Five Surges of the World Peace Movement

The Semantics of “Peace” and “Struggle”.
Deleted draft chapter from The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy (1996)

Soviet officials never really endorsed the objectives of the international peace movement, which never accepted the doctrine of the Socialist International that class struggle is the only way to achieve peace between peoples.1 On the other hand, Soviet officials never exactly opposed the peace movement either. Instead, they displayed a fascinated ambivalence toward it — a stronger, yet more negative, attitude than the easy dismissiveness shown by Western politicians. Perhaps Soviet ambivalence toward peace reflected a lingering respect for their own cultural heritage, since some of the greatest writers and activists on peace had been Russians whose descendants were trying to forget them. Thus the pacifist writer and anarchist social critic Leo Tolstoy continued to be respected throughout the Soviet period for his novels, but his writings on theology and pacifism were suppressed.2 The nonviolent Russian anarchist writer Peter Kropotkin is also better known abroad than in his homeland3. And even Czar Nicholas II was a significant figure in the international peace movement,4 having been instrumental in convening the first disarmament conference at the Hague in 1899, and everyone knows what happened to him.

Yet the Soviet leaders also claimed a special commitment to peace. For a whole generation, communist rhetoric praised true “peace-loving people” and inveighed against the “war-mongers” in the capitalist world. This is not the place to assess the legitimacy of their claim, but only to note that it prompted an ideological backlash. Throughout Eastern Europe, in particular, the word “peace” came to be regarded as a cloying propaganda slogan. As one Hungarian activist commented during the early 1980s, it was his generation’s task to “clean this dirty word” and enable honest citizens to use it again.5 In fact, the cleaning has not been completed, for it still retains certain unpleasant connotations.

The word “pacifism” is even more disreputable, being entirely negative in its meaning to Eastern Europeans and to former Soviet citizens alike, who understand it to mean cowardice, willingness to succumb to duress without resistance. In an interview with Polish activists who had just been released from prison in 1986, I made the mistake of calling them “pacifists,” referring respectfully to their brave, nonviolent opposition to the communist regime. Discovering that I had offended them, I pointed out that in the understanding of most Western peace activists, they were among the best living examples of pacifists. This did not mollify them, but only exacerbated a resentment that I had not intended to provoke.

The Soviets were equally disdainful of any commitment to nonviolence. Theirs was was the only major country that sent no representative to the funeral of Mohandas K. Gandhi, whose writings were not published in any of the communist countries. The ideological basis for this opposition was apparent: Marxism prescribes a violent revolution as the route to peace6 and, moreover, the Soviet experience of World War II provides little basis for regarding the war against Hitler as avoidable. In fact, Soviet citizens accepted the conclusion that their army defends peace by its preparedness to fight.

Their interpretation was illumined by an event in Red Square in 1984. I was strolling at dusk with the American pacifist, Richard Deats, who struck up a conversation with two young Russian men. After a few minutes of friendly talk, it was time to move on. One of the young men took off his belt and gave it to Deats, who gladly reciprocated with his own belt. The other young man had nothing at hand, but he too wanted to make a present to the American. Suddenly he was inspired by an idea: “Please meet me here at the same time tomorrow,” he said, and “I will bring the perfect gift for a pacifist: my Soviet army uniform!” Though I was initially amused by the incongruous offer, I could also see it as a truly generous act in the context of a belief that the purpose of militarism is to protect peace.

Soviet officials faced a dilemma. On one hand they had to discourage the un-Marxian idea that social progress could be effected through nonviolent means. Therefore, they tried to prevent contact between ordinary Soviet citizens and Western peace activists, sending only trusted officials as delegates to meet with foreigners, and spying even on them. On the other hand, they fully recognized the traumatized Soviet people’s profound desire for peace — a desire that most of them, the party leaders, also shared. For example, Victor Sukhardrev, the interpreter for Khrushchev and Brezhnev who is now an official at the United Nations, expressed little admiration for Brezhnev in our interview but he did insist, “I must say that one thing for Brezhnev: he was very, very sincere in his desire for world peace…. He measured policies against the overriding need for peaceful relations with the West.”7

Perhaps Soviet decision-makers cynically sought to manipulate the international peace movement toward their own ends; in fact, realism requires the recognition that such an idea must have been considered. Even if so, however, the attempt to forge a useful alliance with Western peace activists did not have the intended results. Instead of coopting foreign peace activists, many of the carefully-selected Soviet participants found themselves questioning their own Marxist convictions. In fact, the rest of this book is devoted to a single theme: to show that the network constituting the international peace movement had a profound, almost uni-directional impact on the opinions of the participants. The Soviets were influenced far more than their Western counterparts.8

This result was not foreseen in 1949, when the Cominform purposefully began to appropriate the concept of peace for its own propaganda. Mikhail Suslov, who was in charge of international Communist affairs, prompted the world Communist leaders in that year to develop a Communist-led global peace movement as a matter of highest priority, expecting that such a campaign would foster pro-Soviet opinion and party recruitment.9 His plan resulted in the launching of the World Peace Council (WPC), which for the next forty years would be funded by the Soviet Committee for the Defence of Peace, known more commonly as the “Soviet Peace Committee,” and which would invariably support the policies of the Soviet state in such matters as atmospheric testing and the invasion of Afghanistan.10 The first campaign of the WPC was the “Stockholm Peace Appeal,” a moderate anti-nuclear-weapons petition drafted by the Soviet writer Ilya Ehrenburg. By 1950, some 500 million people allegedly signed this document. One must say “allegedly” because supposedly the entire population of the communist countries had signed, including a larger number of signers from Bulgaria than that country’s whole population. Ninety percent of the signatures were from communist countries. Much of the credibility of the WPC was lost when it supported the Soviet intervention in Hungary in 1956.11

After a period of mixed success, the WPC would clearly fall short of its goal. The Western peace movement already had a long history, and it continued to be influenced less by the WPC than by several pacifist communities, including the historic peace churches (Quakers, Mennonites, and Brethren). There were also three secular umbrella organizations to which many local peace groups were affiliated: the War Resisters International (WRI) which was founded in 1904, the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), founded in 1919, and the International Peace Bureau (IPB). This chapter and the following one will describe this movement in the capitalist societies, which was mainly non-aligned. That is, its members were balanced in criticizing the militarism of both superpower blocs.


The Issues

Though fundamentally unified in its objectives, the Western peace movement is internally differentiated with respect to four different controversies over tactics. First, there are often differences of opinion concerning whether to concentrate attention on single-issue campaigns (such as opposing conscription or blocking the deployment of some new weapon) or to address, as the Greens did in the 1980s, a breadth of concerns, ranging from nonviolent resistance and ecology to demands for social and economic justice, opposition to conscription and to capital punishment.

Second, groups also differ in the extent of their commitment to pacifist methods. Some organizations oppose violence under almost all circumstances, even to the extent of volunteering to be human shields, as in the case of Peace Brigades. Other campaigns try to mobilize the opposition of citizens who might be willing to fight a different war or with different weapons. Many groups, pinning their hopes on the United Nations policy of collective security, support its military interventions. Such organizations are devoted to creating a world government and world law, which would include a legitimate international police force using (of course) only conventional weapons. This point of view is sometimes called “nuclear pacifism,” as distinct from “real” pacifism.

Third, peace organizations also differ in willingness to engage in confrontation. Some groups try at all times to minimize conflict, even when that means overlooking conflicts that seem real to others. They avoid blaming either side and emphasize the cultivation of friendly feelings between belligerents. Other peace groups, on the other hand, do not believe in “papering over” conflicts, of reducing them prematurely. Instead, they see the challenge as being one of waging conflicts effectively but nonviolently.

In the Soviet Union before perestroika, even mild, nonpolitical peace activism was risky and might be punished harshly. Moreover, even such unconfrontational network-building projects should not be dismissed as trivial for, as will be apparent throughout later chapters, personal relationships often influence the political opinions of others in unpredictable, yet consequential, ways.

A fourth debate arose during the cold war over alignment versus non-alignment — whether to side with one superpower or to criticize both blocs equally. Western peace groups were divided over whether to criticize Soviet officialdom for suppressing their own citizens or whether, on the contrary, to treat human rights violations as an “internal matter” for others to address. Some Western organizations considered it so important to build friendly relations with the policy-makers in the East that they willingly overlooked the records of abuse by those official. Other Western organizations considered this approach craven and unprincipled. For example, the World Federalists did not condemn the Soviet nuclear weapons, though they objected to the American bomb. For taking this position the organization lost credibility.

Surges of Activism

The international peace movement has expanded and contracted over time in a series of waves or “surges”12 and troughs. Often the peak preceded a war, which citizens mobilized to try to prevent, then dropped off sharply as the war was fought. Sometimes the decline occurred, however, because the danger of war seemed to have diminished and the campaign no longer seemed necessary. It may be, though this has not been proven, that in Western societies, peace movement activity has dropped after each peak to a level that was higher than the previous trough, so that something of a “rachet effect” over time may be discernable.13

Peace societies began to be founded in about 1815 at the end of the Napoleonic wars, which lasted 25 years and left 2,100,000 dead. Beginning in 1843 in London, these groups began to hold international Peace Congresses. There were World Peace Congresses in Brussels in 1848, in Paris in 1849, in Frankfurt in 1850, London in 1851, Manchester in 1852, and Edinburgh in 1853. Statesmen met with intellectuals, church members, businessmen, and lawyers. Victor Hugo presided over the Paris Congress, which urged governments to reduce their troops and submit conflicts between themselves to a council of arbitration.14 In 1891 the third Universal Peace Congress decided to create a permanent International Peace Bureau (IPB) to organize the Congresses and to represent the peace movement. The IPB continues to exist, though it has sometimes virtually disappeared and its functions have often been carried out by other organizations.15

A Surge Before and After World War I

An early wave of mobilization book place before World War I. Large peace conferences of diplomats in The Hague in 1899 and 1907 were also attended by numerous private peace activists.16 While failing to prevent any wars, these meetings did adopt a convention prohibiting weapons (such as poison) that caused unnecessary suffering, or killing or wounding an enemy who had surrendered. A third Hague conference was planned for the purpose of limiting “excessive armaments” but the plans were abandoned as tensions built up that would result in World War I.17 By 1905, there were at least 132 peace societies in 26 countries, including Russia.18

The feminist and pacifist movements were conspicuously linked during that early wave of activism. One of the most prominent pacifists was Bertha von Suttner, whose 1889 book, Lay Down Your Arms, depicted the 1871 siege of Paris. It sold over a million copies. Von Suttner’s friendship with the inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel, probably influenced him to provide in his will for the establishment of the Nobel Peace Prize.19 A number of women who had become acquainted through their suffragist work became key participants in the peace movement. In 1915, eight months after the onset of World War I began, approximately 1,200 women from belligerent and neutral countries undertook dangerous journeys through warring countries to assemble in The Hague, trying to stop the slaughter and to demand that future conflicts be resolved by arbitration and mediation. Under the chairmanship of Jane Addams, they condemned the transfer of territory without the consent of the governed; they called for democratic control of foreign policy; and they demanded universal disarmament.20

Except for these women’s movements, patriotic fervor overwhelmed pacifism during the war itself, and there was a sharp reduction in anti-war activity. In the United States, an anti-war coalition that had fought the military buildup, the American Union Against Militarism, fell apart when Wilson declared war.21 However, since the Crimean war, Quakers have always been a leading group in the pacifist movement and, during World War I, the Friends Ambulance Unit served in the south of France. When the Friends Service Council was created,22 the Ambulance Unit then became one of its component parts, and were allowed to feed children throughout occupied Europe.

As the war wound down, pacifists reacted with dismay to the terms of the Versailles Treaty. Many of the women who had met in The Hague a few years earlier reassembled in Zurich to found the “Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF), an organization that would later take a leading role in the next peace surge of the inter-war period.23 During the first years after the war, however, many peace societies lost members. For example, the Swedish Peace and Arbitration Society had over 20,000 members in 1918, but only about 3,800 in 1921. On the other hand, the number of peace organizations multiplied during those postwar years. In particular, there was a great deal of support for a new voluntary association, The World Federation of Organizations for the League of Nations.24

On the other hand, the shortcomings of the League of Nations were apparent from the outset. A number of peace organizations that basically supported it also demanded its reform, anticipating the problems that would lead to its collapse twenty years later. The potential for further warfare was recognized, and peace activists tried to control the situation in the Balkans and to support the “Briand-Kellogg Pct” of 1928, which rejected war as an instrument of national policy.

A number of new international peace organizations were formed at around World War I and have continued to function to this day. One such group was the International Fellowship of Reconciliation (IFOR), founded by Christians from Britain and Germany on the very eve of the first World War — August 1-3, 1914 in Konstanz Germany. Indeed, when war broke out, their meeting was interrupted and participants from twelve nations were sent out of the country in sealed trains. In 1919, after the war, gathered again in the Netherlands and the new organization sent out emissaries to found branches in many countries. It remains based in the Netherlands today.

Another international organization, The War Resisters International (WRI) also can trace its roots to the period immediately before World War I, but adopted its present title in 1922. Largely influenced by Quakers, its work consists primarily of supporting conscientious objection to military service, and its symbol is a memorable drawing of hands breaking a rifle in two. Many countries — even liberal democracies — still do not make legal provisions for conscientious objectors, but simply jail them for long periods. WRI’s campaigns for conscientious objection try to create opportunities for alternative national service (working in hospitals, for example, instead of in the army. WRI also supports “total resisters” — people who reject even alternative service as a type of cooperation with warfare. WRI grew rapidly and by 1933 was represented in 24 countries. Today its head office is in London. Like IFOR, it is an umbrella organization; its sections in many countries are peace groups, well-known under their own names, that affiliate with WRI in addition to their other projects.25

The American Friends Service Committee was established after World War I and has continued to carry out important functions ever since. Like the British Quaker organization, it carries out relief operations and work camps, and tries to build good relations among people who might otherwise be enemies. The umbrella organization of Quakers is the Friends World Committee for Consultation.26

The Surge Before World War II

During the surge of the 1930s a World Disarmament Conference convened. It met first in 1932 under the auspices of the League of Nations, and with the participation of more than 60 states, and among a number of other strong measures, called for the elimination of chemical, bacteriological, and incindiary weapons, for putting air forces under the authority of the League of Nations, and for the elimination of the private production and trade in arms. When Germany withdrew from the League of Nations, the Conference broke down.27

The United States, which had never belonged to the League of Nations, nevertheless experienced a peace surge in the 1930s during the Great Depression. It s themes were antifascist and democratic socialist. Such figures as the socialist Norman Thomas,28 Dorothy Day of the Catholic Worker, and A.J. Muste29 of the Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) were noted both for their social and economic reformism in such causes as trade union organizing and their opposition to militarism, though eventually Muste would abandon Marxism for a Christianity that emphasized the “social gospel.” The Emergency Peace Campaign of 1936-37 was supported by American trade unionists, farmers, women, churches, and politicians. There were about 2,000 municipal peace committees; about 700 prominent new activists went on speaking tours opposing American participation in the war. There were peace groups on 500 college campuses (as compared to only 150 campuses during the 1980s peace surge).30

In its turn, this wave of peace movement mobilization peaked and fell off sharply with the approach of World War II, since even the most dedicated pacifists could see no effective means of stopping fascism except through warfare. By 1940 the Keep Americans Out of War Congress was the only major organization of its kind still functioning.31 World War II will perhaps be regarded permanently as the most plausible instance of a “good war,” a war that was morally defensible because seemingly necessary to bring down an evil dictator and stop his genocidal spree.

The Anti-Nuclear Peace Surge of Scientists and Intellectuals

Though the pre-war peace surge dropped off in the general population as soon as war began, there was strong but secretive opposition within the scientific community against the coming nuclear arms race and, after the bomb was used, publicly among the intellectual elite of the West. Though these protests were of great importance, because they did not represent general public opinion, they cannot be considered a full “surge.”

The “good war” occasioned the development of a weapon that was anything but good: the atomic bomb. Albert Einstein, who had been famous for his pacifism, feared that the Germans might be creating an atomic bomb and informed President Franklin Roosevelt that it was necessary to prepare “extremely powerful bombs of a new type.” He did not personally take part in the Manhattan Project that developed the weapon, however, and later called that letter to Roosevelt the “one great mistake” in his life.32

Even before the bomb was used, many of the scientists who were responsible for its development had already begun to lobby against its use. Joseph Rotblat, who had worked on the bomb until 1944, quit when he realized that Germans had failed to develop atomic weaponry and when he was informed that the “true” purpose of the project was to subdue the Russians.33 In an interview Rotblat described the response of the great Danish physicist, Niels Bohr,

With prophetic vision he foresaw the consequences of nuclear arsenals and all that was going to happen, and he tried to prevent it. He said that what we have to do now is to tell the Russians about this weapon and invite them to join us, on condition that they join with us in a scheme for international control of this new discovery. Niels Bohr put this question to Roosevelt and it delighted him. And then he said we must go and talk to Mr. Churchill. The interview was a catastrophe. Churchill was not properly briefed and Neils Bohr had a defect of speech, so that people could not always understand him. He spoke to Churchill and all that Churchill could understand was that this man wanted to give the secret to the Russians. So not only did he reject this scheme, but he wanted to intern Niels Bohr. He wrote that this man is on the verge of “mortal” crime.34

In fact, Stalin already had learned about the bomb through espionage.35 In any case, Bohr was not alone in his concerns. Leo Szilard, who headed the Manhattan Project’s Met Lab in Chicago, also urgently tried to persuade James F. Byrnes, the designated next U.S. Secretary of State, against using the bomb against Japan . For this, Szilard too was treated as subversive — as he may have been. According to former spymaster Pavel Anatolievich Sudoplatov, Szilard, along with Niels Bohr, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Enrico Fermi, and Russian emigré physicist George Gamow, did provide reports to the Soviets about the progress of the bomb.36 Sudoplatov’s book has been seriously criticized, and apparently much of it is far from accurate. The transcript has been found in the Soviet archives of Bohr’s conversation with a Soviet agent, and it appears that he disclosed nothing that had not been established as fact before the war.37

Whether or not they leaked secrets to the Soviets, Szilard and several other atomic scientists certainly did write a report in June 1945 arguing against dropping the bomb on Japan. They did not know that the decision had already been reached two weeks before to do so.38 Thus before the weapon was ever used, a number of the scientists had begun to protest against its use, and in the immediate aftermath of the bombing, these atomic scientists would take the lead in the new phase of the peace movement. Szilard wrote on August 6 that the

atomic bombing “is one of the greatest blunders of history.”39 By 1946, the anti-nuclear bomb organization, the Federation of American Scientists, which published the influential magazine, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, had nearly 3,000 members, including 90 percent of the scientists who had worked on the atomic bomb.40 In Britain, the Atomic Scientists’ Association organized to press for international control of atomic energy.41 Most of these scientists regarded the production of nuclear weapons as a public, political issue so that, when their opposition did not prevail, they did not go on strike or walk off the job individually, but continued nuclear research even while opposing its military application.. Still these scientists were convinced that, as Einstein declared in 1946, a world government is necessary for humankind’s survival.42

Though it was the scientists who led the opposition against the bomb before and after it was used in warfare, in the aftermath of Hiroshima and Nagasaki there was also an outcry from theologians, intellectuals, and of course the older pacifist organizations such as WRI, FOR, and American Friends Service Committee (AFSC). The average citizen felt little immediate dismay, but among the elite there were many who had supported the war but who expressed remorse and forebodings over the use of the atomic bomb. In terms of the wider public opinion, however, the reaction was so limited that one cannot call it a true peace movement surge. The largest anti-nuclear campaign of the period was the Stockholm Peace Appeal mentioned above.

On the other hand, during those first years of the nuclear era there was a considerable growth of commitment to world government, especially on the part of the atomic scientists, but also many others. The United World Federalists formed in 1947, led by Norman Cousins, the American editor of an influential magazine, The Saturday Review. Cousins had written a famous editorial immediately after the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki called “Modern Man is Obsolete,” which was also published as a book.43 He toured the United States at that time with the atomic scientists Harrison Brown, Leo Szilard, and Albert Einstein, lecturing to the public about the effects of nuclear war.44 Cousins and the other founders of the federalist movement regarded as realistic and even essential the development of the United Nations into a true federal government. They announced,

We believe that peace is not merely the absence of war but the presence of justice, of law, of order — in short, of government and the institutions of government; that world peace can be created and maintained only under world law, universal and strong enough to prevent armed conflict between nations.45

The first use of nuclear weapons prompted no protest movement among the first victims, the Japanese. The American forces immediately occupied that defeated country and banned publicity concerning the terrible results of the bombings. Moreover, the Japanese people were too exhausted and demoralized to organize political actions. Indeed, many hibakushas (people injured but not killed in the blast) somehow felt humiliated and even avoided discussing the true nature of their wounds and disabilities. Not until the Bikini incident of 1954, when the crew of a Japanese fishing boat was radiated by a hydrogen bomb test, did a sizable Japanese movement form in opposition to nuclear weapons.46 Protests mounted in other countries at that time as well; for example, Prime Minister Nehru of India and the pope condemned the ongoing development of nuclear weapons.

The Soviet press had reported on the atomic bomb in a casual, dismissive way, but according to Khrushchev, Stalin was actually terrified. The fact that he had not been informed of its development proved that he was not trusted, and that fact in turn made him unwilling to consent to put nuclear weapons under international control. The Soviet scientists, who had been working on the atomic bomb since 1940 under the leadership of physicist Igor Kurchatov, intensified their quest after Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Administratively, the Soviet bomb project was controlled by the head of the secret police, Lavrenti Beria, an incomparably vicious, yet able, man. The first Soviet bomb was based on a diagram of the first American bomb, which was provided in 1945 by an English spy, Klaus Fuchs, who was found out and sentenced to 14 years in prison. In August, 1949, the first Soviet bomb was exploded. Actually, the Soviet scientists’ design had been original and even more effective than the stolen American plans that had been used.47

By 1953, under the direction of Andrei Sakharov, the Soviets had independently developed the world’s first true hydrogen bomb — ahead of the Americans.48 At that time, there was no substantial ethical opposition on the part of Soviet scientists to nuclear weaponry, as there had been in the United States inside the Manhattan Project; Sakharov’s anxiety would arise only gradually, as he discovered the harmful effects of his work, and by 1968 he would feel a need to speak out against the weapons.49 At about the time of Prague Spring he published a book, Reflections on Progress, Peaceful Coexistence, and Intellectual Freedom.50 Peter Kapitza, the boldest of the Soviet scientists, dared to write complaining letters to Stalin, but the theme of those letters was the difficulty of working with Beria, not moral qualms about the nature of the weapon that was being developed. He was dismissed from the project, although he had not been working directly on the bomb.51 There would be no surge of either “real pacifism” or “nuclear pacifism” led by Soviet scientists.

In the West, too, although the remorseful atomic scientists had tried to generate a surge of opposition to nuclear weapons, the idea did not catch the imagination of the general public and soon the critical scientists found themselves on the defensive. Milton S. Katz, who has studied the movement closely, attributes the ensuing “trough” of public antinuclearism to two factors: first, the growing fascination of the public with the so-called “peaceful uses” of atomic energy and, second, the growing belief in deterrence. If mutual fear was the factor preventing the use of these weapons, then it was logical to create lots of them and keep them ready, so as to make the other side sufficiently fearful, for by 1947-48 the cold war was on. Instead of putting atomic bombs under international control, the current notion was to use them for intimidating or “containing” the Soviets. With the onset of the Korean War in 1950, there was no longer much talk of international control, and the atomic scientists’ movement had practically collapsed.52

With the cold war came McCarthyism — a widespread panic based on rumors that Communists were “infiltrating” all kinds of American organizations. Nuclear physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer, for example, was declared not guilty of treason in a 1953 security hearing but lost research access to military secrets because of his overly-liberal views. The World Federalists suddenly became regarded as subversive — a bunch of loony “one-worlders,” as they were contemptuously called.53 Anyone who had been associated with the peace movement was on the defensive.

Yet even during this new cold war “trough,” the nuclear pacifists had not completely lost credibility, and they would rebound in the late 1950s with a new wave as the public became aware of the ill effects of radioactive fallout.

The Surge of 1957-63.

In 1954 the United States tested its first hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll. It turned out to be more powerful than expected, and its radioactivity fell on a Japanese fishing trawler, the “Lucky Dragon,” 85 miles away, and on the people of Rongelap in the Marshall Islands. (For forty years, the official claimed that the wind had shifted unexpectedly. Now we know that the officials knew which way the wind was blowing, and knew where the fallout would land. They simply did not want to bother moving the Marshallese away.54 )When the ship reached port, its fish were radioactive, all 23 crew members were hospitalized for months, and one died. News of this event was publicized around the world and public anxiety increased about the danger of fallout from atmospheric testing. The public outcry that began then continued into the 1960s. There were calls for a nuclear test ban from Prime Minister Nehru; Pope Pius XII; Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson; Dr. Albert Schweitzer; the leaders of nonaligned countries who were meeting in Bandung, Indonesia; and 2000 American scientists. Albert Einstein and Bertrand Russell wrote a manifesto in 1955 that would become the Charter for the Pugwash movement.

For the first time, a strong movement arose in Japan, where 32 million signatures asked for a ban on nuclear weapons. In 1955 these groups formed Gensuikyo — “Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs.” Some pacifists began to object to the U.S.-Japan Security Treaty, which gave the U.S. the right to use military bases in Japan.55

In Britain, Easter-time marches to the nuclear facilities at Aldermaston became annual mass events organized by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), which was founded in 1958. Women were important leaders against testing in that period. In Sweden, where the government was considering developing nuclear weapons of its own, the Social-Democratic women’s union, led by Inga Thorsson and prompted by the global outcry against fallout, was able to reverse that policy and see Parliament unanimously adopt its own bill, which renounced nuclear weapons.56 In Canada, women mobilized through the Voice of Women; in the United States, there was Women’s Strike for Peace. Mothers sent their children’s baby teeth in to be tested for Strontium 90, a component of radioactive fallout. They were troubled by Linus Pauling’s warning that the increased level of Strontium 90 would lead to 100,000 deaths in the next generation. The only safe amount of it in the bones of children, he said, is zero.57

The Pugwash Movement began with a conference hosted by the industrialist Cyrus Eaton at his summer home in a fishing village, Pugwash, Nova Scotia, betwen July 7 and 10, 1957. Atomic scientists had already been working in their own countries through such national organizations as the Federation of American Scientists in the United States and the Association of Atomic Scientists in Britain. Eaton’s contribution consisted of offering financial support for a world-wide organization of scientists concerned about weapons of mass destruction. Bertrand Russell had provided the stimulus for this movement in 1954, when he broadcast an appeal for action against nuclear arms and drafted a manifesto. He intended that scientists from all countries should sign the document, and one of the first persons to do so was Albert Einstein. For this reason, it is known as the Russell-Einstein Appeal; the text appears below as a footnote.58 Although never numerous (the organization recruits by invitation only) Pugwashites would come to play an important part in overcoming the Cold War and influencing political leaders of the superpowers. One of the signators of the Russell-Einstein Appeal, Joseph Rotblat, has continuously served as an administrator of the organization until the present.59 From the beginning, top-level Soviet scientists were full participants in the Pugwash

High-level Soviets also participated in another organization that was launched in 1960: the Dartmouth Conferences. President Eisenhower, having concluded that official diplomacy was not very helpful in breaking down the barriers between the two superpowers, decided to enlist the support of private citizens. He asked Norman Cousins to approach Khrushchev and set up some small conferences between representatives of the two societies, not average citizens — there would have been no possibility of that in those days — but prominent artists, businessmen, and other American notables and, from the Soviet side, mainly people active in the Soviet Peace Committee, though not as diplomats. A great deal of negotiation was necessary before the Soviets were authorized to engage in these meetings, but eventually the head of the Soviet delegation was chosen: Alexander Kornichev, a Ukrainian playwright who at one time was President of the Ukraine.60 The first meeting took place at Dartmouth College in October 1960, whence the name of the organization. The participants were always elite individuals who, on the American side, generally included David Rockefeller. Over the years, as we shall discuss in subsequent chapters, the Dartmouth Conferences turned out to play a significant part in the improvement of Soviet-American relations. They were always bilateral — restricted to Soviets and Americans — in contrast to some other groups, such as Pugwash, which included prominent persons from many different countries.

Eisenhower chose Norman Cousins as his intermediary because Cousins had already distinguished himself as a thoughtful peace activist. In 1957 he and and some like-minded citizens, including A.J. Muste of FOR, civil rights and peace activist Bayard Rustin, and Unitarian minister Homer Jack, had founded a new peace organization that would become enormously effective in the years ahead, SANE.61

Despite Eisenhower’s efforts, late in his presidency, to improve relations with the Soviet Union, many of the problems that he faced were the result more of previous American decisions than of Soviet ones. As early as 1955 the Soviet Union had officially called for a halt to nuclear testing, but this support from the Soviets functioned like a “kiss of death,” keeping the U.S. from responding for several years and putting the nonaligned states on the defensive diplomatically, since they did not wish to seem pro-Soviet.62

Eventually, however, the unrelenting global pressure prompted President Eisenhower to reconsider his position; he allowed a disarmament adviser to tell the Soviets that a brief testing moratorium might be possible in exchange for future limitations on the production of weapons. The Soviet government immediately indicated that it would welcome not only a two- or three-year moratorium, but even a permanent halt, to be monitored by international inspectors based on its soil.63

This idea alarmed the Americans who favored the development of hydrogen bombs, such as Edward Teller, who claimed that it would be a “crime against humanity” not to test a hydrogen bomb that was then being planned — one that would be free of fallout. The U.S. suggested a compromise to the Soviets: a two-year testing moratorium and mutual halt in weapons production. This proposal was also rejected and the impasse continued.

Yet the global demand for a test ban continued and other new technological developments changed the political equation. Americans were shocked when the Soviets launched “Sputnik,” the first space satellite. The U.S. Atomic Energy Commission was caught trying to conceal the fact that the U.S. was able to detect underground nuclear tests at a great distance; it had to apologize for its deception.

Four days after Nikita Khrushchev came to power, the Soviets unilaterally stopped testing nuclear explosions and asked the U.S. and Britain to do likewise, noting that if other countries continued testing, they would also resume. Around the world,there was a loud demand for the Americans and British to match this Soviet action. President Eisenhower and Khrushchev ordered their technical experts to meet and develop systems for monitoring tests. Within two months such an initial proposal was ready, with the exception of a few details, which would prove unexpectedly hard to fill in.

It was clear that banning testing would not be an easy accomplishment in the United States or Britain, in view of the political strength of the cold war mentality, which bitterly opposed it. The U.S. military especially tried to block a test ban, but Eisenhower authorized three-sided negotiations between the Soviets, the Americans, and the British to begin in Geneva over these objections. Between 1959 and 1962, about one hundred meetings were held in this conference.64 However, progress was stalled, since some American experts claimed that hundreds of on-site inspections might be necessary each year for adequate verification.65 Meanwhile, the proliferation of weapons continued unabated. The French began testing their own nuclear weapons in the Sahara in 1960.

American cold warriors attacked SANE in 1960, with exceptionally destructive results. The leaders of the organization, especially Norman Cousins, were determined not to allow the reputation of SANE to be tainted by any association with communism, which would destroy their credibility. When a rumor arose about one SANE official, Cousins asked him point-blank about his Communist connections and, hearing an ambiguous reply, dismissed him. Instead of preserving the respectability of SANE, this action only divided it; many members, believing there was a witch-hunt going on, resigned. There was no easy solution to this controversy, since a Senate Committee was still charged with hunting down and exposing Communist sympathizers, and it could indeed have delivered a fatal blow to the movement. Yet while SANE was busy with its internal conflict, President Eisenhower was becoming convinced that the testing moratorium was a disadvantage to the United States. He did not say so during the election campaign, but after the election he expressed this view to President-elect Kennedy.66

Kennedy came to office with the enthusiastic support of many peace acivists and in his early statements indicated a desire to change the arms race into a “peace race.” To a limited extent, he would realize some of that aspiration, yet his three years of power were among the most difficult and confrontational of all the cold war. He and Khrushchev must share history’s blame for those dangerous years. There was the Bay of Pigs fiasco, followed by the Berlin crisis, which culminated in the construction of the infamous Berlin Wall. The Geneva test-ban talks approached success, then failed, whereupon first Khrushchev and then Kennedy resumed testing. The Cuban missile crisis also took place during Kennedy’s presidency, as did the first phase of the Vietnam War, though Presidents Johnson and Nixon must share most of the blame for that tragedy.

This is not the place to review the history of the Cuban missile crisis, but it is worth pointing out, as Richard Ned Lebow and Janice Gross Stein have done, that it occurred because each leader misread the intention of the other as aggressive and responded with tough countermeasures to display resolve. The resolution of the conflict was not, as it has usually been regarded, a triumph of American coercive diplomacy, but rather an accommodation between both Kennedy and Khrushchev. When they were “eyeball to eyeball, both sides blinked.” It has been revealed by his aides that Kennedy secretly made a concession by agreeing to remove the American missiles from Turkey, and would have made even another concession, had it been necessary.67 As Lebow and Stein put it,

Kennedy developed a new understanding of Khrushchev as a leader who had bungled into the crisis and was desperately searching for a way to retreat without losing face. This understanding made it much easier for Kennedy to make the concessions necessary to end the crisis…

After Cuba, Khrushchev’s attitude toward the West and Kennedy changed markedly. Some of his former associates believe that if Kennedy had not been assassinated in November 1963 and Khrushchev not removed from office in October 1964, the Cold War might have ended much sooner than it did.68

Immediately after the resolution of the crisis, there was a renewed commitment of both leaders to achieve a test ban. As 1963 began, the Western peace movement also renewed its pressure to overcome the deadlocked negotiations.Norman Cousins, who had previously acted as an unofficial go-between for both Eisenhower and Kennedy in dealing with Khrushchev, again visited the Soviet leader at his Black Sea retreat on behalf of Kennedy. The meeting was favorable and when Cousins reported back to Kennedy he suggested undertaking a bold peace initiative.

Delivering a commencement address at American University a few weeks later, Kennedy announced a new commitment to detente. His conciliatory tone toward the Soviets was a conscious application of psychologist Charles Osgoode’s recommended strategy, “Graduated Reciprocation in Tension Reduction (GRIT),” which is an alternative to negotiation as a way of resolving disputes.69 GRIT simply offers a modest, affordable concession to the other side without strings attached, then invites a response. If the other side does respond with a concession of its own, it should again be matched. In this way, through a series of unilateral initiatives, without bargaining at all, an impasse can often be broken. (As we shall see later, Gorbachev would also adopt this approach to reversing the arms race through unilateral initiatives.)

In 1963, Khrushchev immediately responded to Kennedy’s unilateral initiative by making it possible to conclude a Partial Test Ban Treaty, which was actually signed about a month later in Moscow and ratified by the U.S. Senate in September by the one of the largest margins an arms control treaty had ever received.70 Nor was that the end of this series of reciprocating unilateral initiatives.___________ (find Etzioni and fill it in.)71

The Partial Test Ban Treaty (PTBT) of 1963 was both the crowning achievement of the “Ban the Bomb” peace surge and the cause of its failure. As a “partial” test ban, it banned testing in the atmosphere, but not underground. In those days, it was generally believed that a comprehensive test ban treaty would be produced very soon, superseding the partial one. This did not happen. However, the PTBT was important for two reasons: first, it stopped nuclear testing above ground, which had been putting vast quantities of radioactivity directly into the biosphere, undoubtedly to cause terrible health problems for centuries to come. Second — though the importance of this would not become apparent for two decades — it included an unusual provision for its amendment. If one third of the signatory countries were to request it, the three depositary countries (the Soviet Union, Britain, and the United States) would be obliged to convene a meeting for the purpose of converting the PTBT to a Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) and, if such a motion passed, all signatory countries would automatically be bound by that revised treaty. This amending formula was forgotten, since most people expected the CTBT to be established in some other way. Only much later would it be invoked.72

Ironically, the PTBT proved to be the downfall of the peace surge of 1957-63. Precisely because it was so satisfying, and precisely because it seemed sure to lead to other aspects of disarmament, activists clapped each other on the back, sighed with relief, and turned their attention to other matters. The nuclear crisis had passed. In fact, the nuclear arms race had not been halted, but only driven underground. Any celebration was highly premature, since testing continued underground without significant opposition.

Kennedy was assassinated. Khrushchev was removed from office, in part because of dissatisfaction with his role in provoking the Cuban missile crisis. By the spring of 1964, support and funding for disarmament campaigns had dried up. Instead of being in a surge, the peace movement was in a trough. The pressure for a complete end to nuclear testing had vanished, and therefore the testing went on. And on, and on, and on for another generation.

The Anti-Vietnam War Surge of 1966-1971

The sixties were an extraordinary decade of social change. In the United States, every new social movement fed quickly into another and they all continued simultaneously — the civil rights movement, the “war on poverty,” the women’s movement, the student movement, the anti-Vietnam War movement.. . Thus, although the surge demanding an end to nuclear testing waned in 1963, there was no interval of lull between it and the next peace movement surge — the opposition to the Vietnam War — that began in 1966. In the period between those two peace surges, activists were busy with urgent domestic reforms, as they continued to be throughout the whole decade.

Although the Vietnam War was disapproved around the world, the movement to end it was virtually confined to the United States. To long-time peace activists, the movement was a continuation of their ongoing protest. To millions of others, however, it was a distinct campaign, for it attracted a group of people who had never been pacifists and had not been involved in the campaign against nuclear weapons, but who judged the Vietnam War wrong on its own merits. The anti-Vietnam War movement drew strength from the civil rights and anti-poverty movements, since it was apparent that an exceptional number of the soldiers being killed were young blacks from impoverished families. The movement also drew strength from the student movement, since much of the opposition to the war concerned young males who had either to avoid the draft or end the war; when finally the draft would be abolished in 1972, campus anti-war activity would decline.

By the early 1960s American public opinion was already polarizing over a coup in South Vietnam. The U.S. had been providing military advisors and equipment in an undeclared war to aid the corrupt South Vietnamese regime, which was fighting the Vietcong guerrillas. In November 1963 a military junta toppled President Diem, requiring President Kennedy to formulate a new policy toward that country just weeks before he himself was shot. President Johnson vowed to continue Kennedy’s policy of military aid to South Vietnam. In fact, that aid was escalating.

In 1964, such organizations as SANE were at a low ebb, but new organizations were forming specifically on the question of Vietnam. Some of the white campus activists were turning toward this cause after being excluded from the increasingly nationalistic black civil rights movement.73 In February, 1965 the Vietcong struck American forces, giving Johnson grounds to begin bombing North Vietnam, while claiming that there had been no change in policy.74 Public opinion was confused: Gallup polls showed tht over 80 percent of Americans wanted a peaceful compromise solution to the war, though almost the same proportions also supported the air strikes.75 Liberal peace organizations such as SANE and AFSC held to a middle course between immediate withdrawal and escalation, while more radical members of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) such as Richard Flacks and Tom Hayden used Vietnam as a way of mobilizing and radicalizing American “insurgency groups.”76

The civil rights movement was losing support and blacks were becoming more impatient in 1966.77 Martin Luther King, having won a Nobel Peace Prize, linked the race struggle to the anti-war movement and increasingly moved toward the leadership of the opposition, declaring, “This war is a blasphemy against all that America stands for.” Although the protests brought tens of thousands of marchers to the streets, public opinion mainly supported Johnson’s plan for escalating the war. Tet, the Vietnamese lunar New Year, 30 January 1968, saw an offensive launched from the north throughout South Vietnam, and the U.S. launched a counteroffensive. A month later, U.S. polls for the first time showed a majority believing that the commitment of American troops had been a mistake.78 Even on conservative college campuses, doubt about Vietnam policy became accepted, along with a more general questioning of authority.79

The anti-war liberals had to choose between Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy, who were running neck and neck in the primaries, with Hubert Humphrey running a poor third. Minutes after winning the Democratic primary in California, Kennedy was murdered.

Lyndon Johnson having withdrawn from the race, the presidential campaigners that spring were Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, George Wallace, and Eugene McCarthy. Public opinion by then favored a phased withdrawal from Vietnam, and all the candidates opposed immediate withdrawal. In August, about 5000 anti-war demonstrators came to Chicago ahead of an equal number of delegates to the Democratic National Convention. The mayor and other government officials feared that the demonstrators would engage in sabotage. The police stripped off their badges and attacked the crowds — and especially journalists — with clubs and mace. Inside the convention, delegates charged that America had become a police state. All the Democratic candidates then called for a total bombing halt as a platform plank, and Humphrey was selected as the presidential nominee.

That night, the whole nation watched a juxtaposition of events on television: In Chicago, the police again attacked crowds of demonstrators in the streets. In Prague, Soviet troops were also in the streets, crushing the liberalization movement of that society.80

The new president, Richard Nixon, at first vacillated between appeasing antiwar critics and planning to crush them. Some of the activists who had been in the melee in Chicago were indicted on charges of crossing state borders to incite a riot. Nixon was planning to escalate the war, despite the shift of public opinion toward favoring rapid American withdrawal.81 The peace movement became demoralized by the sense that all its activities were futile. In fact, however, as De Benedetti has pointed out, the center of gravity in the movement had moved; no longer was it basically a leftist movement, but rather it was reformist and moderate. This change meant that the whole country was gradually realigning on the war.82

Antiwar Vietnam veterans were becoming a real force. Through their pressure was founded the Citizens Commission of Inquiry into U.S. War Crimes in Vietnam. The veterans testified in Washington that atrocities in Vietnam were officially condoned and widely practiced.83 Then there were the Pentagon Papers, a secret history of U.S. decision-making before 1967, leaked to the press by defence analyst Daniel Ellsberg: proof that the government had lied to its citizens. All of these events made normal Americans into dissenters.

At Christmas of 1972, Nixon bombed Hanoi, provoking worldwide outrage. The governments of Italy, Sweden, Belgium, Austria, and the Netherlands lodged formal protests. The Canadian House of Commons urged the cessation of air attacks. Dockworkers in Denmark and Australia refused to unload American ships. And in Washington, Richard Nixon was inaugurated for his second term of office. A few days later, he announced an agreement to “end the war and bring peace with honor in Vietnam and South Asia.”

No one celebrated. A long surge of peace activism was over. A decade would pass before the next major surge would begin.


We have considered the five most historic surges of the international peace movement that came and went before the 1980s. Two surges (those preceding World War I and World War II) have constituted a principled opposition to warfare of any kind. Two surges (the opposition of scientists and intellectuals to the development or use of nuclear weapons, and 1957-63 “Ban the Bomb” movement) constituted opposition to weapons of mass destruction, but did not necessarily aim to eliminate the use of conventional weapons in ordinary warfare. Finally, one surge (that opposing the Vietnam War) was not directed against the methods of fighting, but rather against the war itself, which was seen to be unjust.

The anti-nuclear-bomb movement of scientists and intellectuals was primarily the preoccupation of the intelligentsia, the European and North American elite, not of the general public, and therefore hardly counts as a surge, though it was extremely important. The scientists’ most urgent pleas were directed to the government while the bomb was still top secret. A surge is a relative matter; smaller waves of opposition arise briefly against smaller wars or specific weapons — those seeking to prevent one of the many brief American invasions in Central America, for example, or opposing the Gulf War, or protesting the massacres in Tiananmen Square or Vilnius, or opposing development of the neuton bomb, or “Star Wars.” A few recent minor surges do not protest against, but actually demand, some type of military action, such as the use of U.N. peacekeepers to protect victims in, say, Sarajevo or Nagorno-Karabakh. Thus minor waves come and go, even within the larger waves of world-wide social movements, which generally last for a decade or so.

International surges are not evenly distributed throughout the global population, but tend to be directed specifically toward the foci where the critical decisions are being made — at least if it is possible to protest in those locales. Protests against the Vietnam War primarily took place in the United States, though there was enough other opposition to the war for it to count as an international surge. Protests against the Soviet war in Afghanistan, on the other hand, were far more rare, since the Soviet government would have been the obvious object of attention and it was so repressive that protesting would have been dangerous.

The peace movements that have been described here provided public forums in which outstanding cultural and political critics of each period — Victor Hugo, Bertha von Suttner, Martin Luther King, Jane Addams, Norman Cousins, Robert Kennedy, Albert Einstein, Alva Myrdal, Andrei Sakharov, Dr. Benjamin Spock, Bertrand Russell — defended society from the scourge of war. Some of the same names will recur in other stories about subsequent cultural and political changes of Soviet society. The work they began remains unfinished.

12481 words


1 The Second Socialist International took this position supporting class struggle as early as 1893 at a Congress in Zurich. On the other hand, it must also be admitted that may pacifists were hesitant in linking with the labor movement. Bertha von Suttner considered it necessary to attain pacifist programs before undertaking other social reforms. See Rainer Santi, 100 Years of Peace Making (Göteborg, Sweden: International Peace Bureau, 1991), p. 20.

2 Tolstoy’s War and Peace revealed his fascination for military strategy. His anarchist pacifism came later. See his The Kingdom of God and Peace Essays (London: World Classics, 1936) and Government is Violence: Essays on Anarchism and Pacifism David Stephens, ed. (London: ___, 1990).

3 Kropotkin would accept revolutionary violence in extreme circumstances but Tolstoy would not. There was a mutual respect between the two writers, who never met but were connected through Vladimir Chertkov, Tolstoy’s greatest disciple, who knew Kropotkin in England. See George Woodcock’s introduction to Peter Kropotkin, Russian Literature: Ideals and Realities (Montreal: Black Rose, 1991), p. xxx and passim.

4 Nicholas II was influenced by the Russian pacifist Johann Bloch, whose six-volume book, The Future War he had studied closely and whom he summoned for personal conversations. Other European powers questioned the Czar’s motives for calling the peace conference, since he was not noted for peaceable international relations, especially with Finland. And indeed, by the time the conference actually met, the Russians’ official objectives had been reduced to banning certain explosives and “humanizing” war. See Rainer Santi, 100 Years of Peace Making (Zurich: International Peace Bureau, 1991), pp. 17-18.

5 Interview with Daniel Erdely, Budapest, 1985.

6 This theoretical reliance on the concept of violence did not determine the first Soviet policies regarding conscientious objection. In October 1918 the Soviet government passed a bill providing for alternatives to military service, although local Soviets did not always follow this law. See Peter Brock, Studies in Peace History (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1991), pp. 81-90.

7 Victor Sukhardrev, in interview, New York City, 1993.

8 This was true even when the meetings took place under the auspices of groups who hoped that the views of both sides would be equally affected. The Quakers, for example, held American-Russian seminars for several decades and, according to Laurama Pixton, who coordinated the program, hoped for mutual changes. (Pixton interview, March 28, 1994).

9 Lawrence S. Wittner, One World or None, (Stanford, California: Stanford University Press 1993), p. 181.

10 Santi, p. 40.

11 Ken Lindkvist, “Mobilization Peaks and Declines of the Swedish Peace Movement,” in Katsuya Kodama and Unto Vesa, Towards a Comparative Analysis of Peace Movements (Aldershott: Dartmouth, 1990), p. 157.

12 John Lofland and Victoria Johnson have analyzed these movements in their paper, “Citizen Surges: A Domain in Movement Studies and a Perspective on Peace Activism in the 1980s,” Research in Social Movements, Conflits and Change, Metta Spencer. (Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press, 1991) Vol. 13, pp. 1-29.

13 Nils Petter Gleditsch, who credits Rüdiger Schlaga for this idea, nevertheless remains skeptical about it. See his “The Rise and Decline of the New Peace Movement,” in Towards a Comparative Analysis of Peace Movements, Katsuya Kodama and Unto Vesa, eds. (Brookfield, Vermont: Gower, 1990), p. 84.

14 Rainer Santi, pp. 12-13.

15 Santi, p. 15.

16 Sandi E. Cooper, [European Women’s Struggle to Prevent World War I,” in Women and Peace: Theoretical, Historical and Practical Perspectives. Ruth Roach Pierson, ed. (London: Croom Helm, 1987), p. 64. This was not the first such meeting, but the previous ones, such as the Brussels convention in 1874 and the Geneva conference in 1962, had been attended only by a few self-selected peace activists.

17 Santi, p. 19.

18 Santi, p. 22.

19 Cooper, p. 65.

20 Cooper, p. 51.

21 Charles Chatfield, For Peace and Justice: Pacifism in America, 1914-1941 (Knoxville, Tennessee: University of Tennessee, 1971).

22 The British group, Friends Service Council, is now known as Quaker Peace and Service.

23 Jo Vellacott, “Feminist Consciousness and World War I” in Pierson, pp. 124-26. See also Catherine Foster, Women for All Seasons: The Story of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. (Athens, Georgis: University of Georgia Press, 1989).

24 Veronica Strong-Boag, “Peace Making Women: Canada 1919-1939,” in Pierson, p. 176.

25 Santi, pp. 27-28.

26 Personal communication, Jane Zavitz-Bond, Canadian Friends Archive, Pickering College, Newmarket, Ontario. Quaker assistance to German children in World War I created the basis for a relationship with the Nazi government before World War II. Quakers were unable to meet with Hitler, but did meet with Gestapo leaders, who offered exit visas for 50,000 Jews. These visas were not picked up because the urgency of the situation was not recognized and because of the insufficiency of sponsors in North America.

27 Santi, p. 31.

28 Charles Chatfield, “Norman Thomas: Harmony of Word and Deed,” in Charles De Benedetti, ed. Peace Heroes in Twentieth-Century America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), pp. 85-120.

29 Jo Ann Robinson, “A. J. Muste: Prophet in the Wilderness of the Modern World,” in Charles De Benedetti, ed. Peace Heroes in Twentieth-Century America (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), pp. 147-167.

30 Elise Boulding, “The Early Eighties Peak of the Peace Movement,” in Sam Marullo and John Lofland, eds. Peace Action in the Eighties: Social Science Perspectives (New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press, 1990), p. 21.

31 Boulding, p. 22.

32 Eugene Rabinowitch, “Five Years After,” Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 7 (Jan. 1951), p. 3.

33 Interview with Joseph Rotblat in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, summer of 1992. It was General Groves who told him that this was the purpose of the project, which shocked Rotblat deeply.

34 Rotblat interview. Wittner gives an even more detailed account of this interaction, p. 22.

35 Wittner, p.34.

36 Pavel Anatolievich Sudoplatov, Special Tasks: The Memoirs of an Unwanted Witness— A Soviet Spymaster (New York: Little, Brown, 1994). The author maintains that these scientists provided more useful information to the Soviets than did the convicted spies, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg,who were executed for their crime.

37 Thomas Powers, “Were the Atomic Scientists Spies?” The New York Review of Books June 9, 1994 and George Kennan, “In Defense of Oppenheimer,” The New York Review of Books June 23, 1994, p. 8. See also, Hans A. Bethe, Kurt Gottfried and Roald Z. Sagdeev, “Did Bohr Share Nuclear Secrets?” Scientific American, May 1995, Vol. 272, No. 5. pp. 83-97.

38 Wittner, pp. 26-25.

39 Wittner, p. 57.

40 Wittner, p. 60.

41 Wittner provides a thorough review of the political disputes within these and rival scientific organizations, pp. 89-92.

42 Katz, Ban the Bomb, p. 7.

43 Norman Cousins, Modern Man is Obsolete (New York: Viking Press, 1945).

44 Milton S. Katz, “Norman Cousins: Peace Advocate and World Citizen,” in De Benedetti, p. 174.

45 Jon A. Yoder, “United World Federalists: Liberals for Law and Order,” in Charles Chatfield, ed., Peace Movements in America (New York: Schocken Books, 19973), p. 99.

46 Ohtori Kurino and Katsuya Kodama, “A Study on the Japanese Peace Movement,” in Kodama and Vesa, pp. 120-21.

47 Yuli Khariton and Yuri Smirnov, “The Khariton Version,” in The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists May 1993, pp. 22-24.

48 Khariton and Smirnov, p. 29.

49 Andrei Sakharov, Memoirs, (New York: Vintage 1992) p. 281.

50 New York: Norton, 1968.

51 Wittner, p. 18.

52 Katz, Ban the Bomb, p. 10.

53 Katz, Ban the Bomb, p. 12.

54 Jonathan M. Weisgall, “Time to End the 40-year Lie,” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (May/June 1994, p. 3)

55 Ohtori Jurino and Katsuya Kodama, “ A Study on the Japanese Peace Movement,” in Kodama and Vesa, p. 122.

56 Alva Myrdal, The Game of Disarmament: How the United States and Russia Run the Arms Race (New York: Random House, 1982), p. 86.

57 Katz, pp. 37-38.

58 The Russell-Einstein Manifesto:

“In the tragic situation which confronts humanity, we feel that scientists should assemble in conference to appriase the perils that have arisen as a result of the development of weapons of mass destruction, and to discuss a resolution in the spirit of the appended draft.

“We are speaking on this occasion, not as members of this or that nation, continent, or creed, but as human beings, members of the species Man, whose continued existence is in doubt. The world is full of conflicts; and, overshadowing all minor conflicts, the titanic struggle between Communism and anti-Communism.

“Almost everybody who is politically conscious has strong feelings about one or ore of these issues; but we want you, if you can, to set aside such feelings and consider yourselves ony as members of a biological species which has had a remarkable history, and whose disappearance none of us can desire.

“We shall try to say no single word which should appeal to one group rather than to another. All, equally, are in peril, and, if the peril is understood, there is hope that they may collectively avert it.

“We have to learn to think in a new way. We have to learn to ask ourselves, not what steps can be taken to give military victory to whatever grop we prefer, for there no longer are such steps; the question we have to ask ourselves is: what steps can be taken to prevent a military contest of which the issue must be disastrous to all parties?

“The general public, and even many men in position of pauthority, have not realized what would be involved in a war with nuclear bombs. The general public still thinks in terms of the obliteration of cities. It is understood that the new bombs are more powerful than the old, and that, while one A-bomb could obliterate Hiroshima, one H-bomb could obligerate the largest cities, such as London, New York, and Moscow.

“No doubt in an H-bomb war great cities would be obliterated. But this is one of the minor disasters that would have to be faced. If everybody in London, New York, and Moscow were exterminated, the world might, in the course of a few centuries, recover from the blow. But we now know, especially since the Bikini tet, that nuclear bombs can gradually spread destruction over a very much wider area than had been supposed.

“It is stated on very good authority that a bomb can now be manufactured which will be 2,500 times as powerful as that which destroyed Hiroshima. Such a bomb, if exploded near the ground or under water, send radioactive particles into the upper air. They sink gradually and reach the surface of the earth in the form of a deadly dust or rain. It was this dust which infected the Japanese fishermen and their catch of fish.

“No one knows how widely such lethal radio-active particles might be diffused, but the best authorities are unanimous in saying that a war with H-bombs might quite possibly put an end to the human race. It is feared that if many H-bombs are used there will be universal death—sudden only for a minority, but for the majority a slow torture of disease and disintegration.

“Many warnings have been uttered by eminent men of science and by authorities in military strategy. None of them will say that the worst results are certain. What they do say is that these results are possible, and no one can be sure that they will not be realized. We have not yet found that the views of experts on this question depend in any degree upon their politics or prejudices They depedn only, so far as our researches have revealed, upon the extent of the particular expert’s knowledge. we have found that the men who know most are the most gloomy.

“Here, then, is the problem whihc we shall present to you, stark and dreadful and inescapable: Shall we put an end to the human race; or shall mankind renounce war?* People will not face this alternative because it is so difficult to abolish war.

“The abolition of war will demand distasteful limitations of national sovereignty.** But what perhaps impedes understanding of the situation more than anything else is that the term “mankind” feels vague and abstract. People scarcely realize in imagination that the danger is to themselves and their children and their grandchildren, and not only to a dimly apprehended humanity. They can scarcely bring themselves to grasp that they individually, and those whom they love are in imminent danger of perishing agonizingly. And so they hope that perhaps war may be allowed to continue provided odern weapons are prohibited.

“This hope is illusory. Whatever agreements not to use H-bombs had been reached in time of peace, they would no longer be considered binding in time of war, and both sides would set to work to manufacture H-bombs as soon as war broke out, for, if one side manufactured the bombs and the other did not, the side that manufactured them would inevitably be victorious.

“Although an agreement to renounce nuclear weapons as part of a general reduction of armaments*** would not afford an ultimate solution, it would serve certain important purposes. First: any agreement between East and West is to the good insofar as it tends to diminish tension. Second: the abolition of thermo-nuclear weapons, if each side believed that the other had carried it out sincerely, would lessen the fear of a sudden attack in the style of Pearl Harbour, which at present keeps both sides in a a state of nervous apprehension. We should, therefore, welcome such an agreement, though ony as a first step.

“Most of us are not neutral in feeling, but as human beings, we have to remember that, if the issues between East and West are to be decided in any manner that can give any possible satisfaction to anybody, whether Communist or anti-Communist, whether Asian or European or American, whether White or Black, then these issues must not be decided by war. We should wish this to be understood, both in the East and in the West.

“There lies before us, if we choose, continual progress in happiness, knowledge, and wisdom. Shall we, instead, choose death, because we cannot forget our quarrels? We appeal, as human beings, to human beings: remember your humanity,and forget the rest. If you can do so, the way lies open to a new Paradise; if you cannot, there lies before you the risk of universal death.


“We invite this Congress, and through it the scientists of the world and the general public, to subscribe to the following resolution:

“In view of the fact that in any future world war nuclear weapons will certainly be employed, and that such weapons threaten the continued existence of mankind, we urge the Goverments of the world to realize, and to acknowledge publicly, that their purpose cannot be furthered by a world war, and we urge them, consequently, to find peaceful means for the settlement of all matters of dispute between them.”

Signed by:
Professor Max Born (Professor of Theoretical Physics at Berlin, Frankfurt and Gottingen, and of Natural Philosophy, Edinburgh; Nobel Prize in physics).
Professor P.W. Bridgman (Professor of Physics, Harvard University; Nobel Prize in physics).
Professor Albert Einstein.
Professor L. Infelt (Professor of Theoretical Physics, University of Warsaw).
Professor J.F. Joliot-Curie (Professor of Physics at the Colege de France; Nobel Prize in chemistry).
Professor H.J. Muller (Professor of Zoology at the University of Indiana; Nobel Prize in physiology and medicine).
Professor Linus Pauling (Professor of Chemistry California Institute of Technology;Nobel Prize in chemistry).
Professor C. F. Powell (Professor of Physics, Bristol University; Nobel Prize in physics)
Professor J. Rotblat (Professor of Physics, University of London: Medical College of St. Bartholomew’s Hospital).
Bertrand Russell.
Professor Hideki Yukawa (Professor of Theoretical Physics, Kyoto University; Nobel Prize in physics).

* Professor Joliot-Curie wishes to add the words: “as a means of settling differences between States.”
** Professor Jolio-Curie wishes to add that these limitations are to be agreed by all and in the interests of all.
*** Professor Muller makes the reservation that this be taken to mean “a concomitant balanced reduction of all armaments.”

59 Joseph Rotblat, Pugwash —The First Ten Years: History of the Conferences of Science and World Affairs (London: Heinemann, 1967) and Joseph Rotblat, Scientits in the Quest for Peace (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1972.

60 Interview with Alice Bobroshova, Moscow, March 1994. Bobroshova, one of the first interpreters for the Dartmouth Conferences, has continued to participate in the events to this day.

61 SANE would later merge with the Freeze organization, then change its name to Peace Action. In the early 1990s it is based in New York and headed by Cora Weiss.

62 This is Alva Myrdal’s interpretation in_The Game of Disarmament:_ pp. 84-85.

63 Philip G. Schrag, Global Action: Nuclear Test Ban Diplomacy at the End of the Cold War (Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press, 1992), pp. 8-10.

64 Myrdal, p. 87.

65 Schrag, pp. 11-13.

66 Katz, Ban the Bomb, pp. 63-64/

67 The best review of this crisis, which incorporates the insights of Ted Sorenson, Robert MacNamara, Khrushchev’s closest advisers, and a number of important figures who were intereviewed for the study, is Richard Ned Lebow and Janice Gross Stein, We All Lost the Cold War, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994).

68 Lebow and Stein, pp. 144-45. They cite an interview with Georgy Shakhnazarov as one of the people expressing this opinion of what might have happened in the improved relationship between the two leaders after the Cuban missile crisis.

69 Charles Osgood, An Alternative to War or Surrender (Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1962).

70 Katz, Ban the Bomb, pp. 85-86.

71 Amitai Etzioni, “The Kennedy Experiment,” in Western Political Quarterly Vol 20, No. 2, June 1967, pp. 361-80. See also his article in Psychology Today, Dec.1969, pp. 43-45 and 62-63.

72 See Schrag passim for a full account of this treaty and the effort to use the amending formula described here.

73 Charles De Benedetti with Charles Chatfield, An American Ordeal: The Antiwar Movement of the Vietnam Era (Syracuse, N.Y.: Syracuse University Press, 1990), p. 97.

74 George C. Herring, America’s Longest War: The United States and Vietnam, 1950-1975 (New York: Wiley, 1979), p. 130.

75 De Benedetti, p. 105.

76 De Benedetti, pp. 110-11.

77 De Benedetii, p. 157.

78 De Benedetii, p. 211.

79 Calvin Trillin, “The Last Peaceful Place,” The New Yorker 20 April 1968, p. 175.

80 De Benedetti, pp 227-28.

81 De Benedetii, p. 252.

82 De Benedetti, p. 272.

83 De Benedetti, p. 307.

The Russian Quest for Peace and Democracy, by Metta Spencer, published by Lexington Books