Writing for peace
Camille Gajria and coauthors examine the power of words and peace over war
The pen is mightier than the sword, so they say: the power of ideas is greater than violence. Ideas can be, and have been, aggressive-consider the Nuremburg trials, at which Julius Streicher was found guilty of inciting antisemitism through his publication Der Sturmer, which had enhanced Hitler's power.1But could ideas also be used to overcome violence and to promote a safe, healthy environment?
Treating the wounds of war is most associated with doctors working in conflict zones. But as early as 1805, doctors described war as the “enemy of Mankind.”2 When the Red Cross and the Geneva conventions emerged in the 1800s, they had support from the medical profession. Dr Rudolf Virchow, renowned for his contributions to physiology, is also championed for his recognition that political circumstances affect disease and its prevention. He viewed advocacy as integral to a doctor's work: “Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing