In Memoriam: Odd Nansen (December 6, 1901—June 27, 1973)

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Odd Nansen died forty-three years ago today.  Having read his diary multiple times, and having frequently discussed Nansen with his eldest child, daughter Marit (Nansen) Greve, the best way I can sum up his character is to borrow the words Primo Levi used to describe his best friend in Auschwitz, Alberto Dalla Volta (Dalla Volta subsequently died in the Auschwitz Death March—the same march young Tommy Buergenthal endured).  Here’s how Levi describes Dalla Volta in his memoir, Survival in Auschwitz: “I always saw, and still see in him, the rare figure of the strong yet peace-loving man against whom the weapons of night are blunted.”

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