Honouring those who tried to stop the first world war

Blog by Emily Johns , Gabriel Carlyle
Date19 Jan 2014

In his 2011 book To End All Wars – the only recent account of the first world war to foreground the anti-war movement – Adam Hochschild asks: "If we were allowed to magically roll back history to the start of the 20th century and undo one – and only one – event, is there any doubt that it would be the war that broke out in 1914?" Perhaps, then, we should pay heed to the actions of those who tried to stop the first world war and resist its barbarism (Echoes of 1914: are today's conflicts a case of history repeating itself?, 16 January).

Today we will be launching a year-long project to celebrate these people – English and German, men and women, socialists and feminists, conscientious objectors and soldiers – with a talk by Adam Hochschild and the unveiling of the first of 10 new posters. Over the next four years, as we mourn the dead, let us also learn from those who, in the words of Bertrand Russell – himself imprisoned for six months for opposing the war – "were not swept off their feet …[and] stood firm".
Emily Johns
Gabriel Carlyle
Peace News


Topics: Anti-militarism, WW1