Pacifist; suffragist; Jewish peace leader. One of five women consultants to US delegation at founding of UN, 1945, representing Women's Action Committee for Lasting Peace.

Quotations

"War is global, peace is global and prosperity is global." (wartime decl., Litoff & McDonnell, Eur. Immigrant Women, p. 39).

"Peace is a condition of the survival of democracy, therefore democracy must find a way of guaranteeing peace." (Minn. Hist. Soc., Brin bio; 1908 photo U.Minn Alum)

Eva von Brockdorff

Overview

Erika von Brockdorff (née Schönfeldt) born Kolberg, Germany April 29, 1911 (d. 1943). German resistance leader. Offered her Berlin home as radio headquarters for resistance group. Executed by guillotine, May 1943.

Quotations

"I want to end my life laughing, laughing the way I loved and still love life." (quote & photo Wikipedia)

Flora Brovina

Overview

Flora Brovina born Skënderaj, Kosovo September 30, 1949. Kosovar Albanian poet and pediatrician; tortured during 19 months Serbian prison; Millennium Women's Peace Prize 2001.

Quotations

"I would urge all Albanian intellectuals to raise their voices and speak out against violence and in favour of reconciliation. As a woman, I would offer my hand to Serb women as that is what women should do—build bridges, help." (Independent, Dec. 10, 1999; photo othervoicespoetry.org)

Edith Bruck

Overview

Edith Bruck (née Steinschreiber) born Tiszakarád, Hungary May 3, 1932. Italian writer, poet and cinematographer; holocaust survivor. Member of Ara Pacis Initiative Council for Dignity, Forgiveness, Justice & Reconciliation.

Quotations

"As long as arms, political powers, economic interests, nationalism, hidden or open dictatorships, concealed democracies, peoples in misery, trafficking of the young, and starving children dominate our world, peace is and shall remain an abused word without any meaning and humanity will not be human."

"Love from human to human which has real and profound civil and spiritual meaning, which is capable of capturing and fertilizing pacifism between individuals, groups, ethnicities and religions." (Ara Pacis Initiative on Forgiveness; photo women in culture)