4 3 6 D O C U M E N T 4 4 2 F E B R U A R Y 1 9 2 5
441. To Abram F. Ioffe
[Berlin,] 23 February 1925
[Not selected for translation.]
442. From Hans Kohn[1]
3 Upper Park Rd., London NW 3, 23 February 1925
Esteemed Professor,
The circumstance that you are traveling to
prompts me to write to
you ahead of time.
Some radically pacifist groups (the War Resisters’ International [these are pri-
marily English conscientious objectors who refused the draft during the World
War], the Internat. Fellowship of
and the Quakers) are planning
an international campaign against compulsory military service. We know that this
cannot mean an end to warfare yet, if our demand is heard, but certainly a liberation
of humanity from a scourge; a general lifting of obligatory service is one step to-
ward making possible the demilitarization of minds and is the precondition for ev-
ery freedom.
We want to prepare the atmosphere on the Continent, where the broadest swaths
of society (even socialist ones) view such a demand with complete incomprehen-
sion, with a manifesto signed by notable names. I enclose the text of the manifesto
in its French and German versions. (I do not have it on hand in English ¢and
It is possible that minor changes may still be made to the text. We
want to begin on March 1 to approach the sixty persons who we believe would be
sympathetic to this proposal and whose names carry reputation and weight in world
public opinion. We have hitherto only spoken about this with two British men, who
were pleased to give us their signatures: Gilbert Murray, professor at Oxford, pres-
ident of the English League of Nations Union, and, temporarily, a delegate (for
South Africa) of the League of Nations; and Bertrand
We are already writing to you before we begin with this task because your assent
is very valuable to us. We would be grateful if you could find the opportunity to
inform us of your consent before your departure. We shall submit the final German
text of the appeal to you after your return for your evaluation, as well as the names
of all those who have signed theirs, and shall not make any public use of your name
prior to your final consent.
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