Henrik Beer, Former International Red Cross Executive, Dead
GENEVA (AP) _ Henrik Beer, former secretary-general of the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, is dead, the league announced Monday. He was 71.
Beer, a Swedish national who served as top executive of the league from 1960 until his retirement in 1981, died at his Geneva home Saturday after a long illness, according to the report. It did not give the cause of death.
Beer coordinated Sweden’s relief efforts for war victims during World War II and was secretary-general of the Swedish Red Cross until his appointment to the Geneva post.
While he held the international office, membership increased from 86 to 127 national Red Cross and Red Crescent societies with a total membership of 230 million people. The league’s principal task is to organize international help in times of natural disaster.
Hans Hoegh, of Norway, who succeeded Beer as secretary-general, said Monday in a statement that his predecessor ″made a historic contribution to the movement.″
″Through his energy and foresight he helped move our organization from the post-war period into a new era,″ Hoegh said. ″He was among the first to recognize that the problems of developing countries would be one of the major concerns of an organization such as ours.″
The Red Crescent is the Moslem version of the Red Cross.
Beer is survived by his wife and three sons. A memorial service will be held at Geneva’s Protestant St. Pierre cathedral Tuesday. The funeral will be private, the league statement said.