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Monday, December 05, 2005

E.G.C. Brandt Revisited 

Unless you have a really really short attention span, you'll recall that E.G.C. Brandt was the person who nominated Hitler for a Nobel Peace Prize, subsequently withdrawing the nomination.

From andy2000.org:

Any active member of a national legislature can nominate someone for the Nobel Peace Prize. To be a Nobel Peace Prize nominee doesn't mean you're worthy or even that the people at Nobel HQ think that you're worthy. All you have to do to get nominated is impress a single politician, somewhere, anywhere in the world. Every one of us is one steak dinner and a golf-weekend away from getting nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Hitler was nominated by a single Swedish parliamentarian named E.G.C Brandt. The Nobel committee ignored the nomination. The Nobel Peace Prize's opinion of Hitler was expressed three years earlier, in 1936, when it awarded the prize to outspoken German pacifist named Carl Von Ossietsky. He was dying of tuberculosis in a Nazi concentration camp at the time. The Nazi response to Von Ossietsky's win was a declaration that no German would be allowed to accept the prize in the future.

From hebreos.net:

Ese odiado Führer, totalitario, antisemita, xenófobo y agresivo, fue nominado por el parlamentario sueco E.G.C Brandt. El Comité Nobel noruego (encargado de conceder el galardón) contempló la nominación, pero concedió los laureles en aquella ocasión al Instituto Nansen, organismo multitemático dedicado a diversas investigaciones.

No obstante, aunque Hitler no consiguiera la mayoría de votos necesaria, las discusiones sobre sus méritos fueron «animadas». Se opinaba que podría ser merecedor gracias a las conversaciones que mantuvo con el británico Chamberlein sobre la paz en Europa. Tanto la nominación como los demás detalles relacionados con esta extraordinaria historia se archivaron bajo siete llaves y desaparecieron de la historia de los premios Nobel como por arte de mágia después de la Segunda Guerra Mundial.

Andres Baranett, intendente del Museo Nobel, explicó que el tal Brandt, «que debía estar loco», intentó retirar esa propuesta en enero de 1939, petición que le fue denegada por el Comité Nobel. Según unos escritos del profesor emérito de la Universidad de Uppsala Gustav Henrikssen, anterior miembro del citado comité, la autora judía Gertrude Stein, icono intelectual de la denominada «generación perdida», que escribió un estudio sobre «La grandeza y las cualidades del Führer», fue quien abanderó la campaña pro Hitler: «La supresión de los judíos es sinónimo de Paz». Algo «incomprensible» para Baranett, ya que en aquella época, y desde 1933, el Führer ya había mostrado su horrible faz nazi.

From the Guardian:

During the 1930s, world politics was dominated by the fascist victories in Italy, Germany and Spain, the Japanese occupation of Manchuria and the eruption of a mass non-violent struggle against the British empire in India. The committee, sensitive to these developments, was divided. In 1938, the shortlist for the prize was headed by Hitler and Gandhi. The choice proved too difficult for the mandarins. The prize ultimately went to the Nansen International Office of Refugees.

The committee's inclusion of Hitler appears shocking today, but at the time many in the west regarded the German Führer as a bulwark against Bolshevism. Earlier, the American writer Gertrude Stein had come out for Hitler getting the prize. "I say that Hitler ought to have the peace prize, because he is removing all the elements of contest and of struggle from Germany," she wrote in the New York Times magazine in May 1934. "By driving out the Jews and the democratic and left element, he is driving out everything that conduces to activity. That means peace... By suppressing Jews... he was ending struggle in Germany."

In 1938, Time magazine had made Hitler its "Man of the Year" with an appreciative profile and in Britain, Geoffrey Dawson, editor of the Times, had no doubt that an Anglo-German deal was vital for world peace. Hitler's pre-invasion rhetoric, too, emphasised his desire for peace. The invasions were presented as defensive, humanitarian operations, necessitated by the threat posed to the Third Reich or ethnic Germans by Czechoslovakia, Poland, Norway, etc.

The committee decided that if Hitler was not acceptable, then neither was Gandhi. But did it ever consider giving them a joint prize, as became the norm later in that century? In 1973 it was Henry Kissinger and North Vietnam's chief negotiator, Le Duc Tho (the latter declined to accept the prize in such company); in 1978 it was the former Israeli terrorist Menachem Begin and the turncoat Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat; in 1993 it was Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk; in 1994 three recipients - Yasser Arafat, Shimon Peres and Yitzhak Rabin - shared the loot. Why was Mother Teresa awarded it on her own in 1979? Surely her close friend and sponsor Papa Doc Duvalier of Haiti could have been included?

From indymedia:

After sending thousands of soldiers to war and failing to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, Mr Bush and Mr Blair have been put forward to receive the Nobel peace prize.

They were nominated by Jan Simonsen, an independent member of Norway's Parliament who says the pair got rid of a dictator and made the world safer....

Nobel watchers say neither Mr Bush nor Mr Blair has much chance of winning.

Other nominees are varied and include: Pope John Paul II; the European Union to mark its expansion to include former East bloc states; the Salvation Army; former Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler; former Czech president Vaclav Havel; former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic; and Chinese dissidents.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Gandhi and Hitler on the same list?! I had no idea how close I was to being a Nobel Prize winner. If Bush/Blair wins, I will barf. Why don’t we just nominate Bin Laden?
There have been some stinkers who actually WON the prize. I personally have no problem with the Begin/Sadat win, but Arafat troubles me, and I know Kissinger troubles some.
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