Author Topic: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize  (Read 744 times)

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Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« on: June 15, 2018, 03:19:36 AM »
I believe I have not read this information in any publication concerning Nicholas II. It seems to me very important.

In 1898, Nicholas II proposed a conference for peace in The Hague. It took place in 1899 with the result:

- The prohibition of explosive bullets
- The prohibition of toxic gases
- The creation of Permanent Court of Arbitration at The Hague

After his death, Alfred Nobel had bequeathed 10 million crowns to the League for Peace of Ludwig Quidde, the famous German pacifist. This sum was endowed with a prize awarded to "the one who has done the most for the cause of peace". Nicolas II was rewarded in 1898. He was thus the first unofficial "Nobel Peace Prize", before Henri Dunant and Frédéric Passy in 1901.

A French link to a source:

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5303859/f1.item.r=%22nicolas%20II%22nobelgen%C3%A8veligue%20nobel%20gen%C3%A8ve%20ligue.zoom

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2018, 03:35:13 AM »
I specify that the League for Peace was founded by Bertha von Suttner and Alfred Herman Fried in 1892.

Ludwig Quidde was president later (1914-1929).

Link:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_Peace_Society

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2018, 06:01:34 AM »
After his death, Alfred Nobel had bequeathed 10 million crowns to the League for Peace of Ludwig Quidde, the famous German pacifist. This sum was endowed with a prize awarded to "the one who has done the most for the cause of peace". Nicolas II was rewarded in 1898. He was thus the first unofficial "Nobel Peace Prize", before Henri Dunant and Frédéric Passy in 1901.

A French link to a source:

http://gallica.bnf.fr/ark:/12148/bpt6k5303859/f1.item.r=%22nicolas%20II%22nobelgen%C3%A8veligue%20nobel%20gen%C3%A8ve%20ligue.zoom

Interesting info, but as you can see from the notice in Le Gaulois it was merely a rumour (which the newspaper treated as a bad joke). Here, in a German version of a biography of the Norwegian mathematician Sophus Lie I found the same rumour referred to. It was evidently the Norwegian author and peace and minorities activist Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson who had suggested that NII should receive a Nobel peace prize. But apparantly no peace prize was actually awarded that year. But one could say that NII was nominated as a candidate.

The biography further notes that Bjørnson and the rest of the European peace activist intelligentsia were relieved that it hadn't been awarded to him when NII issued the February Manifesto in February 1899, severely limiting Finland's autonomy and aiming at Russification. Four years later, when Bjørnson himself was made Nobel Laureate in Literature, he wrote a poem called Ved modtagelsen av sidste post fra Finland (At the Reception of the Latest Post from Finland) about NII and his role in the Russification process in Finland, containing this verse:

Men han som et folk henretter,
(det lykkes dog ingensinde!)
er født af en nordisk kvinde,
og leged' på danske sletter.
Å Danmark, hvis bøddelen kommer,
da vær ham en folke-sund dommer:
Forbyd ham at træde på jorden;
thi den er de fries i Norden!


=

But he who is executing a people,
(though it will never succeed!)
was born to a Nordic woman,
and once played on Danish plains.
Oh Denmark, if the executioner comes,
then be a national-sound judge of him:
Deny him to step on the earth;
because in the North it belongs to the free!

=

Mais celui qui exécute un peuple,
(bien que cela ne réussira jamais!)
est né d'une femme nordique,
et jouît dans des plaines danoises.
Ô Danemark, si le bourreau vient,
sois un juge sain-national de lui:
Dénie-lui de mettre les pieds sur la terre;
parce que dans le Nord elle appartient aux libres!

If the rumour about NII declaring that Bjørnson was his favourite author when Bjørnson wanted to award him a peace prize (not likely to be true and sounds like something Donald Trump would say!), it certainly wasn't after this indictment!
« Last Edit: June 17, 2018, 06:24:48 AM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #3 on: June 17, 2018, 06:27:28 AM »
I am not talking about the real Nobel Peace Prize. It did not exist in 1898. But at his death, Alfred Nobel made a donation (only one) to the German Peace League (Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft founded in 1892).

This donation was to finance a prize (given only once).

Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson was not even a member of this company!

I'm not saying that Nicholas II was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, he was awarded the prize of the German Peace League paid through a donation from Alfred Nobel.

Nicholas II never received the real Nobel Peace Prize. But your book talks about the real Nobel Prize (of which Bjornson was a member).

Those are two different things.

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2018, 06:37:30 AM »
Moreover, the information of Le Gaulois comes from Berlin. It's because he's talking about Bertha von Suttner's League for Peace, not the Nobel Academy.


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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #5 on: June 17, 2018, 06:57:32 AM »
I am not talking about the real Nobel Peace Prize. It did not exist in 1898. But at his death, Alfred Nobel made a donation (only one) to the German Peace League (Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft founded in 1892).
Here is Alfred Nobel's testament in Swedish original and English translation: https://www.nobelprize.org/alfred_nobel/will/will-full.html Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft is not mentioned as a beneficiary, only private individuals (family, friends, servants etc.) and the fund for the Nobel Prizes.

Quote
I'm not saying that Nicholas II was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize, he was awarded the prize of the German Peace League paid through a donation from Alfred Nobel.
I understand what you mean. But I couldn't find any mention of this when I googled it in German.

Quote
Nicholas II never received the real Nobel Peace Prize. But your book talks about the real Nobel Prize (of which Bjornson was a member).
The Nobel Peace Prize is, according to Alfred Nobel's testament, awarded by a committee of five members chosen by the Norwegian parliament (Stortinget). You are right about Bjørnson being a member of this committee from 1901 to 1906. But when he suggested NII in 1898, this committee had not yet been formed.
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2018, 07:16:05 AM »
Bjornson was a member since 1897.

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_over_Den_norske_Nobelkomites_medlemmer#Den_Norske_Nobelkomite/_Det_Norske_Stortings_Nobelkomite_1897%E2%80%931909

List of members:

Den Norske Nobelkomite 1897

Bernhard Getz (47 år), riksadvokat. Høyre.
Johannes Steen (70 år), Stortingspresident. Venstre.
Jørgen Løvland (49 år), Odelstingets president. Venstre.
John Theodor Lund (55 år), President Lagtingets. Venstre.
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (65 år), forfatter. Venstre.

Nobel may have given before his death. I do not have the details.

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2018, 07:17:20 AM »
Alfred Nobel died in December 1896. He had no direct heirs, but other relatives contested his testament in court cases that lasted three years, because it gave them very little of his enormous fortune. There were also several testaments that had to be examined to find the last and correct one. So the Nobel Foundation, which manages this capital and funds the prizes, could not be founded untill 1900, and the prizes could then be awarded for the first time in 1901. A further delaying factor, which involved Nikolay II, was that Nobel's investments in Russia, most notably in the oil industry in Baku and Azerbaijan had to be liquidated and allowed to "exit Russia", in order to set up the foundation.

So when Le Gaulois prints a rumour in September 1898 about Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft awarding a donation from the Nobel legacy to NII as a peace prize it is just a rumour, because at that time it is not certain that Nobel's money will actually be used to fund various prizes instead of being claimed by his heirs.
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2018, 07:24:18 AM »
The article says "Nobel Prize", but I think rather that:

Nobel gave 10 million crowns (before his death perhaps, it is difficult to say) to a pacifist association Deutschen Friedensgesellschaft.

The association gave its prize to Nicolas II in 1898. The prize was paid with the donation of Nobel.

Deutschen Fridengesellschaft still exists. I sent an email to find out.

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 07:25:04 AM »
Bjornson was a member since 1897.

https://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liste_over_Den_norske_Nobelkomites_medlemmer#Den_Norske_Nobelkomite/_Det_Norske_Stortings_Nobelkomite_1897%E2%80%931909

List of members:

Den Norske Nobelkomite 1897

Bernhard Getz (47 år), riksadvokat. Høyre.
Johannes Steen (70 år), Stortingspresident. Venstre.
Jørgen Løvland (49 år), Odelstingets president. Venstre.
John Theodor Lund (55 år), President Lagtingets. Venstre.
Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson (65 år), forfatter. Venstre.

Nobel may have given before his death. I do not have the details.

Thank you, I didn't know they set up a committee already in 1897, even though it had to wait untill 1901 to actually award a prize. But then it makes even more sense that the great speaker and writer Bjørnson already started talking about candidates years before the formalities were in place.
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2018, 07:29:35 AM »
I read in other French sources that Bertha von Suttner (founder of the Deutschen Friedegesellschaft) was a great supporter of Nicholas II at the time of the conference for peace. I would have to find the article.

Also, I think there may be a link.

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2018, 07:31:57 AM »
The association gave its prize to Nicolas II in 1898. The prize was paid with the donation of Nobel.
Deutschen Fridengesellschaft still exists. I sent an email to find out.

Good idea. It will be interesting to read the answer. But I doubt it's true. As Le Gaulois notes, it would be absurd and controversial to give a huge money price to one of the richest men in the world. If NII did receive it, he would have donated it to the Permanent Court of Arbitration or some other good cause if he had half a brain and I've never read anything about him doing so.
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2018, 07:40:41 AM »
Maybe he refused the sum.

I do not speak German very well, but perhaps there are also more specific German sources.

After all, Le Gaulois reports information from Berlin.

It should not be forgotten that Le Gaulois is a nationalist French newspaper. He is ironic because the Germans give a price to "the ally of France".

The French were still very worried at that time, as soon as the Germans were "nice" with the Tsar.

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2018, 07:53:34 AM »
Maybe he refused the sum.

I do not speak German very well, but perhaps there are also more specific German sources.

After all, Le Gaulois reports information from Berlin.

It should not be forgotten that Le Gaulois is a nationalist French newspaper. He is ironic because the Germans give a price to "the ally of France".

The French were still very worried at that time, as soon as the Germans were "nice" with the Tsar.

Yes, context is important for the interpretation. To me it sounds like a lot of dubious newspaper reports that go like "according to trusted sources", "one hears from Berlin that....", "it is reported that...." etc. Notice also that they do not specify whether the 10 million are Swedish crowns, French francs, German Reichsmark or what. Sounds fishy.

You can search Le Gaulois or other newspapers for further mentions of the actual ceremony or reception. (Obviously not NII travelling to Germany to receive the prize, but a delegation from Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft travelling to St. Petersburg to award it.) If it isn't mentioned again later in 1898 or in 1899 it was evidently just a false rumour.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2018, 08:01:19 AM by Превед »
Берёзы севера мне милы,—
Их грустный, опущённый вид,
Как речь безмолвная могилы,
Горячку сердца холодит.

(Афанасий Фет: «Ивы и берёзы», 1843 / 1856)

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Re: Nicolas II, first unofficial Nobel Peace Prize
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2018, 08:12:11 AM »
For the sum, it did not surprise me. I think that speaking of Alfred Nobel the sum in crowns seemed logical to the journalist.

In fact, if I have confidence in the information it is because Le Gaulois is a journal very friend of Nicolas II. Even after the revolution of 1917.

So the "ironic" or "annoyed" tone of the article is surprising. If the information had been wrong, I think the tone would have been more neutral.