Bismarck, Otto v.
Kleist, Heinrich v.
Ossietzky, Carl v.
Schinkel, Karl Friedrich
Ossietzky, Carl von
b. Oct. 3, 1889, Hamburg
d. May 4, 1938, Berlin
German journalist and pacifist, winner of the Nobel Prize for Peace for 1935.
In 1912 Ossietzky joined the German Peace Society but was conscripted into the army
and served throughout World War I. In 1920 he became the society's secretary in
Berlin. Ossietzky helped to found the Nie Wieder Krieg (No More War) organization
in 1922 and became editor of the Weltbühne, a liberal political weekly, in 1927, where
in a series of articles he unmasked the Reichswehr (German army) leaders' secret
preparations for rearmament. Accused of treason, Ossietzky was sentenced in
November 1931 to 18 months' imprisonment but was granted amnesty in December
Ossietzky opposed German militarism and political extremism of both the left and
right. By the time Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in January 1933,
Ossietzky had resumed his editorship, in which he uncompromisingly attacked the
Nazis. Steadfastly refusing to flee Germany, he was arrested on Feb. 28, 1933, and sent
to Papenburg concentration camp. After enduring three years of incarceration and
torture in the camps, Ossietzky was transferred in May 1936 to a prison hospital in
Berlin by the German government, which was growing alarmed at the international
publicity his case had begun to attract.
On Nov. 24, 1936, Ossietzky was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for 1935. The
award was interpreted as an expression of worldwide censure of Nazism. Hitler's reply
was a decree forbidding Germans to accept any Nobel Prize. Though not allowed to
leave Germany, Ossietzky was permitted to move to a private sanatorium where, his
health broken, he died of illness.
"Ossietzky, Carl von" Encyclopædia Britannica Online.