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Petra Kelly

Petra Karin Kelly (November 29, 1947 - October 1, 1992), German peace activist and Green politician, was born in Günzburg, Germany[?] in 1947, and lived and studied in the United States between 1959 and 1970.

An admirer of Martin Luther King Jr., she campaigned for Robert F. Kennedy and Hubert H. Humphrey in the 1968 US elections. She graduated from the School of International Service at American University (Washington, DC), in 1970.

While working at the European Commission (Brussels, Belgium, 1971-1983), she participated in numerous peace and environment campaigns in Germany and other countries.

Petra Kelly was one of the founders in 1979 of Die Grünen, the German Green Party. Between 1983 and 1990, she was a member of the Bundestag (West German Parliament) for the Greens.

Kelly received the Right Livelihood Award (also known as the Alternative Nobel Prize) in 1982 "...for forging and implementing a new vision uniting ecological concerns with disarmament, social justice and human rights." (See [1] (http://www.rightlivelihood.se/recip1982_3)).

In 1992, she was shot dead in Bonn while sleeping, apparently by her partner, ex-general Gert Bastian[?], who then killed himself. Researchers and all Kelly's close friends believe her death was totally unexpected and occurred without her consent. (Details of this event are discussed for instance at [2] (http://www.motherjones.com/mother_jones/JF93/hertsgaard), [3] (http://www.limbbylimb.co.uk/feats/petra_kelly)).

With the goal of letting Petra Kelly's ideas and political message live on, the Petra Kelly Foundation [4] (http://www.petra-kelly-stiftung.de/) was founded in 1997 as part of the Heinrich Böll Foundation [5] (http://www.boell.de/), which also maintains the Petra Kelly Archives [6] (http://www.boell.de/en/13_archiv/356) [7] (http://www.petra-kelly-archiv.de/) and presents, since 1998, the international Petra Kelly Prize [8] (http://www.boell.de/en/10_preise/1460) for human rights, ecology and non-violent politics.

In the words of her friend, the Dalai Lama: "Petra Kelly was a committed and dedicated person with compassionate concern for the oppressed, the weak and the persecuted in our time. Her spirit and legacy of human solidarity and concern continue to inspire and encourage us all."

External Resources

  • The Life and Death of Petra Kelly, by Sara Parkin, Rivers Oram Press/Pandora, 1995 (ISBN 0044409400)
  • Thinking Green! Essays on Environmentalism, Feminism, and Nonviolence, by Petra K. Kelly, Parallax Press, Berkeley, California, 1994 (ISBN 0938077627)
  • Nonviolence Speaks to Power, by Petra K. Kelly, online book (http://www.globalnonviolence.org/nv_speaks_to_power.htm), almost complete text (also, out of print, published by Matsunaga Institute for Peace, University of Hawaii, 1992, ISBN 188030905X)

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