Fridtjof Nansen and the Armenian Genocide

Fridtjof Nansen, the famous Norwegian explorer (, was featured in Google’s homepage. There is a humanitarian side of him though that some may not know, and I wanted to share that, in particular is efforts to help Armenian refugees from the Armenian Genocide, while not successful, he is still well liked and admired by Armenians for his sincere efforts.

>From 1925 onwards he spent much time trying to help Armenian refugees, victims of Armenian Genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire during the First World War and further ill-treatment thereafter.[141] His goal was the establishment of a national home for these refugees, within the borders of Soviet Armenia. His main assistant in this endeavour was Vidkun Quisling, the future Nazi collaborator and head of a Norwegian puppet government during the Second World War.[142] After visiting the region, Nansen presented the Assembly with a modest plan for the irrigation of 36,000 hectares (360 km2 or 139 square miles) on which 15,000 refugees could be settled.[143] The plan ultimately failed, because even with Nansen’s unremitting advocacy the money to finance the scheme was not forthcoming. Despite this failure, his reputation among the Armenian people remains high.[8] Nansen wrote the book, Armenia and the Near East in 1923 which describes his sympathies to the plight of the Armenians in the wake of losing its independence to the Soviet Union.[144] The book was translated in many languages including Norwegian, English, French, German, Russian and Armenian. After his visit to Armenia, Nansen wrote two additional books called “Gjennem Armenia” (“Across Armenia”), published in 1927 and “Gjennem Kaukasus til Volga” (“Through Caucasus to Volga”).

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One thought on “Fridtjof Nansen and the Armenian Genocide

  1. He was also the key architect behind the 1923 population exchange between Greece and Turkey
    > The architect of the exchange was Fridtjof Nansen, commissioned by the League of Nations. As the first official high commissioner for refugees, Nansen proposed and supervised the exchange, taking into account the interests of Greece, Turkey, and West European powers. As an experienced diplomat with experience resettling Russian and other refugees after the First World War, Nansen had also created a new travel document for displaced persons of the World War in the process. He was chosen to be in charge of the peaceful resolution of the Greek-Turkish war of 1919–22

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