---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sun, 18 Nov 2001 16:43:34 -0800
From: radtimes <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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
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
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sun Nov 18 2001 - 21:49:49 EST