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 Carl von Ossietzky

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Carl von Ossietzky

Birth
Harburg, Harburg, Hamburg, Germany
Death 4 May 1938 (aged 48)
Pankow, Pankow, Berlin, Germany
Burial Niederschonhausen, Pankow, Berlin, Germany
Memorial ID 19894 View Source
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Nobel Peace Prize Recipient. Carl von Ossietsky received notoriety as the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize recipient, receiving the honor for his eye-opening publications at the beginning of the years of Nazi Germany. Born the son of a civil servant, it was his step-father, who received credit in shaping his political viewpoints. He was born a Catholic but later became a protestant. Leaving formal education at age seventeen for a legal civil servant position, he turned to journalism as a successful career. He wrote for the newspaper for the Democratic Union, “The Free People.” After writing an article on July 5, 1913 criticizing a harsh pro-military court decision against a group of harmless citizens, his writings became a concern by the Prussian War Ministry, and he was called to make a court appearance and ordered to pay a stiff fine. At this point, he resigned his position as a legal clerk. On May 22, 1914 he married an Englishwoman, Maud Woods. After serving in the Bavarian Pioneer Regiment during World War I, he returned from war as a confirmed pacifist, making political speeches to educate people on the need for peace. The speeches became written articles to be published. This led to him becoming active with the German Peace Society, holding the office of secretary. Starting January 1, 1920, he created a monthly newsletter for the society, “Monist' Monthly,” using the pseudonym of Thomas Murner. This was followed with him becoming the foreign editor on the “Berlin People's Paper;” the entire staff became politically involved with elections in 1923 to 1924. In the spring of 1926, he accepted a position with the weekly publication, “World Stage.” After the sudden death on December 3, 1926 of “ Siegfried Jacobsohn, the editor of the “World Stage,” he was made editor. In March of 1927, he published an article criticizing the paramilitary organizations being formed by the government. Although he was not the author of the article, he was charged, as the publication's editor, with libel and served a month in prison. Not intimidated, he published in March of 1929 an article written by Walter Kreiser, which exposed the creation of a secret German Air Force in violation of the Treaty of Versailles. Arrested in August of 1929, he was tried in November of 1931 charge with betrayal of military secrets, found guilty and sentence to 18 months in Spandau Prison but served seven months before released. As Germany's political climate was becoming a great concern not only in his homeland but world-wide with the Nazi Party coming into power by early 1933, he refused the chance to leave Germany saying, “a man speaks with a hollow voice from across the border.” On February 28, 1933 he was arrested by the SS and sent to a Berlin prison, before going to Sonneburg and later at Esterwegen-Papenburg concentration camp. After a heart attack, his health declined, yet was forced to perform heavy labor. He was first nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934, but his nomination was received too late by the committee to be considered for that year's recipients. A campaign for his nomination was started in Paris. Although seriously ill with chronic tuberculosis, his requested release from the Nazi concentration camp was refused, and it was demanded that he refuse the Nobel Peace Prize, for which he did not comply. “Josef Goebbels, the Propaganda Minister for the Nazi Party publicly announced that he could go to Norway to accept the Nobel Peace Prize, yet documents were found years later giving evidence that he was refused a passport to travel. At this point, he was transferred from the concentration camp to a private hospital remaining under guard until his death. Upon him receiving the Nobel Peace Prize, the Nazi government declared that no other German citizen was allowed to accept any Nobel Prize. His last public appearance was in court at the trial of his lawyer, who was sentenced to hard labor for two years for embezzling most of Ossietzky's Nobel Prize monetary award. He was honored with a full-sized statue on a street in downtown Berlin, the college in Oldenburg was renamed Carl von Ossietzky University, and a German novel and film have told his saga. Upon learning that he would receive the award, he said, “The Nobel Peace Prize is not a sign of an internal political struggle, but of understanding between peoples.”

Bio by: Linda Davis


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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Added: 28 Jan 2001
  • Find a Grave Memorial 19894
  • Find a Grave, database and images (www.findagrave.com/memorial/19894/carl-von_ossietzky : accessed ), memorial page for Carl von Ossietzky (3 Oct 1889–4 May 1938), Find a Grave Memorial ID 19894, citing Friedhof Pankow IV, Niederschonhausen, Pankow, Berlin, Germany ; Maintained by Find A Grave .