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Klas Pontus Arnoldson

The Nobel Peace Prize 1908
Nobel Co-recipient Fredrik Bajer

Parliamentarian, writer. Founder, Swedish Peace and Arbitration League. Inspiring orator.

Without peace there is no freedom, individual or national. War and hostilities are a form of slavery. Under such conditions, laws are silent. Without peace there is nothing truly human. Peace is harmony. Harmony is the highest ideal of life.


1. The idea of Europe's United States may gradually prove stronger than the idea of Nordic unity.

2. Peace with Norway, whether the union sinks or swims.

3. Man's nature is fundamentally good, or perhaps it is neither good nor evil. In any case, man is something to work on. We must hold fast to this fact - man is something to work on.

4. It is in man's nature to want peace rather than war. Education is the only certain road to the final goal of peace. And there is no higher goal.

5. Thus the concept of peace is mankind's most brilliant treasure. No one now denies its beauty; all extol its worth.

6. All those who are powerless individually gain power beyond measure when they are united.

7. The Swedish and Norwegian "brother peoples" must never go to war with one another.

8. Without peace there is nothing truly human. Peace is harmony. And harmony is the highest ideal of life. For a long time this fact has been clear to seekers of the lost paradise, those thorn-crowned servants of humanity. Unnoticed by the world, their work has persevered through the ages, just as, slowly and quietly in a dark crevice of the earth, the forming of a brilliant diamond goes on for thousands and thousands of years. No sound rises from the silent depths while atom fuses with atom and the crystal slowly grows, finally to gleam and glitter in a royal crown.

9. The relation between the pressures of militarism and the deterioration of social conditions becomes more and more apparent. Vast resources are absorbed by militarism, without benefit to anyone. If these were set free, we could double the harvests of the nourishing earth, harness the power of roaring rivers for mills and factories, and open up undreamt of opportunities to challenge the finest talents possessed by man.

10. Patriotism is a noble feeling, insofar as it approaches that which is purely human, but the very reverse the further it is removed therefrom. No interests, however great, are higher than those common to the whole of mankind. Among them, the foremost is the old commandment, as old as the oldest documents of any nation: Thou shalt not kill! You are all of one blood. Love one another. People can. Nations can. All this is eminently possible because love is as natural as national hatred is the most unnatural of all human feelings."

11. We are not here concerned with a question of faith, which so often gives rise to differences and schisms, but with one of love, which equalizes and unites. Thus, individual religious and social interests must not on any condition become involved in this cooperation of all peoples.

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Klas Arnoldson
Photo: nobelprize.org

Name: Klas Pontus Arnoldson
Birth: 27 October 1844, Gothenburg, Sweden
Death: 20 February 1916, Stockholm, Sweden
Residence when prize awarded: Sweden
Award: Founder of Swedish Peace and Arbitration League, Formerly Member of Swedish Parliament, Writer
Field: Drama, Poetry, Prose
Honoring Arnoldson