Christian Lous Lange
The Nobel Peace Prize 1921
Born: 17 September 1869, Stavanger, Norway
Died: 11 December 1938, Oslo, Norway
Residence at the time of the award: Norway
Role: Secretary General of Inter-Parliamentary Union, Brussels
Prize motivation: “for their lifelong contributions to the cause of peace and organized internationalism”
Prize share: 1/2
Champion of Internationalism
In 1921, the Norwegian Christian Lange shared the Peace Prize with the Swede Hjalmar Branting. They both wanted to strengthen the new world organization the League of Nations.
Lange qualified as a high school teacher. Owing to his knowledge of history and skills in English and French, he was appointed secretary and advisor to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. He helped establishing the Nobel Institute in Oslo, and was also active on the Norwegian side when the union between Norway and Sweden was peacefully dissolved in 1905.
In 1909, Lange became secretary-general of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. He built up the organization and managed to hold it together during World War I. In 1919 Lange got a doctorate on the history of internationalism, and was called in as an expert to the first meeting of the League of Nations in 1920. Later he was for many years a Norwegian delegate to the League, where he warned against the failure of the democratic great powers to stand up firmly to the aggressive policies of Japan, Italy and Germany. Lange became a member of the Nobel Committee in 1934.
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