Document 16: "Tell the Child the Truth about These Things!" [early 1920s]. The Records of the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, U.S. Section, 1919-1959, Swarthmore College Peace Collection (Microfilm, reel 33, frame 81).


       This WILPF flyer used descriptions of starving and orphaned children, immense military budgets, as well as the horrors of chemical warfare to educate people about the uselessness of war. Again, WILPF was trying to use the strong public sentiment against chemical weapons to further their larger disarmament campaign.

Tell the Child the Truth
about these things!

"There are over Eleven Million Orphans, Waifs and Desperately Undernourished Children from the War."

Herbert Hoover              

"I have seen children, too numerous to count, lying on their backs, with abdomens distended to twice their natural size; limbs ready to snap from that dreadful disease, Rickets. All caused by lack of proper nourishment."

A letter from a subscriber to the Literary Digest.              

"Only a few years ago Americans were indignant with the nation that would so far degrade itself as to stoop to the use of such a horrible instrument of warfare as poison gas; but now it is claimed in a tone of pride and satisfaction that 15,000 chemists have been enrolled ready to enter the Service at a moments notice and are already busying themselves with research along those hideous lines."

Quoted in the Literary Digest. See also the World Almanac 1921.              

"If all armaments could be abolished tomorrow, there would still be an annual interest Bill of at least $9,000,000,000 to be paid by the belligerent nations on the debts incurred in the last war alone".

Major-General Tasker Bliss              


Arms are no playthings!

      The Battle Slain of all Forces engaged in the War, 1914-1918, amounted to 7,485,000 men.

      For every man slain in battle, six were wounded, taken prisoners or reported missing.

      In the Expeditionary Forces, for every two men slain in battle, one died of disease. Of the other armies, some lost more heavily from disease and privation even than from action.

See "The War with Germany."--Leonard P. Ayres.            


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