Human Rights Go Global: The International Committee for Political Prisoners, 1924–42

AHA Session 17
Thursday, January 5, 2017: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
Centennial Ballroom H (Hyatt Regency Denver, Third Floor)
Mark Pittenger, University of Colorado at Boulder
Micheline Ishay, University of Denver

Session Abstract

Two years after the founding of the American Civil Liberties Union, Roger Baldwin created its international counterpart, the first organization to focus on political persecution worldwide. The International Committee for Political Prisoners developed networks of information gathering and assistance reaching to Central Europe, the Soviet Union, South Asia, and Latin America, and published exposes of the plight of political prisoners under Bolshevism, fascism, and other dictatorships. At home, it provoked tumultuous protest, while attracting the support of leading intellectuals. Though the ICPP pioneered techniques that would become standard in the later twentieth century, it has to date received no scholarly attention. The three papers on this panel approach the ICPP from quite different directions, situating it in the contexts of the American Jewish Left, the Soviet Union, and the history of advocacy for prisoners of conscience.
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