The carnage of 1914-18 should have made this conflict the last. The public was horrified at the amount of blood that been spilt and war now seemed to have no place. But events themselves would quickly quash this idealism. Far from disappearing, the violence of war would take an even more brutal turn with the arrival of the totalitarian ideologies of the 1920s and 1930s. The ICRC had to assert itself in an environment that was increasing unsympathetic towards humanitarian principles.
History of the ICRC: 1919-1939 – Overview