An Introduction to this 1945 Timeline
The Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) welcomes you to our 1945 timeline, created in 2020 by some WILPF US members.
During this time of staying at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we figured some of our “spare” time could be put to good use by reflecting on two of the most pivotal events in world history on their 75th anniversaries: the founding of the United Nations and the exploding of an atomic bomb in close proximity to where tens of thousands of American citizens lived in south-central New Mexico and the dropping of A-bombs on civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Ever since 1945, that most dramatic year at the end of WW11, people, governments and civilization itself have been faced with a momentous dilemma: whether to choose law and cooperation over power and domination.
We invite you to click on the dates in this timeline to read some observations by today’s historians and chroniclers of the last century. We present several perspectives on the hopes people and organizations held, in 1945, for the future of a global organization committed to maintaining world peace. A word of caution, however: with the advantage of hindsight and declassified documents, we now know that most of those who attended the founding conference of the UN were no match for the world’s most powerful men, whose main objective was to enhance their rule and dominate the post-war peace.
Seen from this perspective, the dropping of the atom bomb was not an aberration but instead a logical continuum in a drive for enhanced militarism to secure future markets for profits, not for peace. The glaring inequalities that developed over the past 75 years would finally be exposed for all to see during the 2020 Corona virus pandemic. The need for world peace and international cooperation is more pressing than ever. The questions are: who will prevail and how can WE prevail on the side of peace and freedom?