The Association for Peace Education, ca. 1923


The Association for Peace Education


MR. WILLIAM B. OWEN, President

MRS. MARTIN SCHUTZE, First Vice-President

MR. STUART S. CRIPPEN, Second Vice-President

PRIVATE HAROLD R. PEAT, Official Lecturer and Field Representative


MRS. PETER HAGBOLDT, Office Secretary

Executive Office
10 South La Salle St., Chicago, Ill.
Telephone Dearborn 8520. [page 2]

The Association for Peace Education.

A recent careful examination of the histories of all nations reveals the astounding fact that without exception every country's textbooks for its youth below high school and college grades are so written as to create national and racial egotism and dormant ill feeling for other nations. They describe the "glories of war," but they omit the dirt, the filth, the wounds, the dead, wearied humanity, the long years of recovery.

For example: -- a French primer, Les Lectures des Petits, printed since the war, upon whose cover it is stated that it is the eighth edition -- 381st to 410th thousand -- gives a picture of German soldiers shooting down a French boy whose hands are raised, together with a picture of the burning of the Rheims Cathedral. The following conversation between the mother and child is given: "My child, you will not forget all these crimes!" "I promise, Mother."

The primer ends (page 125) with sentences for the child to fill in: The Germans have killed [blank]. The Germans have destroyed [blank]. The Germans have burned [blank].

By this and similar works, such hate against Germany is being imbedded in the minds of the little children of France that they will probably be unable to resist war of revenge, however slight the pretext, if called upon by the political leaders of their generation.

But the French are not the only country to educate their boys and girls thus in the hatred of other nations. The textbooks of all countries foster this, although with greater subtlety than those of France. Have not we in America an easily roused prejudice [against] Great Britain as a result of what we were taught concerning the Revolution?

Since the percentage of our youth who go beyond the eighth grade is small the vast bulk of our people get their chief knowledge of history, of war, and of other nations from the textbooks which they study between the ages of six and fourteen. They enter young manhood and womanhood filled with the belief that combat and military glory are the chief ways for the individual and the nation to attain honor. Yet if ever peaceful relationships between nations are to be secured, the boys and girls of all nations must be educated to appreciate the good qualities of other nations and to see war as it really is when stripped of all its fictitious tinsel and glamor.

It is the belief of the Association for Peace Education, that we must rid our teaching of the falsehoods concerning other nations and impart instead a full knowledge of all the facts, imbuing them with a spirit of friendship for all races and countries. That some progress along this line is being made is evidenced by the fact, the Japanese Government is now busily engaged in disarming its textbooks, and that the German textbooks have on the whole improved since the Armistice.

We are all aware that such a task as this challenges the brains and efforts of the nations. To accomplish it, the problem must be attacked from many angles and by hundreds of different people. The people of the world must be aroused to the evils of their history teaching and textbooks. They must come to demand that the truth be told; the existing textbooks must be surveyed, analyzed thoroughly so that all may know what are the relative merits and demerits of each book. New textbooks must be compiled, teachers interested in the newer methods and speakers from all countries trained to go out and carry the message. The goal for which we are striving is so important that there is necessity for the efforts of all.

What The Association for Peace Education Is Attempting.

1. To make a scientific survey of forty or more history texts used in our elementary school. The relative amount of space which each book devotes to the glorifying of war will be shown together with the emphasis and interpretation given to it as compared to that given to peace.

2. To [cooperate] with our most capable educators, some of whom are already at work, in the assembling of materials for, and in the writing of historical and other textbooks which shall promote a true understanding of other nations and of war, and hence promote the desire for peace on the part of the coming generation. [page 3]

3. To accumulate funds to establish a School for Peace Speakers which will train men from all countries, so that they may be equipped to go back and arouse people to the necessity for Peace Education.

4. To awaken the public to an appreciation of the present evils and to a determination to remove them through the lectures of its Field Representative, Harold R. Peat.

{Private Peat, a Canadian war veteran, enlisted the day after war was declared, was wounded three times, and has received several medals. He has taken out his naturalization papers to become a citizen of the United States. From the depths of his own experience Private Peat bring his message with a sincerity that commands the respect and approval of the most diverse groups.}

What You Can Do To Help.

1. Join the Association for Peace Education and help form a branch of the Association in your own community. Secure the interest and [cooperation] of other organizations.

2. Inspect the histories and geographies used in your schools and determine whether they are such as you would want your child to study. If not, ask the Local Board of Education to use texts which will tend to develop friendship among nations. The summary of existing textbooks to be published by the Association will assist the localities in determining what texts they may desire to follow.

3. Promote the positive ideals of peace through one's own life and conversation; through the press and in public forums and meetings of all kinds. Hold before the boys and girls the examples of such heroes of peace as Abraham Lincoln, Louis Pasteur, Madame Curie, Baroness von Suttner, William Penn, Walter Reed, Thomas Edison, Jane Addams, and a multitude of others who have devoted themselves to the advancement of the human race.

4. Arrange for speeches whenever possible on "Peace through Education." Application for the time of Mr. Peat, the official lecturer, should be made through the office of the Association.

5. Solicit contributions to promote the work of the Association for Peace Education.