Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 07, 2020 1:29 am

Ernest Wilberforce [1840-1907]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/6/20

The Rt Revd Ernest Wilberforce, DD MA(Oxon) BD BA (Hons)
Bishop of Chichester
Wilberforce in episcopal robes
Church: Church of England
Diocese: Diocese of Chichester
Installed: 1896
Term ended: 1907
Predecessor Richard Durnford
Successor Charles Ridgeway
Other posts: Bishop of Newcastle (1882–1896)
Ordination: 1864
Consecration: 1882
Personal details
Born: 22 January 1840, Brighstone, Isle of Wight
Died: 9 September 1907 (aged 67), Bembridge, Isle of Wight
Buried: West Hampnett, Chichester
Nationality: British
Denomination: Anglican
Parents: Samuel Wilberforce & Emily Sargent
Spouse: Frances Anderson (1863–70); Emily Connor (1874–1907)
Children: 3 sons & 3 daughters (with Emily)
Alma mater: Exeter College, Oxford

Monument in Chichester Cathedral, showing arms of the See of Chichester impaling Wilberforce (Argent, an eagle displayed sable beaked and membered proper)

Ernest Roland Wilberforce (22 January 1840 – 9 September 1907) was an Anglican clergyman and bishop. From 1882 to 1896 he was the first Anglican Bishop of Newcastle upon the diocese's creation, and from 1896 to 1907 he was Bishop of Chichester.

Early life and career

The third son of another bishop, Samuel Wilberforce, and his wife, Emily Sargent (1807–1841) — as well as the grandson of William Wilberforce, leader of the movement to abolish the slave trade — Ernest was born at his father's rectory, and grew up in Lavington and Cuddesdon, there gaining a love of country sports which lasted his whole life. Ernest's younger brother Basil became Archdeacon of Westminster. He was educated at Harrow from 1854 to 1857, then for 2 years with a private tutor, then from May 1859 to 1882 at Exeter College, Oxford. He showed little academic merit at any of these and –- better known as a good oarsman than a good scholar -– graduated BA in 1864 with fourth-class honours. During his time at Oxford he married Frances Mary, third daughter of Sir Charles Anderson, baronet (1804–1891) on 23 June 1863, and subsequently his attitude to his work and life became more serious, proceeding MA in 1867 and going to train for the ministry at Cuddesdon College, then under Edward King.

His father ordained him deacon in December 1864 and priest in 1865 and, after short curacies at Cuddesdon itself and at Lea, was presented to a living at Middleton Stoney, near Bicester, in 1868, though he had to resign from it two years later due to Frances' poor health (she died in October 1870 in San Remo of tuberculosis). In 1870 he became his father's domestic chaplain at Winchester, a year later sub-almoner to Queen Victoria, and in 1873 priest of Seaforth. This parish was traditionally evangelical and Ernest's moderate-high churchmanship could have led to friction with his parishioners, but his introduction of a daily service and a weekly celebration of holy communion was tactful and such conflict was avoided, and it was in this parish that Ernest first became known for the power of his sermons and his voice. Also in Seaforth, he and his new wife (on 14 October 1874 Ernest had married a second time, to Emily, only daughter of George Henry Connor, later dean of Windsor — the couple had 3 sons and 3 daughters) became active supporters of the temperance movement, taking the pledge together in 1876.

Bishop of Newcastle

In 1878 Wilberforce became a residentiary canon of Winchester and warden of the Wilberforce Mission (whose formation and endowment was a memorial to his father), with most of his activity for the latter occurring in Portsmouth and Aldershot (though in 1881 the mission was removed to the diocese of Rochester via a legal ruling and Ernest left England for Quebec, on a brief missionary trip). On his return in 1882, he was awarded his BD and DD and William Ewart Gladstone offered Ernest the new see of Newcastle, which he accepted – he was nominated on 4 July – becoming the Church of England's youngest diocesan bishop on his consecration on 25 July that year.

It had taken four years between the parliamentary act that had formed the new diocese, and Ernest's appointment, to raise enough money to support a bishop, since the Church of England had only just taken interest in this industrial area and in its absence the dominant Christian force there had become the non-conformist churches (less than 4% of those in the 1881 census were recorded as attending Anglican services, a decline since 1851). Realising that this financial problem was his main impediment, Ernest raised nearly £250,000 in its first five years for his Bishop of Newcastle's, allowing 11 new churches and 7 new vicarages to be built and 28 new clergy to be employed in the city within 10 years. He also made long journeys across rural Northumberland for confirmations, confirming double the numbers in 1882–86 than had been confirmed 1878–1882 and making his presence felt right across the diocese. Even many nonconformists (after initial opposition) were won over by Ernest's tactful approach, and his DNB entry compares his work there to W. F. Hook's work in Leeds in the previous generation.

Bishop of Chichester

He was translated to Chichester on 16 January 1896, however, his health affected by his unflagging work in Newcastle, though there he found a number of ritualistic Anglican churches on the Sussex coast under fire from evangelicals from 1898 onwards. This culminated in a judgment from Lambeth against the use of incense and processional lights in 1899, with which Wilberforce persuaded five of the nine ritualist incumbents in Chichester diocese to comply. Attempting to protect the four others from prosecution and defending their work in the evidence he gave as a witness in front of the 1905 royal commission on ecclesiastical discipline (at which he also brought criticism to bear on what he saw as the evangelicals' prejudice and inaccurate claims), he tried to avoid the division and rancorousness he saw as results of the 1874 Public Worship Regulation Act and ensuing imprisonments and legal proceedings, despite having little personal investment in ritualism.

The Public Worship Regulation Act 1874 (37 & 38 Vict. c.85) was an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom, introduced as a Private Member's Bill by Archbishop of Canterbury Archibald Campbell Tait, to limit what he perceived as the growing ritualism of Anglo-Catholicism and the Oxford Movement within the Church of England.

-- Public Worship Regulation Act 1874, by Wikipedia

He was also still active in other areas, having his work for the temperance movement recognised in 1896 by becoming chairman of the Church of England Temperance Society and in 1904 (at the age of 64) joining the 'mission of help' to southern Africa (aimed at reconciliation after the South African War). Following a short illness Wilberforce died in 1907 on the Isle of Wight and was buried at Westhampnett, near Chichester, on 14 September. Emily survived him and died 17 July 1941.[1]


1. Descendants of William Wilberforce MP
• ODNB entry
• J. B. Atlay, The life of the Rt. Revd. Ernest Roland Wilberforce (1912)
• Burke's Peerage
• Arthur Rawson Ashwell and Reginald Garton Wilberforce, Life of the Right Reverend Samuel Wilberforce … with selections from his diary and correspondence, 3 vols. (1880–82)
• Chronicle of Convocation (Feb 1908)
• Royal commission on ecclesiastical discipline: minutes of evidence, Parl. papers (1906), 34.173–84, Cd 3071
• Church Times (13 September 1907)
• The Guardian (11 September 1907)
• Temperance Chronicle (13 September 1907)
• The Gladstone Diaries: with cabinet minutes and prime-ministerial correspondence, ed. M. R. D. Foot and H. C. G. Matthew, 14 vols. (1968–94)

External links

• Works by or about Ernest Wilberforce at Internet Archive
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 07, 2020 2:18 am

General Federation of Women's Clubs
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/6/20

General Federation of Women's Clubs
Founded 1890
Headquarters Washington, D.C.

The General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC), founded in 1890 during the Progressive Movement, is a federation of over 3,000 women's clubs in the United States which promote civic improvements through volunteer service. Many of its activities and service projects are done independently by local clubs through their communities or GFWC's national partnerships. GFWC maintains nearly 70,000 members[1] throughout the United States and internationally. GFWC remains one of the world's largest and oldest nonpartisan, nondenominational, women's volunteer service organizations.[2]


The GFWC was founded by Jane Cunningham Croly, a leading New York journalist. In 1868 she helped found the Sorosis club for professional women. It was the model for the nationwide GFWC in 1890.

Federation Of Women's Clubs, D.C. Leaders Of Delegation To White House, 1914: Mrs. Ellis Logan; Mrs. H.W. Wiley; Miss E. Shippen; Mrs. R.C. Darr; Miss M. McNeilan

In 1889 Mrs. Croly organized a conference in New York that brought together delegates from 61 women's clubs. The women formed a permanent organization in 1890 with Charlotte Emerson Brown as its first president.[3] In 1901 it was granted a charter by Congress. Dietz proclaimed, "We look for unity, but unity in diversity" and that became the GFWC motto. Southern white women played a central role in the early years.[4]

Local women's clubs initially joined the General Federation directly but later came into membership through state federations that began forming in 1892. The GFWC also counts international clubs among its members.

In 1900, the GFWC met in Milwaukee, and Josephine Ruffin, a black journalist, tried to attend as a representative of three Boston organizations – the New Era Club, the New England Woman's Club and the New England Woman's Press Club. Southern women led by president Rebecca Douglas Lowe, a Georgia native, told Ruffin that she could be seated as an honorary representative of the two white clubs but would not seat a black club. She refused on principle and was excluded from the proceedings. These events became known as "The Ruffin Incident" and were widely covered in newspapers around the country, most of whom supported Ruffin.[5][6][7]

In a time when women's rights were limited the State Federation chapters held grassroots efforts to make sure the woman's voice was heard. Through monthly group meetings, to annual charter meetings, women of influential status within their communities could have their feelings heard. They were able to meet with state officials in order to have a say in community events. Until the right to vote was granted, these women's clubs were the best outlet for women to be heard and taken seriously.

Women's clubs spread very rapidly after 1890, taking up some of the slack left by the decline of the WCTU and the temperance movement. Local clubs at first were mostly reading groups focused on literature, but increasingly became civic improvement organizations of middle-class women meeting in each other's homes weekly. The clubs avoided controversial issues that would divide the membership, especially religion and the prohibition issue. In the South and East, suffrage was also highly divisive, while there was little resistance to it among clubwomen in the West. In the Midwest, clubwomen had first avoided the suffrage issue out of caution, but after 1900 increasingly came to support it.[8]

GFWC clubwomen outside N Street headquarters, Washington DC, ca.1920s

Representative activities

Historian Paige Meltzer puts the GFWC in the context of the Progressive Movement, arguing that its policies:

built on Progressive-era strategies of municipal housekeeping. During the Progressive era, female activists used traditional constructions of womanhood, which imagined all women as mothers and homemakers, to justify their entrance into community affairs: as "municipal housekeepers," they would clean up politics, cities, and see after the health and wellbeing of their neighbors. Donning the mantle of motherhood, female activists methodically investigated their community's needs and used their "maternal" expertise to lobby, create, and secure a place for themselves in an emerging state welfare bureaucracy, best illustrated perhaps by clubwoman Julia Lathrop's leadership in the US Children's Bureau. As part of this tradition of maternal activism, the Progressive-era General Federation supported a range of causes from the pure food and drug administration to public health care for mothers and children to a ban on child labor, each of which looked to the state to help implement their vision of social justice.[9]

Kansas was a representative state, as the women's clubs joined with local chapters of the WCTU and other organizations to deal with social issues. The clubs continued to feature discussions of current literature, culture, and civic events, but they also broadened to include public schools, local parks, sanitation, prostitution, and protection of children.[10]

Paula Watson has shown that across the country the clubs supported the local Carnegie public library, as well as traveling libraries for rural areas. They promoted state legislation to fund and support libraries, especially to form library extension programs. GFWC affiliates worked with the American Library Association, state library associations, and state library commissions and gave critical support to library education programs at the universities.[11]

Many clubs were especially concerned with uplifting the neglected status of American Indians. They brought John Collier into the forefront of the debate when they appointed him the research agent for the Indian Welfare Committee in 1922. The GFWC took a leadership role in opposing assimilation policies, supporting the return of Indian lands, and promoting more religious and economic independence.[12] For example, Southwestern clubs help support the Museum of Northern Arizona (MNA) and became advocates and consumers for authentic Native American arts and crafts.[13] Even more important, in Western states GFWC affiliates cooperated with Collier when he served (1933–45) as the New Deal's Commissioner for Indian affairs, in his campaign to reverse federal policies designed to assimilate Indians into the national culture.

In May 1925 Edith Brake West conducted a survey of county organizations which was recognized by the National Federation of Women's Clubs. For the first time in the history of federated clubs the actual accomplishment and the organization of these bodies were set forth. [14]

The membership peaked at 850,000 in 16,000 clubs in 1955, and has declined to about 70,000 in the 21st century as middle-class women have moved into the public mainstream. During the Cold War era the GFWC promoted the theme that American women had a unique ability to preserve world peace while strengthening the nation internally through local, national, and international community activism.[15] The remaining 70,000 members are older now, and have less influence in national affairs.[16] The affiliated clubs in every state and more than a dozen countries work locally:

to support the arts, preserve natural resources, advance education, promote healthy lifestyles, encourage civic involvement, and work toward world peace and understanding.[17]

In 2009, GFWC members raised over $39 million on behalf of more than 110,000 projects, and volunteered more than 4.1 million hours in the communities where they live and work.[18]

Notable clubwomen

• Annette Abbott Adams, chairman of Legislation, California Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Jane Addams (1860–1935)
• Effie Adelaide Payne Austin, State Trustee of the California Federation of Women's Clubs[20]
• Edith Vosburgh Alvord (1875-1962)[21]
• Helen Bagg, for several years served as chairman of Literature for Illinois Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Alice Barnett, Southern District chairman, California Fed. of Women's Clubs, for Motion Pictures; local chairman of Motion Pictures; president of San Bernardino Women's Club[19]
• Annie Little Barry, Served for many years as State Parliamentarian of the California Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Mary Lathrop Benton, Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Mariana Bertola, General Federation Director and President of the California Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Edythe Mitchell Bissell, President, San Luis Obispo County Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Fannie Jean Black, chairman of the Press Department of the California Federation of Women's clubs[22]
• C. Louise Boehringer, Arizona Federation[19]
• Harriet Bossnot, first vicepresident of the Montana Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Leah Belle Kepner Boyce, Press Chairman of California Federation of Women's Clubs, Member Western Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Esto Broughton, State chairman of California Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Clementine Cordelia Berry Buchwalter (1843-1912)
• Clara Bradley Burdette, First president of California Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Nellie T. Bush, member of State Legislative Commission, Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Mary Ryerson Butin, district chairman of Public Welfare, for California Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Grace Richardson Butterfield, President, City and County Fed. of Women's Clubs of San Francisco, State and District chairman of Junior membership, California Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Vera McKenna Clayton, Santa Cruz Woman's Club[19]
• R. Belle Colver, Woman's Club of Spokane[19]
• Inez Mabel Crawford, First president of Ottawa Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Jane Cunningham Croly (1829–1901)
• Katherine Davis Cumberson, member of State Executive Board, California Fed. Women's Clubs, for 6 years chairman of its Committee of International Relations, founder and honorary president Lake County Fed. Women's Clubs[19]
• Ellen Curtis Demorest (1824–1898)
• Nina F. Diefenbach, Ventura County Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Sophia Julia Coleman Douglas, founder and first president of the Federation of Women's Clubs for Oklahoma and Indian Territories (1898)[23]
• Saidie Orr Dunbar, Oregon State and National Organization of Women's Clubs, elected President of the (National) General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC) in 1938[19]
• Mary Elizabeth Downey (1872-1949)
• Freda Ehmann, Active in Women's Clubs affairs[19]
• Augusta Louise Eraser, president, San Diego County Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Oda Faulconer, State Chairman of American Citizenship of the California Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Harrye R. P. Smith Forbes, For twelve years was State or District Chairman of California History and Landmarks Dept. for California Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Abigail Keasey Frankel, President of the State Federation of Women's Clubs. She was member of the Board of the Missouri Federation of Women's Clubs and President of the 8th District of the Missouri Federation. She was the President of the Portland Woman's Club and the chairman of the finance of the Woman's Building association[19]
• Lizzie Crozier French (1851–1926)
• Laura E. Frenger, organized the State (New Mexico) Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Thora B. Gardiner, President of the Oregon City Women's Club[19]
• Anna Boley Garner, served 6 years on State Board of Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Mary E. Gartin, President of Stanislaus County Fed. of Women's Clubs; for 3 years president of Modesto Woman's Club[19]
• Mabel Barnett Gates, in 1915 Gates represented Ebell Club at the 14th annual California Federation of Women's Club in San Francisco[24]
• Dale Pickett Gay, President of Wyoming Federation of Women's Clubs and she was active in all club work[19]
• Esther Rainbolt Goodrich, served in many offices in California Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Annie Sawyer Green, President, California Fed. of Women's Clubs, Has held several high offices in Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Harriet A. Haas, On Speakers' Bureau of County Fed. of Women's Clubs and Community Chest[19]
• Sharlot Mabridth Hall, Women's Clubs of Arizona[19]
• Ceil Doyle Hamilton, president of City and County Fed. of Women's Clubs of San Francisco[19]
• Susie Prentice Hartzell, secretary of San Joaquin Valley District Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Fanny G. Hazlett, in 1932 was presented with a certificate by the General Federation of Women's Club for being the oldest American born mother in the state of Nevada[25]
• Maude B. Helmond, For six years was Child Welfare Chairman for Federated Women's Clubs of Alameda District during which time she was instrumental in establishing Well Baby Clinics in the schools[19]
• Una B. Herrick, Member[19]
• Ada Waite Hildreth, San Diego County and Southern District Chairman, Indian welfare, California Fed. of Women's Clubs, Second Vice-President, San Diego County Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Etha Izora Dawley Holden, From 1925–27, auditor of California Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Dorothy D. Houghton (1890-1972)
• Julia Ward Howe (1819–1910)
• Grace Youmans Hudson, Chairman of Community Service, Los Angeles District, California Fed. of Women's Clubs, Member Women's Club of South Pasadena[19]
• Jane Denio Hutchison, president of Tri County Fed. of Women's Clubs, Auditor, Northern District Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Vernettie O. Ivy, president, Central Arizona District Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Christine A. Jacobsen, Council of International Relations, California Fed. of Women's Clubs[19]
• Lotta Hetler James, chairman Child Welfare, San Joaquin Valley and State Fed. Women's Clubs, chairman, Resolution Committee, State Fed. Women's Clubs[19]
• Kate Wetzel Jameson, member[19]
• May Mann Jennings (1872–1963)
• Hope Pyburn Johnson, for 2 terms District chairman, Public Health, California Fed. Women's Clubs[19]
• Edith O. Kitt, Tucson Woman's Club (president), Southern Arizona District Federation Women's Clubs (president), Arizona State Federation Women's Clubs (president)[19]
• Nannie S. Brown Kramer, organizer, vice-president and chairman of the Oakland Women's City Club; this club had three thousand members and erected a new building which cost $600,000.00[19]
• Bertha Ethel Knight Landes (1868–1943)
• Julia Lathrop (1858–1932)
• Jeanette Lawrence, State Chairman of Literature of the California Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Nancy A. Leatherwood, president of Utah Federation of Women's Clubs and Director for Utah of the General Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Mab Copland Lineman, State Chairman of Law for the Business and Insurance California Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Georgina G. Marriott, Utah Federation[19]
• Edith Bolte MacCracken, president of the District Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Laura Adrienne MacDonald, president of Tonopah Woman's Club[19]
• Olive Dickerson McHugh, President of the Federated Woman's Club of Mullen[19]
• Ruth Karr McKee, Washington State Federarion of Women's Clubs and Director of the General Federation[19]
• Jane Brunson Marks, served as Philanthropic Chairman of Woman's Club of Burbank and was the President of Woman's Club of Burbank from 1927 to 1928 and reelected from 1928 to 1929[19]
• Eva Perry Moore (1852–1931)
• Evelyn Williams Moulton, president of the Wilshire Woman's Club and the Dean Club of Southern California[19]
• Jacqueline Noel, served as chairperson to the Division of Literature at the Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Virginia Keating Orton, vice-president of Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Fannie Brown Patrick, president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs of Nevada[19]
• Mary Gray Peck, chair, Drama Sub-Committee of the Committee on Literature and Library Extension in the General Federation.[26]
• Phebe Nebeker Peterson, vice-president of the State Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Grace Gimmini Potts, chairman of Literature and Drama for the California Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Lois Randolph, State Chairman of Americanization under the New Mexico Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Edith Dolan Riley, chair of the Motion Picture Committee of the Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs[27]
• Lallah Rookh White Rockwell, member of the State Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Eleanor Roosevelt (1884–1962)
• Margaret Wheeler Ross, president Arizona Fed. Women's Clubs[19]
• Nellie Tayloe Ross (1876–1977)
• Fannie Forbis Russel, one of the pioneer women of the state of Montana, was active in organizing and building the local Woman's Club[19]
• Mary Belle King Sherman (1862–1935)
• Margaret Chase Smith (1897–1995)
• Mary Jane Spurlin, president of the Portland Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Helen Norton Stevens, editor of the official bulletin of the Washington State Federation of Women's Clubs and chairman of Civic Department of the Seattle Woman's Club[19]
• Emily Jean Crimson Thatcher, president of the U. A. C. Woman's Club[19]
• Frances F. Threadgill, first president of the Oklahoma State Federation of Women's Clubs (1909), Treasurer GFWC (1910-1912)[28]
• Catherine E. Van Valkenburg, State Chairman of Music of the Idaho Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Edith Brake West, From 1911 to 1914, president of the Nevada Federation of Women's Clubs, and from 1918 to 1920 she was director from Nevada of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. She was vice-chairman of the Junior Memberships of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. She was the life secretary of the Presidents of 1912 of the General Federation of Women's Clubs. She compiled a collection of Nevada Poems for the Nevada Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Laura Lyon White (1839–1916)
• Gertrude B. Wilder, president of the San Bernardino County Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Frances Willard (1839–1898)
• Jane Frances Winn, one of the founders of the Century Club in Chillicothe, Ohio[29]
• Alice Ames Winter, national president of the GFWC[30]
• Belle Wood-Comstock, chairman of Public Health at the Los Angeles District of California Federation of Womn's Clubs[19]
• Orpha Woods Foster, president of the Ventura County Federation of Women's Clubs[19]
• Ellen S. Woodward (1887–1971)
• Valeria Brinton Young, member of the Executive Board of the State Federation of Women's Clubs[19]

See also

• Anchorage Woman's Club
• Casa Grande Woman's Club
• Federation of Women's Clubs for Oklahoma and Indian Territories
• General Federation of Women’s Clubs of South Carolina
• Glendale Woman's Club
• Mississippi Federation of Women's Clubs
• National Association of Colored Women's Clubs
• Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
• Ossoli Circle
• Women's club movement
• Woman's Club of Olympia
• Women's Institute
• Women-only space


1. "Who We Are". Retrieved 22 January 2015.
2. Blair 1998
3. "Charlotte Emerson Brown - American clubwoman". Encyclopædia Britannica.
4. General Federation of Women's Clubs (1910). Biennial of the General Federation of Women's Clubs: Official Proceedings. ... .no. p. 446.
5. Mary Jane Smith, "The Fight to Protect Race and Regional Identity within the General Federation of Women's Clubs, 1895-1902." Georgia Historical Quarterly (2010): 479-513 in JSTOR
6. "Race Discrimination", Congregationalist 85:24, 1900 June 14.
7. "Color-Line in Women's Clubs", Congregationalist 86:6, 1901 February 9
8. Stephen M. Buechler, The Transformation of the Woman Suffrage Movement: The Case of Illinois, 1850-1920 (1986) pp 154-57
9. Paige Meltzer, "The Pulse and Conscience of America" The General Federation and Women's Citizenship, 1945-1960," Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies (2009), Vol. 30 Issue 3, p52-76. online
10. June O. Underwood, "Civilizing Kansas: Women's Organizations, 1880-1920," Kansas History (1984) 7#4 pp 291-306.
11. Paula D. Watson, "Founding mothers: The contribution of women's organizations to public library development in the United States." Library Quarterly (1994) pp: 233-269 in JSTOR.
12. Karin L. Huebner, "An Unexpected Alliance: Stella Atwood, the California Clubwomen, John Collier, and the Indians of the Southwest, 1917–1934," Pacific Historical Review (2009) 78#3 pp: 337-366 in JSTOR
13. Jennifer McLerran, "Clubwomen, Curators and Traders," American Indian Art Magazine (2011) 36#4 pp 54-92
14. "28 May 1925, Thu". Oakland Tribune: 47. 1925. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
15. Meltzer, "The Pulse and Conscience of America" The General Federation and Women's Citizenship, 1945-1960,"
16. Blair, 1998
17. From the GFWC Website Archived 2014-10-20 at the Wayback Machine
18. "GFWC 2009-2010 Annual Report" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-04-09.
19. Binheim, Max; Elvin, Charles A (1928). Women of the West; a series of biographical sketches of living eminent women in the eleven western states of the United States of America. Retrieved 8 August 2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
20. Fletcher, Russell Holmes (1943). Who's who in California. Who's Who Pub. Co. Retrieved 17 September 2017.
21. Morris-Crowther, Jayne (2013). The Political Activities of Detroit Clubwomen in the 1920s: A Challenge and a Promise. Wayne State University Press. p. 127. ISBN 9780814338162.
22. Detwiler, Justice Brown (1929). Who's who in California : a biographical directory, 1928-29. Who's Who Publishing Co. p. 74. Retrieved 11 September 2017.
23. Wilson, Linda D. "Douglas, Sophia Julia Coleman". The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
24. "Ebell Club Delegates - 02 May 1915, Sun • Page 21". The Los Angeles Times: 21. 1915. Retrieved 25 September2017.
25. "Mrs. Hazlett's Funeral is Tomorrow - 05 Apr 1933, Wed • Page 2". Reno Gazette-Journal: 2. 1933. Retrieved 1 October 2017.
26. John W. Leonard (1914). Woman's Who's who of America: A Biographical Dictionary of Contemporary Women of the United States and Canada, 1914-1915. American commonwealth Company. pp. 633–.
27. "Edith Dolan Riley papers, 1876-1965". Retrieved 3 October 2017.
28. Humphrey, Carol Sue. "Threadgill, Frances Falwell". The Encyclopedia of Oklahoma History and Culture. Retrieved 8 October 2018.
29. Johnson, Anne (1914). Notable women of St. Louis, 1914. St. Louis, Woodward. p. 250. Retrieved 17 August2017. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
30. "GFWC International Past Presidents". GFWC. Retrieved December 28, 2017.

Further reading

• Blair, Karen J. "General Federation of Women's Clubs," in Wilma Mankiller et al. eds., The Readers Companion to U.S. Women's History (1998) p 242
• Croly, Jane Cunningham (1898). The History of the Woman's Club Movement in America. H. G. Allen & Company. pp. 1184.
• Houde, Mary Jean. Reaching Out: A Story of the General Federation of Women's Clubs (Washington, DC: General Federation of Women's Clubs, 1989). ISBN 978-0-916371-08-1
• Meltzer, Paige. "The Pulse and Conscience of America" The General Federation and Women's Citizenship, 1945–1960," Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies (2009), Vol. 30 Issue 3, p52-76. online
• White, Kristin Kate, "Training a Nation: The General Federation of Women's Clubs' Rhetorical Education and American Citizenship, 1890–1930" (PhD dissertation, Ohio State University, 2010). DA3429649.

External links

• General Federation of Women's Clubs


• GFWC Atlanta Woman's Club
• GFWC California
• GFWC Connecticut
• GFWC Florida
• GFWC Georgia
• GFWC Iowa
• GFWC Kentucky
• GFWC Maryland
• GFWC Massachusetts
• GFWC Mississippi
• GFWC New Hampshire
• GFWC New Jersey
• GFWC New York
• GFWC North Carolina
• GFWC Ohio
• GFWC Pennsylvania
• GFWC Rhode Island
• GFWC South Carolina
• GFWC Texas
• GFWC Virginia
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 07, 2020 3:34 am

David C. Cook
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/6/20

David C. Cook
Founded: 1875
Founde:r David Caleb Cook
Country of origin: United States
Headquarters location: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Publication types: Books
Imprints: Kingsway, Gospel Light, Standard Publishing
Official website:

David C. Cook is an American nonprofit Christian publisher based in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It was founded as a provider of Sunday school curriculum and remains a major publisher of such materials. It also publishes fiction and nonfiction books and distributes supporting materials like toys and games. Its best selling authors include Francis Chan, Gary Thomas, and J. Warner Wallace. For many years it published a Christian comic book, Sunday Pix, with stories about the adventures of Christian heroes in many different eras and in many parts of the world.


An author and leader in the American Sunday school movement, David Caleb Cook, established the company in Chicago, Illinois, in 1875.[1] He was motivated to provide affordable educational materials for children who had been left homeless in the Great Chicago fire.[2]

Cook, who worked as a printer's devil in his father's print shop and as a volunteer in Sunday schools around Chicago, adjudged that most available Sunday school literature "suffered from either loose theology or poor design."[3] With his wife, Marguerite, he established a newspaper, Our Sunday School Gem, to meet the need for good Sunday school literature before starting his eponymous publishing company. As the twentieth century began, the company moved to larger facilities in suburban Elgin. By the 1920s, the company produced more than 50 titles and had an annual circulation of two million.[3]

The company moved its headquarters from Elgin to Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 1995.[4] It did business under the name "Cook Communications Ministries" before reverting to "David C Cook" in 2007.[5]


David C Cook acquired Kingsway in 1993, Scripture Press/Victor Books in 1996, and Integrity Music in 2011.[6][7]

In 2015, David C Cook acquired assets from Gospel Light and Standard Publishing, including the Gospel Light Curriculum line, The Standard Lesson Commentary, HeartShaper, and Route 52 Curriculum from Standard, among other products. This acquisition positioned David C Cook as the second largest Sunday School curriculum publisher in the world, behind LifeWay Christian Resources.[8][9]

In 2016, David C Cook Canada was bought by management and merged with Augsburg Fortress Canada. It is now known as Parasource Marketing & Distribution.[10]


David C Cook is a nonprofit publisher that uses the proceeds from its sales for global ministry. The David C Cook Foundation was founded in 1942 by Francis Kerr Cook “to aid and promote the work of religious education without profit to any person or group.”[2] The projects of the foundation include providing the Life on Life curriculum and the Action Bible, translated into local languages, for children's ministry use around the world.[2]


1. Balmer, Randall (2002). "Cook, David C. (1850-1927)". Encyclopedia of Evangelicalism. Louisville: Westminster John Knox.
2. "About". David Caleb Cook Foundation. Retrieved 2019-05-03.
3. ""Religion…Is Our Business:" Religious Workers and Religious Work at the David C. Cook Publishing Company". PracticalMattersJournal. 2017-03-08. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
4. Heilman, Wayne; Telegraph, Gazette (1993-10-02). "Companies to bring in 650 jobs/ Publisher, IBM subsidiary announce plans for Springs". Colorado Springs Gazette - Telegraph; Colorado Springs, Colo. Colorado Springs, Colo., United States, Colorado Springs, Colo. pp. –1. Retrieved 2019-01-19.
5. "David C Cook: Private Company Information - Bloomberg". Retrieved 2019-05-03.
6. February 5; 1996. "Cook Purchases Scripture Press". Retrieved 2019-01-19.
7. David C Cook Acquires Integrity Music Archived 2013-01-03 at HM Magazine, June 2011.
8. "David C Cook Acquires Gospel Light Curriculum". David C. Cook. Archived from the original on 2017-03-30. Retrieved 2017-03-29.
9. Johnson, Christine D. "David C Cook acquires Standard Publishing resources".
10. "Parasource". Retrieved 2016-09-26.

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Part 1 of 2

Franz von Papen
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/6/20

Franz von Papen
Papen in 1933
Chancellor of Germany
In office
30th May 1932 – 17 November 1932
President Paul von Hindenburg
Preceded by Heinrich Brüning
Succeeded by Kurt von Schleicher
Vice-Chancellor of Germany
In office
30 January 1933 – 7 August 1934
Chancellor Adolf Hitler
Preceded by Hermann Dietrich
Succeeded by Franz Blücher (1949)
Reichskomissar of Prussia
In office
20 July 1932 – 3 December 1932
Preceded by Otto Braun
Succeeded by Kurt von Schleicher
In office
30 January 1933 – 10 April 1933
Preceded by Kurt von Schleicher
Succeeded by Hermann Göring
Personal details
Born Franz Joseph Hermann Michael Maria von Papen, Erbsälzer zu Werl und Neuwerk
29 October 1879
Werl, Westphalia, Prussia, Germany
Died 2 May 1969 (aged 89)
Sasbach, Baden-Württemberg, West Germany
Resting place Wallerfangen, Saarland, Germany
Political party Zentrum (1918–1932)
Independent (1932–1938)
National Socialist German Workers' (1938–1945)
Spouse(s) Martha von Boch-Galhau
(m. 1905; died 1961)
Children 5
Alma mater Prussian Military Academy
Profession Diplomat, military officer
Military service
Allegiance German Empire
Branch/service Imperial German Army
Years of service 1898–1919
Rank Lieutenant-colonel
Battles/wars World War I
Western Front
Battle of the Somme
Battle of Vimy Ridge
Middle Eastern theatre
Sinai and Palestine Campaign
Iron Cross, 1st Class
War Merit Cross

Franz Joseph Hermann Michael Maria von Papen, Erbsälzer zu Werl und Neuwerk (German: [fɔn ˈpaːpn̩] (About this soundlisten); 29 October 1879 – 2 May 1969) generally known as Franz von Papen, was a German conservative politician, diplomat, nobleman and General Staff officer. He served as Chancellor of Germany in 1932 and as Vice-Chancellor under Adolf Hitler in 1933 and 1934.

Born into a wealthy family of Westphalian Roman Catholic aristocrats, Papen served in the Imperial German Army from 1898 onward and was trained as a German General Staff officer. He served as military attaché in Mexico and the United States from 1913 to 1915, organising acts of sabotage in the United States and financing Mexican forces in the Mexican Revolution. After being expelled from the United States in 1915, he served as a battalion commander on the Western Front of World War I and finished his war service in the Middle Eastern theatre as a lieutenant colonel.

Appointed Chancellor in 1932 by President Paul von Hindenburg, Papen ruled by presidential decree. He negotiated the end of reparations at the Lausanne Conference of 1932. He launched the Preußenschlag coup against the Social Democratic government of the Free State of Prussia. His failure to secure a base of support in the Reichstag led to his dismissal by Hindenburg and replacement by General Kurt von Schleicher. Determined to return to power, Papen, believing that Hitler could be controlled once he was in the government, persuaded Hindenburg into appointing Hitler as Chancellor and Papen as Vice-Chancellor in 1933 in a cabinet ostensibly not under Nazi Party domination. With military dictatorship the only alternative to Nazi rule, Hindenburg consented. Papen and his allies were quickly marginalized by Hitler and he left the government after the Night of the Long Knives in 1934, during which the Nazis killed some of his confidants. Subsequently, Papen served as an ambassador of Germany in Vienna from 1934 to 1938 and in Ankara from 1939 to 1944.

After the Second World War, Papen was indicted in the Nuremberg trials of war criminals before the International Military Tribunal but was acquitted of all charges. In 1947 a West German denazification court found Papen to have acted as a main culprit to crimes. Papen was given an eight-year hard labour prison sentence but he was released on appeal in 1949. Papen's memoirs were published in 1952 and 1953, and he died in 1969.

Early life and education

Papen was born into a wealthy and noble Roman Catholic family in Werl, Westphalia, the third child of Friedrich von Papen-Köningen (1839–1906) and his wife Anna Laura von Steffens (1852–1939)[1]

Papen was sent to a cadet school in Bensberg of his own volition at the age of 11 in 1891. His four years there were followed by three years of training at Prussian Main Military academy in Lichterfelde. He was trained as a Herrenreiter ("gentleman rider").[1] He served for a period as a military attendant in the Kaiser's Palace and as a second lieutenant in his father's old unit, the Westphalian Uhlan Regiment No. 5 in Düsseldorf. Papen joined the German General Staff as a captain in March 1913.

He married Martha von Boch-Galhau (1880–1961) on 3 May 1905. Papen's wife was the daughter of a wealthy Saarland industrialist whose dowry made him a very rich man.[2] An excellent horseman and a man of much charm, Papen cut a dashing figure and during this time, befriended Kurt von Schleicher.[2] Papen was proud of his family's having been granted hereditary rights since 1298 to mine brine salt at Werl. He always believed in the superiority of the aristocracy over commoners.[3] Fluent in both French and English, he travelled widely all over Europe, the Middle East and North America.[2] He was devoted to Kaiser Wilhelm II.[4] Influenced by the books of General Friedrich von Bernhardi, Papen was a militarist throughout his life.[4]

Military attaché in Washington, DC

He entered the diplomatic service in December 1913 as a military attaché to the German ambassador in the United States. In early 1914 he travelled to Mexico (to which he was also accredited) and observed the Mexican Revolution. At one time, when the anti-Huerta Zapatistas were advancing on Mexico City, Papen organised a group of European volunteers to fight for Mexican General Victoriano Huerta.[5] In the spring of 1914, as German military attaché to Mexico, Papen was deeply involved in selling arms to the government of General Huerta, believing he could place Mexico in the German sphere of influence, though the collapse of Huerta's regime in July 1914 ended that hope.[6] In April 1914, Papen personally observed the United States occupation of Veracruz when the US seized the city of Veracruz, despite orders from Berlin to stay in Mexico City.[7] During his time in Mexico, Papen acquired the love of international intrigue and adventure that characterised his later diplomatic postings in the United States, Austria and Turkey.[7] On 30 July 1914, Papen arrived in Washington, DC from Mexico to take up his post as German military attaché to the United States.[8]

Von Papen as the German Military Attaché for Washington, DC in 1915

During the First World War, he tried to buy weapons in the United States for his country, but the UK's blockade made shipping arms to Germany almost impossible.[9] On 22 August 1914, Papen hired US private detective Paul Koeing, based in New York City, to conduct a sabotage and bombing campaign against businesses in New York owned by citizens from the Allied nations.[10] Papen, who was given an unlimited fund of cash to draw on by Berlin, attempted to block the UK, French and Russian governments from buying war supplies in the United States.[9] Papen set up a front company that tried to preclusively purchase every hydraulic press in the US for the next two years to limit artillery shell production by US firms with contracts with the Allies.[9] To enable German citizens living in the Americas to go home to Germany, Papen set up an operation in New York to forge US passports.[10]

Starting in September 1914, Papen abused his diplomatic immunity as German military attaché and US neutrality to start organising plans for an invasion of Canada, as well as a campaign of sabotage against canals, bridges and railroads.[11] In October 1914, Papen became involved in the Hindu–German Conspiracy, when he contacted anti-UK Indian nationalists living in California, and arranged for weapons to be handed over to them.[12] In February 1915, he organised the Vanceboro international bridge bombing, while his diplomatic immunity protected him from arrest.[13] At the same time, he was involved in plans to restore Huerta to power, arranging for the arming and financing of the planned invasion of Mexico.[14]

Papen's activities were known to UK intelligence, which shared its information with the US government.[15] As a result he was expelled from the United States for complicity in the planning of acts of sabotage.[16] On 28 December 1915, he was declared persona non grata after his exposure and was recalled to Germany.[17] Upon his return, he was given the Iron Cross.

Papen remained involved in plots in the Americas as he contacted in February 1916 the Mexican Colonel Gonzalo Enrile, living in Cuba, in an attempt to arrange German support for Félix Díaz, the would-be strongman of Mexico.[18] Papen also served as an intermediary between the Irish Volunteers and the German government regarding the purchase and delivery of arms to be used against the UK during the Easter Rising of 1916, as well as serving as an intermediary with Indian nationalists. In April 1916, a US federal grand jury issued an indictment against Papen for a plot to blow up Canada's Welland Canal; he remained under indictment until he became Chancellor of Germany, at which time the charges were dropped.[17]

Army service in World War I

As a Roman Catholic, Papen belonged to the Zentrum, the right of the center party that almost all German Catholics supported, but during the course of the war, the nationalist conservative Papen became estranged from his party.[19] Papen disapproved of Matthias Erzberger, whose efforts to pull the Zentrum to the left, he was opposed to and regarded the Reichstag Peace Resolution of 19 July 1917 as almost treason.[19]

Later in World War I, Papen returned to the army on active service, first on the Western Front. In 1916 Papen took command of the 2nd Reserve Battalion of the 93rd Regiment of the 4th Guards Infantry Division fighting in Flanders.[20] On 22 August 1916 Papen's battalion took heavy losses while successfully resisting a UK attack during the Battle of the Somme.[21] Between November 1916–February 1917, Papen's battalion was engaged in almost continuous heavy fighting.[22] He was awarded the Iron Cross, 1st Class. On 11 April 1917, Papen fought at Vimy Ridge, where his battalion was defeated with heavy losses by the Canadian Corps.[22]

After Vimy, Papen asked for a transfer to the Middle East, which was approved.[22] From June 1917 Papen served as an officer on the General Staff in the Middle East, and then as an officer attached to the Ottoman army in Palestine.[22] During his time in the Ottoman Empire, Papen was in "the know" about the Armenian genocide, which did not appear to have morally troubled him at all either at the time or later in his life.[23] During his time in Constantinople, Papen befriended Joachim von Ribbentrop. Between October–December 1917, Papen took part in the heavy fighting in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign.[24] Promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel, he returned to Germany and left the army soon after the armistice which halted the fighting in November 1918.

After the Turks signed an armistice with the Allies on 30 October 1918, the German Asia Corps was ordered home, and Papen was in the mountains at Karapunar when he heard on 11 November 1918 that the war was over.[24] The new republic ordered soldier's councils to be organised in the German Army, including the Asian corps, which General Otto Liman von Sanders attempted to obey, and which Papen refused to obey.[25] Sanders ordered Papen arrested for his insubordination, which caused Papen to leave his post without permission as he fled to Germany in civilian clothing to personally meet Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, who had the charges dropped.[26]

Catholic politician

After leaving the German Army in the spring of 1919, Papen purchased a country estate, the Haus Merfeld, living the life of a "gentleman farmer" in Dülmen.[27] In April 1920, during the Communist uprising in the Ruhr, Papen took command of a Freikorps unit to protect Roman Catholicism from the "Red marauders".[28] Impressed with his leadership of his Freikorps unit, Papen decided to pursue a career in politics.[29] In the fall of 1920, the president of the Westphalian Farmer's Association, Baron Engelbert von Kerkerinck zur Borg, told Papen his association would campaign for him if he ran for the Prussian Landtag.[30]

Papen entered politics and joined the Centre Party, better known as the Zentrum. The monarchist Papen formed part of the conservative wing of the party that rejected democracy and the Weimar Coalition with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Papen's politics were much closer to the German National People's Party than to the Zentrum, and he seems to have belonged to the Zentrum on the account of his Roman Catholicism and a hope that he could shift his party to the right.[2][31] Papen was a figure of influence in the Zentrum by the virtue of being the largest shareholder and chief of the editorial board in the party's Catholic newspaper Germania, which was the most prestigious of the Catholic papers in Germany.[32][33]

Papen was a member of the Landtag of Prussia from 1921 to 1928 and from 1930 to 1932, representing a rural, Catholic constituency in Westphalia.[34] Papen rarely attended the sessions of the Landtag and never spoke at the meetings during his time as a Landtag deputy.[35] Papen tried to have his name entered into the Zentrum party list for the Reichstag elections of May 1924, but was blocked by the Zentrum's leadership.[36] In February 1925, Papen was one of the six Zentrum deputies in the Landtag who voted with the German National People's Party and the German People's Party against the SPD-Zentrum government.[31] Papen was nearly expelled from the Zentrum for breaking with party discipline in the Landtag.[31] In the 1925 presidential elections, he surprised his party by supporting the right-wing candidate Paul von Hindenburg over Wilhelm Marx. Papen, along with two of his future cabinet ministers, was a member of Arthur Moeller van den Bruck's exclusive Berlin Deutscher Herrenklub (German Gentlemen's Club).[37][38]

In March 1930, Papen welcomed the coming of presidential government.[39] As the presidential government of chancellor Heinrich Brüning depended upon the Social Democrats in the Reichstag to "tolerate" it by not voting to cancel laws passed under Article 48, Papen grew more critical.[39] In a speech before a group of farmers in October 1931, Papen called for Brüning to disallow the SPD and base his presidential government on "tolerance" from the NSDAP instead.[40] Papen demanded that Brüning transform the "concealed dictatorship" of a presidential government into a dictatorship that would unite all of the German right under its banner.[40] In the March–April 1932 German presidential election, Papen voted for Hindenburg on the grounds he was the best man to unite the right, while in the Prussian Landtag's election of speaker of the Landtag, Papen voted for the Nazi Hans Kerrl.[40]


Chancellor Papen (left) with his eventual successor, Minister of Defence Kurt von Schleicher, watching a horse race in Berlin-Karlshorst.

On 1 June 1932, Papen was suddenly lifted to supreme importance when president Hindenburg appointed him Chancellor. Papen owed his appointment to the Chancellorship to General Kurt von Schleicher, an old friend from the pre-war General Staff and influential advisor of President Hindenburg. Schleicher selected Papen because his conservative, aristocratic background and military career was satisfactory to Hindenburg and would create the groundwork for a possible Centre-Nazi coalition.[41] Schleicher, who became Defence Minister, selected the entire cabinet himself.[42] The day before, Papen had promised party chairman Ludwig Kaas he would not accept any appointment. After he broke his pledge, Kaas branded him the "Ephialtes of the Centre Party"; Papen forestalled being expelled from the party by leaving it on 31 May 1932.[37]

The cabinet that Papen formed was known as the "cabinet of barons" or "cabinet of monocles".[43] Papen had little support in the Reichstag; the only parties committed to supporting him was the far-right/national conservative German National People's Party (DNVP) and the Conservative-Liberal German People's Party. The Centre Party would not support Papen because he had backstabbed Brüning.[37] Schleicher's planned Centre-Nazi coalition thus failed to materialize and the Nazis now had little reason to prop up Papen's weak government.[37] Papen grew very close to Hindenburg and first met Adolf Hitler in June 1932.[38][42]

Papen's cabinet (2 June 1932)

Papen consented on 31 May to Hitler's and Hindenburg's agreement of 30 May that the Nazi Party would tolerate Papen's government if fresh elections were called, the Sturmabteilung ban was canceled and the Nazis were granted access to the radio network.[44] As agreed, the Papen government dissolved the Reichstag on 4 June and called a national election by 31 July 1932, in the hope that the Nazis would win the largest number of seats in the Reichstag, which would allow him the majority he needed to establish an authoritarian government.[35] In a so-called "presidential government", Papen would rule by Article 48, having emergency decrees signed into effect by President Hindenburg.[35] On 16 June 1932, the new government lifted the ban on the SA and the SS, eliminating the last remaining rationale for Nazi support for Papen.[45]

Papen in June 1932.

In June and July 1932 Papen represented Germany at the Lausanne conference where, on 9 July, German reparation obligations were cancelled.[46] Germany had ceased paying reparations in June 1931 under the Hoover moratorium, and most of the groundwork for the Lausanne conference had been done by Brüning, but Papen took the credit for the success.[46] In exchange for cancelling reparations, Germany was supposed to make a one-time payment of 3 million Reichmarks to France, a commitment that Papen repudiated immediately upon his return to Berlin.[46][47]

Through Article 48, Papen enacted economic policies on 4 September that cut the payments offered by the unemployment insurance fund, subjected jobless Germans seeking unemployment insurance to a means test, lowered wages (including those reached by collective bargaining), while arranging tax cuts for corporations and the rich.[48][49] These austerity policies made Papen deeply unpopular with the masses but had the backing of the business elite.[50][51]

Negotiations between the Nazis, the Centre Party and Papen for a new Prussian government began on 8 June but broke down due to the Centre Party's hostility to the party deserter Papen.[45] On 11 July 1932 Papen received the support of the cabinet and the president for a decree allowing the Reich government to take over the Prussian government, which was dominated by the SPD, in a move that was later justified through the rumour that the Social Democrats and the Communist Party of Germany (KPD) were planning a merger.[52][53] The political violence of the so-called Altona Bloody Sunday between Nazis, communists and the police on 17 July, gave Papen his pretext.[54] On 20 July, Papen launched a coup against the SPD coalition government of Prussia in the so-called Preußenschlag. Berlin was put on military shutdown and Papen sent men to arrest the SPD Prussian authorities, whom he accused with no evidence of being in league with the Communists. Hereafter, Papen declared himself commissioner of Prussia by way of another emergency decree that he elicited from Hindenburg, further weakening the democracy of the Weimar Republic.[55] Papen viewed the coup as a gift to the Nazis, who had been informed of it by 9 July, who were now supposed to support his government.[54]

On 23 July, Papen had German representatives walk out of the World Disarmament Conference after the French delegation warned that allowing Germany Gleichberechtigung ("equality of status") in armaments would lead to another world war. Papen announced that the Reich would not return to the conference until the other powers agreed to consider his demand for Gleichberechtigung.[46]

Papen arriving for the Reichstag session of 12 September 1932.

In the Reichstag election of 31 July the Nazis won the largest number of seats. To combat the rise in SA and SS political terrorism that began right after the elections, Papen on 9 August brought in via Article 48 a new law that drastically streamlined the judicial process in death penalty cases while limiting the right of appeal.[56][57] New special courts were also created.[56] A few hours later in the town of Potempa, five SA men killed the Communist labourer Konrad Pietrzuch in the Potempa Murder of 1932.[57] The "Potempa five" were promptly arrested and then convicted and sentenced to death on 23 August by a special court.[58] The Potempa case generated enormous media attention, and on 2 September, Papen in his capacity as Reich Commissioner for Prussia reduced the sentences of the five SA men down to life imprisonment after Hitler made it clear that he would not support Papen's government if they were executed.[59]

On 11 August, the public holiday of Constitution Day, which commemorated the adoption of the Weimar Constitution in 1919, Papen and his Interior Minister Baron Wilhelm von Gayl called a press conference to announce plans for a new constitution that would, in effect, turn Germany into a dictatorship.[60] Two days later, Schleicher and Papen offered Hitler the position of Vice-Chancellor, who rejected it.[61]

Reichstag on September 12, 1932 – Chancellor Papen (stands, left) demands the floor, ignored by Speaker Göring (right)

When the new Reichstag assembled on 12 September, Papen hoped to destroy the growing alliance between the Nazis and the Centre Party.[58] That day at the president's estate in Neudeck, Papen, Schleicher and Gayl obtained in advance from Hindenburg a decree to dissolve parliament, then secured another decree to suspend elections beyond the constitutional 60 days.[58] The Communists made a motion of no confidence in the Papen government.[62] Papen had anticipated this move by the Communists, but been assured that there would be an immediate objection. However, when no one objected, Papen placed the red folder containing the dissolution decree on Reichstag president Hermann Göring's desk. He demanded the floor in order to read it, but Göring pretended not to see him; the Nazis and the Centre Party had decided to support the Communist motion.[63][64][65] The motion carried by 512 votes to 42.[66][67] Realizing that he did not have nearly enough support to go through with his plan to suspend elections, Papen decided to call another election to punish the Reichstag for the vote of no-confidence.[66]

Papen and Schleicher in 1932

On 27 October, the Supreme Court of Germany issued a ruling that Papen's coup deposing the Prussian government was illegal, but allowed Papen to retain his control of Prussia.[68] In November 1932, Papen violated the terms of the Treaty of Versailles by passing an umbau (rebuilding) programme for the German Navy of one aircraft carrier, six battleships, six cruisers, six destroyer flotillas and sixteen U-boats, intended to allow Germany to control both the North Sea and the Baltic.[69]

In the November 1932 election the Nazis lost seats, but Papen was still unable to secure a Reichstag that could be counted on not to pass another vote of no-confidence in his government.[70] Papen's attempt to negotiate with Hitler failed.[71] Under pressure from Schleicher, Papen resigned on 17 November and formed a caretaker government.[70] Papen told his cabinet that he planned to have martial law declared, which would allow him to rule as a dictator.[70] However, at a cabinet meeting on 2 December, Papen was informed by Schleicher's associate General Eugen Ott that Ministry of the Reichswehr war games showed there was no way to maintain order against the Nazis and Communists.[72][73] Realizing that Schleicher was moving to replace him, Papen asked Hindenburg to fire Schleicher as defence minister. Instead, Hindenburg appointed Schleicher as chancellor.[72]

Bringing Hitler to power

After his resignation, Papen regularly visited Hindenburg, missing no opportunity to attack Schleicher in these visits.[74] Schleicher had promised Hindenburg that he would never attack Papen in public when he became Chancellor, but in a bid to distance himself from the very unpopular Papen, Schleicher in a series of speeches in December 1932-January 1933 did just that, upsetting Hindenburg.[75] Papen was embittered by the way his former best friend, Schleicher, had brought him down, and was determined to become Chancellor again.[38] On 4 January 1933, Hitler and Papen met in secret at the banker Baron Kurt Baron von Schröder's house in Cologne to discuss a common strategy against Schleicher.[76]

On 9 January 1933, Papen and Hindenburg agreed to form a new government that would bring in Hitler.[77] On the evening of 22 January, in a meeting at the villa of Joachim von Ribbentrop in Berlin, Papen made the concession of abandoning his claim to the Chancellorship and committed to support Hitler as Chancellor in a proposed "Government of National Concentration", in which Papen would serve as Vice-Chancellor and Minister-President of Prussia.[78] On 23 January, Papen presented to Hindenburg his idea for Hitler to be made Chancellor, while keeping him "boxed" in.[79] On the same day Schleicher, to avoid a vote of no-confidence in the Reichstag when it reconvened on 31 January, asked the president to declare a state of emergency. Hindenburg declined and Schleicher resigned at midday on 28 January. Hindenburg formally gave Papen the task of forming a new government.[80]

The Hitler Cabinet on 30 January 1933.

In the morning of 29 January, Papen met with Hitler and Hermann Göring at his apartment, where it was agreed that Papen would serve as Vice-Chancellor and Commissioner for Prussia.[81][82] It was in the same meeting that Papen first learned that Hitler wanted to dissolve the Reichstag when he became Chancellor and, once the Nazis had won a majority of the seats in the ensuing elections, to activate the Enabling Act.[83] In the end, the President, who had previously vowed never to let Hitler become Chancellor, appointed Hitler to the post at 11.30 am on 30 January 1933, with Papen as Vice-Chancellor.[84] While Papen's intrigues appeared to have brought Hitler into power, the crucial dynamic was in fact provided by the Nazi Party's electoral support, which made military dictatorship the only alternative to Nazi rule for Hindenburg and his circle.[85]

At the formation of Hitler's cabinet on 30 January, only three Nazis held cabinet portfolios: Hitler, Göring, and Wilhelm Frick. The other eight posts were held by conservatives close to Papen. Additionally, as part of the deal that allowed Hitler to become Chancellor, Papen was granted the right to attend every meeting between Hitler and Hindenburg. Moreover, Cabinet decisions were made by majority vote. Papen believed that his conservative friends' majority in the Cabinet and his closeness to Hindenburg would keep Hitler in check.[86]


Hitler and his allies instead quickly marginalised Papen and the rest of the cabinet. For example, as part of the deal between Hitler and Papen, Göring had been appointed interior minister of Prussia, thus putting the largest police force in Germany under Nazi control. He frequently acted without consulting his nominal superior, Papen. On 1 February 1933, Hitler presented to the cabinet an Article 48 decree law that had been drafted by Papen in November 1932 allowing the police to take people into "protective custody" without charges. It was signed into law by Hindenburg on 4 February as the "Decree for the Protection of the German People".[87]

On the evening of 27 February 1933, Papen joined Hitler, Göring and Goebbels at the burning Reichstag and told him that he shared their belief that this was the signal for Communist revolution.[88] On 18 March 1933, in his capacity as Reich Commissioner for Prussia, Papen freed the "Potempa Five" under the grounds the murder of Konrad Pietzuch was an act of self-defense, making the five SA men "innocent victims" of a miscarriage of justice.[89] Neither Papen nor his conservative allies waged a fight against the Reichstag Fire Decree in late February or the Enabling Act in March. After the Enabling Act was passed, serious deliberations more or less ceased at cabinet meetings when they took place at all, which subsequently neutralised Papen's attempt to "box" Hitler in through cabinet-based decision-making.

Papen endorsed Hitler's plan presented at a cabinet meeting on 7 March 1933 to destroy the Zentrum by severing the Catholic Church from the Zentrum.[90] This was the origin of the Reichskonkordat that Papen was to negotiate with the Roman Catholic Church later in the spring of 1933.[91] Papen founded a new political party on 5 April 1933 called the League of German Catholics Cross and Eagle, which was intended as a conservative Catholic party that would hold the NSDAP in check while at the same time working with the NSDAP.[92] Both the Zentrum and the Bavarian People's Party declined to merge into Papen's new party while the rival Coalition of Catholic Germans which was sponsored by the NSDAP proved more effective at recruiting German Catholics.[93]

Papen at the signing of the Reichskonkordat in Rome on 20 July 1933.

On 8 April Papen travelled to the Vatican to offer a 'Reichskonkordat' that defined the German state's relationship with the Roman Catholic Church. During his stay in Rome, Papen met the Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini and failed to persuade him to drop his support for the Austrian chancellor Dollfuss.[94] Papen was euphoric at the Reichskonkordat that he negotiated with Cardinal Eugenio Pacelli in Rome, believing that this was a diplomatic success that restored his status in Germany, guaranteed the rights of German Catholics in the Third Reich, and required the disbandment of the Zentrum and the Bavarian People's Party, thereby achieving one of Papen's main political goals since June 1932.[90] During Papen's absence, the Nazified Landtag of Prussia elected Göring as prime minister on 10 April. Papen saw the end of the Zentrum that he had engineered as one of his greatest achievements.[90] Later in May 1933, he was forced to disband the League of German Catholics Cross and Eagle owing to lack of public interest.[95]

Papen with Hitler on 1 May 1933

In September 1933, Papen visited Budapest to meet the Hungarian Prime Minister Gyula Gömbös, and to discuss how Germany and Hungary might best co-operate against Czechoslovakia.[96] The Hungarians wanted the volksdeutsche (ethnic German) minorities in the Banat, Transylvania, Slovakia and Carpathia to agitate to return to Hungary in co-operation with the Magyar minorities, a demand that Papen refused to meet.[97] In September 1933, when the Soviet Union ended its secret military co-operation with Germany, the Soviets justified their move under the grounds that Papen had informed the French of the Soviet support for German violations of the Versailles Treaty.[98]

On 14 November 1933, Papen was appointed the Reich Commissioner for the Saar.[99] The Saarland was under the rule of the League of Nations and a referendum was scheduled for 1935 under which the Saarlanders had the option to return to Germany, join France, or retain the status quo.[99] As a conservative Catholic whose wife was from the Saarland, Papen had much understanding of the heavily Catholic region, and Papen gave numerous speeches urging the Saarlanders to vote to return to Germany.[99] Papen was successful in persuading the majority of the Catholic clergy in the Saarland to campaign for a return to Germany, and 90% of the Saarland voted to return to Germany in the 1935 referendum.[100]

Papen began covert talks with other conservative forces with the aim of convincing Hindenburg to restore the balance of power back to the conservatives.[101] By May 1934, it had become clear that Hindenburg was dying, with doctors telling Papen that the President only had a few months left to live.[102] Papen together with Otto Meissner, Hindenburg's chief of staff, and Major Oskar von Hindenburg, Hindenburg's son, drafted a "political will and last testament", which the President signed on 11 May 1934.[102] At Papen's request, the will called for the dismissal of certain National Socialist ministers from the cabinet, and regular cabinet meetings, which would have achieved Papen's plan of January 1933 for a broad governing coalition of the right.[102]
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The Marburg speech

Main article: Marburg speech

With the Army command recently having hinted at the need for Hitler to control the SA, Papen delivered an address at the University of Marburg on 17 June 1934 where he called for the restoration of some freedoms, demanded an end to the calls for a "second revolution" and advocated the cessation of SA terror in the streets.[103] Papen intended to "tame" Hitler with the Marburg speech, and gave the speech without any effort at co-ordination beforehand with either Hindenburg or the Reichswehr.[104] The speech was crafted by Papen's speech writer, Edgar Julius Jung, with the assistance of Papen's secretary Herbert von Bose and Catholic leader Erich Klausener, and Papen had first seen the text of the speech only two hours before he delivered it at the University of Marburg.[105] The "Marburg speech" was well received by the graduating students of Marburg university who all loudly cheered the Vice-Chancellor.[106] Extracts from speech were reproduced in the Frankfurter Zeitung, the most prestigious newspaper in Germany and from there picked up by the foreign press.[103]

The speech incensed Hitler, and its publication was suppressed by the Propaganda Ministry.[107] Papen told Hitler that unless the ban on the Marburg speech was lifted and Hitler declared himself willing to follow the line recommended by Papen in the speech, he would resign and would inform Hindenburg why he had resigned.[107] Hitler outwitted Papen by telling him that he agreed with all of the criticism of his regime made in the Marburg speech; told him Goebbels was wrong to ban the speech and he would have the ban lifted at once; and promised that the SA would be put in their place, provided Papen agreed not to resign and would meet with Hindenburg in a joint interview with him.[107] Papen accepted Hitler's suggestions.[108]

Night of the Long Knives

The architects of the purge: Hitler, Göring, Goebbels, and Hess. Only Himmler and Heydrich are missing.

Two weeks after the Marburg speech, Hitler responded to the armed forces' demands to suppress the ambitions of Ernst Röhm and the SA by purging the SA leadership. The purge, known as the Night of the Long Knives, took place between 30 June and 2 July 1934. Though Papen's bold speech against some of the excesses committed by the Nazis had angered Hitler, the latter was aware that he could not act directly against the Vice-Chancellor without offending Hindenburg. Instead, in the Night of the Long Knives, the Vice-Chancellery, Papen's office, was ransacked by the Schutzstaffel (SS); his associates Herbert von Bose, Erich Klausener and Edgar Julius Jung were shot. Papen himself was placed under house arrest at his villa with his telephone line cut. Some accounts indicate that this "protective custody" was ordered by Göring, who felt the ex-diplomat could be useful in the future.[109]

Reportedly Papen arrived at the Chancellery, exhausted from days of house arrest without sleep, to find the Chancellor seated with other Nazi ministers around a round table, with no place for him but a hole in the middle. He insisted on a private audience with Hitler and announced his resignation, stating, "My service to the Fatherland is over!" The following day, Papen's resignation as Vice-Chancellor was formally accepted and publicised, with no successor appointed. When Hindenburg died on 2 August, the last conservative obstacles to complete Nazi rule were gone.[110]

Ambassador to Austria

Papen at Berlin Tempelhof Airport in July 1934, just before departing for Vienna.

Hitler offered Papen the assignment of German ambassador to Vienna, which Papen accepted.[111] Papen was a German nationalist who always believed that Austria was destined to join Germany in an Anschluss and felt that a success in bringing that about might restore his career.[112] Papen during his time as an ambassador to Austria stood outside the normal chain of command of the Auswärtige Amt as Papen refused to take orders from the Foreign Minister Baron von Neurath, and instead Papen reported directly to Hitler.[113]

Papen met often with Austrian Chancellor Kurt von Schuschnigg to assure him that Germany did not wish to annexe his country, and only wanted the banned Austrian Nazi Party to participate in Austrian politics.[114] In late 1934-early 1935, Papen took a break from his duties as German ambassador in Vienna to lead the Deutsche Front ("German Front") in the Saarland plebiscite on 13 January 1935, where the League of Nations observers monitoring the vote noted Papen's "ruthless methods" as he campaigned for the region to return to Germany.[115]

Papen on his way to Berchtesgaden, 21 February 1938.

Papen also contributed to achieving Hitler's goal of undermining Austrian sovereignty and bringing about the Anschluss (annexation by Germany).[116] On 28 August 1935, Papen negotiated a deal under which the German press would cease its attacks on the Austrian government, in return for which the Austrian press would cease its attacks on Germany's.[117] Papen played a major role in negotiating the 1936 Austro-German agreement under which Austria declared itself a "German state" whose foreign policy would always be aligned with Berlin's and allowed for members of the "national opposition" to enter the Austrian cabinet in exchange for which the Austrian Nazis abandoned their terrorist campaign against the government.[118][119] The treaty Papen signed in Vienna on 11 July 1936 promised that Germany would not seek to annexe Austria and largely placed Austria in the German sphere of influence, greatly reducing Italian influence on Austria.[120] In July 1936, Papen reported to Hitler that the Austro-German treaty he had just signed was the "decisive step" towards ending Austrian independence, and it was only a matter of time before the Anschluss took place.[121]

In the summer and fall of 1937, Papen pressured the Austrians to include more Nazis in the government.[122] In September 1937, Papen returned to Berlin when Benito Mussolini visited Germany, serving as Hitler's adviser on Italo-German talks about Austria.[123] Though Papen was dismissed from his mission in Austria on 4 February 1938, Hitler drafted him to arrange a meeting between the German dictator and Schuschnigg at Berchtesgaden.[124] The ultimatum that Hitler presented to Schuschnigg at the meeting on 12 February 1938 led to the Austrian government's capitulation to German threats and pressure, and paved the way for the Anschluss.

Ambassador to Turkey

Papen later served the German government as Ambassador to Turkey from 1939 to 1944. In April 1938, after the retirement of the previous ambassador, Frederich von Keller on his 65th birthday, the German foreign minister Joachim von Ribbentrop attempted to appoint Papen as ambassador in Ankara, but the appointment was vetoed by the Turkish president Mustafa Kemal Atatürk who remembered Papen well with considerable distaste when he had served alongside him in World War I.[125] In November 1938 and in February 1939, the new Turkish president General İsmet İnönü again vetoed Ribbentrop's attempts to have Papen appointed as German ambassador to Turkey.[126] In April 1939, Turkey accepted Papen as ambassador.[126] Papen was keen to return to Turkey, where he had served during World War I.[127]

Papen arrived in Turkey on 27 April 1939, just after the signing of a UK-Turkish declaration of friendship.[128] İnönü wanted Turkey to join the UK-inspired "peace front" that was meant to stop Germany.[129] On 24 June 1939, France and Turkey signed a declaration committing them to upholding collective security in the Balkans.[130] On 21 August 1939, Papen presented Turkey with a diplomatic note threatening economic sanctions and the cancellation of all arms contacts if Turkey did not cease leaning towards joining the UK-French "peace front", a threat that Turkey rebuffed.[131]

On 1 September 1939, Germany invaded Poland and two days later on 3 September 1939 the UK and France declared war on Germany.[132] Papen claimed later to have been opposed to Hitler's foreign policy in 1939 and was very depressed when he heard the news of the German attack on Poland on the radio.[132] Papen continued his work of representing the Reich in Turkey under the grounds that resigning in protest "would indicate the moral weakening in Germany", which was something he could never do.[132]

On 19 October 1939, Papen suffered a notable setback when Turkey signed a treaty of alliance with France and the UK.[133] During the Phoney War, the conservative Catholic Papen found himself to his own discomfort working together with Soviet diplomats in Ankara to pressure Turkey not to enter the war on the Allied side.[134] In June 1940, with France's defeat, İnönü abandoned his pro-Allied neutrality, and Papen's influence in Ankara dramatically increased.[135]

Between 1940 and 1942 Papen signed three economic agreements that placed Turkey in the German economic sphere of influence.[136] Papen hinted more than once to Turkey that Germany was prepared to support Bulgarian claims to Thrace if Turkey did not prove more accommodating to Germany.[137] In May 1941, when the Germans dispatched an expeditionary force to Iraq to fight against the UK in the Anglo-Iraqi War, Papen persuaded Turkey to allow arms in Syria to be shipped along a railroad linking Syria to Iraq.[138] In June 1941, Papen successfully negotiated a Treaty of Friendship and Non-aggression with Turkey, signed on 17 June 1941, which prevented Turkey from entering the war on the Allied side.[139] After Operation Barbarossa, the invasion of the Soviet Union that began on 22 June 1941, Papen persuaded Turkey to close the Turkish straits to Soviet warships, but was unable to have the straits closed to Soviet merchant ships as he demanded.[140]

Papen claimed after the war to have done everything within his power to save Turkish Jews living in countries occupied by Germany from deportation to the death camps, but an examination of the Auswärtige Amt's records do not support him.[141] During the war, Papen used his connections with Turkish Army officers with whom he served in World War I to try to influence Turkey into joining the Axis, held parties at the German embassy which were attended by leading Turkish politicians and used "special funds" to bribe Turks into following a pro-German line.[142] As an ambassador to Turkey, Papen survived a Soviet assassination attempt on 24 February 1942 by agents from the NKVD:[143] a bomb exploded prematurely, killing the bomber and no-one else, although Papen was slightly injured. In 1943, Papen frustrated a UK attempt to have Turkey join the war on the Allied side by getting Hitler to send a letter to Inönü assuring him that Germany had no interest in invading Turkey and by threatening to have the Luftwaffe bomb Istanbul if Turkey joined the Allies.[144]

In the summer and fall of 1943, realising the war was lost, Papen attended secret meetings with the agents of the US Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in Istanbul.[145] Papen exaggerated his power in Germany to the OSS, and asked for US support to make him dictator of a post-Hitler Germany.[145] US President Franklin D. Roosevelt rejected the offer when he heard of it and told the OSS to stop talking to Papen.[146] From October 1943, Papen and the German embassy gained access to the "Cicero" documents of Elyesa Bazna, including information on Operation Overlord and the Tehran Conference, which Papen revealed selectively to Inönu to strain Allied-Turkish relations.[147][148] In January 1944, Papen, after learning via the "Cicero" documents of a UK plan to have the Royal Air Force use airfields in Turkey to bomb the oil fields of Ploiești in Romania, told the Turkish foreign minister Hüseyin Numan Menemencioğlu that if Turkey allowed the RAF to use Turkish air fields to bomb Ploiești, the Luftwaffe would use its bases in Bulgaria and Greece to bomb and destroy Istanbul and Izmir.[149]

On 20 April 1944, Turkey, wishing to ingratiate itself with the Allies, ceased selling chromium to Germany.[150] On 26 May 1944 Menemencioğlu announced that Turkey was reducing exports to Germany by 50%, and on 2 August 1944 Turkey severed diplomatic relations with Germany, forcing Papen to return to Berlin.[151] After Pope Pius XI died in February 1939, his successor Pope Pius XII did not renew Papen's honorary title of Papal chamberlain. As nuncio, the future Pope John XXIII, Angelo Roncalli, became acquainted with Papen in Greece and Turkey during World War II. The German government considered appointing Papen ambassador to the Holy See, but Pope Pius XII, after consulting Konrad von Preysing, Bishop of Berlin, rejected this proposal. In August 1944, Papen had his last meeting with Hitler after arriving back in Germany from Turkey. Here, Hitler awarded Papen the Knight's Cross of the War Merit Cross.[152] In September 1944, Papen settled at his estate at Wallerfangen in the Saarland that had been given to him by his father-in-law.[153] On 29 November 1944, Papen could hear in the distance the guns of the advancing US Third Army, which caused him and his family to flee deeper into Germany.[154]

Post-war years

Papen at the Nuremberg Trials.

Papen was captured along with his son Franz Jr. at his own home by First Lieutenant Thomas McKinley[155] and members of the 194th Glider Infantry Regiment, in April 1945. Also present during the capture was a small band from the 550th Airborne glider Infantry.[156] Papen was forced by the US to visit a concentration camp to see first-hand the nature of the regime he had served from start to finish and had done so much to bring about.[153]

Papen in April 1964

Papen was one of the defendants at the main Nuremberg War Crimes Trial. The investigating Tribunal found no solid evidence to support claims that Papen had been involved in the annexation of Austria.[157] The court acquitted him, stating that while he had committed a number of "political immoralities," these actions were not punishable under the "conspiracy to commit crimes against peace" written in Papen's indictment.[158]

Papen was subsequently sentenced to eight years' hard labour by a West German denazification court, but was released on appeal in 1949. Until 1954, Papen was forbidden to publish in West Germany, and so he wrote a series of articles in newspapers in Spain, attacking the Federal Republic from a conservative Catholic position in much the same terms that he had attacked the Weimar Republic.[159] Papen unsuccessfully tried to restart his political career in the 1950s; he lived at the Castle of Benzenhofen near Ravensburg in Upper Swabia. Pope John XXIII restored his title of Papal Chamberlain on 24 July 1959. Papen was also a Knight of Malta, and was awarded the Grand Cross of the Pontifical Order of Pius IX.

Von Papen's grave in Wallerfangen, Saarland

Papen published a number of books and memoirs, in which he defended his policies and dealt with the years 1930 to 1933 as well as early western Cold War politics. Papen praised the Schuman Plan as "wise and statesmanlike" and believed in the economic and military unification and integration of Western Europe.[160] In 1952 and 1953, Papen published his memoirs in two volumes in Switzerland. Right up until his death in 1969, Papen gave speeches and wrote articles in the newspapers defending himself against the charge that he had played a crucial role in having Hitler appointed Chancellor and that he had served a criminal regime, which led to vitriolic exchanges with West German historians, journalists and political scientists.[161] Franz von Papen died in Obersasbach, West Germany, on 2 May 1969 at the age of 89.[162]


• Appell an das deutsche Gewissen. Reden zur nationalen Revolution, Stalling, Oldenburg, 1933
• Franz von Papen Memoirs, Translated by Brian Connell, Andre Deutsch, London, 1952
• Der Wahrheit eine Gasse, Paul List Verlag, München 1952
• Europa, was nun? Betrachtungen zur Politik der Westmächte, Göttinger Verlags-Anstalt, Göttingen 1954
• Vom Scheitern einer Demokratie. 1930 – 1933, Hase und Koehler, Mainz 1968
In popular culture[edit]
Franz von Papen has been portrayed by these actors in these film, television and theatrical productions:[163]
• Paul Everton in the 1918 US film The Eagle's Eye[citation needed]
• Curt Furburg in the 1943 US film Background to Danger
• Walter Kingsford in the 1944 US film The Hitler Gang
• John Wengraf in the 1952 US film 5 Fingers
• Peter von Zerneck in the 1973 US TV production Portrait: A Man Whose Name Was John
• Dennis St John in the 2000 Canadian/US TV production Nuremberg
• Erland Josephson in the 2003 Italian/UK TV production The Good Pope: Pope John XXIII
• Robert Russell in the 2003 Canadian/US TV production Hitler: The Rise of Evil
• Georgi Novakov in the 2006 UK television docudrama Nuremberg: Nazis on Trial

See also

• Biography portal
• Germany portal
• Politics portal
• Hindu–German Conspiracy
• List of Nazi Party leaders and officials



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• Bisher, Jamie (2016). The Intelligence War in Latin America, 1914-1922. Jefferson: McFarland.
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Further reading

• Bracher, Karl Dietrich Die Auflösung der Weimarer Republik; eine Studie zum Problem des Machtverfalls in der DemokratieVillingen: Schwarzwald, Ring-Verlag, 1971.
• Bracher, Karl Dietrich. The German Dictatorship: The Origins, Structure, and Effects of National Socialism. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970.
• Evans, Richard J. The Third Reich in Power. New York: Penguin, 2006.
• Fest, Joachim C. and Bullock, Michael (trans.) "Franz von Papen and the Conservative Collaboration" in The Face of the Third Reich New York: Penguin, 1979 (orig. published in German in 1963), pp. 229–246. ISBN 978-0201407143.
• Weinberg, Gerhard (2005). Hitler’s Foreign Policy 1933–1939: The Road to World War II. New York: Enigma Books.
• Weinberg, Gerhard (1996). Germany, Hitler, and World War II: Essays in Modern German and World History. New York & Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

External links

• Biographical timeline
• Vice-Chancellor Franz von Papen speaks in Trier about the Saarland referendum, 1934
• Papen at the Republic Day celebrations in Turkey, 1941
• Newspaper clippings about Franz von Papen in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Part 1 of 2

United Nations
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/6/20

AMY GOODMAN: Western Sahara — the center of a four-decades-long struggle for independence from Morocco, its neighbor to the north. Morocco has occupied the territory since 1975 in defiance of the United Nations and the international community....

In 1991, the U.N. sponsored a ceasefire and promised Sahrawis a referendum on self-determination, organized by its peacekeeping mission known as MINURSO. Since then, Morocco has blocked attempts to organize the vote, and the U.N. Security Council has refused to implement its own referendum plan or allow MINURSO to monitor the human rights situation in the territory...

I quote from a Human Rights Watch report titled “Keeping It Secret,” about Morocco’s efforts to block access to MINURSO. That’s the U.N. mission for a referendum on the status of Western Sahara:
Opportunities for independent outsiders to observe and analyze the identification process are strictly limited. A U.N. rule limits the presence of representatives of non-governmental organizations and journalists in the MINURSO identification center in Laayoune to thirty minutes, a period that is too brief to permit meaningful observation of a complex process. In addition, MINURSO staff members, including military observers, are subjected to constant surveillance by Morocco. This, and internal pressure from MINURSO, made them reluctant, even frightened, to speak to our organization, except on the explicit condition of anonymity. Moroccan security forces tried to prevent Human Rights Watch from entering the U.N. headquarters, stating that entry was forbidden to non-MINURSO staff unless it had been cleared with local Moroccan authorities first. Moroccan authorities' harassment of Human Rights Watch, as well as their strict surveillance of its activities, impeded the organization's ability to conduct a thorough investigation of human rights abuses in the Moroccan-controlled Western Sahara.


We pass the United Nations’ MINURSO compound, where just over 200 U.N. peacekeepers monitor the 1991 ceasefire between Morocco and the Polisario, but are legally prevented from intervening to stop human rights abuses.

-- 4 Days in Western Sahara: A Rare Look Inside Africa’s Last Colony as U.S. Recognizes Moroccan Occupation, by Amy Goodman, DemocracyNow

United Nations
Flag of United Nations Arabic: منظمة الأمم المتحدة‎ Chinese: 联合国组织 French: Organisation des Nations unies Russian: Организация Объединённых Наций Spanish: Organización de las Naciones Unidas
Emblem of United Nations Arabic: منظمة الأمم المتحدة‎ Chinese: 联合国组织 French: Organisation des Nations unies Russian: Организация Объединённых Наций Spanish: Organización de las Naciones Unidas
Headquarters New York City (international territory)
Official languages
Type Intergovernmental organization
Membership 193 member states
2 observer states
• Secretary‑General
António Guterres
• Deputy Secretary-General
Amina J. Mohammed
• General Assembly President
Tijjani Muhammad-Bande
• Economic and Social Council President
Mona Juul
• Security Council President
Dang Dinh Quy
• UN Charter signed
26 June 1945 (74 years ago)
• Charter entered into force
24 October 1945 (74 years ago)

The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international cooperation, and be a center for harmonizing the actions of nations.[2] It is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. The UN is headquartered on international territory in New York City; other main offices are in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna and The Hague.

The UN was established after World War II with the aim of preventing future wars, succeeding the ineffective League of Nations.[3] On 25 April 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco for a conference and started drafting the UN Charter, which was adopted on 25 June 1945 and took effect on 24 October 1945, when the UN began operations. Pursuant to the Charter, the organization's objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development, and upholding international law.[4] At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; this number grew to 193 in 2011,[5] representing the vast majority of the world's sovereign states.

The organization's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades by the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies. Its missions have consisted primarily of unarmed military observers and lightly armed troops with primarily monitoring, reporting and confidence-building roles.[6] UN membership grew significantly following widespread decolonization beginning in the 1960s. Since then, 80 former colonies have gained independence, including 11 trust territories that had been monitored by the Trusteeship Council.[7] By the 1970s, the UN's budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN shifted and expanded its field operations, undertaking a wide variety of complex tasks.[8]

The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly; the Security Council; the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC); the Trusteeship Council; the International Court of Justice; and the UN Secretariat. The UN System includes a multitude of specialized agencies, such as the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, UNESCO, and UNICEF. Additionally, non-governmental organizations may be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other agencies to participate in the UN's work. The UN's chief administrative officer is the Secretary-General, currently Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres, since 1 January 2017. The organization is financed by assessed and voluntary contributions from its member states.

The UN, its officers, and its agencies have won many Nobel Peace Prizes, though other evaluations of its effectiveness have been mixed. Some commentators believe the organization to be an important force for peace and human development, while others have called it ineffective, biased, or corrupt.


Main article: History of the United Nations


In the century prior to the UN's creation, several international treaty organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross were formed to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife.[9] In 1914, a political assassination in Sarajevo set off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. As more and more young men were sent down into the trenches, influential voices in the United States and Britain began calling for the establishment of a permanent international body to maintain peace in the postwar world. President Woodrow Wilson became a vocal advocate of this concept, and in 1918 he included a sketch of the international body in his 14-point proposal to end the war. In November 1918, the Central Powers agreed to an armistice to halt the killing in World War I. Two months later, the Allies met with Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles to hammer out formal peace terms. President Wilson wanted peace, but the United Kingdom and France disagreed, forcing harsh war reparations on their former enemies. The League of Nations was approved, and in the summer of 1919 Wilson presented the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations to the US Senate for ratification. On 10 January 1920, the League of Nations formally came into being when the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 nations in 1919, took effect.[10] However, at some point the League became ineffective when it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria as in February 1933, 40 nations voted for Japan to withdraw from Manchuria but Japan voted against it and walked out of the League instead of withdrawing from Manchuria.[11] It also failed against the Second Italo-Ethiopian War despite trying to talk to Benito Mussolini as he used the time to send an army to Africa, so the League had a plan for Mussolini to just take a part of Ethiopia, but he ignored the League and invaded Ethiopia, the League tried putting sanctions on Italy, but Italy had already conquered Ethiopia and the League had failed.[12] After Italy conquered Ethiopia, Italy and other nations left the league. But all of them realized that it had failed and they began to re-arm as fast as possible. During 1938, Britain and France tried negotiating directly with Hitler but this failed in 1939 when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia. When war broke out in 1939, the League closed down and its headquarters in Geneva remained empty throughout the war.[13] Although the United States never joined the League, the country did support its economic and social missions through the work of private philanthropies and by sending representatives to committees.

1942 "Declaration of United Nations" by the Allies of World War II

Main article: Declaration by United Nations

1943 sketch by Franklin Roosevelt of the UN original three branches: The Four Policemen, an executive branch, and an international assembly of forty UN member states

The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization began under the aegis of the U.S. State Department in 1939.[14] The text of the "Declaration by United Nations" was drafted at the White House on 29 December 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins. It incorporated Soviet suggestions, but left no role for France. "Four Policemen" was coined to refer to four major Allied countries, United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, and Republic of China, which emerged in the Declaration by United Nations.[15] Roosevelt first coined the term United Nations to describe the Allied countries.[a] "On New Year's Day 1942, President Roosevelt, Prime Minister Churchill, Maxim Litvinov, of the USSR, and T. V. Soong, of China, signed a short document which later came to be known as the United Nations Declaration and the next day the representatives of twenty-two other nations added their signatures."[16] The term United Nations was first officially used when 26 governments signed this Declaration. One major change from the Atlantic Charter was the addition of a provision for religious freedom, which Stalin approved after Roosevelt insisted.[17][18] By 1 March 1945, 21 additional states had signed.[19]


The Governments signatory hereto,

Having subscribed to a common program of purposes and principles embodied in the Joint Declaration of the President of the United States of America and the Prime Minister of Great Britain dated August 14, 1941, known as the Atlantic Charter,

Being convinced that complete victory over their enemies is essential to defend life, liberty, independence and religious freedom, and to preserve human rights and justice in their own lands as well as in other lands, and that they are now engaged in a common struggle against savage and brutal forces seeking to subjugate the world,


1. Each Government pledges itself to employ its full resources, military or economic, against those members of the Tripartite Pact and its adherents with which such government is at war.

2. Each Government pledges itself to cooperate with the Governments signatory hereto and not to make a separate armistice or peace with the enemies.

The foregoing declaration may be adhered to by other nations which are, or which may be, rendering material assistance and contributions in the struggle for victory over Hitlerism.

— The Washington Conference 1941–1942

During the war, "the United Nations" became the official term for the Allies. To join, countries had to sign the Declaration and declare war on the Axis.[20]


The UN in 1945: founding members in light blue, protectorates and territories of the founding members in dark blue

The UN was formulated and negotiated among the delegations from the Allied Big Four (the United States, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and China) at the Dumbarton Oaks Conference from 21 September 1944 to 7 October 1944 and they agreed on the aims, structure and functioning of the UN.[21][22][23] After months of planning, the UN Conference on International Organization opened in San Francisco, 25 April 1945, attended by 50 governments and a number of non-governmental organizations involved in drafting the UN Charter.[24][25][26] "The heads of the delegations of the sponsoring countries took turns as chairman of the plenary meetings: Anthony Eden, of Britain, Edward Stettinius, of the United States, T. V. Soong, of China, and Vyacheslav Molotov, of the Soviet Union. At the later meetings, Lord Halifax deputized for Mister Eden, Wellington Koo for T. V. Soong, and Mister Gromyko for Mister Molotov."[27] The UN officially came into existence 24 October 1945, upon ratification of the Charter by the five permanent members of the Security Council—France, the Republic of China, the Soviet Union, the UK and the US—and by a majority of the other 46 signatories.[28]

The first meetings of the General Assembly, with 51 nations represented,[ b] and the Security Council took place in Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London beginning on 10 January 1946.[28] The General Assembly selected New York City as the site for the headquarters of the UN, construction began on 14 September 1948 and the facility was completed on 9 October 1952. Its site—like UN headquarters buildings in Geneva, Vienna, and Nairobi—is designated as international territory.[31] The Norwegian Foreign Minister, Trygve Lie, was elected as the first UN Secretary-General.[28]

Cold War era

Dag Hammarskjöld was a particularly active Secretary-General from 1953 until his death in 1961.

Though the UN's primary mandate was peacekeeping, the division between the US and USSR often paralysed the organization, generally allowing it to intervene only in conflicts distant from the Cold War.[32] Two notable exceptions were a Security Council resolution on 7 July 1950 authorizing a US-led coalition to repel the North Korean invasion of South Korea, passed in the absence of the USSR,[28][33] and the signing of the Korean Armistice Agreement in 27 July 1953.[34]

On 29 November 1947, the General Assembly approved a resolution to partition Palestine, approving the creation of the state of Israel.[35] Two years later, Ralph Bunche, a UN official, negotiated an armistice to the resulting conflict.[36] On 7 November 1956, the first UN peacekeeping force was established to end the Suez Crisis;[37] however, the UN was unable to intervene against the USSR's simultaneous invasion of Hungary following that country's revolution.[38]

On 14 July 1960, the UN established United Nations Operation in the Congo (UNOC), the largest military force of its early decades, to bring order to the breakaway State of Katanga, restoring it to the control of the Democratic Republic of the Congo by 11 May 1964.[39] While travelling to meet rebel leader Moise Tshombe during the conflict, Dag Hammarskjöld, often named as one of the UN's most effective Secretaries-General,[40] died in a plane crash; months later he was posthumously awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.[41] In 1964, Hammarskjöld's successor, U Thant, deployed the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, which would become one of the UN's longest-running peacekeeping missions.[42]

With the spread of decolonization in the 1960s, the organization's membership saw an influx of newly independent nations. In 1960 alone, 17 new states joined the UN, 16 of them from Africa.[37] On 25 October 1971, with opposition from the United States, but with the support of many Third World nations, the mainland, communist People's Republic of China was given the Chinese seat on the Security Council in place of the Republic of China that occupied Taiwan; the vote was widely seen as a sign of waning US influence in the organization.[43] Third World nations organized into the Group of 77 coalition under the leadership of Algeria, which briefly became a dominant power at the UN.[44] On 10 November 1975, a bloc comprising the USSR and Third World nations passed a resolution, over strenuous US and Israeli opposition, declaring Zionism to be racism; the resolution was repealed on 16 December 1991, shortly after the end of the Cold War.[45][46]

With an increasing Third World presence and the failure of UN mediation in conflicts in the Middle East, Vietnam, and Kashmir, the UN increasingly shifted its attention to its ostensibly secondary goals of economic development and cultural exchange.[47] By the 1970s, the UN budget for social and economic development was far greater than its peacekeeping budget.

Post-Cold War

Kofi Annan, Secretary-General from 1997 to 2006

Flags of member nations at the United Nations Headquarters, seen in 2007

After the Cold War, the UN saw a radical expansion in its peacekeeping duties, taking on more missions in ten years than it had in the previous four decades.[48] Between 1988 and 2000, the number of adopted Security Council resolutions more than doubled, and the peacekeeping budget increased more than tenfold.[49][50][51] The UN negotiated an end to the Salvadoran Civil War, launched a successful peacekeeping mission in Namibia, and oversaw democratic elections in post-apartheid South Africa and post-Khmer Rouge Cambodia.[52] In 1991, the UN authorized a US-led coalition that repulsed the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.[53] Brian Urquhart, Under-Secretary-General from 1971 to 1985, later described the hopes raised by these successes as a "false renaissance" for the organization, given the more troubled missions that followed.[54]

Though the UN Charter had been written primarily to prevent aggression by one nation against another, in the early 1990s the UN faced a number of simultaneous, serious crises within nations such as Somalia, Haiti, Mozambique, and the former Yugoslavia.[55] The UN mission in Somalia was widely viewed as a failure after the US withdrawal following casualties in the Battle of Mogadishu, and the UN mission to Bosnia faced "worldwide ridicule" for its indecisive and confused mission in the face of ethnic cleansing.[56] In 1994, the UN Assistance Mission for Rwanda failed to intervene in the Rwandan genocide amid indecision in the Security Council.[57]

Beginning in the last decades of the Cold War, American and European critics of the UN condemned the organization for perceived mismanagement and corruption.[58] In 1984, US President Ronald Reagan, withdrew his nation's funding from United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) over allegations of mismanagement, followed by the UK and Singapore.[59][60] Boutros Boutros-Ghali, Secretary-General from 1992 to 1996, initiated a reform of the Secretariat, reducing the size of the organization somewhat.[61][62] His successor, Kofi Annan (1997–2006), initiated further management reforms in the face of threats from the US to withhold its UN dues.[62]

From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, international interventions authorized by the UN took a wider variety of forms. The UN mission in the Sierra Leone Civil War of 1991–2002 was supplemented by British Royal Marines, and the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 was overseen by NATO.[63] In 2003, the United States invaded Iraq despite failing to pass a UN Security Council resolution for authorization, prompting a new round of questioning of the organization's effectiveness.[64] Under the eighth Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, the UN intervened with peacekeepers in crises such as the War in Darfur in Sudan and the Kivu conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo and sent observers and chemical weapons inspectors to the Syrian Civil War.[65] In 2013, an internal review of UN actions in the final battles of the Sri Lankan Civil War in 2009 concluded that the organization had suffered "systemic failure".[66] In 2010, the organization suffered the worst loss of life in its history, when 101 personnel died in the Haiti earthquake[67]

The Millennium Summit was held in 2000 to discuss the UN's role in the 21st century.[68] The three day meeting was the largest gathering of world leaders in history, and culminated in the adoption by all member states of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), a commitment to achieve international development in areas such as poverty reduction, gender equality, and public health. Progress towards these goals, which were to be met by 2015, was ultimately uneven. The 2005 World Summit reaffirmed the UN's focus on promoting development, peacekeeping, human rights, and global security.[69] The Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015 to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.[70]

In addition to addressing global challenges, the UN has sought to improve its accountability and democratic legitimacy by engaging more with civil society and fostering a global constituency.[71] In an effort to enhance transparency, in 2016 the organization held its first public debate between candidates for Secretary-General.[72] On 1 January 2017, Portuguese diplomat António Guterres, who previously served as UN High Commissioner for Refugees, became the ninth Secretary-General. Guterres has highlighted several key goals for his administration, including an emphasis on diplomacy for preventing conflicts, more effective peacekeeping efforts, and streamlining the organization to be more responsive and versatile to global needs.[73]


Main article: United Nations System

The UN system is based on five principal organs: the General Assembly, the Security Council, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the International Court of Justice and the UN Secretariat.[74] A sixth principal organ, the Trusteeship Council, suspended operations on 1 November 1994, upon the independence of Palau, the last remaining UN trustee territory.[75]

Four of the five principal organs are located at the main UN Headquarters in New York City.[76] The International Court of Justice is located in The Hague, while other major agencies are based in the UN offices at Geneva,[77] Vienna,[78] and Nairobi.[79] Other UN institutions are located throughout the world. The six official languages of the UN, used in intergovernmental meetings and documents, are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.[80] On the basis of the Convention on the Privileges and Immunities of the United Nations, the UN and its agencies are immune from the laws of the countries where they operate, safeguarding the UN's impartiality with regard to the host and member countries.[81]

Below the six organs sit, in the words of the author Linda Fasulo, "an amazing collection of entities and organizations, some of which are actually older than the UN itself and operate with almost complete independence from it".[82] These include specialized agencies, research and training institutions, programmes and funds, and other UN entities.[83]

The UN obeys the Noblemaire principle, which is binding on any organization that belongs to the UN system. This principle calls for salaries that will draw and keep citizens of countries where salaries are highest, and also calls for equal pay for work of equal value independent of the employee's nationality.[84][85] In practice, the ICSC takes reference to the highest-paying national civil service.[86] Staff salaries are subject to an internal tax that is administered by the UN organizations.[84][87]

Principal organs of the United Nations [88]

UN General Assembly
— Deliberative assembly of all UN member states —
• May resolve non-compulsory recommendations to states or suggestions to the Security Council (UNSC);
• Decides on the admission of new members, following proposal by the UNSC;
• Adopts the budget;
• Elects the non-permanent members of the UNSC; all members of ECOSOC; the UN Secretary General (following his/her proposal by the UNSC); and the fifteen judges of the International Court of Justice (ICJ). Each country has one vote.

UN Secretariat
— Administrative organ of the UN —
• Supports the other UN bodies administratively (for example, in the organization of conferences, the writing of reports and studies and the preparation of the budget);
• Its chairperson – the UN Secretary General – is elected by the General Assembly for a five-year mandate and is the UN's foremost representative.

International Court of Justice
— Universal court for international law —
• Decides disputes between states that recognize its jurisdiction;
• Issues legal opinions;
• Renders judgment by relative majority. Its fifteen judges are elected by the UN General Assembly for nine-year terms.

UN Security Council
— For international security issues —
• Responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security;
• May adopt compulsory resolutions;
• Has fifteen members: five permanent members with veto power and ten elected members.

UN Economic and Social Council
— For global economic and social affairs —
• Responsible for co-operation between states as regards economic and social matters;
• Co-ordinates co-operation between the UN's numerous specialized agencies;
• Has 54 members, elected by the General Assembly to serve staggered three-year mandates.

UN Trusteeship Council
— For administering trust territories (currently inactive) —
• Was originally designed to manage colonial possessions that were former League of Nations mandates;
• Has been inactive since 1994, when Palau, the last trust territory, attained independence.

General Assembly

Main article: United Nations General Assembly

Mikhail Gorbachev, Soviet general secretary, addressing the UN General Assembly in December 1988

The General Assembly is the main deliberative assembly of the UN. Composed of all UN member states, the assembly meets in regular yearly sessions, but emergency sessions can also be called.[89] The assembly is led by a president, elected from among the member states on a rotating regional basis, and 21 vice-presidents.[90] The first session convened 10 January 1946 in the Methodist Central Hall in London and included representatives of 51 nations.[28]

When the General Assembly decides on important questions such as those on peace and security, admission of new members and budgetary matters, a two-thirds majority of those present and voting is required.[91][92] All other questions are decided by a majority vote. Each member country has one vote. Apart from approval of budgetary matters, resolutions are not binding on the members. The Assembly may make recommendations on any matters within the scope of the UN, except matters of peace and security that are under consideration by the Security Council.[89]

Draft resolutions can be forwarded to the General Assembly by its six main committees:[93]

• First Committee (Disarmament and International Security)
• Second Committee (Economic and Financial)
• Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian, and Cultural)
• Fourth Committee (Special Political and Decolonization)
• Fifth Committee (Administrative and Budgetary)
• Sixth Committee (Legal)

As well as by the following two committees:

• General Committee – a supervisory committee consisting of the assembly's president, vice-president, and committee heads
• Credentials Committee – responsible for determining the credentials of each member nation's UN representatives

Security Council

Main article: United Nations Security Council

Colin Powell, the US Secretary of State, demonstrates a vial with alleged Iraqi chemical weapon probes to the UN Security Council on Iraq war hearings, 5 February 2003

The Security Council is charged with maintaining peace and security among countries. While other organs of the UN can only make "recommendations" to member states, the Security Council has the power to make binding decisions that member states have agreed to carry out, under the terms of Charter Article 25.[94] The decisions of the Council are known as United Nations Security Council resolutions.[95]

The Security Council is made up of fifteen member states, consisting of five permanent members—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States—and ten non-permanent members elected for two-year terms by the General Assembly (with end of term date)—Belgium (term ends 2020), Côte d'Ivoire (2019), Dominican Republic (2020), Equatorial Guinea (2019), Germany (2020), Indonesia (2020), Kuwait (2019), Peru (2019), Poland (2019), and South Africa (2020).[96] The five permanent members hold veto power over UN resolutions, allowing a permanent member to block adoption of a resolution, though not debate. The ten temporary seats are held for two-year terms, with five member states per year voted in by the General Assembly on a regional basis.[97] The presidency of the Security Council rotates alphabetically each month.[98]

UN Secretariat

Main articles: United Nations Secretariat and Secretary-General of the United Nations

Current secretary-general, António Guterres

The UN Secretariat is headed by the secretary-general, assisted by the deputy secretary-general and a staff of international civil servants worldwide.[99] It provides studies, information, and facilities needed by UN bodies for their meetings. It also carries out tasks as directed by the Security Council, the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and other UN bodies.[100]

The secretary-general acts as the de facto spokesperson and leader of the UN. The position is defined in the UN Charter as the organization's "chief administrative officer".[101] Article 99 of the charter states that the secretary-general can bring to the Security Council's attention "any matter which in his opinion may threaten the maintenance of international peace and security", a phrase that Secretaries-General since Trygve Lie have interpreted as giving the position broad scope for action on the world stage.[102] The office has evolved into a dual role of an administrator of the UN organization and a diplomat and mediator addressing disputes between member states and finding consensus to global issues.[103]

The secretary-general is appointed by the General Assembly, after being recommended by the Security Council, where the permanent members have veto power. There are no specific criteria for the post, but over the years it has become accepted that the post shall be held for one or two terms of five years.[104] The current Secretary-General is António Guterres, who replaced Ban Ki-moon in 2017.

Secretaries-General of the United Nations[105]

No. / Name / Country of origin / Took office / Left office / Notes

1 Trygve Lie Norway 2 February 1946 10 November 1952 Resigned
2 Dag Hammarskjöld Sweden 10 April 1953 18 September 1961 Died in office
3 U Thant Burma 30 November 1961 31 December 1971 First non-European to hold office
4 Kurt Waldheim Austria 1 January 1972 31 December 1981
5 Javier Pérez de Cuéllar Peru 1 January 1982 31 December 1991
6 Boutros Boutros-Ghali Egypt 1 January 1992 31 December 1996 Served for the shortest time
7 Kofi Annan Ghana 1 January 1997 31 December 2006
8 Ban Ki-moon South Korea 1 January 2007 31 December 2016
9 António Guterres Portugal 1 January 2017 Incumbent

International Court of Justice

Main article: International Court of Justice

The court ruled that Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia in 2008 did not violate international law.

The International Court of Justice (ICJ), located in The Hague, in the Netherlands, is the primary judicial organ of the UN. Established in 1945 by the UN Charter, the Court began work in 1946 as the successor to the Permanent Court of International Justice. The ICJ is composed of 15 judges who serve 9-year terms and are appointed by the General Assembly; every sitting judge must be from a different nation.[106][107]

It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, sharing the building with the Hague Academy of International Law, a private centre for the study of international law. The ICJ's primary purpose is to adjudicate disputes among states. The court has heard cases related to war crimes, illegal state interference, ethnic cleansing, and other issues.[108] The ICJ can also be called upon by other UN organs to provide advisory opinions.[106] It is the only organ that is not located in New York.

Economic and Social Council

Main article: United Nations Economic and Social Council

The Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) assists the General Assembly in promoting international economic and social co-operation and development. ECOSOC has 54 members, which are elected by the General Assembly for a three-year term. The president is elected for a one-year term and chosen amongst the small or middle powers represented on ECOSOC. The council has one annual meeting in July, held in either New York or Geneva. Viewed as separate from the specialized bodies it co-ordinates, ECOSOC's functions include information gathering, advising member nations, and making recommendations.[109][110] Owing to its broad mandate of co-ordinating many agencies, ECOSOC has at times been criticized as unfocused or irrelevant.[109][111]

ECOSOC's subsidiary bodies include the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, which advises UN agencies on issues relating to indigenous peoples; the United Nations Forum on Forests, which co-ordinates and promotes sustainable forest management; the United Nations Statistical Commission, which co-ordinates information-gathering efforts between agencies; and the Commission on Sustainable Development, which co-ordinates efforts between UN agencies and NGOs working towards sustainable development. ECOSOC may also grant consultative status to non-governmental organizations;[109] by 2004, more than 2,200 organizations had received this status.[112]

Specialized agencies

Main article: List of specialized agencies of the United Nations

The UN Charter stipulates that each primary organ of the United Nations can establish various specialized agencies to fulfil its duties.[113] Some best-known agencies are the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Food and Agriculture Organization, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the World Bank, and the World Health Organization (WHO). The UN performs most of its humanitarian work through these agencies. Examples include mass vaccination programmes (through WHO), the avoidance of famine and malnutrition (through the work of the WFP), and the protection of vulnerable and displaced people (for example, by UNHCR).[114]

Organizations and specialized agencies of the United Nations

No. / Acronym / Agency / Headquarters / Head / Established in

1 FAO Food and Agriculture Organization Italy Rome, Italy China Qu Dongyu 1945
2 IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency Austria Vienna, Austria Argentina Rafael Grossi 1957
3 ICAO International Civil Aviation Organization Canada Montreal, Quebec, Canada China Fang Liu 1947
4 IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development Italy Rome, Italy Togo Gilbert Houngbo 1977
5 ILO International Labour Organization Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland United Kingdom Guy Ryder 1946 (1919)
6 IMO International Maritime Organization United Kingdom London, United Kingdom South Korea Kitack Lim 1948
7 IMF International Monetary Fund United States Washington, D.C., United States Bulgaria Kristalina Georgieva 1945 (1944)
8 ITU International Telecommunication Union Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland China Houlin Zhao 1947 (1865)
9 UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization France Paris, France France Audrey Azoulay 1946
10 UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization Austria Vienna, Austria China Li Yong 1967
11 UNWTO World Tourism Organization Spain Madrid, Spain Georgia (country) Zurab Pololikashvili 1974
12 UPU Universal Postal Union Switzerland Bern, Switzerland Kenya Bishar Abdirahman Hussein 1947 (1874)
13 WBG World Bank Group United States Washington, D.C., United States United States David Malpass (President) 1945 (1944)
14 WFP World Food Programme Italy Rome, Italy United States David Beasley 1963
15 WHO World Health Organization Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland Ethiopia Tedros Adhanom 1948
16 WIPO World Intellectual Property Organization Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland Australia Francis Gurry 1974
17 WMO World Meteorological Organization Switzerland Geneva, Switzerland Finland Petteri Taalas (Secretary-General)
Germany Gerhard Adrian (President) 1950 (1873)


Main article: Member states of the United Nations

With the addition of South Sudan 14 July 2011,[5] there are 193 UN member states, including all undisputed independent states apart from Vatican City.[115][c] The UN Charter outlines the rules for membership:

1. Membership in the United Nations is open to all other peace-loving states that accept the obligations contained in the present Charter and, in the judgment of the Organization, are able and willing to carry out these obligations.

2. The admission of any such state to membership in the United Nations will be effected by a decision of the General Assembly upon the recommendation of the Security Council. Chapter II, Article 4.[116]
In addition, there are two non-member observer states of the United Nations General Assembly: the Holy See (which holds sovereignty over Vatican City) and the State of Palestine.[117] The Cook Islands and Niue, both states in free association with New Zealand, are full members of several UN specialized agencies and have had their "full treaty-making capacity" recognized by the Secretariat.[118]

Group of 77

Main article: Group of 77

The Group of 77 (G77) at the UN is a loose coalition of developing nations, designed to promote its members' collective economic interests and create an enhanced joint negotiating capacity in the UN. Seventy-seven nations founded the organization, but by November 2013 the organization had since expanded to 133 member countries.[119] The group was founded 15 June 1964 by the "Joint Declaration of the Seventy-Seven Countries" issued at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The group held its first major meeting in Algiers in 1967, where it adopted the Charter of Algiers and established the basis for permanent institutional structures.[120] With the adoption of the New International Economic Order by developing countries in the 1970s, the work of the G77 spread throughout the UN system.


Peacekeeping and security

Main articles: United Nations peacekeeping and List of United Nations peacekeeping missions

Bolivian "Blue Helmet" at an exercise in Chile, 2002

The UN, after approval by the Security Council, sends peacekeepers to regions where armed conflict has recently ceased or paused to enforce the terms of peace agreements and to discourage combatants from resuming hostilities. Since the UN does not maintain its own military, peacekeeping forces are voluntarily provided by member states. These soldiers are sometimes nicknamed "Blue Helmets" for their distinctive gear.[121][122] The peacekeeping force as a whole received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1988.[123]

In September 2013, the UN had peacekeeping soldiers deployed on 15 missions. The largest was the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO), which included 20,688 uniformed personnel. The smallest, United Nations Military Observer Group in India and Pakistan (UNMOGIP), included 42 uniformed personnel responsible for monitoring the ceasefire in Jammu and Kashmir. UN peacekeepers with the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) have been stationed in the Middle East since 1948, the longest-running active peacekeeping mission.[124]

A study by the RAND Corporation in 2005 found the UN to be successful in two out of three peacekeeping efforts. It compared efforts at nation-building by the UN to those of the United States, and found that seven out of eight UN cases are at peace, as compared with four out of eight US cases at peace.[125] Also in 2005, the Human Security Report documented a decline in the number of wars, genocides, and human rights abuses since the end of the Cold War, and presented evidence, albeit circumstantial, that international activism—mostly spearheaded by the UN—has been the main cause of the decline in armed conflict in that period.[126] Situations in which the UN has not only acted to keep the peace but also intervened include the Korean War (1950–53) and the authorization of intervention in Iraq after the Gulf War (1990–91).[127]

The UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus was established in 1974 following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

The UN has also drawn criticism for perceived failures. In many cases, member states have shown reluctance to achieve or enforce Security Council resolutions. Disagreements in the Security Council about military action and intervention are seen as having failed to prevent the Bangladesh genocide in 1971,[128] the Cambodian genocide in the 1970s,[129] and the Rwandan genocide in 1994.[130] Similarly, UN inaction is blamed for failing to either prevent the Srebrenica massacre in 1995 or complete the peacekeeping operations in 1992–93 during the Somali Civil War.[131] UN peacekeepers have also been accused of child rape, soliciting prostitutes, and sexual abuse during various peacekeeping missions in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,[132] Haiti,[133] Liberia,[134] Sudan and what is now South Sudan,[135] Burundi, and Ivory Coast.[136] Scientists cited UN peacekeepers from Nepal as the likely source of the 2010–13 Haiti cholera outbreak, which killed more than 8,000 Haitians following the 2010 Haiti earthquake.[137]

In addition to peacekeeping, the UN is also active in encouraging disarmament. Regulation of armaments was included in the writing of the UN Charter in 1945 and was envisioned as a way of limiting the use of human and economic resources for their creation.[94] The advent of nuclear weapons came only weeks after the signing of the charter, resulting in the first resolution of the first General Assembly meeting calling for specific proposals for "the elimination from national armaments of atomic weapons and of all other major weapons adaptable to mass destruction".[138] The UN has been involved with arms-limitation treaties, such as the Outer Space Treaty (1967), the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (1968), the Seabed Arms Control Treaty (1971), the Biological Weapons Convention (1972), the Chemical Weapons Convention (1992), and the Ottawa Treaty (1997), which prohibits landmines.[139] Three UN bodies oversee arms proliferation issues: the International Atomic Energy Agency, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization Preparatory Commission.[140]audiobooks)
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Human rights

One of the UN's primary purposes is "promoting and encouraging respect for human rights and for fundamental freedoms for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion", and member states pledge to undertake "joint and separate action" to protect these rights.[113][141]

Eleanor Roosevelt with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1949

In 1948, the General Assembly adopted a Universal Declaration of Human Rights, drafted by a committee headed by American diplomat and activist Eleanor Roosevelt, and including the French lawyer René Cassin. The document proclaims basic civil, political, and economic rights common to all human beings, though its effectiveness towards achieving these ends has been disputed since its drafting.[142] The Declaration serves as a "common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations" rather than a legally binding document, but it has become the basis of two binding treaties, the 1966 International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights.[143] In practice, the UN is unable to take significant action against human rights abuses without a Security Council resolution, though it does substantial work in investigating and reporting abuses.[144]

In 1979, the General Assembly adopted the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, followed by the Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1989.[145] With the end of the Cold War, the push for human rights action took on new impetus.[146] The United Nations Commission on Human Rights was formed in 1993 to oversee human rights issues for the UN, following the recommendation of that year's World Conference on Human Rights. Jacques Fomerand, a scholar of the UN, describes this organization's mandate as "broad and vague", with only "meagre" resources to carry it out.[147] In 2006, it was replaced by a Human Rights Council consisting of 47 nations.[148] Also in 2006, the General Assembly passed a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples,[149] and in 2011 it passed its first resolution recognizing the rights of LGBT people.[150]

Other UN bodies responsible for women's rights issues include United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, a commission of ECOSOC founded in 1946; the United Nations Development Fund for Women, created in 1976; and the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women, founded in 1979.[151] The UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, one of three bodies with a mandate to oversee issues related to indigenous peoples, held its first session in 2002.[152]

Economic development and humanitarian assistance

Millennium Development Goals[153]

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
2. Achieve universal primary education
3. Promote gender equality and empower women
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
7. Ensure environmental sustainability
8. Develop a global partnership for development

Another primary purpose of the UN is "to achieve international co-operation in solving international problems of an economic, social, cultural, or humanitarian character".[141] Numerous bodies have been created to work towards this goal, primarily under the authority of the General Assembly and ECOSOC.[154] In 2000, the 192 UN member states agreed to achieve eight Millennium Development Goals by 2015.[155] The Sustainable Development Goals were launched in 2015 to succeed the Millennium Development Goals.[70] The SDGs have an associated financing framework called the Addis Ababa Action Agenda.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP), an organization for grant-based technical assistance founded in 1945, is one of the leading bodies in the field of international development. The organization also publishes the UN Human Development Index, a comparative measure ranking countries by poverty, literacy, education, life expectancy, and other factors.[156][157] The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), also founded in 1945, promotes agricultural development and food security.[158] UNICEF (the United Nations Children's Fund) was created in 1946 to aid European children after the Second World War and expanded its mission to provide aid around the world and to uphold the Convention on the Rights of the Child.[159][160]

Three former directors of the Global Smallpox Eradication Programme reading the news that smallpox has been globally eradicated in 1980

The World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are independent, specialized agencies and observers within the UN framework, according to a 1947 agreement. They were initially formed separately from the UN through the Bretton Woods Agreement in 1944.[161] The World Bank provides loans for international development, while the IMF promotes international economic co-operation and gives emergency loans to indebted countries.[162]

In Jordan, UNHCR remains responsible for the Syrian refugees and the Zaatari refugee camp.

The World Health Organization (WHO), which focuses on international health issues and disease eradication, is another of the UN's largest agencies. In 1980, the agency announced that the eradication of smallpox had been completed. In subsequent decades, WHO largely eradicated polio, river blindness, and leprosy.[163] The Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS), begun in 1996, co-ordinates the organization's response to the AIDS epidemic.[164] The UN Population Fund, which also dedicates part of its resources to combating HIV, is the world's largest source of funding for reproductive health and family planning services.[165]

Along with the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, the UN often takes a leading role in co-ordinating emergency relief.[166] The World Food Programme (WFP), created in 1961, provides food aid in response to famine, natural disasters, and armed conflict. The organization reports that it feeds an average of 90 million people in 80 nations each year.[166][167] The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), established in 1950, works to protect the rights of refugees, asylum seekers, and stateless people.[168] UNHCR and WFP programmes are funded by voluntary contributions from governments, corporations, and individuals, though the UNHCR's administrative costs are paid for by the UN's primary budget.[169]


Since the UN's creation, over 80 colonies have attained independence. The General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples in 1960 with no votes against but abstentions from all major colonial powers. The UN works towards decolonization through groups including the UN Committee on Decolonization, created in 1962.[170] The committee lists seventeen remaining "Non-Self-Governing Territories", the largest and most populous of which is Western Sahara.[171]

Beginning with the formation of the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) in 1972, the UN has made environmental issues a prominent part of its agenda. A lack of success in the first two decades of UN work in this area led to the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, which sought to give new impetus to these efforts.[172] In 1988, the UNEP and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), another UN organization, established the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which assesses and reports on research on global warming.[173] The UN-sponsored Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, set legally binding emissions reduction targets for ratifying states.[174]

The UN also declares and co-ordinates international observances, periods of time to observe issues of international interest or concern. Examples include World Tuberculosis Day, Earth Day, and the International Year of Deserts and Desertification.[175]


The UN is financed from assessed and voluntary contributions from member states. The General Assembly approves the regular budget and determines the assessment for each member. This is broadly based on the relative capacity of each country to pay, as measured by its gross national income (GNI), with adjustments for external debt and low per capita income.[177] The two-year budget for 2012–13 was $5.512 billion in total.[178]

The Assembly has established the principle that the UN should not be unduly dependent on any one member to finance its operations. Thus, there is a "ceiling" rate, setting the maximum amount that any member can be assessed for the regular budget. In December 2000, the Assembly revised the scale of assessments in response to pressure from the United States. As part of that revision, the regular budget ceiling was reduced from 25% to 22%.[179] For the least developed countries (LDCs), a ceiling rate of 0.01% is applied.[177] In addition to the ceiling rates, the minimum amount assessed to any member nation (or "floor" rate) is set at 0.001% of the UN budget ($55,120 for the two year budget 2013–2014).[180]

A large share of the UN's expenditure addresses its core mission of peace and security, and this budget is assessed separately from the main organizational budget.[181] The peacekeeping budget for the 2015–16 fiscal year was $8.27 billion, supporting 82,318 troops deployed in 15 missions around the world.[124] UN peace operations are funded by assessments, using a formula derived from the regular funding scale that includes a weighted surcharge for the five permanent Security Council members, who must approve all peacekeeping operations. This surcharge serves to offset discounted peacekeeping assessment rates for less developed countries. the largest contributors for the UN peacekeeping financial operations for the period 2019–2021 are : the United States 27.89% China 15.21%, Japan 8.56%, Germany 6.09% , the United Kingdom 5.78%, France 5.61%, Italy 3.30% and the Russian Federation 3.04%.[182]

Special UN programmes not included in the regular budget, such as UNICEF and the World Food Programme, are financed by voluntary contributions from member governments, corporations, and private individuals.[183][184]

Evaluations, awards, and criticism

Main articles: Reform of the United Nations and Reform of the United Nations Security Council

See also: Criticism of the United Nations

The 2001 Nobel Peace Prize to the UN—diploma in the lobby of the UN Headquarters in New York City

A number of agencies and individuals associated with the UN have won the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of their work. Two Secretaries-General, Dag Hammarskjöld and Kofi Annan, were each awarded the prize (in 1961 and 2001, respectively), as were Ralph Bunche (1950), a UN negotiator, René Cassin (1968), a contributor to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the US Secretary of State Cordell Hull (1945), the latter for his role in the organization's founding. Lester B. Pearson, the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs, was awarded the prize in 1957 for his role in organizing the UN's first peacekeeping force to resolve the Suez Crisis. UNICEF won the prize in 1965, the International Labour Organization in 1969, the UN Peace-Keeping Forces in 1988, the International Atomic Energy Agency (which reports to the UN) in 2005, and the UN-supported Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons in 2013. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees was awarded in 1954 and 1981, becoming one of only two recipients to win the prize twice. The UN as a whole was awarded the prize in 2001, sharing it with Annan.[185] In 2007, IPCC received the prize "for their efforts to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change, and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change."[186]

Marking of the UN's 70th anniversary – Budapest, 2015

Since its founding, there have been many calls for reform of the UN but little consensus on how to do so. Some want the UN to play a greater or more effective role in world affairs, while others want its role reduced to humanitarian work. There have also been numerous calls for the UN Security Council's membership to be increased, for different ways of electing the UN's Secretary-General, and for a UN Parliamentary Assembly. Jacques Fomerand states the most enduring divide in views of the UN is "the North–South split" between richer Northern nations and developing Southern nations. Southern nations tend to favour a more empowered UN with a stronger General Assembly, allowing them a greater voice in world affairs, while Northern nations prefer an economically laissez-faire UN that focuses on transnational threats such as terrorism.[187]

After World War II, the French Committee of National Liberation was late to be recognized by the US as the government of France, and so the country was initially excluded from the conferences that created the new organization. The future French president Charles de Gaulle criticized the UN, famously calling it a machin ("contraption"), and was not convinced that a global security alliance would help maintain world peace, preferring direct defence treaties between countries.[188] Throughout the Cold War, both the US and USSR repeatedly accused the UN of favouring the other. In 1953, the USSR effectively forced the resignation of Trygve Lie, the Secretary-General, through its refusal to deal with him, while in the 1950s and 1960s, a popular US bumper sticker read, "You can't spell communism without U.N."[189] In a sometimes-misquoted statement, President George W. Bush stated in February 2003 (referring to UN uncertainty towards Iraqi provocations under the Saddam Hussein regime) that "free nations will not allow the UN to fade into history as an ineffective, irrelevant debating society."[190][191][192] In contrast, the French President, François Hollande, stated in 2012 that "France trusts the United Nations. She knows that no state, no matter how powerful, can solve urgent problems, fight for development and bring an end to all crises ... France wants the UN to be the centre of global governance."[193] Critics such as Dore Gold, an Israeli diplomat, Robert S. Wistrich, a British scholar, Alan Dershowitz, an American legal scholar, Mark Dreyfus, an Australian politician, and the Anti-Defamation League consider UN attention to Israel's treatment of Palestinians to be excessive.[194] In September 2015, Saudi Arabia's Faisal bin Hassan Trad has been elected Chair of the UN Human Rights Council panel that appoints independent experts,[195] a move criticized by human rights groups.[196][197]

Since 1971, the Republic of China on Taiwan has been excluded from the UN and since then has always been rejected in new applications. Taiwanese citizens are also not allowed to enter the buildings of the United Nations with ROC passports. In this way, critics agree that the UN is failing its own development goals and guidelines. This criticism also brought pressure from the People's Republic of China, which regards the territories administered by the ROC as their own territory.[198][199]

Critics have also accused the UN of bureaucratic inefficiency, waste, and corruption. In 1976, the General Assembly established the Joint Inspection Unit to seek out inefficiencies within the UN system. During the 1990s, the US withheld dues citing inefficiency and only started repayment on the condition that a major reforms initiative be introduced. In 1994, the Office of Internal Oversight Services (OIOS) was established by the General Assembly to serve as an efficiency watchdog.[200] In 1994, former Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN to Somalia Mohamed Sahnoun published "Somalia: The Missed Opportunities",[201] a book in which he analyses the reasons for the failure of the 1992 UN intervention in Somalia, showing that, between the start of the Somali civil war in 1988 and the fall of the Siad Barre regime in January 1991, the UN missed at least three opportunities to prevent major human tragedies; when the UN tried to provide humanitarian assistance, they were totally outperformed by NGOs, whose competence and dedication sharply contrasted with the UN's excessive caution and bureaucratic inefficiencies. If radical reform were not undertaken, warned Mohamed Sahnoun, then the UN would continue to respond to such crises with inept improvization.[202] In 2004, the UN faced accusations that its recently ended Oil-for-Food Programme — in which Iraq had been allowed to trade oil for basic needs to relieve the pressure of sanctions — had suffered from widespread corruption, including billions of dollars of kickbacks. An independent inquiry created by the UN found that many of its officials had been involved, as well as raising "significant" questions about the role of Kojo Annan, the son of Kofi Annan.[203]

In evaluating the UN as a whole, Jacques Fomerand writes that the "accomplishments of the United Nations in the last 60 years are impressive in their own terms. Progress in human development during the 20th century has been dramatic, and the UN and its agencies have certainly helped the world become a more hospitable and livable place for millions."[204] Evaluating the first 50 years of the UN's history, the author Stanley Meisler writes that "the United Nations never fulfilled the hopes of its founders, but it accomplished a great deal nevertheless", citing its role in decolonization and its many successful peacekeeping efforts.[205] The British historian Paul Kennedy states that while the organization has suffered some major setbacks, "when all its aspects are considered, the UN has brought great benefits to our generation and ... will bring benefits to our children's and grandchildren's generations as well."[206]


The United Nations has inspired the extracurricular activity Model United Nations (MUN). MUN is a simulation of United Nations activity based on the UN agenda and following UN procedure. MUN is usually attended by high school and university students who organize conferences to simulate the various UN committees to discuss important issues of the day. [207] Today Model United Nations educates tens of thousands on United Nations activity around the world. Model United Nations has many famous and notable alumni, such as former Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon.[208]

See also

• International relations
• List of country groupings
• List of current Permanent Representatives to the United Nations
• List of multilateral free-trade agreements
• Model United Nations
• United Nations Headquarters
• United Nations in popular culture
• United Nations Memorial Cemetery
• United Nations television film series
• World Summit on the Information Society


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• Ball, Howard (2011). Genocide: A Reference Handbook. Contemporary World Issues. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-1-59884-488-7.
• Coulon, Jocelyn (1998). Soldiers of Diplomacy: The United Nations, Peacekeeping, and the New World Order. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0-8020-0899-2.
• Fasulo, Linda (2004). An Insider's Guide to the UN. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-10155-3.
• Fomerand, Jacques (2009). The A to Z of the United Nations. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press. ISBN 978-0-8108-5547-2.
• Gold, Dore (2004). Tower of Babble: How the United Nations Has Fueled Global Chaos. New York: Crown Forum. ISBN 978-1-4000-5475-6.
• Grant, Thomas D. (2009). Admission to the United Nations: Charter Article 4 and the Rise of Universal Organization. Legal Aspects of International Organization. 50. Leiden, Netherlands: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 978-900417363-7. ISSN 0924-4883.
• Hoopes, Townsend; Brinkley, Douglas (2000) [1997]. FDR and the Creation of the U.N. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press. ISBN 978-0-300-08553-2.
• Kennedy, Paul (2007) [2006]. The Parliament of Man: The Past, Present, and Future of the United Nations. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-0-375-70341-6.
• Manchester, William; Reid, Paul (2012). The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill. Volume 3: Defender of the Realm, 1940–1965. New York: Little Brown and Company. ISBN 978-0-316-54770-3.
• Meisler, Stanley (1995). United Nations: The First Fifty Years. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press. ISBN 978-0-87113-616-9.
• Mires, Charlene (2013). Capital of the World: The Race to Host the United Nations. New York University Press. ISBN 978-0-8147-0794-4.
• Osmańczyk, Edmund Jan (2004). Mango, Anthony (ed.). Encyclopedia of the United Nations and International Agreements. 4. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 978-0-415-93924-9.
• Schlesinger, Stephen C. (2003). Act of Creation: The Founding of the United Nations: A Story of Super Powers, Secret Agents, Wartime Allies and Enemies, and Their Quest for a Peaceful World. Boulder, Colorado: Westview Press. ISBN 978-0-8133-3324-3.
• Sherwood, Robert E. (1948). Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History. New York: Harper and Brothers.
• Weiss, Thomas G.; Daws, Sam, eds. (2009) [2007]. The Oxford Handbook on the United Nations. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-956010-3.
• Wistrich, Robert S. (2010). A Lethal Obsession: Anti-Semitism from Antiquity to the Global Jihad. New York: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4000-6097-9.
Further reading
• Lowe, Vaughan; Roberts, Adam; Welsh, Jennifer; Zaum, Dominik, eds. (2008). The United Nations Security Council and War: The Evolution of Thought and Practice since 1945. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-953343-5.
• Roberts, Adam; Kingsbury, Benedict, eds. (1994). United Nations, Divided World: The UN's Roles in International Relations (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-827926-6.

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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

Postby admin » Sat Mar 07, 2020 11:28 pm

The Mothers' Research Group
by The Theosophical Society in America, The Theosophical Publishing House, Chennai. India

Freda was concerned that the Indian authorities simply didn't understand the tradition of incarnate lamas, and their critical place in Tibetan society and spiritual practice. Little was done to identify these young lamas, some little more than infants. 'Nobody knew quite what to do with them,' Freda lamented to Olive Shapley. 'In the lamas we have inherited a tradition that dates back to the seventh century -- spiritual richness we can only as yet partially realise,' she wrote to friends. 'I am sure the whole world will ultimately be enriched.'

There are perhaps 200 high 'incarnate' lamas in the country now headed by His Holiness [the Dalai Lama] (including 40-60 child or adolescent incarnations: many of them young people of extraordinary intelligence and physical beauty) ... dedicated monks and lamas of a high standard of learning and spirituality number perhaps 2,500; in addition we have junior and simpler country monks, over 1,500 of whom have volunteered for roadwork. We all pray ultimately we may be able to settle the bulk of the refugees in big land settlements.32

Nehru had taken a diplomatic risk by hosting the Dalai Lama and tens of thousands of those who followed in his wake. But there was a limit to the amount of official support and funding that could be expected for the refugees' welfare, with the most urgent and unmet need being the upkeep and education of the young lamas.

Freda was entirely comfortable soliciting money and support from the rich and well connected. She had also established links with Buddhist and similar groups in London and elsewhere. Within weeks of returning to Delhi from the camps, she sought to turn her extensive network to the Tibetans' advantage. In mid-August 1960, she wrote a long letter to Muriel Lewis, a California-based Theosophist with whom she had corresponded for several years. Muriel ran the Mothers' Research Group principally for American and Western Theosophists, a network which had an interest both in eastern religions and in parenting issues.

I should like to feel that the 'Mothers' Group' was in touch with all I do (Freda wrote). Do you think it would be possible for some of your members to 'Adopt' in a small way -- write to, send parcels to -- these junior lamas? Friendships, even by post, could mean a great deal. We could work out a little scheme, if you are interested. The language barrier is there, but we can overcome it, with the help of friends.

Freda's family had, she recounted, already taken a young lama under their wing.

Last year my son [Kabir] 'adopted' one small lama of 12, sent him a parcel of woollen (yellow)clothes, sweets and picture books, soap and cotton cloth. This time when I went to Buxa, Jayong gave me such an excited and dazzling smile. He was brimming over with joy at seeing me again! It is very quiet away from your own country and relations for a small lama with a LOT TO LEARN. It was of course most touching to see the 'Mother-Love' in the faces of the tutor-lamas and servant lamas who look after the young ones. They are very tender with them.

Freda's letter was included in Muriel's research group newsletter and subsequently reprinted by the Buddhist Society in London. This was the founding act of the Tibetan Friendship Group, which quickly established a presence in eight western countries and was the conduit by which modest private funds were raised for the refugees.34 It outlasted Freda and ... it helped give prominence to the Tibet issue as well as the well-being of the Tibetan diaspora.

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

Chapter 1: The Influence and Work of the World Mother

Christianity, Hinduism (see note) and other great World Faiths all teach that there exists a Being here on our earth Who embodies in perfection all the highest attributes of the Feminine Aspect of both the creative Deity and the human race, including human motherhood. She, the all-compassionate One, gazes with infinite tenderness and concern upon life on earth. What must She see? A frankly ruthless and nakedly cynical violation and desecration by man -- chiefly, though not entirely, by the male -- of everything holy and beautiful for which She stands. She must see everywhere throughout the world irreverence, abuse and cruelty -- the continual infliction of unnecessary suffering by man upon man, and by man upon the animal kingdom

If it were not that She must also know that this epoch is a phase out of which there will grow a nobler, a fairer, a kinder and a more gentle civilization, surely Her heart would be unbearably torn by what She must see. If we add that in Her divine love She voluntarily remains near to humanity, that She is not only an outside observer, not only a great Spirit removed from us, not only an ascetic Adept who long again attained to a spiritual mountain top, but that in a mysterious way She is actually present within our hearts, and especially within the hearts of every woman and child, what an almost unbearable experience such nearness to mankind would be!

I am myself profoundly convinced that such a Being exists and that, beyond human understanding. She is the perfected embodiment of all that is highest and noblest in womanhood. Her heart, I believe, is filled with love and compassion for us all and, while She does see our sins, She does not condemn us. Rather does She draw nearer to enfold us in Her arms of love, even whilst we transgress.

St. Catherine of Sienna, when for a time she had lost contact with her Lord and in her own eyes had fallen deeply, asked, "Lord, where wast Thou amidst all that failure?" In what is called the mystic locution, when the devotee communes with God and hears His voice, the Lord answered, "Daughter, I was there with thee in thy heart." So She, the Mother of the World, is here with us in our hearts, as well as brooding maternally over all humanity, especially now when a new racial birth is occurring, the racial Christ-consciousness being "born". (See Theosophy Answers Some Problems of Life -- also by Geoffrey Hodson)

Let us now look at our world and see some of the problems with which we -- and so the World Mother, since She is one with us -- are confronted.

In the world of today we observe a great reliance on force and cunning. "Let him take who has the power and let him keep who can" is the general philosophy, particularly under totalitarian regimes. I am aware of the existence of the United Nations and its wonderful subsidiary agencies, but it must be confessed that, by some people, honour, morality and goodwill have come to be regarded only as useful means to a selfish ends. In the ultimate, all right still tends to be founded on power.

Then consider the greatest casualty of the Second World War -- loyalty. When the Spanish Commander outside Madrid said he could easily conquer the Capital City because he had four columns outside and a fifth column within, the world pounced on the phrase like a writer who had been seeking a word. "Fifth Column" has since come to connote the great corroding influence in the world today. Other times have had their traitors but never before have such large numbers of people been willing to band themselves together in disloyalty to bring about the downfall of the system within which they live and are nourished, and to act secretly and subversively even while under the protection of the National they seek to destroy. "Fifth Column" "Fifth Column" is now a fear-inspiring phrase, a tocsin of calamity, if ever there was one; for how can we build a brave new world unless we have loyalty?

The world She loves and serves is also deeply sullied by organized crime and vice, such as drug peddling, even to children and adolescents, prostitution, white slavery- horrible to contemplate when thinking of the World Mother and ideal womanhood. Other evils deeply affecting the progress, happiness and health of mankind, particularly the birth of a new and nobler race of man, with which process the World Mother may also be presumed to be concerned, consist of monopolies, cartels, price fixing, corruption in public, professional and business life, soil exploitation and timber denudation. All these bring gain to the few but result in poverty, and in some parts of the world in famine, to the many.

Other serious evils must be known to Her. The colossal consumption of alcohol, for example, takes more lives than war, ruins homes, degrades men and women, brings immeasurable sorrow and loss everywhere, but very great gain to a few who do not hesitate to foster the evil in order to acquire that gain. Then think of the wholly unnecessary and brutal annual slaughter of hundreds of millions of animals for food which also brings immense profit to the few, ugliness to civilization, ill-health to millions, agonized suffering to food animals and degradation to the slaughterman.

All these wickednesses are voluntary and quite deliberate. The infliction of the greatest possible disaster to one's fellow-men and to animals in order to bring gain for oneself is deliberately chosen by all too many people as a most desired way of life and means of making money.

Such are some of the plainly discernible phenomena of the particular phase of evolution through which mankind is now passing. In consequence, most people go on living their everyday life half-frightened, half indifferent, not daring to think into the future and, as Thoreau said, "in quiet desperation". So we, the people of the world see -- as She, the World Mother, must also see -- the ghastly, tragic comedy that is being performed on the international, national, political and economic stages, where the fate of mankind is being largely decided and individuals find themselves relatively helpless. No wonder disillusionment, bitterness and cynicism characterize the thinking and the outlook of youth and adult alike.

Hence the deep significance of those Movements which focus attention on certain aspects of this problem, particularly those concerning the birth of a new and higher Race of men and the life and work of woman in the world. There are all too few of such Movements on earth, born our of tenderness and compassion for humanity, out of a spiritual vision and a recognition of the existence of a Feminine Principle in God, in all Nature and in man.

If I may here introduce a personal note, I well remember how the vision of the veritable existence of the World Mother first dawned upon me many years ago. I think I was privileged to see Her, however faintly, not only as an ideal, or even as One in the succession of Personifications of the Mother Aspect of Deity, but also as a wondrous living Being, the Exquisite Jewel in the Hierarchy of Earth's Adepts, the World Mother for this epoch, the Star of the Sea, as She is severally named.

Some thirty years ago it fell to my lot to try and collaborate with certain physicians in London in a search for the root cause of disease. Our thoughts were constantly led back to prenatal life where it seemed that the seeds of disease, the tendency to disease, latent disease, first appear. In consequence, it was decided that I should attempt clairvoyant (clairvoyance, an extension produced by self-training and used in full waking consciousness, of the normal range of visual response, now known as Extra-Sensory Perception or ESP) investigations (see "The Miracle of Birth, also the description of Plates 29 and 30, and Chapter IV of The Kingdom of the Gods by Geoffrey Hodson). Two of the doctors owned a large Maternity Hospital, and so ample opportunity for observation was provided. In certain cases, investigations were made day by day and week by week into the prenatal development of the new mental, emotional, etheric and physical bodies of the reincarnating Egos. In certain cases the studies were followed right through to the birth itself. Some of the principles of human incarnation were observed and support gained for the view that susceptibility to disease can be observed in the human embryo.

Gradually, as the time of delivery came near, a sheen of beautiful pure blue began to unveil and tinge the auras of both the mother-to-be and the devas (Sanskrit word) meaning "shining ones", the Angelic Hosts) responsible for part of the work of building the new bodies. As the last weeks went by, this blue deepened in the auras of the devas, who began to assume Madonna-like forms. This culminated in the appearance at the time of birth of the Mother of the World as a veritable Presence, presiding over the "miracle" of human motherhood and childbirth.

As a result of these experiences, I feel that I came to know at least that She Exists and a little of what may be seen in Her eyes and in her Heart -- a divinely tender, maternal solicitude for all mankind. I learned, I think, that motherhood should ideally be as conscious as possible, though never at the cost of undue pain: for certain expansions of consciousness can then be experienced which can effect, can exhalt, the consciousness of the mother and through her that of the whole Race.

Infancy: Mothers' Occult Digest, Volume 4, Number 4, Summer 1951, by Muriel Lewis

How may She be truly envisaged? Whilst the beautiful Madonna blue is probably universal, the form in which She presents Herself is apparently adapted to those who see Her. Possibly their own minds shape the vision of Her into a familiar form. As those of us who were then studying prenatal life were all Christians, She in Her compassion may have deliberately adopted the Madonna form so that we might recognize her.

A Chinese lady once invited me to her home and showed me her beautiful garden. Amongst the trees were statues of Kwan Yin, Goddess of Wisdom and Compassion, the Feminine Logos of Chinese Buddhism. My hostess said to me, "I have had thirteen children and on more than one occasion Kwan Yin Herself saved my life. When the pangs of birth became unendurable and I would die, I saw Her there beside my bed. She stretched out Her hand towards me and immediately the pain was eased and the lost poise and steadiness restored, not once, but many times."

Thus I have come to believe, even to know, that there is such a wondrous and glorious Being on our Earth as the World Mother, that She is very near to human mothers during pregnancy and at the time of birth. I have also learned that She ever seeks human agents and human helpers who will serve in Her name and endeavour to live in Her presence. Whilst women especially represent Her, She also needs men of honour to be her knights, ever ready to fight for the weak and the exploited and to guard with knightly loyalty all women and children, as true knights should. Unhappily, men tend to forget the ideals of chivalry, save those who are still knightly in their nature.

A great Mahatma once wrote: "Not till woman bursts the bonds of her sexual slavery, to which she has ever been subjected, will the world obtain an inkling of what she really is and of her proper place in the economy of Nature." (See The Paradoxes of the Highest Science, by Eliphas Levi, page 171)

On one other memorable occasion an Angel Teacher opened my consciousness into some realisation of the present holder of the Office of World Mother, who is Mary, the mother of Jesus. She also attained perfection and chose that one of the seven roads open to the Adept which leads out of the human into the Angelic Kingdom of Nature. The Angel showed me that "She labours ever for the cause of human motherhood, and even now is bending all Her mighty strength and calling her Angel Court to labour for the upliftment of womanhood throughout the world. Through Her angel messengers, She Herself is present at every human birth, unseen and unknown, it is true, but if men would but open their eyes She would be revealed.

"She sends this message through the Brotherhood to men:-

"In the Name of Him whom long ago I bore, I come to your aid. I have taken every woman into my heart, to hold there a part of her that through it I may help her in her time of need.

"Uplift the women of your race till all are seen as queens, and to such queens let every man be as a king, that each may honour each, seeing the other's royalty. Let every home, however small, become a court, every son a knight, every child a page. Let all treat all with chivalry, honouring in each their royal parentage, their kingly birth; for there is royal blood in every man; all are the children of the KING."

"All nations have recognized, honoured and worshipped this Maternal Principle in Nature. All their exoteric religions have personified it as a Goddess, an Archangel Mother of universes, races, nations and men. These personifications of the World Mother are amongst the very noblest concepts of the human mind, which in creating, reverencing and serving them reaches its highest degrees of idealism, devotion and religious self-expression. Such reverence, such devotion and such worship as are offered to World Mothers are therefore worthy of the deepest respect and, gross superstition apart -- ever to be resisted -- may usefully be encouraged. For through human devotion, human beings may be reached from on high. Through human aspiration, higher love and supplication, man is susceptible to both his own Spiritual Self and the influence of the Adept Ministrants of mankind. The Madonna ideal, for example, has been and still is of incalculable value in consoling, purifying and ennobling humanity. Through it, a realisation of the Mother-Love of God has been brought within reach of millions of suffering and aspiring people. The concepts of Kwan Yin, Isis, Ishtar, Parvati and other Goddesses are similarly founded upon the existence, nature and function of the same great Being. Perhaps, because I am a Christian and the cases I was examining were also Christian, the Madonna-like forms here pictured presented themselves to my mind.

"The planetary World Mother is conceived in certain schools of occult philosophy as a highly evolved, Archangel Representative and Embodiment on earth of the Feminine Aspect of the Deity. She is also thought of as an Adept Official in the Inner Government of the World, in whom all the highest qualities of womanhood and motherhood shine forth in their fullest perfection." (See Kingdom of the Gods pages 242-243 )

Such are some of the thoughts and the ideals which have awakened in me since I passed through those experiences of many years ago, followed as they have been by others. Is it not worthwhile to be associated with such an ideal and with such a work as Hers? I feel strongly urged to appeal to those similarly moved, that they will participate and contribute to the best of their ability that this, Her Work, shall not only live on and prosper, but that it shall enter on a great era of activity in Her Name, which is the Name of Compassion, Wisdom and Universal Love.

-- The Spiritual Significance of Motherhood, by Geoffrey Hodson
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Re: Freda Bedi Cont'd (#2)

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Sangharakshita [Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood]
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Accessed: 3/7/20

Alongside this noticeable success, Freda faced some acute disappointments. She made enemies as well as friends, and sometimes these rivalries became vicious. Lois Lang-Sims commented, without saying what prompted the observation, that Freda's enemies 'were not only numerous but of an almost incredible malevolence'. That intense animosity seems to have been behind the most wounding public assault on Freda and her integrity. The stiletto was wielded by D.F. [Dosabhai Framji] Karaka, an Oxford contemporary of the Bedis. He was a writer and journalist of some distinction, though by the early 1960s he was the editor of a not-so-distinguished Bombay-based tabloidstyle weekly, the Current. This was awash with brash, sensationalist stories, reflecting Karaka's fiercely polemical style, his crusading anticommunism and his impatience with Nehru, India's prime minister, for his supposed lack of zeal in standing up for the national interest. The weekly paper bore the slogan 'God Save the Motherland' on its front page.

The front page of 'Current' in September 1963 which caused Freda great distress.
Saturday, September 28, 1963 GOD SAVE THE MOTHERLAND
THE CURRENT, VOL. XV, NO. 3 All India Edition 30 N.P. WEEKLY
On Govt. of India notepaper ...
... Noted Communist appeals to unwary Americans for funds for
by D.F. Karaka
According to an All India Radio news bulletin, Mr. Ghulam Mohammed Bakshi recently stated in Srinagar that Communism was infiltrating into Kashmir through Buddhism. This statement was later confirmed by Mr. Kusho Bakula, Minister of State for Ladakh Affairs, who is himself a Ladakhi and a Buddhist monk.
Information reaching CURRENT through reliable sources indicates that an Englishwoman, married to an Indian, is attempting to express a great deal of anxiety to help the Buddhist cause as a screen for her Communist activities.
This Englishwoman, whose name is FREDA BEDI, and her husband, BABA P.L. BEDI, have been most active workers for Communism for nearly 30 years.
Freda has dabbled with Communism ever since my student days in Oxford. She was, in fact, at Oxford at the same time as myself. Later, she married Bedi, a well known Indian Communist. They both came out to India and plunged themselves into the Communist movement.
They were at one time said to be card-holding Communists, and their police records in this country would certainly testify that before Partition they were not mere sympathisers, but active workers of the C.P.I.
Comrade Bedi was the leader of the Communist Party in Lahore, where in pre-Independence ...

In September 1963, Freda's photograph graced the front-page of the Current, accompanying a story which also took up much of the following page. It was a hatchet job. Under his own byline, Karaka asserted that 'an Englishwoman, married to an Indian, is attempting to express a great deal of anxiety to help the Buddhist cause as a screen for her Communist activities'. He insisted that 'Mrs Freda Bedi ... will always, in my opinion, be a Communist first, irrespective of her outwardly embraced Buddhism.' This was an absurd accusation. Freda's days as a communist sympathiser had come to a close almost twenty years earlier. Her husband had abandoned communism a decade previously.

By 1951, the thorny political issue of offering the people of Kashmir a plebiscite to let them decide whether they wanted to join Pakistan or accede to India hung heavily in the air. Freda was torn. While she believed in the people’s right to choose, she was adamantly against Pakistan’s propaganda, with its call for Islamic separation and the holocaust she feared would irrevocably follow, with Hindus and Sikhs the losers.

“There will be a tough fight when and if a plebiscite takes place. The other side uses low weapons – an appeal to religious fanaticism and hatred, which can always find a response. We fight with clean hands. I am content as a democrat that Kashmir should vote and turn whichever way it wishes, but I know a Pakistan victory would mean massacre and mass migration of Hindus and Sikhs – and I hate to face it. God forbid it should happen,” she said.

For the first time she revealed an anticommunist leaning. “I feel the British Press –- with the exception of our friend Norman Cliff on the News Chronicle -– is Pakistan minded, and while I realize that Pakistan and Middle East oil interests are linked, I think it is a great injustice to Kashmir. While a very brutal invasion and a lot of propaganda from the Pakistan side has been trying to make the state communist minded, it has valiantly stuck to his democratic ideas and built up this very war-torn, hungry world.”

BPL was valiantly doing his part in promoting counterpropaganda (a role given to him by Sheikh Abdullah’s administration), churning out publicity and articles both in Delhi and in Kashmir. One day in 1952, things went catastrophically wrong. BPL had a huge argument with his old friend Sheikh Abdullah, who was about to make a speech ratifying the plebiscite.

Kabir said, “My father warned him that India would never accept such a move and that Sheikh Abdullah would be jailed. He was also afraid that a plebiscite would deepen the split already existing in the state and would destroy the work that he, Mummy, and others had been carefully building up over the fragile early years to promote harmony and improve the living conditions of all the people. Kashmir had a huge Muslim majority, but anti-Pakistan feeling was also very high In Kashmir. That was what my father was working with, especially with his counterpropaganda. His ultimate commitment and hope was that Kashmir would be joined to secular India, with its democratic principles. Sadly the best of friendships ended in a bitter battle.”

The minute his argument with Sheikh Abdullah was over, BPL went home, packed up all his household goods and his family, and within twenty-four hours had moved everyone to Delhi. He could no longer stay in a Kashmir that he felt was heading for trouble, and in the employ of a man whose policies he no longer believed in. His prediction was right. In 1953, Sheikh Abdullah was dismissed as prime minister, arrested on charges of conspiracy against the state, and jailed for eleven years.

-- The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, by Vicki Mackenzie

[1954] As with Freda, Bedi's crisis had a lasting spiritual aspect. He developed a keen interest in the occult, establishing the Occult Circle of India; he became attracted to the mystical Sufi tradition within Islam and -- re-engaging with the religion he was born into -- in Sikh mysticism; he believed he had acquired special powers, and took to hands-on spiritual healing. He dressed in a smock and carried a staff; as his hair became increasingly unkempt, he looked like a latter-day Moses. He chose to be known as Baba, which carried with it an echo of a mystical or spiritual identity. It was a reinvention almost as complete as those that marked out the phases in Freda's life; he had gone from gilded youth, to communist and peasants' rights activist, to political apparatchik, to prophet and visionary. Bedi had largely broken links with the organised left and although he remained active in a Delhi-based Kashmir support group, he moved decisively away from active politics. 'I had been under an impulsion to take to spiritual life,' he recalled a decade later. 'I resigned at once from all organisations .... It was like a realization that now [the] time had come to quit all this work and take to a new form of life.' Bedi insisted... that his embrace of a spiritual purpose did not involve any repudiation of his socialist beliefs. 'The statue of Lenin I loved still lies on my mantelpiece, and not a dent on [my] Marxist convictions exists.' But several of his old associates felt uncomfortable with Bedi's new look and message and kept their distance. Ranbir Vohra, who had known the Bedis in Lahore and Srinagar as well as Delhi, recalled that his old friend offered to help him communicate with anyone who had passed on: 'He suggested that I talk to Marx. I declined the generous offer.'

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

But the accusation of being a concealed communist was deeply wounding especially when the Tibetan refugees regarded communist China as their arch enemy -- the occupiers of their homeland and destroyers of their culture, faith and tradition -- and when India had recently been at war with China.

The idea to write Red Shambhala developed gradually as a natural offshoot of my other projects... By chance, I found out that in a secret laboratory in the 1920s Gleb Bokii -- the chief Bolshevik cryptographer, master of codes, ciphers, electronic surveillance -- and his friend Alexander Barchenko, an occult writer from St. Petersburg, explored Kabala, Sufi wisdom, Kalachakra, shamanism, and other esoteric traditions, simultaneously preparing an expedition to Tibet to search for the legendary Shambhala. A natural question arose: what could the Bolshevik commissar have to do with all this? ...

Meanwhile, I learned that during the same years, on the other side of the ocean in New York City, the Russian emigre painter Nicholas Roerich and his wife, Helena, were planning a venture into Inner Asia, hoping to use the Shambhala prophecy to build a spiritual kingdom in Asia that would provide humankind with a blueprint of an ideal social commonwealth. To promote his spiritual scheme, he toyed with an idea to blend Tibetan Buddhism and Communism. Then I stumbled upon the German-Armenian historian Emanuel Sarkisyanz's Russland and der Messianismus des Orients, which mentioned that the same Shambhala legend was used by Bolshevik fellow travelers in Red Mongolia to anchor Communism among nomads in the early 1920s.

I came across this information when I was working on a paper dealing with the Oirot/Amursana prophecy that sprang up among Altaian nomads of southern Siberia at the turn of the twentieth century. This prophecy, also widespread in neighboring western Mongolia, dealt with the legendary hero some named Oirot and others called Amursana. The resurrected hero was expected to redeem suffering people from alien intrusions and lead them into a golden age of spiritual bliss and prosperity. This legend sounded strikingly similar to the Shambhala prophecy that stirred the minds of Tibetans and the nomads of eastern Mongolia. In my research I also found that the Bolsheviks used the Oirot/Amursana prophecy in the 1920s to anchor themselves in Inner Asia. I began to have a feeling that all the individuals and events mentioned above might have somehow been linked...

Shambhala... was a prophecy that emerged in the world of Tibetan Buddhism between the 900s and 1100s CE, centered on a legend about a pure and happy kingdom located somewhere in the north; the Tibetan word Shambhala means "source of happiness." The legend said that in this mystical land people enjoyed spiritual bliss, security, and prosperity. Having mastered special techniques, they turned themselves into godlike beings and exercised full control over forces of nature. They were blessed with long lives, never argued, and lived in harmony as brothers and sisters. At one point, as the story went, alien intruders would corrupt and undermine the faith of Buddha. That was when Rudra Chakrin (Rudra with a Wheel), the last king of Shambhala, would step in and in a great battle would crush the forces of evil. After this, the true faith, Tibetan Buddhism, would prevail and spread all over the world....

In the course of time, indigenous lamas and later Western spiritual seekers muted the "crusade" notions of the prophecy, and Shambhala became the peaceable kingdom that could be reached through spiritual enlightenment and perfection. The famous founder of Theosophy Helena Blavatsky was the first to introduce this cleansed version of the legend into Western esoteric lore in the 1880s. At the same time, she draped Shambhala in the mantle of evolutionary theory and progress: ideas widely popular among her contemporaries. Blavatsky's Shambhala was the abode of the Great White Brotherhood hidden in the Himalayas. The mahatmas from this brotherhood worked to engineer the so-called sixth race of spiritually enlightened and perfect human beings, who possessed superior knowledge and would eventually take over the world. After 1945, when this kind of talk naturally went out of fashion, the legend was refurbished to fit new spiritual needs. Today in Tibetan Buddhism and spiritual literature, in both the East and the West, Shambhala is presented as an ideal spiritual state seekers should aspire to reach by practicing compassion, meditation, and high spirituality. In this most recent interpretation of the legend, the old "holy war" feature is not simply set aside but recast into an inner war against internal demons that block a seeker's movement toward perfection....

Lama Phuntsok was one of the dozens of lamas we had met, or were going to meet, in our future. It was already starting to get boring; all these amazing, enlightened Tibetan lamas and their cookie-cutter teachings we had access to, for free, because of our circumstances taking care of Trungpa's son. Although I wouldn't admit it, these lamas were all starting to sound the same and quite dull to me. This old lama from Tibet was different, however, being straight from the old country; unskilled in the strategic charms the lamas had learned for western audiences.

Phuntsok, we were told, was the incarnation of every great lama of the past, which was always the case for any new lamas who needed the boost, and this one seemed incoherent and all over the place. But, one thing was for sure, he was teaching us the real Kalachakra prophecy and its inner and secret teachings; how Trungpa's Shambhala legacy was embedded within it. It was not the Camelot Kingdom terma of Trungpa, nor the Shangri-la paradise of Saint Dalai Lama, filled with peace, love, and harmony, that we had come to believe.

This Kalachakra prophecy, the real one, we had never heard about before. Not in this direct and non-evasive way.

The Dalai Lama had finished giving his fourth, U.S. Kalachakra Wheel of Time empowerment in 1991, in New York City, to crowds of unsuspecting thousands, with the usual pitch that it was about bringing peace throughout the world. This Kalachakra prophecy, the real one, straight from this Lama Phuntsok's mouth, straight from Tibet, wasn't talking peace. He was talking about a third world war, the idea of which he seemed to relish, when Tantric Lord Chakravartins, as Rigden Kings, like Trungpa, would come to rule the world.

Lama Phuntsok told us we were the "special" Trungpa students of the "Shambhala Kingdom" and that Trungpa was a lama, who was not just a great bodhisattva, but a great military leader, connected to Gesar of Ling; an emanation of Rigden Kings who would come to rule the earth, in the near future. We were the future army of Shambhala warriors. Nothing new here; the usual teaching by Trungpa and his early students, but told were simply symbolic. We, as his students in this life, and part of his military branch, his kasung, were going to be reborn in the pure land of Shambhala. Yes, that was the same, but then Phuntsok continued: 'when you will come back to fight as Shambhala warriors, some of you as generals, in this great Wheel of Time war between heretics and Shambhala.'

When this war ended, he told us, it would usher in the Age of Maitreya, the Adi-Buddha world of Shambhala and its enlightened society, after this future great apocalyptic war, predicted by these lamas and their ancient prophesies, had destroyed the enemies of their 'dharma.' It was starting to sound like being reborn as kamikaze in a great, epic bloody battle. Not something you would wish for, for any of your next lives, as Lama Phuntsok was describing it. I just flinched, and filed it away.

What remained clear, however, was this great coming war was very real to this old lama from Tibet, and not symbolic at all; not an internal fight, or struggle within us, to tame our own demons -- our egoistic propensities, -- as we had been taught.

It was the first red flag, waving madly before my eyes, about why these lamas are building all their centers and temples, around the world. I realized, that they really believe they will rise up, at the end of this apocalypse they are all predicting; as the new Lord Chakravartins, the Rigden God Kings, ruling over the earth.

Lama Phuntsok, unskilled in donning a 'peaceful' mask for western consumption, had just told us that Tibetan Buddhism is an apocalyptic cult, that believes it will be the world religion in the not too distant future; once it has conquered the other heretic religions. The lamas had been telling us the same thing; but always making sure it was seen as just a metaphor; in a twilight language; about the war inside us, caused by that bug-a-boo: ego. Lama Phuntsok, straight from Tibet, and therefore straight from the thirteenth century, was telling us the truth about his Tibetan Buddhism; this religion of peace.

In a few short years, in Digby, Nova Scotia, at my last graduate Shambhala retreat -- Trungpa's Kalapa Assembly -- I would learn that Trungpa's ambitions to rule the world were as real for him as it was for Lama Phuntsok, transmitting the prophecy of Shambhala before me, now. Clearly, all these lamas believed and wished for the same thing.

-- Enthralled: The Guru Cult of Tibetan Buddhism, by Christine A. Chandler, M.A., C.A.G.S.

Red Shambhala is the first book in English that recounts the story of political and spiritual seekers from the West and the East, who used Tibetan Buddhist prophecies to promote their spiritual, social, and geopolitical agendas and schemes. These were people of different persuasions and backgrounds: lamas (Ja-Lama and Agvan Dorzhiev), a painter-Theosophist (Nicholas Roerich), a Bolshevik secret police cryptographer (Gleb Bokii), an occult writer with leftist leanings (Alexander Barchenko), Bolshevik diplomats and revolutionaries (Georgy Chicherin, Boris Shumatsky) along with their indigenous fellow-travelers (Elbek-Dorji Rinchino, Sergei Borisov, and Choibalsan), and the rightwing fanatic "Bloody White Baron" Roman von Ungern-Sternberg. Despite their different backgrounds and loyalties, they shared the same totalitarian temptation -- the faith in ultimate solutions. They were on the quest for what one of them (Bokii) defined as the search for the source of absolute good and absolute evil. All of them were true believers, idealists who dreamed about engineering a perfect free-of-social-vice society based on collective living and controlled by enlightened spiritual or ideological masters (an emperor, the Bolshevik Party, the Great White Brotherhood, a reincarnated deity) who would guide people on the "correct" path. Healthy skepticism and moderation, rare commodities at that time anyway, never visited the minds of the individuals I profile in this book. In this sense, they were true children of their time -- an age of extremes that gave birth to totalitarian society.

-- Red Shambhala: Magic, Prophecy, and Geopolitics in the Heart of Asia, by Andrei Znamenski

'Freda has dabbled with Communism ever since my student days in Oxford,' Karaka reported. 'She was, in fact, at Oxford at the same time as myself. Later, she married Bedi, a well known Indian Communist. They both came out to India and plunged themselves into the Communist movement.' The article resorted to innuendo, suggesting that 'the alleged indoctrination of Sheikh Abdulla [sic] was largely to be traced to his very close association with Freda Bedi'. It suggested that some former associates of the Bedis in Kashmir had 'mysteriously disappeared'. Freda was alleged to have been caught up in controversy about Buddhist property and funds before turning, 'with the active encouragement of Shri J. Nehru, the Prime Minister', to the running of the Young Lamas' Home School. The article suggested that Freda was getting money from the Indian government, and using government headed paper to appeal for funds from supporters in America and elsewhere. Karaka suggested that the Tibetan Friendship Group was a 'Communist stunt' and he alleged that 'noted Communists, with the usual "blessings" of Mr. Nehru, are using the excuse of helping Tibetan refugees and Buddhist monks for furthering the cause of Communism in strategic border areas.'

Aside from the venomous smears, the only evidence of inappropriate conduct that the article pointed to was her use of official notepaper to appeal for funds for her school and other Tibetan relief operations. It cited a letter of complaint, sent by an unnamed Buddhist organisation which clearly was antagonistic to Freda, stating that she had been using the headed paper of the Central Social Welfare Board which bore the Government of India's logo. A civil servant's response was also quoted: 'Mrs Bedi is not authorised to use Government of India stationery for correspondence in connection with the affairs of the "Young Lama's Home" or the "Tibetan Friendship Group". This has now been pointed out to Mrs. Bedi.'

Even if Freda has been using government headed paper to help raise money -- which those who worked with her say is perfectly possible -- it was hardly a major misdemeanour. But detractors were able to use this blemish to damage her reputation. She was, it seems, distraught at this vicious personal attack and took advice about whether to take legal action. She was advised, probably wisely, to do nothing, as any riposte would simply give further life to accusations so insubstantial that they would quickly fade away. 'The accusation was that Freda was a communist in nun's clothing -- not that Freda was a nun at that time,' recalls Cherry Armstrong. 'I remember her being particularly distressed and "beyond belief' when she believed she had identified the culprit. Freda was totally dumbfounded about it.'

Freda was convinced that another western convert to Buddhism, Sangharakshita (earlier Dennis Lingwood), was either behind the slur or was abetting it. They had much in common -- including a deep antipathy to each other. Lingwood encountered Theosophy and Buddhism as a teenager in England and was ordained before he was twenty by the Burmese monk U Titthila, who later helped Freda towards Buddhism. During the war, he served in the armed forces in South and South-east Asia and from 1950 spent about fourteen years based in Kalimpong in north-east India, where he was influenced by several leading Tibetan Buddhist teachers. In the small world of Indian Buddhism, the two English converts rubbed shoulders. More than sixty years later, Sangharakshita -- who established a Buddhist community in England -- recalls coming across Freda, then new to Buddhism, living at the Ashoka Vihar Buddhist centre outside Delhi. 'She was tall, thin, and intense and wore Indian dress. She had a very pale complexion, with light fair hair and very pale blue eyes. In other words, she looked very English! I also noticed, especially later on, that she was very much the Memsaheb ... During the time that I knew Freda she knew hardly anything about Buddhism, having never studied it seriously .... She had however developed what I called her "patter" about the Dalai Lama, compassion, and the poor dear little Tulkus. So far as I could see, Freda had no spiritual awareness or Enlightenment. She may, of course, have developed these later.' His view of the Young Lamas' Home School is also somewhat jaundiced -- 'some of [the tulkus] developed rather expensive tastes, such as for Rolex watches.'

In 1989 he was awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize, he is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism -– and he, himself is a self-confessed watch lover. The speech is of course by Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama. Granted, the ascetic monk is not the first name that comes to mind in connection with luxury watches. But the Dalai Lama has a weakness for mechanical watches and has been happy to disassemble and reassemble them for years. His personal collection consists of over 15 watches, about which, however, little is known....

However, three of his watches can be clearly seen in photos and we are able to identity them. In addition to a Patek Philippe pocket watch, given to him as a young boy from U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the monk also has two Rolex models whose origin is unknown.

His love of mechanical watches began very early: At the age of 6 or 7, the Dalai Lama received his first watch, from none other than the U.S. American President Franklin D. Roosevelt....Eric Wind identified the watch... in a Hodinkee article as a pocket watch with Ref. 658, of which only 15 were made between 1937 and 1950, a truly special gift!... Roosevelt did not hand over the gift personally. Two agents of the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor of today’s CIA, offered the watch along with a letter from the president. Brooke Dolan and his colleague Ilia [Ilya Andreyevich] Tolstoy, who was allegedly the grandson of the famous author Leo Tolstoy, strictly followed the protocol: visitors silently handed over their presents and received a so-called 'katha‘, a prayer shawl traditionally handed over. The two had a mission to find out more about the possibility of building a road from India to China, which was strategically important to the United States for supplying China during the war with Japan.

The Dalai Lama’s watch is a complex and rare specimen that displays the moon phases, date, day of the week and months. It aroused his enthusiasm for mechanical watches and watchmaking. A well-known photograph shows him working on watches....

If you are interested in mechanical watches, there is no way around a classic Rolex. The Dalai Lama owns two models that are well-known: A Rolesor Rolex Datejust made of gold and stainless steel with a Jubilee bracelet and a Rolex Day-Date, both presumably gifts. The latter is made of yellow gold and has a blue dial, as seen in some photographs. Some people say that they are a sign of proudness among a monk, but if you look at the meaning of the colours in Tibetan Buddhism, you will see a beautiful picture: blue stands for heaven and spiritual insights, yellow for earth and the experiences of the real world. Thus, the watch purely by chance reflects the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism.

-- The Dalai Lama and his [Rolex] watches, by Manuel Lütgens

Sangharakshita's recollection is that he and Freda 'got on quite well, even though I did not take her "Buddhism" very seriously' as they were both English and (in his view) of working-class origin. He was not impressed by her husband: 'he struck me as a bit of a humbug ... I was told (not by Freda) that he was then living with one of his cousins.' In his memoirs, he recycled one of the allegations that featured in Current, that an 'Englishwoman married to a well-known Indian communist' was trying to 'wrest' control of Ashoka Vihar outside Delhi from the Cambodian monk who had founded it. Decades later, he continues to recount this and other of the items on the Current charge sheet, describing Freda as 'a rather ruthless operator' while in Kashmir. He recalls the furore over the Current article, but says that he had no reason to believe that Freda was using the Lamas' School for a political purpose. Freda never tackled him over her suspicions, but he does not deny a tangential involvement. 'It is possible,' he concedes, 'that certain reservations about the Young Lamas' Home School eventually reached the ears of Current.'

The incident was a reflection of the intense rivalries within the Tibetan movement and its supporters. 'Strong personalities do seem to draw opposition by their very nature,' Cherry Armstrong comments, 'and there is a lot of personal politics amongst the Tibetan groups -- not all light and loveliness as one might like to think.'

-- The Lives of Freda: The Political, Spiritual and Personal Journeys of Freda Bedi, by Andrew Whitehead

At the Western Buddhist Order men's ordination course, Guhyaloka, Spain, June 2002
Born: Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood, 26 August 1925, Tooting, London, England, U.K.
Died: 30 October 2018 (aged 93), Hereford, Herefordshire, England, U.K.
Religion: Buddhism
Nationality: British
Dharma names: Urgyen Sangharakshita
Occupation: Buddhist teacher, writer
Senior posting
Based in: Coddington, England, United Kingdom

Sangharakshita (born Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood, 26 August 1925 – 30 October 2018) was a British Buddhist teacher and writer. He was the founder of the Triratna Buddhist Community, which was known until 2010 as the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order, or FWBO.[1][2]

He was one of a handful of westerners to be ordained as Theravadin Bhikkhus in the period following World War II,[3] and spent over 20 years in Asia,[4] where he had a number of Tibetan Buddhist teachers.[5] In India, he was active in the conversion movement of Dalits—so-called "Untouchables"—initiated in 1956 by B. R. Ambedkar.[4] He authored more than 60 books, including compilations of his talks, and was described as "one of the most prolific and influential Buddhists of our era,"[6] "a skilled innovator in his efforts to translate Buddhism to the West,"[7] and as "the founding father of Western Buddhism"[8] for his role in setting up what is now the Triratna Buddhist Community,[9] but Sangharakshita was often regarded as a controversial teacher.[3] He was criticised for having had sexual relations with Order members,[10] which allegedly amounted to abuse and coercion.[11]

Sangharakshita retired formally in 1995 and in 2000 stepped down from the movement's ostensive leadership, but he remained its dominant figure and lived at its headquarters in Coddington, Herefordshire.[12]

The Triratna Order Office announced the death of Sangharakshita after a short illness on 30 October 2018.[13][14]

Early life

Sangharakshita was born Dennis Philip Edward Lingwood in Tooting, London, in 1925.[15] After being diagnosed with a heart condition he spent much of his childhood confined to bed, and used the opportunity to read widely.[16] His first encounter with non-Christian thought was with Madame Helena Blavatsky's Isis Unveiled,[17] upon reading which, he later said, he realised that he had never been a Christian.[18] The following year he came across two Buddhist texts—the Diamond Sutra and the Platform Sutra—and concluded that he had always been a Buddhist.[18]

As Dennis Lingwood, he joined the Buddhist Society at the age of 18,[19] and formally became a Buddhist in May 1944 by taking the Three Refuges and Five Precepts from the Burmese monk, U Thittila.[16]

He was conscripted into the army in 1943, and served in India, Sri Lanka (then known as Ceylon) and Singapore as a radio engineer[20] in the Royal Corps of Signals.[21] It was in Sri Lanka, while in contact with the swamis in the (Hindu) Ramakrishna Mission, that he developed the desire to become a monk.[22] In 1946, after the cessation of hostilities, he was transferred to Singapore, where he made contact with Buddhists and learned to meditate.[23]


Having been conscripted into the British Army and posted to India, at the end of the war Sangharakshita handed in his rifle, left the camp where he was stationed and deserted.[23] He moved about in India for a few years, with a Bengali novice Buddhist, the future Buddharakshita, as his companion, meditating and experiencing for himself the company of eminent spiritual personalities of the times, like Mata Anandamayi, Ramana Maharishi and Swamis of Ramakrishna Mission. They spent fifteen months in 1947-48, in the Ramakrishna Mission centre at Muvattupuzha with the consent of Swami Tapasyananda and Swami Agamananda. In May 1949 he became a novice monk, or sramanera, in a ceremony conducted by the Burmese monk, U Chandramani, who was then the most senior monk in India. It was then that he was given the name Sangharakshita (Pali: Sangharakkhita), which means "protected by the spiritual community."[23] Sangharakshita took full bhikkhu ordination the following year,[21] with another Burmese bhikkhu, U Kawinda, as his preceptor (upādhyāya), and with the Ven. Jagdish Kashyap as his teacher (ācārya).[23] He studied Pali, Abhidhamma, and Logic with Jagdish Kashyap at Benares (Varanasi) University.[19] In 1950, at Kashyap's suggestion, Sangharakshita moved to the hill town of Kalimpong[17] close to the borders of India, Bhutan, Nepal. and Sikkim, and only a few miles from Tibet. Kalimpong was his base for 14 years until his return to England in 1966.[20]

During his time in Kalimpong, Sangharakshita formed a young men's Buddhist association and established an ecumenical centre for the practice of Buddhism (the Triyana Vardhana Vihara).[20] He also edited the Maha Bodhi Journal and established a magazine, Stepping Stones.[24] In 1951, Sangharakshita met the German-born Lama Govinda, who was the first Buddhist Sangharakshita had known "to declare openly the compatibility of art with the spiritual life", and who gave Sangharakshita a greater appreciation for Tibetan Buddhism.[25] Govinda had begun his explorations of Buddhism in the Theravada tradition, studying briefly under the German-born bhikkhu, Nyanatiloka Mahathera (who gave him the name Govinda), but after meeting the Gelug Lama, Tomo Geshe Rinpoche, in 1931, he turned towards Tibetan Buddhism.[26] Sangharakshita's spiritual explorations were to follow a similar trajectory.

Sangharakshita was ordained in the Theravada school, but said he became disillusioned by what he felt was the dogmatism, formalism, and nationalism of many of the Theravadin bhikkhus he met[5] and became increasingly influenced by Tibetan Buddhist teachers who had fled Tibet after the Chinese invasion in the 1950s. Two years after his meeting with Lama Govinda he began studying with the Gelug Lama, Dhardo Rinpoche.[5] Sangharakshita also received initiations and teachings from teachers who included Jamyang Khyentse, Dudjom Rinpoche, as well as Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche.[5] It was Dhardo Rinpoche who was to give Sangharakshita Mayahana ordination.[19] Later, Sangharakshita also studied with a Ch'an teacher, Yogi Chen (Chen Chien-Ming), along with another English monk, Bhikkhu Khantipalo.[27] Together, the three men turned their ongoing seminar on Buddhist theory and practice into a book, Buddhist Meditation, Systematic and Practical.[28]

In 1952, Sangharakshita met Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar[29] (1891–1956), the chief architect of the Indian constitution and India's first law minister. Ambedkar, who had been a so-called Untouchable, converted to Buddhism, along with 380,000 other Untouchables (now known as "dalits") on 14 October 1956.[30] Ambedkar and Sangharakshita had been in correspondence since 1950, and the Indian politician had encouraged the young monk to expand his Buddhist activities.[31] Ambedkar appreciated Sangharakshita's "commitment to a more critically engaged Buddhism that did not at the same time dilute the cardinal precepts of Buddhist thought".[32] Ambedkar initially invited Sangharakshita to perform his conversion ceremony, but the latter refused, arguing that U Chandramani should preside.[32] Ambedkar died six weeks later, leaving his conversion movement leaderless, and Sangharakshita, who had just arrived in Nagpur to visit dalit Buddhists,[32] continued what he felt was Ambedkar's work by lecturing to former Untouchables,[29] and presiding over a ceremony in which a further 200,000 Untouchables converted.[30] For the next decade, Sangharakshita spent much of his time visiting dalit Buddhist communities in western India.[33]

Return to the West

In 1964, Sangharakshita was invited to help with a dispute at the Hampstead Buddhist Vihara in north London,[34] where he proved to be a popular teacher.[15] His ecumenical approach and failure to conform to some of the trustees' expectations was said to contrast with the strict Theravadin-style Buddhism at the vihara.[15] Although originally planning to stay only six months, he decided to settle in England, but after he returned to India for a farewell tour, the Vihara's trustees voted to expel him.[15]

Sangharakshita returned to England and in April 1967 founded the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order.[15] The Western Buddhist Order was founded a year later, when he ordained the first dozen men and women. The first ordinations were attended by a Zen monk, a Shin priest and two Theravadin monks.[35]

Satisfied neither with the lay-Buddhist approach of the Buddhist Society, nor the monastic approach of the Hampstead vihara—the two dominant Buddhist organisations in Britain at that time—he created what he said was a new form of Buddhism. The order would be neither lay nor monastic,[36] and members take a set of ten precepts[35] that are a traditional part of Mahayana Buddhism.[37]

Initially, Sangharakshita led all classes and conducted all ordinations.[35] He gave lectures drawing on what he felt were the essential teachings of all the major Buddhist schools.[34] He led major retreats twice a year and frequent day and weekend events.[34] As the order grew, and centres became established across Britain and in other countries, order members took more responsibility until, in August 2000, he devolved his responsibilities as the head of the Western Buddhist Order to eight men and women who formed what was called the "College of Public Preceptors."[38] In 2005 Sangharakshita donated all of his books and artefacts, with an insurance value of £314,400, to the charitable trust dedicated to his 'support and assistance' as well as enabling his office to 'maintain contact with his disciples and friends worldwide' and to 'support them in activities'.[39] In 2015 this trust had an income of £140K, and for 2016 it was £73K.[40][41]

Sangharakshita died, aged 93, on 30 October 2018 after a short illness.[42]

Sexual misconduct

Main article: Triratna Buddhist Community

In 1997, Sangharakshita became the focus for controversy when The Guardian newspaper published complaints concerning some of his sexual relationships with FWBO members during the 1970s and 1980s.[43] For a decade following these public revelations, he declined to give any response to concerns from within the movement that he had misused his position as a Buddhist teacher to sexually exploit young men. He later addressed the controversy, stressing that his sexual partners were, or appeared to be, willing, and he expressed regret for any mistakes.[44]

Contributions and legacy

Ven. Rewata Dhamma, Sangharakshita and Thich Nhat Hanh at the European Buddhist Union Congress, Berlin, 1992

Sangharakshita has been described as "among the first Westerners who devoted their life to the practice as well as the spreading of Buddhism" and also as a "prolific writer, translator, and practitioner of Buddhism".[45] As a Westerner seeking to use Western concepts to communicate Buddhism, he has been compared to Teilhard de Chardin,[46] termed "the founding father of Western Buddhism,"[8] and noted as "a skilled innovator in his efforts to translate Buddhism to the West."[7]

For Sangharakshita, as with other Buddhists, the factor that unites all Buddhist schools is not any particular teaching, but the act of "going for refuge" (sarana-gamana), which he regards "not simply as a formula but as a life-changing event"[17] and as an ongoing "reorientation of one's life away from mundane concerns to the values embodied in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha."[47] Any decisive act upon the spiritual path—renunciation, ordination, initiation, the attainment of Stream Entry, and the arising of the bodhicitta—are manifestations or examples of Going for Refuge.[48]

Among his distinctive views is his use of the scientific theory of evolution as a metaphor for spiritual development, referring to biological evolution as the "lower evolution" and spiritual development as being a form of self-directed "higher evolution". Though he considers women and men equally capable of Enlightenment and ordained them equally right from the start, he has also said he had "tentatively reached the conclusion that the spiritual life is more difficult for women because they are less able than men to envisage...something purely transcendental..."[49] He also criticised heterosexual nuclear relationships as tending to neuroticism. The FWBO has been accused of cult-like behaviour in the 1970s and 80s for encouraging heterosexual men to engage in sexual relationships with men in order to get over their fear of intimacy with men and obtain spiritual growth.[48] He has drawn parallels between Buddhism and the spirit of the Romantics, who believed that what art reveals has great moral and spiritual significance, and has written of "the religion of art."[50]

Including compilations of his talks, Sangharakshita has authored more than 60 books. Meanwhile, the Triratna Buddhist Community, which he founded as the FWBO, has been described as "perhaps the most successful attempt to create an ecumenical international Buddhist organization".[51] The community is one of the three largest Buddhist movements in Britain,[52] and has a presence in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. More than a fifth of all Order members, as of 2006, were in India,[53] where Dr. Ambedkar's mission to convert dalits to Buddhism continues.[54] Martin Baumann, a scholar of Buddhism, has estimated that there are 100,000 people worldwide who are affiliated with the Triratna Buddhist Community.[54]

For Buddhologist Francis Brassard, Sangharakshita's major contribution is "without doubt his attempt to translate the ideas and practices of [Buddhism] into Western languages."[55] The non-denominational nature of the Triratna Buddhist Community,[35] its equal ordination for both men and women,[56] and its evolution of new forms of shared practice, such as what it calls team-based right livelihood projects, have been cited as examples of such "translation", and also as the creation of a "Buddhist society in miniature within the Western, industrialized world".[4] For Martin Baumann, the Triratna Buddhist Community serves as proof that "Western concepts, such as a capitalistic work ethos, ecological considerations, and a social-reformist perspective, can be integrated into the Buddhist tradition".[57]



• Anagarika Dharmapala: A Biographical Sketch
• Great Buddhists of the Twentieth Century

Books on Buddhism

• The Eternal Legacy: An Introduction to the Canonical Literature of Buddhism
• A Survey of Buddhism: Its Doctrines and Methods Through the Ages
• The Ten Pillars of Buddhism
• The Three Jewels: The Central Ideals of Buddhism
Edited seminars and lectures on Buddhism[edit]
• The Bodhisattva Ideal
• Buddha Mind
• The Buddha's Victory
• Buddhism for Today – and Tomorrow
• Creative Symbols of Tantric Buddhism
• The Drama of Cosmic Enlightenment
• The Essence of Zen
• A Guide to the Buddhist Path
• Human Enlightenment
• The Inconceivable Emancipation
• Know Your Mind
• Living with Awareness
• Living with Kindness
• The Meaning of Conversion in Buddhism
• New Currents in Western Buddhism
• Ritual and Devotion in Buddhism
• The Taste of Freedom
• The Yogi's Joy: Songs of Milarepa
• Tibetan Buddhism: An Introduction
• Transforming Self and World
• Vision and Transformation (also known as The Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Path)
• Who Is the Buddha?
• What Is the Dharma?
• What Is the Sangha?
• Wisdom Beyond Words

Essays and papers

• Alternative Traditions
• Crossing the Stream
• Going For Refuge
• The Priceless Jewel
• Aspects of Buddhist Morality
• Dialogue between Buddhism and Christianity
• The Journey to Il Covento
• St Jerome Revisited
• Buddhism and Blasphemy
• Buddhism, World Peace, and Nuclear War
• The Bodhisattva Principle
• The Glory of the Literary World
• A Note on The Burial of Count Orgaz
• Criticism East and West
• Dharmapala: The Spiritual Dimension
• With Allen Ginsburg In Kalimpong (1962)
• Indian Buddhists
• Ambedkar and Buddhism

Memoirs, autobiography and letters

• Facing Mount Kanchenjunga: An English Buddhist in the Eastern Himalayas
• From Genesis to the Diamond Sutra: A Western Buddhist's Encounters with Christianity
• In the Sign of the Golden Wheel: Indian Memoirs of an English Buddhist
• Moving Against the Stream: The Birth of a New Buddhist Movement
• The Rainbow Road: From Tooting Broadway to Kalimpong
• The History of My Going for Refuge
• Precious Teachers
• Travel Letters
• Through Buddhist Eyes

Poetry and art

• The Call of the Forest and Other Poems
• Complete Poems 1941–1994
• Conquering New Worlds: Selected Poems
• Hercules and the Birds
• In the Realm of the Lotus
• The Religion of Art


• Forty Three Years Ago: Reflections on My Bhikkhu Ordination
• The FWBO and 'Protestant Buddhism': An Affirmation and a Protest
• The Meaning of Orthodoxy in Buddhism
• Was the Buddha a Bhikkhu? A Rejoinder to a Reply to 'Forty Three Years Ago'.


• The Dhammapada

See also

• Dharmachari Subhuti - Senior associate of Sangharakshita


1. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 333, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
2. George D. Chryssides; Margaret Z. Wilkins (2006). A Reader in New Religious Movements: Readings in the Study of New Religious. London: Continuum International Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0826461674.
3. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 326, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
4. Baumann, Martin (May 1998), "Working in the Right Spirit: The Application of Buddhist Right Livelihood in the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order" (PDF), Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 5: 132.
5. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 329, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
6. Smith, Huston; Novak, Philip (2004), Buddhism: A Concise Introduction, HarperCollins, p. 221, ISBN 978-0-06-073067-3
7. Doyle, Anita (Summer 1996), "Women, Men, and Angels (review)", Tricycle: The Buddhist Review, 5: 105
8. Berkwitz, Stephen C (2006), Buddhism in world cultures: comparative perspectives, ABC-CLIO, p. 303, ISBN 978-1-85109-782-1
9. Kay, David N (2004), Tibetan and Zen Buddhism in Britain: transplantation, development and adaptation, Routledge, p. 25, ISBN 978-0-415-29765-3
10. Tsomo, Karma Lekshe (2000), Innovative Buddhist women: swimming against the stream, Routledge, p. 266, ISBN 978-0-7007-1253-3
11. Doward, Jamie (21 July 2019). "Buddhist, teacher, predator: dark secrets of the Triratna guru". The Observer. Retrieved 15 February 2020.
12. "Adhisthana". Triratna Buddhist Order. Retrieved 19 February 2014.
13. "Urgyen Sangharakshita 1925-2018".
14. Littlefair, Sam (30 October 2018). "Sangharakshita, founder of Triratna Buddhism, dead at 93". Lion's Roar. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
15. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 46, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
16. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 47, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
17. Lopez Jr, Donald S (2002), A Modern Buddhist Bible: Essential Readings from East and West, Beacon Press, p. 186, ISBN 978-0-8070-1243-7
18. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 323, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
19. Snelling, John (1999), The Buddhist Handbook: A Complete Guide to Buddhist Schools, Teaching, Practice, and History, Inner Traditions, p. 230, ISBN 978-0-89281-761-0
20. Chryssides, George D. (1999), Exploring New Religions, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 225, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6
21. Prebish, Charles S. (1999), Luminous passage: the practice and study of Buddhism in America, University of California Press, p. 47, ISBN 978-0-520-21697-6
22. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, pp. 47–48, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
23. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 48, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
24. Oldmeadow, Harry (1999), Journeys East: 20th century Western encounters with Eastern religious traditions, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 280, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6
25. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, pp. 328–329, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
26. Lopez, Donald (2002), A Modern Buddhist Bible: Essential Readings from East and West, Beacon Press, p. 98, ISBN 978-0-8070-1243-7
27. Khantipalo, Laurence (2002), Noble Friendship: Travels of a Buddhist Monk, Windhorse Publications, pp. 140–142, ISBN 978-1-899579-46-4
28. Chen, C.M. (1983), Buddhist Meditation, Systematic and Practical (Volume 42 of Hsientai fohsüeh tahsi), Mile ch'upanshe, p. xiii
29. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 331, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
30. Chryssides, George D. (1999), Exploring New Religions, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 226, ISBN 978-0-8264-5959-6
31. Ganguly, debjani (2005), Caste, Colonialism, and Counter-Modernity: Notes on a Postcolonial Hermeneutics of Caste, Routledge, pp. 167–168, ISBN 978-0-415-34294-0
32. Ganguly, debjani (2005), Caste, Colonialism, and Counter-Modernity: Notes on a Postcolonial Hermeneutics of Caste, Routledge, p. 168, ISBN 978-0-415-34294-0
33. Ganguly, debjani (2005), Caste, Colonialism, and Counter-Modernity: Notes on a Postcolonial Hermeneutics of Caste, Routledge, p. 169, ISBN 978-0-415-34294-0
34. Chryssides, George D.; Wilkins, Margaret Z. (2006), A Reader in New Religious Movements, Continuum International Publishing Group, p. 49, ISBN 978-0-8264-6168-1
35. Rawlinson, Andrew (1997), The Book of Enlightened Masters, Open Court, p. 503, ISBN 978-0-8126-9310-2
36. Queen, Christopher S.; King, Sallie B. (1996), Engaged Buddhism, SUNY Press, p. 86, ISBN 978-0-7914-2844-3
37. Keown, Damien (2003), A Dictionary of Buddhism, Oxford University Press US, p. 70, ISBN 978-0-8126-9310-2
38. "Have Map, Can Unravel". Retrieved 23 June 2011.
39. ADM of Triratna Buddhist Community (Uddiyana), 2015, Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
40. "Triratna Buddhist Community (Uddiyana)". Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 14 April 2017.
41. "Triratna Buddhist Community (Uddiyana)". Charity Commission for England and Wales. Retrieved 15 August 2018.
42. Triratna Buddhist Order Website. Sangharakshita Memorial Space. ... splay=team
43. Tsomo, Karma Lekshe (2000), Innovative Buddhist Women: Swimming Against the Stream, Routledge, pp. 266–267, ISBN 978-0-7007-1219-9
44. Vajragupta (2010), The Triratna Story: Behind the Scenes of a New Buddhist Movement, Windhorse, ISBN 978-1-899579-92-1
45. Brassard, Francis (2000), The Concept of Bodhicitta in Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara, SUNY Press, pp. 22–23, ISBN 978-0-7914-4575-4
46. Brassard, Francis (2000), The Concept of Bodhicitta in Santideva's Bodhicaryavatara, SUNY Press, p. 23, ISBN 978-0-7914-4575-4
47. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 334, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
48. Batchelor, Stephen (1994), The Awakening of the West: The Encounter of Buddhism and Western Culture, Parallax Press, p. 335, ISBN 978-0-938077-69-5
49. Transforming Self and World, 1995, p117
50. McMahan, David L. (2008), The Making of Buddhist Modernism, Oxford University Press US, p. 334, ISBN 978-0-19-518327-6
51. Oldmeadow, Harry L. (2004), Journeys East: 20th century Western encounters with Eastern religious traditions, World Wisdom, Inc, p. 280, ISBN 978-0-941532-57-0
52. Beckerlegge, Gwilym (2001), From Sacred Text to Internet, Ashgate, p. 147, ISBN 978-0-7546-0748-9
53. McAra, Sally (2007), Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Place in New Zealand, University of Hawaii Press, p. 18, ISBN 978-0-8248-2996-4
54. King, Sally B. (2005), Being Benevolence: The Social Ethics of Engaged Buddhism, University of Hawaii Press, p. 79, ISBN 978-0-8248-2935-3
55. Brassard, Francis (2000), The Concept of Bodhicitta in Śāntideva's Bodhícaryāvatāra, SUNY Press, pp. 22–23, ISBN 978-0-7914-4575-4
56. McAra, Sally (2007), Land of Beautiful Vision: Making a Buddhist Sacred Place in New Zealand, University of Hawaii Press, p. 60, ISBN 978-0-8248-2996-4
57. Baumann, Martin (May 1998), "Working in the Right Spirit:The Application of Buddhist Right Livelihood in the Friends of the Western Buddhist Order", Journal of Buddhist Ethics, 5: 135.

External links

• Official website
• FWBO files
• Works by Sangharakshita at Project Gutenberg
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Royal Corps of Signals
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 3/7/20

Royal Signals
Cap Badge of the Royal Corps of Signals
Active: 1920 – present
Allegiance: United Kingdom
Branch: British Army
Garrison/HQ: Blandford Camp, Dorset
Motto(s): Certa Cito (Swift and Sure)
March: Begone Dull Care (Quick); HRH The Princess Royal (Slow)
Colonel-in-Chief: The Princess Royal
Master of Signals: Lieutenant General Sir Nick Pope
Corps Colonel: Col J Gunning ADC
Corps Sergeant Major: WO1 D Corcoran

Arms of the British Army
Combat Arms: Royal Armoured Corps and Household Cavalry; Infantry; Guards Division, Scottish, Welsh and Irish Division, King's Division, Queen's Division, Parachute Regiment, Royal Gurkha Rifles, The Rifles; Special Air Service; Army Air Corps; Special Reconnaissance Regiment
Combat Support Arms: Royal Artillery; Royal Engineers
Royal Corps of Signals: Intelligence Corps
Combat Services: Royal Army Chaplains' Department; Royal Logistic Corps; Army Medical Services; Royal Army Medical Corps, Royal Army Dental Corps,Royal Army Veterinary Corps, Queen Alexandra's Royal Army Nursing Corps; Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers; Adjutant General's Corps, Educational and Training Services Branch, Army Legal Services Branch, Provost Branch (Royal Military Police, Military Provost Staff, Military Provost Guard Service); Small Arms School Corps; Royal Army Physical Training Corps; General Service Corps; Corps of Army Music

The Royal Corps of Signals (often simply known as the Royal Signals - abbreviated to R SIGNALS) is one of the combat support arms of the British Army. Signals units are among the first into action, providing the battlefield communications and information systems essential to all operations. Royal Signals units provide the full telecommunications infrastructure for the Army wherever they operate in the world. The Corps has its own engineers, logistics experts and systems operators to run radio and area networks in the field.[1] It is responsible for installing, maintaining and operating all types of telecommunications equipment and information systems, providing command support to commanders and their headquarters, and conducting electronic warfare against enemy communications.



In 1870, 'C' Telegraph Troop, Royal Engineers, was founded under Captain Montague Lambert. The Troop was the first formal professional body of signallers in the British Army and its duty was to provide communications for a field army by means of visual signalling, mounted orderlies and telegraph. By 1871, 'C' Troop had expanded in size from 2 officers and 133 other ranks to 5 officers and 245 other ranks. In 1879, 'C' Troop first saw action during the Anglo-Zulu War.[2] On 1 May 1884, 'C' Troop was amalgamated with the 22nd and 34th Companies, Royal Engineers, to form the Telegraph Battalion Royal Engineers;[2] 'C' Troop formed the 1st Division (Field Force, based at Aldershot) while the two Royal Engineers companies formed the 2nd Division (Postal and Telegraph, based in London). Signalling was the responsibility of the Telegraph Battalion until 1908, when the Royal Engineers Signal Service was formed.[3] As such, it provided communications during the First World War. It was about this time that motorcycle despatch riders and wireless sets were introduced into service.[3]

Royal Warrant

A Royal Warrant for the creation of a Corps of Signals was signed by the Secretary of State for War, Winston Churchill, on 28 June 1920. Six weeks later, King George V conferred the title Royal Corps of Signals.[4]

Subsequent history

Before the Second World War, Royal Signals recruits were required to be at least 5 feet 2 inches tall. They initially enlisted for eight years with the colours and a further four years with the reserve. They trained at the Signal Training Centre at Catterick Camp and all personnel were taught to ride.[5]

During the Second World War (1939–45), members of the Royal Corps of Signals served in every theatre of war. In one notable action, Corporal Thomas Waters of the 5th Parachute Brigade Signal Section was awarded the Military Medal for laying and maintaining the field telephone line under heavy enemy fire across the Caen Canal Bridge during the Allied invasion of Normandy in June 1944.[6]

In the immediate post-war period, the Corps played a full and active part in numerous campaigns including Palestine, the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation, Malaya and the Korean War. Until the end of the Cold War, the main body of the Corps was deployed with the British Army of the Rhine confronting Soviet Bloc forces, providing the British Forces' contribution to NATO with its communications infrastructure. Soldiers from the Royal Signals delivered communications in the Falklands War in 1982 and the first Gulf War in 1991.[7]

In 1994, The Royal Corps of Signals moved its training regiments, 11th Signal Regiment (the Recruit Training Regiment) and 8th Signal Regiment (the Trade Training School), from Catterick Garrison to Blandford Camp.[8]

In late 2012, 2nd (National Communications) Signal Brigade was disbanded.[9] Soldiers from the Royal Corps of Signals saw extensive service during the eight years of the Iraq War before withdrawal of troops in 2011,[10] and the 13 years of the War in Afghanistan before it ended in 2014.[11]

In 2017 the Royal Signals Motorcycle Display Team, then in its 90th year, was disbanded; senior officers had complained that it "failed to reflect the modern-day cyber communication skills in which the Royal Signals are trained".[12]


Training and trades

Main article: Royal Signals trades

Royal Signals officers receive general military training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, followed by specialist communications training at the Royal School of Signals, Blandford Camp, Dorset. Other ranks are trained both as field soldiers and tradesmen. Their basic military training is delivered at the Army Training Regiment at Winchester before undergoing trade training at 11th (Royal School of Signals) Signal Regiment. There are currently six different trades available to other ranks,[13] each of which is open to both men and women:

• Communication Systems Operator: trained in military radio and trunk communications systems
• Communication Systems Engineer: trained in data communications and computer networks
• Royal Signals Electrician: trained in maintaining and repairing generators and providing electrical power
• Communication Logistic Specialist: trained in driving and accounting for communications equipment
• Installation Technician: trained in installing and repairing fibreoptics and telephone systems
• Electronic Warfare Systems Operator: trained in intercepting and jamming enemy communications

Staff Sergeant & Warrant Officers work in one of five supervisory rosters:

• Yeoman of Signals - trained in the planning and deployment and management of military tactical/strategic communications networks;
• Yeoman of Signals (Electronic Warfare) - trained in the planning, deployment and management of military tactical/strategic electronic warfare assets;
• Foreman of Signals - trained in the installation, maintenance, repair and interoperability of military tactical/strategic communications assets;
• Foreman of Signals (Information Systems) - trained in the installation, maintenance, repair and interoperability of military tactical/strategic Information Systems;
• Regimental Duty - trained in the daily routine and running of a unit.
Whilst SSgts are generally regarded as being Regimental Duty, this roster does not start until WO2 and therefore all SSgts in the Royal Signals who are not supervisory are still employed "in trade".


The Royal Signals Museum is based at Blandford Camp in Dorset.[14]

Dress and ceremonial

Tactical Recognition flash

The Corps wears a blue and white tactical recognition flash. This is worn horizontally on the right arm with the blue half charging forward.

Airborne elements of the Royal Signals wear a Drop Zone (DZ) flash on the right arm of their combat jacket. It is square in shape with its top half white and the bottom half blue. When 5 Airborne Brigade was re-formed for the Falklands War, Signal elements adopted the Airborne Bridges Headquarters DZ Flash but this changed back to its original colours in the mid 1980s.

Cap badge

The flag and cap badge feature Mercury (Latin: Mercurius), the winged messenger of the gods, who is referred to by members of the corps as "Jimmy". The origins of this nickname are unclear. According to one explanation, the badge is referred to as "Jimmy" because the image of Mercury was based on the late mediaeval bronze statue by the Italian sculptor Giambologna, and shortening over time reduced the name Giambologna to "Jimmy". The most widely accepted theory of where the name Jimmy comes from is a Royal Signals boxer, called Jimmy Emblem, who was the British Army Champion in 1924 and represented the Royal Corps of Signals from 1921 to 1924.

It is one of the eight chalk hill figure military badges carved at Fovant, Wiltshire. It is the latest one to be made, as it was placed in 1970 following the Corp's 50th anniversary.


On Nos 2, 4 and 14 Dress, the Corps wears a dark blue lanyard on the right side signifying its early links with the Royal Engineers. The Airborne Signals Unit wears a drab green lanyard made from parachute cord. This dates back to the Second World War, when, following a parachute drop into France, the unit's Commanding Officer ordered all Signal personnel to cut a length of para-cord from their chutes in the event they may need it later in the fighting.


The Corps motto is "certa cito", often translated from Latin as Swift and Sure . It is easily seen on any of the Corps Badges.


The Colonel in Chief is currently the Princess Royal.


Main article: British Armed Forces communications and information systems

The Corps deploys and operates a broad range of specialist military and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) communications systems.[15] The main categories are as follows:

• Satellite ground terminals
• Terrestrial trunk radio systems
• Combat net radio systems
• Computer networks
• Specialist military applications (computer programs)

Royal Corps of Signals units


There are now two signal brigades:

• 1st Signal Brigade: The Brigade Headquarters is co-located with HQ ARRC at Gloucester and the ARRC Support Battalion. The Brigade is made up of four specialist units, each trained to carry out a unique and challenging role in support of the overall brigade mission and is prepared to deploy at short notice anywhere in the world. The Brigade consists of ARRC Sp Bn, 16 Sig Regt, 22 Sig Regt, 30 Sig Regt, 32 Sig Regt, 39 Sig Regt and 299 (SC) Sig Sqn.[16]
• 11th Signal Brigade: The Brigade Headquarters is located in MoD Donnington, near Telford. The Brigade is divided into one Signal Group: 7 Signal Group comprises 1 Sig Regt, 2 Sig Regt, 3 (UK) Div Sig Regt, 21 Sig Regt, 15 Sig Regt (IS), 37 Sig Regt, 38 Sig Regt, 71 Y Sig Regt. 2 Signal Group comprises 10 .[17] 2 Signal Group however disbanded on 31 July 2018 as part of Army 2020 Refine.[18]

The structure of the Royal Signals has changed under Army 2020.[19] The listing below shows the present location of units and their future location:[20][21][22]

Regular Army

• 1st Signal Regiment - Supporting 20th Armoured Infantry Brigade at Beacon Barracks (moving to Swinton Barracks)
o 200 Signal Squadron
o 246 Gurkha Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 2nd Signal Regiment - Supporting 2nd Strike Brigade at Imphal Barracks (moving to Catterick)
o 214 Signal Squadron
o 219 Signal Squadron
o 249 Gurkha Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 3rd (United Kingdom) Divisional Signal Regiment supporting 3rd (UK) Division HQ at Picton Barracks
o 202 Signal Squadron
o 206 Signal Squadron
o 228 Signal Squadron
o 249 Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 10th Signal Regiment depth signals support at Basil Hill Barracks
o 225 Signal Squadron (ECM (FP)) at Lisburn
o 241 Signal Squadron (IT Support) at Bicester
o 243 Signal Squadron (ICS and IA Support) at Andover
o 251 Signal Squadron (COu ICS Suport) at Aldershot
o 81 Signal Squadron (V) [Corsham][23]
• 11th (Royal School of Signals) Signal Regiment, Blandford
o Royal School of Signals
• 13th Cyber and Electromagnetic Activity Signal Regiment (to be formed)
• 14th (Electronic Warfare) Signal Regiment, Cawdor Barracks
o 223 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
o 226 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare) - supporting HQ 16 AA Brigade
o 237 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
o 245 Signal Squadron (Electronic Warfare)
o Support Squadron
o JESC Troop at RAF Digby
• 15th Signal Regiment (Information Support) at Blandford Camp (moving to Swinton Barracks)
o 233 (GCN) Squadron at Corsham
o 259 (GI Support) Squadron
o 262 (LS Support) Squadron at Bicester
o 254 (SGIS) Signal Squadron at Corsham
o Land Information Assurance Group at Corsham
• 16th Signal Regiment at Beacon Barracks (supporting 12 AI Brigade)
o 207 (Jerboa) Signal Squadron
o 230 (Malaya) Signal Squadron
o 247 (Queen's Gurkha Signals) Squadron
o 255 (Bahrain) Signal Squadron
o Support Squadron
• 18th (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Regiment, Hereford
o Special Boat Service Signal Squadron
o 264 (Special Air Service) Signal Squadron
o 267 (Special Reconnaissance Regiment) Signal Squadron
o 268 (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Squadron
o 63 (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Squadron (Reserve)
• 21st Signal Regiment, Colerne
o HQ Squadron
o 215 Signal Squadron[24]
o 220 Signal Squadron[25]
o Support Squadron
• 22nd Signal Regiment, Stafford
o 217 Signal Squadron
o 222 Signal Squadron
o 248 (Gurkha) Signal Squadron
o 252 (Hong Kong) Signal Squadron (based at Imjin Barracks, Innsworth alongside HQ Allied Rapid Reaction Corps
o Support Squadron
• 30th Signal Regiment, Bramcote
o 244 Signal Squadron (Air Support)
o 250 Signal Squadron
o 256 Signal Squadron[26]
o 258 Signal Squadron (early entry squadron)[27]
o Support Squadron
• 1st Signal Brigade Headquarters and 299 Signal Squadron (Special Communications), Bletchley[28]
• 16 Air Assault Brigade Headquarters and 216 (Parachute) Signal Squadron, Colchester
• HQ 38 (Irish) Brigade Headquarters and Signal Troop, Northern Ireland
• 600 Signal Troop - (Attached to 15 Signal Regiment (Information Support))
• 628 Signal Troop (GBR DCM D) - 1st NATO Signal Battalion (Formerly 280 (UK) Signal Squadron 4 Dec, formerly (28th Signal Regiment)
• 643 Signal Troop (COMSEC) - (Attached to 10th Signal Regiment)
• 660 Signal Troop (Attached to 11 EOD&S Regt RLC for support in ECM and communications)
• Joint Service Signal Unit, Cyprus (Ayios Nikolaos Station, Cyprus) (electronic intelligence gathering)
o Regimental Headquarters
o 234 Signal Squadron
o 840 Signal Squadron RAF
o Engineering Squadron
o Support Squadron
• Cyprus Communications Unit (British Forces Cyprus)
• Joint Communications Unit (Falkland Islands)
o 303 Signals Unit RAF[29]
• Band of the Royal Corps of Signals (Corps Band)
• Royal Corps of Signals Pipes and Drums (P&D)

Army Reserve

• 32 Signal Regiment [RHQ Glasgow]
o Kohima Troop [Imphal Barracks]
o 2 (City of Dundee and Highland) Signal Squadron [Dundee/Aberdeen]
o 51 (Highland) Signal Squadron [Edinburgh/East Kilbride]
o 52 (Lowland) Support Squadron [Glasgow]
o 40 (North Irish Horse) Signal Squadron [Belfast/Derry]
• 37 Signal Regiment [RHQ Redditch]
o 33 (Lancashire) Signal Squadron [Liverpool and Manchester]
o 48 (City of Birmingham) Signal Squadron [Birmingham/Coventry]
 Stafford Signal Troop [Stafford]
o 50 (Northern) Signal Squadron [Darlington/Leeds]
o 54 (Queen's Own Warwickshire and Worcestershire Yeomanry) Support Squadron [Redditch]
o 64 (Sheffield) Signal Squadron [Sheffield/Nottingham]
• 39 Signal Regiment [RHQ Bristol]
o 43 (Wessex and City and County of Bristol) Signal Squadron [Bath/Bristol]
o 53 (Wales and Western) Signal Squadron]] [Cardiff/Gloucester]
o 93 (North Somerset Dragoons (Yeomanry)) Support Squadron [Bristol]
o 94 (Berkshire Dragoons (Yeomanry)) Signal Squadron [Windsor]
• 71 (City of London) Yeomanry Signal Regiment [RHQ Bexleyheath]
o 31 (Middlesex Yeomanry and Princess Louise's Kensingtons) Signal Squadron [Uxbridge/Coulsdon]
o 36 (Essex Dragoons (Yeomanry)) Signal Squadron [Colchester/Chelmsford]
o 68 (Inns of Court & City Yeomanry) Signal Squadron [Lincoln's Inn/Whipps Cross]
o 265 (Kent and County of London Sharpshooters Yeomanry) Support Squadron [Bexleyheath]
• Central Volunteer Headquarters Royal Signals (CVHQ Royal Signals) [Corsham]
• 63 (UKSF) Signal Squadron (Reserve) [Thorney Island] (part of 18th (United Kingdom Special Forces) Signal Regiment)
• Royal Signals (Northern) Band [Darlington] – attached to 32 Signal Regiment
• Joint Forces Command
o Land Information Assurance Group (LIAG) [Corsham], as part of Joint Force Cyber Group

Corps changes under Army 2020 Refine

The future structure of the Royal Signals will change under Army 2020 Refine.[30][31] A presentation by the Masters of Signals indicates that 16 Signal Regiment will shift from 11 Signal Brigade to 1 Signal Brigade and focus on supporting communications for logistic headquarters. Similarly, 32 and 39 Signal Regiments will shift to 1 Signal Brigade. 15 Signal Regiment will no longer be focused on Information Systems but will support 12th Armoured Infantry Brigade while 21 and 2 Signal Regiments will support the 1st and 2nd Strike Brigades respectively. Furthermore, a new regiment, 13th Signal Regiment, will form up under 1st Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Brigade and work with 14th Signal Regiment on Cyber and Electromagnetic Activity.[32]

Cadet Forces

The Royal Corps of Signals is the sponsoring Corps for several Army Cadet Force and Combined Cadet Force units, such as in Blandford Forum, home to the Royal School of Signals.[33]

Order of precedence

Preceded by
Corps of Royal Engineers Order of Precedence Succeeded by
Foot Guards

See also

• CIS Corps (Ireland)
• Bermuda Volunteer Engineers
• 97 Signal Squadron (Volunteers)


1. Career paths
2. The Royal Signals Museum: Telegraph TP & Boer War
3. The Royal Signals Museum: Corps History
4. "Royal Corps of Signals". National Army Museum. Retrieved 27 September2016.
5. War Office, His Majesty's Army, 1938
6. "Pegasus Bridge hero honoured in exhibition". Dorset Echo. 23 July 2004. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
7. "No. 52589". The London Gazette (Supplement). 29 June 1991. p. 45.
8. "Blandford Garrison". Army Garrisons. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
10. "Chilcot report: Who were the 179 British soldiers who died during the Iraq War?". The Independent. 5 July 2016. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
11. "UK ends its war in Afghanistan: These are the 453 British men and women who died fighting the Taliban". The Independent. 27 October 2014. Retrieved 15 October 2019.
12. Sawer, Patrick (1 September 2017). "'Old fashioned' White Helmets display team wound up as Army looks to promote more high tech role". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
13. Royal Signals Careers - Soldier Trades Archived 29 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine
14. "About us". Royal Signals Museum. Retrieved 8 June 2018.
15. Royal Signals Equipment Archived 13 September 2008 at the Wayback Machine
16. "1st United Kingdom Signal Brigade - British Army Website". Retrieved 9 February 2016.
17. "HQ 11 Sig Bde - British Army Website". Archived from the original on 28 August 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
18. "The Wire Autumn 2018" (PDF). August 2018. Retrieved 30 November 2018.
19. "Royal Signals Journal" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2014. Retrieved 22 November 2014.
20. "Army 2020 listing" (PDF).
21. "Royal Signals Changes" (PDF).
22. "The Wire".
23. "81st Signal Squadron (Volunteers)". The National Archives. 2011. Retrieved 11 February 2019.
24. "21 Sig Regt - British Army Website". Retrieved 27 September2016.
25. "21 Sig Regt - British Army Website". Retrieved 27 September2016.
26. "The Wire" (PDF). October 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 July 2016.
27. "The Wire" (PDF). August 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2016.
28. "299 Sig Sqn (SC)". British Army. Archived from the original on 13 December 2017.
29. at 2:18pm, 21st June 2019. "Falkland Islands: Signals Unit Gets Its Own Crest For Protecting The Islands". Forces Network. Retrieved 28 October 2019.
30. "Army 2020, p. 56-57" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 September 2013.
31. "Royal Signals Journal, p. 42-45" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 April 2014.
32. "Royal Signals The Caduceus Programme A Corps for the 21st Century" (PDF). Royal Signals. October 2018. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
33. "Homepage of ACF/CCF Signals Training". Retrieved 28 October 2008.

Further reading

• Lord, Cliff; Watson, Graham (2003). The Royal Corps of Signals: Unit Histories of the Corps (1920-2001) and Its Antecedents. West Midlands: Helion & Company Limited. ISBN 9781874622925.
• Warner, Philip (1989). THE VITAL LINK : The Story of Royal Signals 1945-1985. London: Leo Cooper. ISBN 0850528828.

External links

• The Royal Corps of Signals official website
• Royal Corps of Signals RSTL
• Royal Signals Museum
• Royal Signals Association
• Royal Signals ACF and CCF
• Royal Engineers Museum - Origins of Army Signals Services
• 32 Signal Regiment
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