War and peace – Aletta Jacobs

attendees international congress of women Aletta Jacobs WILPF number 100006670 IAV Atria

Jacobs detested war and viewed armed violence as an unmitigated evil. In 1898 she participated in the first international peace conference hosted by the Netherlands. At first, Jacobs did little work for pacifism, although she always accompanied her husband, Carel Victor Gerritsen (1850-1905), whenever he attended the meetings of the Interparliamentary Union.

The board of the International Women's Congress for Permanent Peace, 1915

1914 First World War

When the First World War started in 1914, Jacobs became more active because she wanted to call on women from every nation to protest against the horrors of war. The German women decided to abandon their plan to hold an International Woman Suffrage Alliance conference in Berlin in June 1915. Instead, Jacobs, with the help of many other women, organized the International Congress of Women, in The Hague, from April 28 till May 1. At the end of the conference, it was decided that a women’s deputation would present the resolutions both to the neutral countries and to those at war. Jacobs and Jane Addams assumed responsibility for most of the work involved.

August 10, 1929

In 1919 Aletta Jacobs moved to The Hague. First she lived on her own, in the Van Aerssenstraat 46, from October 1928 she lived with Mien and Richard van Wulfften Palthe-Broese van Groenou. She died on August 10, 1929 in a hotel in Baarn, during a visit to Rosa Manus.

Source and further reading

cremation funeral Aletta Jacobs

Funeral (cremation) of Aletta Jacobs

– Memories : my life as an international leader in health, suffrage, and peace / Aletta Henriëtte Jacobs, Harriet Feinberg (ed.), Annie Wright (transl.). – New York : Feminist Press at the City University of New York, 1996. – 248p. : index : lit. : foto
– Politics and friendship : letters from the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, 1902-1942 / Mineke Bosch (ed.), Annemarie Kloosterman (ed.). – Columbus : Ohio State University Press, 1990. – 315p. : ill. : index : lit.
Atria Institute on gender equality and women’s history
Atria – Aletta Jacobs (Dutch)

Aletta Jacobs, pioneer amongst the floods of peacebuilding women who convened at The Hague in 1915 (WILPF – Women’s International League For Peace & Freedom)


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