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Élie Ducommun

The Nobel Peace Prize 1902
Nobel co-recipient Albert Gobat

Permanent International Peace Bureau [1910 Nobel Peace Prize]. Nobelist Passy's description: "exactitude, firmness." History Demonstrates War's Futility. Predicted, 1901: Despite modern weapons' destructiveness, wars will ebb, flow. Alfred Nobel's Contemporary.

Nobel Chairperson Løvland, "You Swiss, with your sense of life's realities, have special gift for taking ideas from realm of dreams and turning them into realities."

Quotations

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1. "Thirty Years' War: It was certainly not worth the trouble of tearing one another apart for thirty years just to arrive at the conclusion that nobody knew for what or for whom he had been fighting".

2. "The Crusades, it is claimed, brought to the people of the East the civilization of the West. It is more probable that they bestowed upon the West the vices of the East".

Quotations

3. Ducommun published 'practical program for friends of peace'. In it, he maintained that people could be educated to choose peaceful solutions. International arbitration was the means whereby war could be prevented.

4. "The hatred fomented by the first hostilities between England and France lasted for more than eight centuries; provinces were lost, retaken, and lost again, but to what useful end?"

5. "For example, in France, where the habitual contempt for law led inevitably to armed strife, province against province, town against town, castle against castle; always, the peasant was the victim sacrificed to the sins of his noble masters".

6. "In the first theatre of war which history records, Law and Reason were unknown: force was everything, and its abuse checked civilization at every turn by accustoming ignorant peoples to bend their heads before the saber".

7. "War had created nothing, consolidated nothing; it had served merely to abase human nature and plunge nations into anarchy".

8. "It cannot be said too often that it was to the ultimate establishment of peace to which ancient Greece owed her glory and her prosperity".

9. "War can lead only to war and never to progress or civilization".

10. "War once more the evil genie of misery and injustice at every stage of development".

11. "Wars, however frequent and destructive they may be, have never been able to kill entirely the intellectual and moral sense which raises man above the beast".

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Photo: nobelprize.org

Name: Élie Ducommun
Birth: 19 February 1833, Geneva, Switzerland
Death: 7 December 1906, Bern, Switzerland
Residence at the time of the award: Switzerland
Role: Honorary Secretary, Permanent International Peace Bureau, Bern, Switzerland
Field: peace Movement
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