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Lafontaine, Henri

( Belgian politician and defender of the world's Nobel Peace Prize, 1913)

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Biography Lafontaine, Henri
April 22, 1854, Mr.. - May 14, 1943
Belgian politician and defender of peace, Henri La Fontaine was born in Brussels, he was the eldest son of Alfred and Marie Lafontaine (Phillips) Lafontaine. Father Henri was a financial officer of the Belgian Government. Received his secondary education in Brussels, L. enrolled at the Free University, graduating in 1877. the degree of Doctor of Laws. After graduation, L. became a lawyer in the Brussels Court of Appeal.
A law practice. a year later was combined with teaching activities, occupying the post of Secretary of the Technical School for young women - a pilot agencies at the time. The experiment proved so successful that it is based in Belgium has opened a number of such schools. The experience gained has helped L. take part in founding a new university - department of the Free University. From 1893 to 1940. he was in charge of the New University of International Law Department, specializing in the origins and development of global legal structures. L. read public lectures on international relations and disarmament.
In the 80-ies. L. acquainted with the ideas of the British pacifist Hodgson Pratt, who visited Belgium in 1883. for the foundation of the Belgian branch of the Association of peace and international arbitration. Inspired by these ideas, L. agreed to become secretary general of the Belgian branch, which was organized in 1889. Two years later he joined the socialists, and since then started to speak at meetings, in the press and participated in the creation of the journal 'Justice' ( "La Justice").
In 1895, Mr.. L. his candidature for election to the Senate and took place in it from the County of Hainaut. For 40 years he sat in the Senate, where in 1907 ... 1919. served as Secretary, and in 1919 ... 1932. - Vice-President. L. was a champion of educational reform, the eight-hour working day and improve safety in the workplace. In accordance with its internationalist convictions L. played a supporter of the League of Nations, an economic union with Luxembourg, disarmament and the settlement of international disputes by arbitration.
All these years, L. actively participated in the peace movement. He became the successor Fredrik Bajer as chairman of the International Peace Bureau in 1907. and joined the Inter-Parliamentary Union (founded in 1888. William Kramer, and Frederic Passy). The Inter-Parliamentary Union L. saw the seeds of world parliament, who was peacefully administered by all peoples. L. Chairman of the Legal Committee of the organization, sitting in the committees for the preparation of a model of world parliament and a treaty on international arbitration.
. Convinced that the source of information about international affairs will contribute to peace, L
. with Paul Otle founded in 1895. House of documentation in Brussels. Its tasks included the collection and processing of publications on international politics throughout the world. Enlisting the support of the Belgian Government. The House began with the development of a universal system of classification based on the method of Melville Dewey, American reformer library. Work has begun on compiling a bibliography of international publications on social issues, the special place it occupied the literature on the peace movement.
On the basis of documentation of the House of a Union of International Associations, established in 1907. L. and Otle. Union, led by L. was all his life, he published numerous instructions, bibliographic descriptions, documents and manuals, in t. h. journal 'International Affairs' ( "La Vie International") and "Yearbook of International Organizations' (" Yearbook of International Organizations "). In 1951, Mr.. Union merged with the United Nations.
In addition, L. served the cause of peace as a scholar and writer. "Pasicrisie internationale: Historic docurnentaire des arbitrages internationaux: 1794 ... 1900", published in 1902, is a documentary history of treaties on international arbitration in the western world for 106 years. In the 'Bibliography of Peace and International Arbitration' ( "Bibliographic de la paix et de l'arbitrage international"), saw the light two years later, reflected more than 2000 titles of works in this field.
. In his book 'The key decision: The Greatest Charter' ( "The Great Solution: Magnissima Charta"), published in Boston in 1916, L
. outlined the principles which should form the basis of international relations. He proposed a plan for a global constitution, the parliament of the world, the World Bank, one language and statistics centers on labor, trade and other issues. The plan was developed by an international court of a year earlier. Trudy L., admittedly, had a great influence on the development of some subsidiary organizations of the League of Nations.
At a ceremony on the occasion of awarding L. Nobel Peace Prize 1913. representative of the Norwegian Nobel Committee Ragnvald Moe called him 'a true leader of the popular movement for peace in Europe'. 'This is one of the most knowledgeable advocates for peace, . - Said in his speech, Moe, . - Thanks to his initiative and energy rose to a new level of international movement for peace, . is especially evident in the inter-parliamentary conferences and pacifist past years',
. L. was not present at the ceremony and the Nobel lectures are not presented.
Year after the invasion of Germanic army in Belgium L. was forced to go to England and thence to the United States, which settled in the Washington (DC). His optimism about the prospects of internationalism significantly decreased, return it could not even end the war. 'I foresee a resumption of secret deals behind closed doors - he wrote to David Jordan, president of Stanford University in 1916. - People, as always, like sheep, will be sent to the slaughterhouse or on pasture - at the request of the Shepherds'.
After the war, despite his pessimism, L. returned to Europe and resumed their peace efforts. He was a member of the Belgian delegation at the Paris Peace Conference of 1919. at the first Assembly of the League of Nations in 1920 - 1921 he. During the debate about whether the state - members of the League to participate in the sanctions, despite the security threat, A. defended the view that everyone should do a 'sacred mission of defending justice, even if they would be called into question the existence of'. L. continued to work in the House of documentation, led Council of the Interparliamentary Union, entering its Committee on Legal Affairs.
A man of broad views, A. women's equality, in t. h. for the acquisition of the legal profession, he also served as chairman of the Association of Professional Education of Women. In his youth, he published a collection of poems, and in 1885. translated part of the libretto of Wagner's 'Valkyrie', one time he lectured on art. Being a passionate mountaineer, he wrote a lot about this sport and was the chairman of the Alpine Club in Belgium. In 1903, Mr.. L. married Matilda Augustine Isabella flattery.
L. resigned from his Senate duties in 1936, four years before Germany invaded his country. May 14, 1943, Mr.. L. died.
As mentioned in the book 'Nobel: The Man and His Works', published by the Nobel Foundation, R. 'sought a bridge between the bourgeois and the socialist world view' and 'attract the interest of workers' organizations to the peace movement, . to which they were set quite skeptical, . but as an indispensable party to the inter-parliamentary conferences managed to convince the majority of colleagues'.,

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