The journalist and politician Louise Weiss was an influential voice in France and further afield from the 1920s. She dedicated her life to pursuing peace, first through her work on several newspapers and then in her commitment to the cause of female suffrage. During the Second World War, she helped save Jewish children from the Nazis and joined the French Resistance.
Life and times
After the war, Weiss travelled extensively around the globe, and wrote many articles for prominent French magazines and newspapers on the leading role that the West, especially Europe, could play in promoting democratic values worldwide.
In 1971, she established the Louise Weiss Foundation, which awards an annual prize to the person or institution that contributes most to advancing the ‘science of peace’.
A vision for Europe
Weiss successfully ran for election to the European Parliament in 1979. In her inaugural speech to Parliament, she called on all Europeans to unite on the basis of common culture and not merely shared economic interests.
Louise Weiss giving a speech at the European Parliament.
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More about Louise Weiss’s life, work and contribution to the European project