German post issued a stamp commemorating the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Red Cross. The idea of a multi-national society for victims of the war is now 150 years old. What became the largest charity organization in the world, started from an idea of a person terrified by the consequences of war. StampNews.com invites you to come across the events which gave birth to the Red Cross 150 years ago.
In June 1859, the Swiss businessman Jean-Henri Dunant traveled to Italy. When he arrived in the small town of Solferino, he witnessed the Battle of Solferino, an engagement in the Austro-Sardinian War. In a single day, about 40,000 soldiers on both sides died or were left wounded on the field. Jean-Henri Dunant was shocked by the terrible aftermath of the battle, the suffering of the wounded soldiers, and the near-total lack of medical attendance and basic care. He was so horrified, that appealed to the local population to help wounded and dying. With the call "Tutti fratelli" (All are brothers) he organized makeshift and spontaneous volunteers care.
Three years after the battle Henry Dunant published an essay "Un souvenir de Solferino" ("A Memory of Solferino"), where he meticulously described his terrible experience and called to found an organization which would treat sick and wounded in war regardless the national boundaries.
On 17 of February 1863 an investigatory commission was established in Geneva to examine the feasibility of Dunant's suggestions, which in 1875 had name "International Committee of the Red Cross" (ICRC).