IRRC No. 98

The International Committee of the Red Cross at Work

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In 1919 Bela Kun, the Hungarian revolutionary who, for a few months, was the head of the Soviet Republic of Hungary, declared to the delegate of the ICRC that he fully understood the position and the role of that institution. That private association of Swiss citizens, who, free from any governmental ties, were giving aid and comfort to the victims of war, wherever these might be found and without any distinction of nationality, religion or ideology, appeared to him to be truly representative of the Swiss people. In his view, the ICRC, because it was independent, because it was addressing itself direct to governments, reminding them of their moral duties towards prisoners, towards the soldiers of the other side, belonged to the revolutionary camp.

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