Tuesday, August 04, 2009

1991: Landmark year for IPPNW, and Charles Grossman

This week's accrual to the collection of the papers of Charles Grossman, M.D., is a folder, several inches thick, of papers, proposals, and notes from the 10th Anniversary Congress of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, held in Stockholm, June 27-30, 1991.

Dr. Grossman has long been an active member of IPPNW, and the 1991 meeting was a highlight of his involvement. That year was the first time a Chinese delegation attended the meeting as full participants, thanks to Dr. Grossman's efforts to bring them into the group. It was also the first year that a delegation from North Korea came to express interest in IPPNW--escorted throughout by Charles Grossman, who had been in negotiations for the past two years to bring North Korea in. He remembers that the North Koreans only attended the plenary sessions of the congress; during the rest of the time, they happily met with their South Korean counterparts, with whom they had had no contact for 40 years. It was fascinating to hear him talk about the elaborate procedures he needed to follow merely to send mail to the North Koreans...

Included among the items in Dr. Grossman's folder is the "Harvard Study Team Report: Public Health in Iraq after the Gulf War"; the war itself seems to have been a topic of much discussion throughout the meeting.

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