[sixties-l] Obit: Alice Hamburg -- peace activist for 5 decades (fwd)

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Date: Sun Nov 18 2001 - 21:21:36 EST

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    Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2001 16:43:34 -0800
    From: radtimes <resist@best.com>
    Subject: Obit: Alice Hamburg -- peace activist for 5 decades

    Alice Hamburg -- peace activist for 5 decades


    Saturday, November 17, 2001 (SF Chronicle)
    Eric Brazil, Chronicle Staff Writer

        Alice Sachs Hamburg, a peace activist for more than half a
    century, died Monday at age 96 in her Berkeley home.

        Mrs. Hamburg became an international spokeswoman for the peace
    movement when she founded Women Strike for Peace in 1950, and she was
    active in the movement until her death.

        She had been organizing protests against the current war in
    Afghanistan and in a recent interview with The Chronicle said the
    movement had shown surprising vitality, responding more quickly than at
    the initial stages of the Vietnam War.

        "Our motto is justice, not vengeance," she said. "Let us not
    become the evil we deplore.

        "I don't know if I will see rapprochement with our enemies in my
    own lifetime," she added. "But I owe it to my progeny to help us get

        Mrs. Hamburg's death occurred just as her autobiography, "Grass
    Roots: From Prairie to Politics," is coming out. It will be published
    on Dec. 1 by Creative Arts Book Co. of Berkeley.

        Born to an impoverished Jewish immigrant family on a North Dakota
    homestead, she ventured west to study economics at the University of
    California at Berkeley, from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa in
    1927. That year, she married rancher Sam Hamburg, who pioneered
    large-scale industrial farming in the Los Banos area of Merced County
    and, later, cotton growing in Israel.

        Mrs. Hamburg taught school in the San Joaquin Valley farming
    community of Dos Palos (Merced County) before moving to Berkeley in
    1948. Her activism caught the worried attention of officialdom early
    on, and she was subpoenaed to testify before the California Senate's
    Fact Finding Committee on Un-American Activities -- the so-called Burns
    Committee -- in 1951.

        In pressing what became a one-woman global campaign after founding
    Women Strike for Peace, Mrs. Hamburg arranged exchanges with Soviet
    women and peace groups in India, Japan and elsewhere.

        During the 1960s, Mrs. Hamburg became engaged in the Free Speech
    Movement at UC Berkeley and the Mississippi Summer campaign for civil
    rights in 1964. She also was a leader in several organizations that
    demonstrated against the Vietnam War.

        During the 1980s, while producing oral histories of prominent
    Berkeley figures, Mrs. Hamburg also served as coordinator for the 1987
    Mother's Day demonstration at the Nevada nuclear test site.

        She was widely praised by influential Californians.

        Nobel Peace Prize laureate Linus Pauling said he had been
    "inspired by Alice's strong commitment and contributions to world peace
    and justice."

        Former Rep. Ron Dellums, D-Oakland, commended her for "decades of
    work on behalf of world peace and disarmament."

        And the late Chronicle columnist Herb Caen wrote in 1983 that "as
    usual . . . Alice made nothing but sense and enlightenment."

        Mrs. Hamburg was honored by the Commission on the Status of Women
    in 1993 and in 1997 with the Jane Addams Peace Association Tribute
    Award. She was also honored by the Berkeley Community Fund and the
    American Friends Service Committee for a lifetime of peace advocacy.

        She is survived by twin daughters Tanya Goldsmith of San Francisco
    and Sonya Ruehl of Orinda, five grandchildren and five
    great-grandchildren. Her son, Aron, predeceased her.

        A memorial service is pending.

        The family suggests contributions to the Women's International
    League for Peace and Freedom -- East Bay, 2303 Ellsworth, Berkeley, CA

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