ONLY ONE WHO SPENT the years following the First World War in Germany can fully understand how hard a battle it was that a man like Ossietzky had to fight. He knew that the tradition of his countrymen, bent on violence and war, had not lost its power. He knew how difficult, thankless and dangerous a task it was, to preach sanity and justice to his countrymen who had been hardened by a rough fate and the demoralizing influence of a long war. In their blindness they repaid him in hatred, persecution and slow destruction; to heed him and to act accordingly would have meant their salvation and would have been a true relief for the whole world.
It will be to the eternal fame of the Nobel Foundation that it bestowed its high honor on this humble martyr, and that it is resolved to keep alive his memory and the memory of his work. It is also wholesome for mankind today, since the fatal illusion against which he fought has not been removed by the outcome of the last war. The abstention from the solution of human problems by brute force—is the task today as it was then.