Ferdinand Edouard Buisson, Ludwig Quidde

Nobel Peace Prize 1927

Ferdinand Édouard Buisson


For human rights and Franco-German reconciliation

Ferdinand Buisson grew up under the nineteenth-century dictatorship of Emperor Napoleon III. He studied philosophy and pedagogy, and moved to Switzerland so as to be able to work, think, and write freely. All his life he was committed to the advancement of democracy and human rights.

After the Franco-German war of 1870-71 and the Emperor's fall, Buisson returned to France, where he became professor of pedagogy at the Sorbonne. He took a stand against the anti-Semitism in French society, and in 1902 he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies for the Radical Socialists. There he also became a spokesman for women's suffrage.

In World War I, Buisson denounced Germany as the aggressor, but was strongly opposed to the harsh treatment to which it was subjected after the war. He feared it would lay the foundations for a revanchist war on Germany's part, and arranged meetings aimed at Franco-German reconciliation. This work gained him the Peace Prize together with the German Ludwig Quidde.


Ludwig Quidde


Opposed German war policy

Ludwig Quidde was awarded the Peace Prize in 1927 for his lifelong work in the cause of peace. He shared the Prize with the Frenchman Ferdinand Buisson.

Quidde had a doctorate in history, but received no official appointments because of his opposition to the German Kaiser. He became a member of the International Peace Bureau, and endeavored to reduce the hostility between Germany and France after the Franco-German war in 1870-71.

In 1907 he was elected to the German Reichstag, and later became president of the German Peace Society. During World War I he spoke against Germany's annexation of territory from neighboring countries, and as a result he was placed under political surveillance. Quidde was disappointed at the harsh treatment of Germany after the war, but continued to work against rearmament and German revanchism. When Hitler came to power, he fled to Switzerland, where he lived for the rest of his life.