The International Red Cross Committee and the League of Red Cross Societies are Awarded the Nobel Peace Prize

It was after the French-Sardinian-Austrian war and on the background of the terrible massacres on the battlefields of northern Italy that the Red Cross came into existence.

On June 24, 1859, 300,000 French, Sardinian, and Austrian soldiers fought at Solferino in northern Italy, the most merciless battle of the war; and more than 40,000 dying, dead, and wounded were herded into the little village of Castiglione. There was no organized medical aid and no medical supplies, and there was no water. The heat was suffocating; and in this hell on earth an idealistic and pious young Swiss businessman from Geneva, Henri Dunant (he was later called by Dickens "the man in white" and repeated the words which Dunant adopted: Tutti fratelli. We are all brothers.), worked day and night among the dead and the dying and pressed into his service every man and woman of the neighorhood. The Italian peasant women came to his aid and helped even the enemies.

In celebration of its centennial in 1963, the ICRC, together with the League of Red Cross Societies, received its third Nobel Peace Prize. Since 1993, non-Swiss individuals have been allowed to serve as Committee delegates abroad, a task which was previously restricted to Swiss citizens. Indeed, since then, the share of staff without Swiss citizenship has increased to about 35%.