The humanitarian

From 1920 until his death, Nansen was a member of the Norwegian delegation to the League of Nations. The League approached Nansen in April 1920 and requested that he organise repatriation of the multitude of war prisoners after World War I.

Nansen led the exchange of 400 000 prisoners of war between Russia, Germany and the former Austro-Hungarian Empire. In 1922 Nansen became the first League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. He was also actively involved in aid work in the Soviet Union when famine struck in 1921, efforts for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1922. The League of Nations established the “Nansen Passport”, which allowed stateless refugees to cross national boundaries. Nansen left a significant imprint both in Norway and in many other countries. Fridtjof Nansen died 13 May 1930 and was buried – symbolically enough – 17 May, Norway’s Constitution Day.