Nobel Peace Prize Award for 1936 to 1940

About the Nobel Peace Prize Award from 1936 to 1940 including winners Lamas and Cecil, their works, and history.


1936 Carlos Saavedra Lamas (1880--1959), Argentinean

Work: Arbitrated end to Chaco War; headed League of Nations

Nobel Laureate: An aristocrat by birth, Saavedra Lamas became a lawyer, studied further in Paris, traveled extensively, taught law, and returned to his alma mater, the University of Buenos Aires, where he introduced sociology and labor law. From 1915 he headed the Justice and Education Ministry and became foreign minister in 1932. He prodded his country back into the League of Nations after 13 years of self-imposed absence and brought Paraguay and Bolivia to the conference table to settle their border dispute over the Chaco frontier. He also hammered out a nonaggression pact among 15 Latin-American nations and the U.S. In 1936 he was elected president of the League of Nations Assembly.

Nobel Lore: Nobel committeemen were particularly impressed with Saavedra Lamas's peace efforts among those states which had chosen not to join the League. News of the first South American recipient of the peace prize bumped Spanish Civil War reports and other news off Argentinean airwaves.

1937 Edgar R. Cecil, 1st Viscount Cecil of Chelwood (1864--1958), British

Work: Led League of Nations fight in his country

1938 Nansen International Office for Refugees

Work: Resettled and gave comfort to war refugees and other displaced persons

Nobel Laureate: Founded under League of Nations auspices in Geneva in 1931, the office was the successor to the High Commission for Refugees, the first such agency, created by Fridtjof Nansen in 1921. Despite a lack of systematic funding, the office struggled through the depression years to find homes for fleeing Russians, Assyrians, Turks, Spaniards, Italians, and, with the rise of Hitler, a flood of Jews. In fact, so many Jews fled the Fatherland that League officials created a separate High Commission for Refugees from Germany. Large-scale successes included resettlement of 4,000 Saar refugees in Paraguay and 40,000 Armenians to villages in Syria and Lebanon. The office was discontinued in 1939, its workload transferred to a high commission in London.

1939 No award

1940 No award

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