On This Day … 28 May


  • 1961 – Peter Benenson’s article The Forgotten Prisoners is published in several internationally read newspapers.
    • This will later be thought of as the founding of the human rights organisation Amnesty International.

People (Deaths)

  • 1937 – Alfred Adler, Austrian-Scottish ophthalmologist and psychologist (b. 1870).

The Forgotten Prisoners

“The Forgotten Prisoners” is an article by Peter Benenson published in The Observer on 28 May 1961. Citing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights articles 18 and 19, it announced a campaign on “Appeal for Amnesty, 1961” and called for “common action”. The article also launched the book Persecution 1961 and its stories of doctor Agostinho Neto, philosopher Constantin Noica, lawyer Antonio Amat and Ashton Jones and Patrick Duncan.

Benenson reputedly wrote his article after having learnt that two Portuguese students from Coimbra were imprisoned in Portugal for raising a toast to freedom. The article was reprinted in newspapers across the world and provoked a flood of responses from the readers, marshalling groups in several countries to examine human rights abuses.

While, in 2015, the original story still remains to be verified, the appeal marks the beginning of Amnesty International, founded in London the same year following the publication after Benenson enlisted a Conservative, a Liberal and a Labour MP.

Alfred Adler

Alfred Adler (07 February 1870 to 28 May 1937) was an Austrian medical doctor, psychotherapist, and founder of the school of individual psychology.

His emphasis on the importance of feelings of inferiority, the inferiority complex, is recognised as an isolating element which plays a key role in personality development. Alfred Adler considered a human being as an individual whole, therefore he called his psychology “Individual Psychology”.

Adler was the first to emphasize the importance of the social element in the re-adjustment process of the individual and who carried psychiatry into the community. A Review of General Psychology survey, published in 2002, ranked Adler as the 67th most eminent psychologist of the 20th century.