Statement on Women of Europe, February 12, 1922 (excerpt)


A New Europe

A Belgian woman, who favored war in 1914, came home after the conflict was over to find her children well in body and mind. She was so grateful that she at once organized women of northern France and southern Belgium into a league of hospitality, and had them take into their homes 2,000 homeless German children. This same woman came to the meeting of the league of nations at Geneva and spoke for world peace.

"She was not one of us," said Miss Jane Addams of this women, in her speech before the Saturday Lunch Club, "before the war. She is today. Women of Europe feel that the cost of war has been so great that under no circumstances will they ever again lend aid to any conflict for any cause."

Out of such an "august moral act" as this of the Belgian women, the new Europe is to rise, Miss Addams declared.

During the war, the President of the United States continually made a distinction between the German people and the German government. Since the war that distinction has been allowed to lapse. When one beholds Briand and Poincare pressing their imperialistic claims against not only Germany but against England, France's former ally, one can do well to remember that the French government is not the French people.

When one hears the American imperialist advocating starving Russia into submission, one can do well to remember that the Russian government is not the Russian people, nor the American government the American people.

The sources of all strength for any nation lie in the nation's people. This is not sentiment, it is fact. And such acts of international-mindedness as Miss Addams describes are to be the source of a new Europe, despite jingoists and war-mad officials.