World War II Project

Message from Janet Kerschner – TSA Archivist


Janet Kerschner

Help me collect material for a book about the Theosophical Society and World War II. My particular interest is to show how Theosophists faced the realities of wartime, both on the home front and in combat. The international TS and national Sections embraced the Allied cause in what was considered to be a just war or a karmic necessity. Theosophists served in every branch of the American armed forces, and civilians provided massive support. Members in Europe and Java were persecuted and interned in concentration camps. During the postwar years, members in Europe received huge assistance from fellow Theosophists. I want to show both the uniqueness of Theosophists and their ordinary-mainstream-patriotic qualities. These are questions to ask Theosophists who experienced the war:
•    Were you a Theosophist before WWII? How about your family and friends?
•    How did you spend the war years?
•    Did you become a Theosophist, or did your understanding of Theosophy grow, due to the war?
•    Can you relate any stories that illustrate the Three Objects during the war - brotherhood, understanding of other religions, supernormal experiences?
•    Did you keep in touch with other Theosophists during the war, and what were their stories?
•    Do you know people who tried to maintain a vegetarian diet?
•    Do you know of Theosophists who were pacifists?
•    If on the home front, did you support the TOS and groups like Red Cross in projects to support servicemen, refugees,   and others in need?
•    If in combat, did you carry any Theosophical writings that helped to sustain you?
•    What was the effect of the war on your lodge or study group?
•    What happened to you in the postwar years?


Leaflets distributed by the TS among service men and women during WW II


C. Jinarajadasa in London in 1943

I would love to see photographs, correspondence, works of art and poetry, personal memoirs, newspaper clippings, and lodge papers that would help to illustrate the wartime realities of Theosophists.

Thank you for your help! Thanks also to the Kern Foundation for supporting this project.

Janet Kerschner,
(+) 630-668-1571 ext 353

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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