Fridtjof nansen scientist and humanitarian
Nansen: Explorer and Humanitarian by Marit FosseVisionary, explorer, researcher, diplomat, humanist Fridtjof Nansen was no ordinary man. Nansen was a dedicated scientist who made an outstanding contribution to marine zoology and oceanography, an audacious adventurer who pushed our knowledge of the Arctic to new frontiers, and an indefatigable savior of human beings displaced by conflict. As a young man Nansen led two successful polar expeditions and became a national hero, participating in the birth pangs of his country Norway. As a respected international elder statesman he began a new career in 1919 by bringing home hundreds of thousands of prisoners-of-war from the remotest corners of Europe and Siberia. He created the Nansen Passport for stateless people under his responsibility and sought to give the Armenian people a secure homeland. For his efforts in favor of prisoners of war, famine relief and Russian refugees, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922.
Today’s Google doodle celebrates the free movement of refugees around the world
Wikimedia Commons Fridtjof Nansen. He was the first to traverse Greenland, ventured further into the Arctic than any man yet before him, and was an time cross-country skiing national champion. Nansen was born in Aker, Norway, on Oct. Baldur was a religious man who worked as a jurist. His wife had a fondness for the outdoors and snow-shoeing, which was an unconventional interest for a woman of her time. These would prove to be important qualities for his later adventures and allowed him to persevere where others had failed. Wikimedia Commons Fridtjof Nansen at age 4.
The Nansen passport
A man known for exploring vast uncharted territories was the unlikely creator of a document that first allowed great numbers of stateless people to travel across international borders. His passion for biology and cross-country skiing led him to become an explorer. He led the team that first traveled across Greenland in and tried to become the first man to reach the North Pole during a northern expedition. After negotiating the relaxation of an Allied blockade that halted the shipment of vital supplies into Europe during World War I, he was named president of the Norwegian Union for the League of Nations in Nansen also directed millions in Red Cross aid to post-revolutionary Russia, which some historians say could have helped save the lives of as many as 22 million. He created the Nansen passport to solve the issue. The Nansen passport was originally conceived for Russian refugees, but many other displaced peoples used the identity document between and , including refugees of the Greco-Turkish wars.
In the summer of , the last of the German and Austria-Hungarian soldiers who had been in Russian captivity after the First World War were shipped home across the Baltic. On the return voyage, the ships carried the last Russian prisoners-of-war from Germany. Altogether, over , prisoners were exchanged in less than two years. The credit for this was given mainly to the Norwegian Fridtjof Nansen. That autumn he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.