The Nobel Peace Prize 1921

Report of the Speech by Halvdan Koht, on December 10, 1921*

Professor Koht made a long speech today on the occasion of the award of the Nobel Prize to Branting and Lange. He outlined their activities in the cause of peace, stressing Branting’s political work, starting with the Socialism which had made him a practical statesman and an international pioneer for peace. He had demonstrated this in practice by his efforts for a peaceful settlement in the matter of the union between Sweden and Norway.

The speaker drew a fascinating picture of Lange’s contribution to the work for peace, a contribution which followed completely different lines from that of Branting. He described him as the great organizer with a practical grasp of things, an unswerving idealism, a wealth of knowledge, and a determination to do his duty in good times and bad. He had given evidence of the last during the war1 – as no other man had.

Branting and Lange were both worthy recipients of the Peace Prize, and it was an honor and a pleasure for us that they should be representatives of two kindred neighboring nations determined to live at peace with each other.

*The award ceremony held in the auditorium of the Norwegian Nobel Institute on December 10, 1921, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death, was opened by Mr. Jørgen Gunnarsson Løvland, the chairman of the Nobel Committee, who announced the joint prizewinners for 1921, Mr. Branting and Mr. Lange, and then reviewed Nobel’s life and the aims and organization of the Nobel Foundation. His presentation of the diplomas and medals followed. Since Mr. Branting was unable to be present because of official duties, Baron Ramel, the Swedish minister, accepted in his behalf, reading a telegram of thanks from Mr. Branting. After Mr. Lange’s acceptance, Professor Halvdan Koht, a member of the Committee, spoke on the life and work of each laureate. There is no text of his speech available. The report given here is a brief summary of it carried (in Norwegian) by the Oslo Aftenposten of December 10, 1921.

1. World War I (1914-1918).

From Nobel Lectures, Peace 1901-1925, Editor Frederick W. Haberman, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1972

Copyright © The Nobel Foundation 1921

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