Bruno Kreisky Foundation

for Human Rights

Jean Goss (France)

Jean Goss was born in 1912 in Caluire-et-Cuire, France. At the age of fifteen he joined a labor union. In 1939 he served as a soldier in World War II. After the end of the war Goss joined the International Fellowship of Reconciliation or IFOR. He married Hildegard Mayr in 1958. Together they formed contacts with people in Eastern Europe during the Cold War on the other side of the „iron curtain.“ During the second Vatican council Goss and his wife advocated for disarmament, conscientious objection, and nonviolence. Over the following decade they worked in almost forty countries, promoting peace and justice. In the 1960s and 1970s they founded the non-violence release movement Servicio Paz y Justicia (SERPAJ) or Service for Peace and Justice. Adolfo Perez Esquivel the Nobel Peace Prize winner later became the head of the organization. Eventually the organization widened its scope to include the Near East and Africa. In the early eighties they supported the release movement in the Philippines, and were successful in their non-violent protest against the dictator Ferdinand Marcos. Since the nineties they began working in the French-speaking countries in Africa, especially Madagascar and the Democratic Republic of Congo. They gave seminars on non- violence and spirituality in countries that were riddled with war and violence.

Jean Goss died in 1991 in Paris. He received numerous international peace prizes for his advocacy of peace and non-violence. These include the Spanish Peace Prize „Xirinax“ from Pax Christi Spain, the US Teacher for Peace Award from Pax Christi America, the Bruno Kreisky Prize, as well as the Premio Justicia Y Paz a los valores humanos in 1990.