Schwimmer, Rosika

views updated


SCHWIMMER, ROSIKA (1877–1948), feminist and world federalist. Rosika Schwimmer, who was born in Budapest, became one of the leaders of the feminist movement in Hungary in the early years of the 20th century. At the outbreak of World War i she went to the United States to urge President Wilson to mediate the conflict. Touring the country and writing numerous articles, she joined Jane Addams and others to form the Women's Peace Party, and was also active in Henry Ford's abortive efforts to bring the war to an end. During the last days of the conflict she returned to Hungary and joined the short-lived government of liberal Count Michael Karolyi. When Admiral Horthy's reactionary regime came to power, she was smuggled out of the country by friends and reentered the United States. Though denied U.S. citizenship because of her pacifist beliefs, a case she appealed to the Supreme Court and lost in 1929, she continued to campaign for world peace and the establishment of a federal world government. In this capacity she served as vice president of the International League for Peace and Freedom, and as president of the International Campaign for World Government, whose headquarters were located in her home in New York City.


New York Times (Aug. 4, 1948), obituary; Survey Geographic, 37 (1948), 379ff.; American Civil Liberties Union, The Case of Rosika Schwimmer (1929); J. Addams, Women of The Hague (1915), passim; International Committee for World Peace, Prize, Rosika Schwimmer, World Patriot (1937).

[Judith S. Stein]