IRRC No. 283

125th anniversary of the Swiss Red Cross (1866–1991): Thoughts on past and future

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Rather than serving as a pretext for noisy celebration and self-congratulation, the 125th anniversary of the founding of the Swiss Red Cross should be an occasion for reflection on our institution's development, its role within the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and its special situation as the National Society of Switzerland. This is a worthy undertaking, an attempt, as the historian Marc Ferro put it, “to capture time and make it intelligible to others”. But anyone who embarks on such a venture must be careful to avoid rewriting the past according to his own preferences and giving an idealized picture of this humanitarian organization, which has had its share of tensions, setbacks and contradictions, some of them still unresolved.

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