Making Democracy Work

Hanna Carp

Hanna's Story

Hanna became a League of Women Voters Life Member in 2012. Life members are those members who have fifty years or more of active membership

The following is Hanna Carp's Acceptance Speech of her Life Membership at 2012 Annual Meeting

"About 50 years ago, the Cincinnati League got involved with an Americanization process. It was a different day and age. The Cold War was in full swing. In the Netherlands, we always felt it was going on over our heads - an uneasy feeling. My husband and I were already preparing for emigration to America. In 1956, the Hungarian uprising occurred. It was struck down. People in The Netherlands were already beginning to hoard food. There was fear that the Russians would march on and occupy Western Europe. It reinforced our plan to go to America.

"We arrived in Cincinnati in spring, 1957. Our sponsor was the Pioneer and Historical Foundation in Holland, Michigan. A physician of Dutch ancestry was the organization's liaison in Cincinnati. His wife, a nurse, was a League member. She decided that the perfect place for my Americanization was the League. She took me along to the September, 1957 meeting of the Clifton unit.

"Now, remember, at that time America experienced domestic turmoil. Governor Faubus of Arkansas was in the news quite often. But most of all it was the McCarthy era, which eventually was brought to a conclusion by a question, uttered in exasperation: `Is there no decency left, sir?'

"I do not remember what the general topic was for that September League meeting. I do remember a brief review of the general situation in America. One woman posed a question that seemed to be met with general approval by the group. The question was: `Who investigates the investigators?' I was amazed and impressed. I wondered about the League's influence. I understood I needed to know more.

"So I decided to stick around for awhile."

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