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Origin of World Animal Day

After several weeks of research initiated by Wim DeKok of World Animal Net, which involved going through 300 magazines 1924-1936 at the Berlin library and copying every article related to World Animal Day, research at the Holocaust museum in Washington DC, transporting heavy volumes of books from Vienna to Boston, writing to numerous organizations and individuals and reading through hundreds of articles in German and Italian, we have a pretty clear picture about the origin of World Animal Day and the reliable information sources to support it. 

In the end the story is not very complicated, but it’s important to establish the order of events and identify the individuals involved. Even in those days various people and organizations lay claim to being the first. The animal protection movement in Europe was strongly organized in the 1920’s with far reaching goals and strategies vigorously discussed at biennial international meetings that started as early as 1860. The Nazi’s and the second world war put an end to ideals, and took the lives of many, including that of the originator of World Animal Day, Heinrich Zimmermann. 

Click here to read a summary of the findings. 



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