Emily Greene Balch and Helene Lewison to Jane Addams, October 23, 1920


A letter has just been received from Frau Lewison of our [Frankfurt] group enclosing a draft of a circular, of which a free English translation follows. The first plan was to put a copy of this appeal in every letterbox in the city and also give it to the papers but later advices state that they will instead put it in the papers as a paid advertisement. The [Frankfurt] group suggest that all our sections and groups do the same sort of thing.

Emily Balch, Geneva Oct. 23.


Women and mothers of all countries of the world we are united to secure the victory of our ↑ideas↓.

This year we want to celebrate ideas at Christmas time a real festival of love. The candles on our Christmas trees must shine on nothing but gifts of peace.

We will give our children nothing that will suggest war and destruction.

They must not learn to take pleasure in soldiers, guns, cannon, and war picture-books.

Women and mothers ought not to give any weapons nor military toys for Christmas presents.

Let us think what we are doing before we go and buy things which even by their shape recall the hideous years when men were killing one another.

Is there a mother anywhere whose hand does not shake, whose eyes do not fill, whose heart does  beat when she sees her child playing with cannon and soldiers?

The Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (1), which includes women of all [countries], appeals to all women to cooperate in this work of love.

The souls of our children, the men of the future, are at stake.


(1) N.B. Since the League, as such, has not endorsed the appeal it should be made in the name of the group issuing it only but of course it would be well to say other branches were doing the same. If you do not make an appeal you might get publicity for what is being done in [Frankfurt]. Would it be possible to get Cooperative Associations to decide not to handle war toys? or to suggest to their members not to buy them?