Dreaming an Unlimited Dream in a World of Division: A Veterans‘ Utopia?

The decades directly following the end of the Second World War were marked by ideological confrontation and division. But in many parts of the world they were also decades of unprecedented international networking and cooperation. This is reflected in the work of the United Nations (UN), an institution which, founded in 1945, for many interest groups became a screen onto which they could project their hopes for a more promising future for all mankind.

One of the earliest groups of activists to embrace the purposes and principles of the United Nations as defined in its Charter, consisted of people who had actively participated in the Second World War. The “World Veterans Federation” (WVF), founded in 1950 on the initiative of French and American former combatants, aimed at uniting all national organisations of former fighters of the world in one international non-governmental organisation. Their undertaking was based on the firm belief expressed in the organisation’s credo: “None can speak more eloquently for peace than those who have fought in war”.