Whose World? Internationalism, Nationalism and the Struggle over the

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Volume 25, Issue 2 (Agents of Internationalism) May 2016 , pp. 275-290

CHRISTINE VON OERTZEN (a1) https://doi.org/10.1017/S0960777316000072 Published online: 12 April 2016

Abstract This paper focuses on how the International Federation of University Women, founded in 1919, sought to reconcile its mission of fostering internationalism with the interests of its over thirty national member organisations. Nowhere was the challenge to its internationalist ethos greater than in post–First World War Germany. Being one of the last European member associations to join the IFUW in 1926, the Germans immediately requested their language to be used alongside English and French. The article reconstructs the struggles preceding the admission of Germany to the IFUW and the subsequent disputes over the ‘language question’ to explain why and on what terms the Germans first contested and eventually agreed in 1932 to accept the new Anglo-American and French dominance as world languages.

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1 Besides the countries mentioned above, women attended from India, South Africa, Australia, Italy, Czechoslovakia, the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium. See IFUW, Report of the First Conference, London 1920 (London: The Federation 1920) 10. 2 IFUW, Report of the First Conference, London 1920, 10. 3 On the support of the League of Nations in Britain see McCarthy Helen, The British People and the League of Nations: Democracy, Citizenship and Internationalism, 1918–1945 (Manchester: Manchester University Press 2011) CrossRef (http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719086168.001.0001) | Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=The+British+People+and+the+League+of+Nations:+Democracy+Citizenship+and+Internationalism+1918 %E2%80%931945&publication+year=2011&author=McCarthy+Helen) ; from a global perspective, see Iriye Akira, Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002) Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Global+Community:+The+Role+of+International+Organizations+in+the+Making+of+the+Contemporary+W orld&publication+year=2002&author=Iriye+Akira) ; Anheier Helmut, Glasius Marlies and Kaldor Mary, eds., Global Civil Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001) Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Global+Civil+Society&publication+year=2001&author=Anheier+Helmut&author=Glasius+Marlies&author= Kaldor+Mary) ; Wöbse Anna-Katharina, ‘“To Cultivate the International Mind”. 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Transnational Ideas and Movements Between the World Wars (London: Tauris, 2011) Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Internationalism+Reconfigured.+Transnational+Ideas+and+Movements+Between+the+World+Wars&publi cation+year=2011&author=Laqua+Daniel) . 4 IFUW, Report of the First Conference, London 1920, 15. 5 Oertzen Christine von, Science, Gender, and Internationalism: Academic Women’s Networks, 1917–1955 (New York, London: Palgrave MacMillan 2014), 59–109 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Science+Gender+and+Internationalism:+Academic+Women%E2%80%99s+Networks+1917%E2%80%93 1955&publication+year=2014&author=Oertzen+Christine+von&pages=59-109) . 6 Sluga Glenda, Internationalism in the Age of Nationalism (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2013), 9 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Internationalism+in+the+Age+of+Nationalism&publication+year=2013&author=Sluga+Glenda) . See also Iriye Akira, Global Community: The Role of International Organizations in the Making of the Contemporary World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2002) Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Global+Community:+The+Role+of+International+Organizations+in+the+Making+of+the+Contemporary+W orld&publication+year=2002&author=Iriye+Akira) . Transnational approaches have equally sensitised us to the importance of focusing on the connections between the international and the national, see Laqua, Internationalism Reconfigured, especially the section on ‘transnational and national contexts of activity’ with Marie Sandell’s, Helen McCarthy’s and Daniel Laqua’s contributions. 7 Offen Karen, European Feminisms, 1700–1950. A Political History (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000), 344 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=European+Feminisms+1700%E2%80%931950.+A+Political+History&publication+year=2000&author=Offe n+Karen) . Offen’s findings contradict the long undisputed claim by Richard Evans and Brian Harrison that international feminist politics and networking developed a momentum of its own, largely independent of specific national contexts. See Harrison Brian, Prudent Revolutionaries: Portraits of British Feminists between the Wars (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987) Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Prudent+Revolutionaries:+Portraits+of+British+Feminists+between+the+Wars&publication+year=1987&a uthor=Harrison+Brian) ; Evans Richard J., Comrades and Sisters: Feminism, Socialism, and Pacifism in Europe, 1870–1945 (Brighton, Sussex: Wheatsheaf Books, 1987) Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Comrades+and+Sisters:+Feminism+Socialism+and+Pacifism+in+Europe+1870%E2%80%931945&public ation+year=1987&author=Evans+Richard+J.) . An explicit critique of this approach can be found in Miller Carol, ‘“Geneva—the Key to Equality”: Inter-War Feminists and the League of Nations’, Women’s History Review, 3, 2 (1994), 219–45 CrossRef (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09612029400200051) | Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=%E2%80%9CGeneva%E2%80%94the+Key+to+Equality%E2%80%9D:+InterWar+Feminists+and+the+League+of+Nations&publication+year=1994&author=Miller+Carol&journal=Women% E2%80%99s+History+Review&volume=3&doi=10.1080/09612029400200051) . 8 On the wartime activities of the British and American founders of the IFUW, see Oertzen von, Gender, Science, and Internationalism, 25–48 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar? q=von+Oertzen+Gender+Science+and+Internationalism+25%E2%80%9348) . 9 The term ‘atrocities’ alluded to German war crimes against the civilian populations of Western European countries, above all Belgium and France. For a historical analysis of these, see Horne John and Kramer Alan, German Atrocities, 1914. A History of Denial (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001) Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=German+Atrocities+1914.+A+History+of+Denial&publication+year=2001&author=Horne+John&author=Kr amer+Alan) . On the politics of the IRC, see Metzler Gabriele, Internationale Wissenschaft und nationale Kultur. Deutsche Physiker in der internationalen Community, 1900–1960 (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2000), 121–2 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Internationale+Wissenschaft+und+nationale+Kultur.+Deutsche+Physiker+in+der+internationalen+Commu nity+1900%E2%80%931960&publication+year=2000&author=Metzler+Gabriele) . 10 Metzler, Internationale Wissenschaft und nationale Kultur, 164. 11 Caroline Spurgeon to Mme Cestre, 15 June 1922, Archives nationales de France, Fontainebleau, AFFDU, Relations internationales FIFDU, questions de l’admission des déléguées allemandes. 12 Proceedings of the Third Council Meeting in Paris, 15 July 1922, AAUW Archives, Washington D.C., Series IX, Reel 150/28, Box 832. 13 Lange Helene, ‘Internationale Tagungen von Akademikerinnen’, Die Frau, 31 (1923/24), 365–367 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Internationale+Tagungen+von+Akademikerinnen&publication+year=1923&author=Lange+Helene&journal =Die+Frau&volume=31&pages=365-367) . 14 ‘Ein internationaler Verband der Akademikerinnen’, Die Frau, 30 (1922), 30. 15 This view was widely held throughout German academia. See Metzler, Internationale Wissenschaft und nationale Kultur, especially 121–. 16 Bäumer, ‘Prinzipienfragen des Frauenweltbundes’, Die Frau, 28 (1920), 2 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar? q=B%C3%A4umer+%E2%80%98Prinzipienfragen+des+Frauenweltbundes%E2%80%99+Die+Frau+28+ (1920)+2) . 17 On the German outrage at the ‘shameful diktat of Versailles’, see Vanessa Conze, ‘“Unverheilte Brandwunden in der Außenhaut des deutschen Volkskörpers”. Der deutsche Grenzdiskurs in der Zwischenkriegszeit’, in Hardtwig Wolfgang, ed., Ordnungen in der Krise. 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Eine Bilanz heute (Düsseldorf: Droste, 1980), 51–67 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Weimar.+Selbstpreisgabe+einer+Republik.+Eine+Bilanz+heute&publication+year=1980&author=Hillgrube r+Andreas&author=Erdmann+Karl-Dietrich&author=Schulze+Hagen&pages=51-67) . 18 A vivid description of her first impressions in the international arena can be found in the memoirs of Dorothee von Velsen, who attended her first international women’s conference in 1920, age twenty-seven. See Velsen Dorothee von, Im Alter die Fülle. Erinnerungen (Tübingen: Wunderlich, 1956), 247 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Im+Alter+die+F%C3%BClle.+Erinnerungen&publication+year=1956&author=Velsen+Dorothee+von) . 19 Bäumer Gertrud, ‘Der Frauenweltbund im Haag’, Die Frau, 29 (1921/22), 264–70 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Der+Frauenweltbund+im+Haag&publication+year=1921&author=B%C3%A4umer+Gertrud&journal=Die+F rau&volume=29) . 20 Offen Karen, European Feminisms, 1700–1950. A Political History (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2000), 344 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=European+Feminisms+1700%E2%80%931950.+A+Political+History&publication+year=2000&author=Offe n+Karen) ; Bäumer, ‘Der Frauenweltbund im Haag’, 264. On the interwar activities of the international women’s organisations, see Sandell Marie, The Rise of Women’s Transnational Activism: Identity and Sisterhood Between the World Wars (London: I.B. Tauris, 2015) Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=The+Rise+of+Women%E2%80%99s+Transnational+Activism:+Identity+and+Sisterhood+Between+the+W orld+Wars&publication+year=2015&author=Sandell+Marie) . 21 Bäumer Gertrud, ‘Die Not der geistigen Arbeiterin’, Die Frau, 30 (1923), 204–10, 210 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Die+Not+der+geistigen+Arbeiterin&publication+year=1923&author=B%C3%A4umer+Gertrud&journal=Di e+Frau&volume=30) . 22 In 1919 Corbett-Ashby was Britain’s only female delegate to the Paris peace conferences that prepared the Versailles Treaty. She retained her office as the president of the IAW from 1923 to 1946. On Corbett-Ashby, see especially Offen, European Feminisms, 367–76; also Bosch Mineke and Kloosterman Annemarie, eds., Politics and Friendship. Letters from the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, 1902–1942 (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1990), 179– Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Politics+and+Friendship.+Letters+from+the+International+Woman+Suffrage+Alliance+1902%E2%80%931 942&publication+year=1990&author=Bosch+Mineke&author=Kloosterman+Annemarie) . 23 Lange Helene, ‘Internationale Tagungen von Akademikerinnen’, Die Frau, 31 (1923/24), 366 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Internationale+Tagungen+von+Akademikerinnen&publication+year=1923&author=Lange+Helene&journal =Die+Frau&volume=31) . 24 The complete text of Simons’s German welcome is reproduced in a commemorative edition of the conference report that was presented to, among others, the members of the AAUW’s International Relations Committee. See AAUW Archives, Washington D.C., Series IX, Reel 150/28, Box 832. In the official report on the conference this passage is missing and is replaced with the summary: ‘The speech closed with some words of welcome spoken in French and in German, addressed to the representatives of the Latin countries and to Germany’, IFUW, Report of the Fourth Conference, Amsterdam 1926 (London: The Federation 1926), 5–7. 25 In 1926 the DAB’s paying members numbered 3,787, but by 1929 this figure had dropped to 3,117. Due to the economic crisis, many women could no longer afford their membership. See the DAB’s business report for 1930, LA Berlin, B Rep. 235-5, 1/1, HLA 3634. 26 Unlike all the IFUW’s other member bodies, the DAB was itself an academic umbrella organisation. It had very few individual members, and was based almost entirely on the corporate membership of all women’s graduate professional associations in Germany, hence the high number of members. Additionally, the doctorate was the most common degree within the German system of higher education, and in most disciplines the only one available, meaning that almost all students had to submit and defend a dissertation in order to complete their academic studies. See Oertzen von, Science, Gender, Internationalism, 162 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=von+Oertzen+Science+Gender+Internationalism+162) . 27 After the conference in Amsterdam, Agnes von Zahn-Harnack reported rather scathingly that it had quickly been possible ‘to establish through a few conversations or observations that, for example, the standard of the more than one hundred American women who had come over to the conference was in many cases far below what one generally understands by an academic educational background’. Zahn-Harnack Agnes von, ‘Die vierte Tagung des Internationalen Akademikerinnenbundes’, Die Frau, 33 (1925/26), 732 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Die+vierte+Tagung+des+Internationalen+Akademikerinnenbundes&publication+year=1925&author=ZahnHarnack+Agnes+von&journal=Die+Frau&volume=33) . 28 Richter Elise, Summe des Lebens (1941), ed. Akademikerinnen Österreichs Verband der (Vienna: WUV Universitätsverlag 1997), 118 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?title=Summe+des+Lebens+ (1941)&publication+year=1997&author=Richter+Elise&author=Akademikerinnen+%C3%96sterreichs+Verban d+der) . 29 IFUW, Report of the Eleventh Council Meeting, Vienna 1927 (London: The Federation 1927), 13. 30 IFUW, Report of the Fifth Conference, Geneva 1929 (London: The Federation 1929), 57–61. 31 Ibid. 112. 32 Ibid. 114.

33 Marie-Elisabeth Lüders, address on the occasion of Winifred Cullis’s visit to the DAB in Berlin, 31 Oct. 1931, LA Berlin B Rep, 235, 1/1, HLA 3631. 34 In 1929, the Deutscher Philologinnenverband’s 2,150 members made up more than two-thirds of the DAB’s then 3,117 members. See List of Membership Numbers in the DAB’s Member Associations, 1926–29, n.d. [1929], LA Berlin, B Rep. 235-5, 1/1, HLA 3634. 35 Minutes of the meeting of the DAB board, 10 June 1930, at the Lingner Schloss near Dresden, n.d. [July 1930], p. 3, LA Berlin, B Rep. 235-5, 1/1, HLA 3630. 36 Deutscher Philologinnenverband to the executive of the DAB (Lüders), 2 July 1931, LA Berlin, B Rep. 235-5, 1/1, HLA 3631. 37 Record of the session of the DAB board to discuss the language question with Prof. Cullis at Harnack House, Berlin-Dahlem, 31 Oct. 1931, at 3 p.m., LA Berlin, B Rep. 235-1/1, HLA 3631, 1 (preparatory discussion). 38 Ibid. 39 Ibid. 40 Ibid. 41 The text resolved ran: ‘English, French, and German may be spoken at the meetings for delegates and at the members’ meetings.. . . In view of the need for making an effective and economical use of the time at the disposal of the Conference, members are asked to simplify the proceedings as much as possible by reducing the necessity for translations to a minimum’. IFUW, Report of the Sixth Conference, Edinburgh 1932 (London: The Federation 1932), 175. 42 The three attendees were Anna Schönborn, physician Ilse Szagunn and physicist Lise Meitner, who held one of the opening papers on the topic of ‘The Promotion of Science as a Problem of Our Era’. See Report on the Activities of the DAB from 14 June 1930 to 1 Oct. 1932, LA Berlin, B Rep. 235-5, 1/1, HLA 3633, 7. 43 Anna Schönborn (Berlin) to Frau Grave, 15 Aug. 1932, LA Berlin, B Rep. 235-1/1, HLA 3632. 44 Ibid. 45 For the case of physicists in the Weimar Republic, Gabriele Metzler has observed a similar tendency for politics and science to move closer together. See Metzler, Internationale Wissenschaft und nationale Kultur, 140–44. 46 Michels Eckard, ‘Deutsch als Weltsprache? Franz Thierfelder, die Deutsche Akademie in Munich and the Promotion of Language Abroad’, German History, 22, 2 (2004), 206–28 CrossRef (http://dx.doi.org/10.1191/0266355403gh306oa) | Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?title=Deutsch+als+Weltsprache? +Franz+Thierfelder+die+Deutsche+Akademie+in+Munich+and+the+Promotion+of+Language+Abroad&publicati on+year=2004&author=Michels+Eckard&journal=German+History&volume=22&doi=10.1191/0266355403gh30 6oa) . 47 Irene Stoehr finds evidence for this in the international work of the Allgemeine Deutsche Frauenverein, which became the German branch of the IAW in 1923 but had previously worked primarily on a local level. See Irene Stoehr, ‘Bedingt beglückend: Die internationale Kooperation der deutschen Frauenbewegung vor 1933’, in Hundt Irina, ed., Über Grenzen hinweg. Zur Geschichte der Frauenstimmrechtsbewegung und zur Problematik der transnationalen Beziehungen in der deutschen Frauenbewegung (Berlin: Deutscher Staatsbürgerinnenverband e.V., 2007), 128–41, 131–2 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=%C3%9Cber+Grenzen+hinweg.+Zur+Geschichte+der+Frauenstimmrechtsbewegung+und+zur+Problemati k+der+transnationalen+Beziehungen+in+der+deutschen+Frauenbewegung&publication+year=2007&author=H undt+Irina) . 48 On the debates around the ‘work abroad’ of the conservative, nationalist women’s organisations, see Velsen Dorothee von, ‘Voraussetzungen und Möglichkeiten internationaler Arbeit’, Die Frau, 29 (1922), 353–9, 355, and ‘Deutsche Interessen auf internationalen Frauentagungen’, Die Frau, 30 (1922/23), 43–6 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Voraussetzungen+und+M%C3%B6glichkeiten+internationaler+Arbeit&publication+year=1922&author=Ve lsen+Dorothee+von&journal=Die+Frau&volume=29) . 49 On Rosa Kempf’s energetic efforts to counter the repercussions of the Versailles Treaty, see Reining Elke, ‘Rosa Kempf (1874–1948). Ihr Kampf für die Rechte der Frauen’, Zeitschrift für bayerische Landesgeschichte, 64 (2001), 160–3 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup?title=Rosa+Kempf+ (1874%E2%80%931948).+Ihr+Kampf+f%C3%BCr+die+Rechte+der+Frauen&publication+year=2001&author=R eining+Elke&journal=Zeitschrift+f%C3%BCr+bayerische+Landesgeschichte&volume=64) . 50 On Lölhöffel’s and Szagunn’s biographical and social background, and on Szagunn’s role in the later Nazification of the DAB, see Oertzen von, Science, Gender, and Internationalism, 174–5, 187–8 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar? q=von+Oertzen+Science+Gender+and+Internationalism+174%E2%80%935+187%E2%80%938) . 51 This was true not only for the American College presidents Virginia Gildersleeve (Barnard College) and Martha Carey Thomas (Bryn Mawr College) who helped found the IFUW, but also, and in particular, for Caroline Spurgeon, who played such an exceptional role in mobilising British women academics against Germany. See Haas Renate, ‘Caroline Spurgeon: English Studies, the United States, and Internationalism’, Studia Anglica Posnaniensia: International Review of English Studies (2002), 1–15. For Gildersleeve and Thomas, see von Oertzen, Gender, Science, and Internationalism, 25–48 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Caroline+Spurgeon:+English+Studies+the+United+States+and+Internationalism&publication+year=2002& author=Haas+Renate&journal=Studia+Anglica+Posnaniensia:+International+Review+of+English+Studies&pag es=1-15) . 52 Contemporary historian Margarete Rothbarth considered this war to be still raging in the early 1930s. For Rothbarth, a member of the German federation who was appointed as the only female and German expert to the League of Nations’ International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation in Paris in 1926, the war had caused more devastation for Germany in ‘cooperation between scholars’ than in almost any other sphere. See Rothbarth's essay ‘Die deutschen Gelehrten und die internationalen Wissenschaftsorganisationen’, in Konen Heinrich and Steffes Johann Peter, eds., Volkstum und Kulturpolitik. Eine Sammlung von Aufsätzen, gewidmet Georg Schreiber zum 50. Geburtstage (Cologne: Gilde-Verlag, 1932), 143–57 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Volkstum+und+Kulturpolitik.+Eine+Sammlung+von+Aufs%C3%A4tzen+gewidmet+Georg+Schreiber+zum +50.+Geburtstage&publication+year=1932&author=Konen+Heinrich&author=Steffes+Johann+Peter) . 53 See the proposal drafted by Caroline Spurgeon for an ‘Associated Board for the Promotion of Imperial-American Interchange for Women University Students’, n.d. [September 1918], PP67/6/1/2, Royal Holloway, University of London Archives. 54 One last report on this theme appears in IFUW, Report of the Third Conference, Oslo 1924 (London: The Federation 1924), 72–6 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar? q=One+last+report+on+this+theme+appears+in+IFUW+Report+of+the+Third+Conference+Oslo+1924+ (London:+The+Federation+1924)+72%E2%80%936) . 55 The use of English as the negotiating language of the Paris peace conferences was implemented by the US president Woodrow Wilson. It is regarded as an innovation and as the beginning of the English language’s dominance in international negotiations. See Haas, ‘Caroline Spurgeon’, 5. 56 As Eckart Fuchs puts it with regard to the United States, ‘the American initiatives on the international stage fulfilled . . . a double role: the promotion of international academic cooperation and the strengthening of America’s own national scholarship’, Fuchs, ‘Wissenschaftsinternationalismus’, 267. The Rockefeller Foundation, in particular, acted in the same vein. See Rietzler Katharina, ‘Experts for Peace: Structures and Motivations of Philantropic Internationalims in the Interwar Years’, in Laqua, Internationalism Reconfigured, 45–66 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar? q=Katharina+Rietzler+%E2%80%98Experts+for+Peace:+Structures+and+Motivations+of+Philantropic+Interna tionalims+in+the+Interwar+Years%E2%80%99+in+Laqua+Internationalism+Reconfigured+45%E2%80%9366) . 57 Gildersleeve Virginia Crocheron, Many a Good Crusade. Memoirs (New York: Macmillan, 1959) 149–52 Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_lookup? title=Many+a+Good+Crusade.+Memoirs&publication+year=1959&author=Gildersleeve+Virginia+Crocheron) . 58 ‘No Federation shall be admitted or retained as a member of the IFUW which debars qualified university women from membership by reason of their race, religion, or political opinions’. Revision of the Constitution (Art. II, Membership of National Associations) as resolved by the Council meeting in Budapest. IFUW, Report of the Nineteenth Council Meeting, Budapest 1934, 37–8. The amendment was included into the IFUW’s constitution by vote from the delegates to the Stockholm convention in 1939, just a few weeks before Germany attacked Poland, starting the Second World War. 59 For account on these activities, see von Oertzen, Gender, Science, and Internationalism, 245–332.

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