Anita Augspurg and Lida Gustava Heymann to Gustav von Kahr, May 21, 1920

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To the [Minister-President] Gustav v. Kahr
MUNICH
For the Bavarian Council of Ministers

The Bavarian Section of the Woman's International League for Peace and Freedom presents to the Bavarian Council of Ministers an insistent request for the immediate dismissal of all the volunteer corps (Zeitfreiwilligen-formationen).

This is urged on the following grounds:

As a result of the long years of war and continual preoccupation with military events such wildness, roughness and indolence have come to characterize the young men now growing up that it is now of the first importance to work against this state of things in every possible way.

The practice of admitting school boys and students to the various temporary volunteer corps is calculated to increase these vices to the highest degree. They are already so wild that many fathers and mothers are no longer able to restrain their minor sons from devoting themselves during the years when they should be spending their time in learning, to the vilest of professions, that of killing men.

Furthermore, the irregularity of school and university studies which is a by-product of war, is itself a serious hindrance to the moral and technical education of the generation concerned, an evil which calls for the most effective remedy possible, and not for new occasions for wasting the school years and adding to the existing idleness.

Instead of the government taking all possible measures to work against this disposition among our young people, which postpones for a generation the economic rehabilitation of our state and the moral [rebirth] of our people, it has, on the contrary, done everything to increase the trouble. It exploits in the most irresponsible and conscienceless way the inexperience and lack of judgment [page 2] of young lads to get them into the temporary volunteer service and to use them therein for police duties which even the war-hardened members of the National Guard (Reichswehr) cannot be relied upon to preform, such for instance as shooting upon women and children in bread riots etc. Anyone who after the abolition of military service in Germany still turns to the trade of soldiering (a trade whose hideous, unworthy and despicable character has been sufficiently demonstrated by the experiences of five years of war) belongs to the anti-social classes which must be eliminated for the sake of the community. It is a crime to prolong for boys and young men such atavistic and traditional stages of development, and to strengthen inclinations that [they] may experience in the course of their evolution but which, in later life, they will look back upon with abhorrence and which, in case these inclinations are realized in action (as for instance in the course of their service as volunteers) will be a source of terrible and life-long self-accusation and bad conscience to men who in later life may be decent people.

A large part of the women of Germany urgently demand -- not because the Allied Powers prescribe it but of their own accord as a protection of their people against further barbarization and further intensification of hatred between classes -- the immediate dissolution of the various temporary volunteer corps. The decrees to this effect for the country and for the other states of the German Republic have been already introduced.

The times when Bavaria stood on the front ranks whenever it was a question of progress in matters of culture in the German Empire seem unhappily to be past; nevertheless, the signatories hope that the dissolution of the bodies of temporary volunteers will now at last be carried out as quickly as possible.

Bavarian Section of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom.

Signed
Dr. Anita [Augspurg]
Lida Gustava Heymann