Nobel Prize acceptance speech (Schweitzer)

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Nobel Prize acceptance speech
by Albert Schweitzer, translated by Wikisource
Delivered in French in his absence, after his 1952 Nobel Peace Prize

I would like to say to His Majesty King Haakon, the members of the Nobel Peace Prize, and all who are gathered here this December 10th, how sorry I am that I am unable to come to Oslo to see the giving of the prize, which you have been good enough to award me.

For various reasons, I could not find anybody to replace me in the running of my hospital at this time, and we are currently building a village for the lepers. The committee had wanted to understand these reasons. Please forgive me, as I now travel to Oslo in my thoughts.

In thinking I am with you this December 10th, let me tell you how impressed I have been by the honour and sympathy I was shown, in being chosen. I think I am not incorrect in believing those are the traits that brought me to the attention of those who award the prize.

From the East, we have received encouragement to continue to speak out. At the same time, valuable assistance has been given in the construction of the village to house and properly care for the 250 lepers in my hospital. It allows me to purchase the large quantities of cement, wood,and corrugated iron which I need for the successful completion of this undertaking.

I look forward to coming next year to Oslo during my visit to Europe. For years I had the desire, but I could not find the time. Now I have a reason for me to do so. I am deeply pleased.