The International Committee of the Red Cross, by Derrick Slate
What was to become the International Committee of the Red Cross met for the first time in February 1863 in Geneva. Among its five members was a local man named Jean Henri Dunant who, the previous year, had published his book “A Memory of Solferino” calling for improved care for wounded soldiers in wartime.
By the end of the year the committee had brought together government representatives to agree on Dunant’s proposal for national relief societies, to help military medical services. And in August 1864 it persuaded governments to adopt the first Geneva Convention. This treaty obliged armies to care for wounded soldiers, whatever side they were on, and introduced a unified emblem for the medical services: a red cross on a white background.
Derrick’s exhibit tells the story of the ICRC from its founding and illustrates the various forms of postal stationery cards and vignettes used during both world wars.