Lida Gustava Heymann to Women's International League for Peace and Freedom's National Sections, September 11, 1923


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Munich, September 11, 1923

Kaulbachstr. 12 [bhs. I?]

To the

sections affiliated with the Women’s Intern. League f. Peace and Freedom.

Dear comrades!

Unfortunately, only 7 of the 21 countries organized in the League had sent their consultative members to the [Executive Committee] meeting held in Dresden from August 31 to Sept. 5, and the work reports submitted by the Geneva office show that, with few exceptions, the sections were not only very inactive in their cooperation with our headquarters in Geneva, but that many sections did not respond at all to the suggestions and letters sent by Geneva. This has a crippling effect on the willingness to work. In such a way comradely mutual support of the common cause cannot be achieved.

Not only at our conferences, but just as eagerly in the meantime we want to pursue our goal in united work carried out by all countries. In this post-war period, which is so difficult for all nations, it is more necessary than ever that we, members of the League, stand firmly together in loyal comradeship. We should encourage and motivate each other, take note of what the other sections are doing and, above all, respond to the messages we receive at out headquarters, whether approving, complementary or dissuasive. Only if the principle of mutual aid and cooperation is alive in our country will we be able to successfully continue the work of reconciliation between people that has begun. The annual conferences of the [Executive Committee] also serve this purpose.

Important decisions were taken in Dresden, all those present were well aware of their responsibility, all the more so because they felt their numbers were so painfully small and the representatives of many countries were missing. [page 2]

Details can be found in the enclosed report. We recommend the contents of your detailed review and ask all sections to actively cooperate in the newly planned work.

Above all, in order to ensure future work and the continued existence of our office, it is necessary that the sections, with the exception of the countries with soft currency, raise pecuniary resources for our International office. With the exception of America, no section has so far felt catered to the financial maintenance of the office in Geneva, several sections have not even paid the appointed [statutory] annual fee. This is an intolerable situation! Surely this indication will be enough to encourage each section to do what it is capable of doing. Not only our members in America, also we in Europe want to finance our work with our own contributions.

Our negotiations in Dresden showed that 2 of our sections, the Norwegian and the Polish one, do not consist of individual members, but establish their membership only on other affiliated organizations. This [violates] our constitution which aims to [win?] over [large] masses of convinced people to our political agenda of the Hague resolutions. I have therefore been instructed to ask these sections to bring these statutes into line with the constitution of our League by the next Congress in 1924, [illegibles] to make up other organizations of personal members in the future.

We met in Dresden in the parliament building whose rooms were made available to us by the Prime Minister with [great] hospitality, and we welcomed ourselves. We had a very successful, overcrowded public meeting. Despite the difficult political situation, despite the low attendance at our meeting, those who were present were in good mood and firmly determined to continue to fight with renewed strength and loyalty in the well-known spirit of our League for our principles which, if realized, must [bring about?] understanding between people.

I ask you again for your [illegibles] cooperation and sign with comradely [greetings].

Lida Gustava Heymann, vice-president.