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In Memory of Christa Voigt

15 March 1936–10 February 2011

Photo by Friedrich Heilmann 

Christa learnt to hate war when, during WWII and the ten years that followed, she had to grow up without a father. Thus, she was deeply involved right from the start when, with her energetic support, conversations among like-minded people around living room tables developed into the Peace Tax Initiative (from 2003 Network Peace Tax).

In the early 1980s, Christa and Klaus Martin consistently, and in spite of the demands laid upon them by profession and family, engaged themselves against the payment of "military taxes," and for the freedom of conscience when paying taxes. In 1991 they achieved a hearing in front of the highest German financial authority, the first, and so far only, such court case.

On the basis of their personal conviction as Quakers, Christa and Klaus Martin understood their engagement for peace tax as civil disobedience. We have to thank their influence for the fact that the 1984 Quaker Yearly Meeting in Pyrmont made a declaration that supports the aims of the peace tax movement to this day.

Thanks to Christa's initiative and her whole-hearted work for the refusal of military taxes, contacts with like-minded people in Germany and the world over were established and maintained. Christa was the first German board member of the international movement for the refusal to pay taxes for reasons of conscience, Conscience and Peace Tax International.

Within the framework of religious events—like the first Ecumenical Gathering in Basle, Switzerland, in 1989—together with Klaus Martin, she managed to have her concern documented in a minority statement, thus laying the foundation stone for this concern being included in the final declaration of the World Gathering of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Seoul.

In her own personal and most convincing way, Christa always managed to link the facts to the people with whom she was treading these paths. She was always particularly concerned about achieving an authentic, warm exchange with others. She succeeded so well in this striving because she approached everybody in so warm-hearted and friendly a manner. She liked sharing her feelings and thoughts with others, and, above all, she was a most sensitive listener! And her laughter would cheer up every heart!

Dear Christa, we will remember you as decisive and courageous in your engagement for a more peaceful world, one worth living in. We are grateful for what you have given us and for all that which will continue to live in us.