founder of naked leader

Remembered by a Cross…

Remembered by a Cross…

Naked Leader Week – 286 – Monday 15 December 2008

Remembered by a Cross…

Read Time: Thirty Seconds (Legacy Time: Forever)

Henri Dunant, a wealthy 30-year-old Swiss banker and financier, was sent by his government to propose a business deal with Napoleon III. He found the Frenchman on the plain of Solferino, seconds away from entering a battle with the Austrians. Dunant sat and watched the battle, transfixed – entranced by the horror taking place below him.

After the battle had ended, Dunant went closer, seeing in even more dramatic detail what he had witnessed from afar. Driven by the compassion and sympathy at the suffering he had witnessed, he declared that the world should abolish the barbarous act of war.

When Dunant returned to Switzerland he became a fanatic on the subject of peace – preaching it everywhere. His business suffered and he eventually went broke.

Still, he persisted.

At the first Geneva Conference he carried his one-man assault against war. As a result, the first international law against war was passed. In 1901 Dunant was awarded the first Nobel Peace prize. Despite his nearly hopeless financial state, he donated all of his prize money to the worldwide movement he had founded.

Almost forgotten by the world, he needed no monument to mark his grave – except the symbol of the organisation he founded – the everlasting monument of the Red Cross.



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