Nobel Peace Prize Award for 1951 - 1960
About the winners of the Nobel Peace Prize from 1951 to 1960 including Schweitzer, Marshall, and Luthuli, as well as behind the scenes information on the decision.
1951 Leon Jouhaux (1879-1954), French. Work: Disarmament; improving world working conditions.
1952 Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965), French. Work: Humanitarian activities.
Behind the Award--The great musician-doctor-humanitarian went into the depths of French Equatorial Africa to Lambarene, where he built a hospital for the natives and cured them of their diseases--leprosy, malaria, sleeping sickness, dysentery. To raise money, he went back to Europe and gave organ recitals. He felt that progress must be based on some ethical principle or it would mean the end of civilization. His ethical principle was respect for life--all life.
1953 George C. Marshall (1880-1959), American. Work: Framed the Marshall Plan.
Behind the Award--A soldier, Chief of the U.S. General Staff of W.W. II, Marshall was never a member of a peace organization. In his Nobel lecture, he said, "There has been considerable comment over the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to a soldier. I am afraid this does not seem as remarkable to me as it quite evidently appears to others. . . . The cost of war in human lives is constantly spread before me, written neatly in many ledgers whose columns are gravestones. I am deeply moved to find some means or method of avoiding another calamity of war."
1954 Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Work: Relief for refugees.
1955 No Award
1956 No Award
1957 Lester B. Pearson (1897-1972), Canadian. Work: Solution of Mideast crisis.
1958 Father Georges H. Pire (1910-1969), Belgian. Work: Relief for refugees.
Behind the Award--Some critics of the prize wondered if refugee work really contributed to world peace. Father Pire was active in the French resistance in W.W. II and set up a camp to care for several hundred French children after the war.
1959 Philip J. Noel-Baker (1889- ), British. Work: Disarmament.
1960. Albert J. Luthuli (1899-1967), South African. Work: Nonviolent resistance.
Behind the Award--The 1st African black to win an award, Luthuli, a Zulu chief, practiced Gandhi's principle of nonviolence. (Gandhi never did receive a Peace Prize, a glaring oversight.) When Luthuli was notified that he had won the prize, the apartheid Government, which had already restricted his movement, was reluctant to let him go to Norway to accept it. In the end, they granted him a travel permit and allowed him to stay in Oslo for a week.
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