Soroptimist History Moment

SOROPTIMIST INTERNATIONAL DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR: During and after the First World War, woman had achieved greatness. However, the Second World War was to show them at their very best. There is little doubt that in many countries it was the women who “battled on” to relieve suffering, hunger and perform tasks normally carried out by the men of their nations. In the October 1939 issue of the British Soroptimist magazine, the editor wrote, “Two things are clear to us in the midst of the bewilderment and distress of these present days. One is that as a band of women whose aim is the furthering of international understanding, we must stick together and keep in active working order our Soroptimist organization, the value of which is greater than ever before. The other is that when we emerge from this nightmare and the struggle is over, we must be stronger than ever to see that all our influence is cast on the side of a just and lasting peace.” During this time, the British Federation embarked upon rescuing members of the Vienna Soroptimist Club and their families who were threatened by the Nazi regime. Over thirty refugees arrived in England from Vienna and Soroptimists arranged their passage to a safe harbor in the United States where the brave and harassed women were helped by American Soroptimists. In addition, clubs in the American Federation generously gave gifts of money and clothing for distribution to stricken cities throughout Europe.IMG_2725