Thursday 16 February 2012

Hildegard Goss-Mayr

Hildegard Goss-Mayr was born on January 22, 1930, in Vienna, and is a Christian nonviolent activist.

Life and commitment
Daughter of Kaspar Mayr, founder of the Austrian branch of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation, she studied Philosophy in Vienna and New Haven. In 1958, she married Jean Goss (1912–1991), a French peace activist, and they had two children.

She worked, together with her husband, for the reconciliation between East and West parts of Europe in 50's.

In the 60's and the 70s', for some time they lived and worked in South America, training groups in active nonviolence and helping for the creation of the SERPAJ.  Servicio Paz y Justicia or Service Peace and Justice is a Human Rights Non Governmental Organisation in Latin America, founded in 1974. It is a Christian based and nonviolent organization, committed to defend political prisoners in the different South American dictatorships the 1970-80s.

They also trained a lot of others groups in active nonviolence in many countries, in Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa. They participated in the preparation of the People Power Revolution in Philippines in 1986.

Jean Goss and Hildegard Goss-Mayr shared several Peace Prizes. She is currently the honorary president of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation

Founded in 1919 in response to the horrors of war in Europe, IFOR has taken a consistent stance against war and its preparation throughout its history. Perceiving the need for healing and reconciliation in the world, the founders of IFOR formulated a vision of the human community based upon the belief that love in action has the power to transform unjust political, social, and economic structures.

Today IFOR has 85 branches, groups, and affiliates in 51 countries on all continents. Although organized on a national and regional basis, IFOR seeks to overcome the division of nation states which are often the source of conflict and violence. Its membership includes adherents of all the major spiritual traditions as well as those who have other spiritual sources for their commitment to nonviolence.

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