Document 21:  F. R. Welsh to Marcia Sternbergh, 6 May 1931, The Records of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, U. S. Section, Swarthmore College Peace Collection (Scholarly Resources Microfilm, reel 42, #851).


        This letter demonstrates that WILPF still faced slander as late as 1931 from a wide range of sources. Emily Greene Balch's note at the top makes clear that Marcia Sternbergh discreetly allowed the National President of WILPF to have copies of her correspondence with Welsh.

Do not use this name publicly -- I promised! E.G.B[A])


20 South Fifteenth Street

Miss Marcia Sternbergh,
Box 548,
Reading, Penna.

Dear Miss Sternbergh:

        Your favor of the 5th has been duly received and I shall be very glad to see you when you come to Philadelphia.

        What I wrote you about the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom was but a small part of the story. Many of these women are open Communists and shamelessly un-patriotic. They consider themselves internationalists. The Communists play with them and use them as tools. Being an open Communist does not detract from a woman’s standing in the Women’s International League for peace [sic] and Freedom. Of course there are some of the dupes with whom it would detract, but they are not the ones who run the affair.

        Mrs. Lucy Biddle Lewis[B] has been an official of the League for years and when asked whether she advocated marriages between white women and negro men and white men and negro women she replied "Eventually.["] They swallow Communist doctrines even up to that point.

        They seem to be able to hypnotize many of their members so that they will not listen to the other side. They arouse their feelings and see their opinions, so-called, are founded on emotion and make them reason-proof in that way. Bishop Berkeley, the philosopher, well put it when he said, "Few men think but all men have opinions".

        The WILPF is making an especial push lately throughout the state in conjunction with the American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union crowd held a Jubilation for Miss Jane Addams at pink Bryn Mawr College on Saturday. Those prominent in it were all of the American Civil Liberties Union crowd. The ACLU, because it camouflages, does more for communism in this country than even the Communist Party itself.


F. R. Welsh

P. S. Have written for Legion Post a longer WILP article and will send you one. Stotowski[C] of Phila. Orchestra puts on communist propoganda [sic] in some of his orchestra performances.



A. Emily Greene Balch, National President of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. This line was handwritten at top of letter.
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B. Chairman of the Pennsylvania Branch of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.
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C. Leopold Stokowski (1882-1977), born in London, was one of the great conductors of the twentieth century. He was Music Director of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1912 to 1938.
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