Tanja Winter was a tireless activist and organizer for peace and justice in San Diego. Schooled by her childhood escape from Nazi Germany, the community activist and coalition leader pounded the pavement and government offices for equal rights, empowerment, prison reform, global disarmament, environmental protection, and peace. Her commitment to world peace led her to some of the most effective anti-nuclear demonstrations and world conferences of half a century. For example, "Women Strike for Peace" began in 1961 when thousands of women left their homes and jobs for a one-day strike against nuclear arms. Protests led to a nation-wide movement, which prompted the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Un-American Activities to summon the WSP leaders to a hearing and members accused the women of communist leanings. Upstaging the Committee, the activists easily deflected the accusations.
From letter-writing to organizing events, to sending out informational emails, Tanja Winter's life work brought the issues of peace and justice to the forefront of world consciousness. She founded various organizations: "Children of Chernobyl"--to help bring children from the contaminated areas of Ukraine to San Diego; "Nica Solidarity" and "Friends of Nicaraguan Culture"--solidarity activities for Nicaragua; and "Community Energy Action Network"-- to promote renewable energy sources while opposing nuclear power and weapons. She was a facilitator for "Hands of Peace," a project of "Alternatives to Violence," leading workshops about creative conflict resolution, self-esteem building, personal empowerment, and community building. At 80 years old, she was most active in two organizations she helped create: the Peace & Democracy Action Group and Activist San Diego, both grassroots organizations devoted to mobilizing the public for peace, justice, and equality. Until she died in 2014, Tanya's name was synonymous with "activist" in San Diego for a quarter of a century.