International Committee of the Red Cross


International Committee of the Red Cross portrait.jpg

International Committee of the Red Cross

Comité international de la Croix Rouge (International Committee of the Red Cross)
The Nobel Peace Prize 1944

Founded: 1863, Geneva, Switzerland

Prize motivation: “for the great work it has performed during the war on behalf of humanity”

Prize share: 1/1

Also awarded: The Nobel Peace Prize 1917, The Nobel Peace Prize 1963

The staunchest supporter of prisoners of war

When World War II ended, the International Committee of the Red Cross received the Nobel Prize for Peace for the second time. The main reason given was its work on behalf of prisoners of war. In accordance with the Geneva Convention of 1929, the Red Cross had during the war years established contacts between prisoners of war and their families, sent parcels of clothes, medicine and food, inspected prison camps, and organized prisoner exchanges.

The Nobel Committee was not aware that the Red Cross was fully informed of the Nazi extermination of Jews. This was not known until the 1980s. It then emerged that in 1942 the organization had adopted a resolution to keep silent. It feared that publication of the atrocities might trigger reprisals against prisoners of war or provoke military action against neutral Switzerland. It was also afraid that the cooperation between the ICRC and the Swiss government might collapse. The Red Cross has since expressed regret for this suppression of the facts.

To cite this section
MLA style: The Staunchest Supporter of Prisoners of War. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Fri. 29 Sep 2023. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Coming up

This year’s Nobel Prize announcements will take place 2–9 October. All announcements will be streamed live here on

See the full schedule
Announcement dates

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.