Through the Iron Curtain. West German Activists and the 1961 San Francisco to Moscow Walk for Peace

  • Jared R. Donnelly
Keywords: transnational protest, anti-nuclear protest, peace, West Germany, East Germany, United States of America, Soviet Union, conscientious objection, nonviolence, civil disobedience


In the summer of 1961 a peace march coordinated by an American non-violent protest organisation arrived in Western Europe on its way to Moscow. This paper tells the story of how West German peace activists helped this transnational peace walk pass through the Iron Curtain. Using archival sources and oral history interviews this paper examines the logistical, organisational, and transnational efforts required for this international peace walk to succeed. Importantly, this paper studies the creation of the transnational social space that allowed this international cooperation to take place.