Dag Hammarskjöld in 1959
|2nd Secretary-General of the United Nations|
10 April 1953 – 18 September 1961
|Preceded by||Trygve Lie|
|Succeeded by||U Thant|
|Born||Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld
29 July 1905
Jönköping, United Kingdoms of Sweden and Norway
(now Jönköping, Sweden)
|Died||18 September 1961
Ndola, Rhodesia and Nyasaland
(now Ndola, Zambia)
|Alma mater||Uppsala University
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld (Swedish: [dɑːɡ ²hamarˌɧœld] ( listen); 29 July 1905 – 18 September 1961) was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author, who served as the second Secretary-General of the United Nations, from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. At the age of 47 years upon his appointment, Hammarskjöld was the youngest to have held the post. Additionally, he is one of only four people to be awarded a posthumous Nobel Prize and was the only United Nations Secretary-General to die while in office. He was killed in a Douglas DC-6 airplane crash en route to cease-fire negotiations. Hammarskjöld has been referred to as one of the two best secretaries-general, and his appointment has been mentioned as the most notable success for the UN. United States President John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjöld "the greatest statesman of our century."
Early life and education
Dag Hammarskjöld was born in Jönköping to the noble family Hammarskjöld (alternatively spelt Hammarskiöld or Hammarsköld). His family was ennobled in 1610 due to deeds of the warrior Peder Mikaelsson (after 1610) Hammarskiöld (approximately 1560 - 12 April 1646), an officer in the cavalry who fought for both sides in the War against Sigismund, where he took the name Hammarskiöld at his ennobling. Dag Hammarskjöd spent most of his childhood in Uppsala. His home there, which he considered his childhood home, was Uppsala Castle. The fourth and youngest son of Hjalmar Hammarskjöld, Prime Minister of Sweden from 1914 to 1917, and Agnes Hammarskjöld (née Almquist), Hammarskjöld's ancestors had served the Monarchy of Sweden since the 17th century.
Hammarskjöld studied first at Katedralskolan and then at Uppsala University. By 1930, he had obtained Licentiate of Philosophy and Master of Laws degrees. Before he finished his law degree he had already obtained a job as Assistant Secretary of the Unemployment Committee.
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From 1930 to 1934, Hammarskjöld was Secretary of a governmental committee on unemployment. During this time he wrote his economics thesis, "Konjunkturspridningen" ("The Spread of the Business Cycle"), and received a doctorate from Stockholm University.[dead link] In 1936, he became secretary of the Sveriges Riksbank and was soon promoted. From 1941 to 1948, he served as chairman of the bank.
Hammarskjöld quickly developed a successful career as a Swedish public servant. He was secretary of the Riksbank (the central bank of Sweden) 1935–1941, state secretary in the Ministry of Finance 1936–1945, governor of the Riksbank 1941–1948, Swedish delegate to the OEEC (Organization for European Economic Cooperation) 1947–1953, cabinet secretary for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1949–1951 and minister without portfolio in Tage Erlander's government 1951–1953.[dead link]
He helped coordinate government plans to alleviate the economic problems of the post-World War II period and was a delegate to the Paris conference that established the Marshall Plan. In 1950, he became head of the Swedish delegation to UNISCAN. Although Hammarskjöld served in a cabinet dominated by the Social Democrats, he never officially joined any political party.
In 1951, Hammarskjöld was vice chairman of the Swedish delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in Paris. He became the chairman of the Swedish delegation to the General Assembly in New York in 1952. On 20 December 1954, he was elected to take his father's vacated seat in the Swedish Academy.
United Nations Secretary-General
When Trygve Lie resigned from his post as UN Secretary-General in 1953, the United Nations Security Council recommended Hammarskjöld to succeed him. It came as a surprise to Hammarskjöld. Seen as a competent technocrat without political views, he was selected on 31 March by a majority of 10 out of 11 Security Council members. The UN General Assembly elected him in the 7–10 April session by 57 votes out of 60. In 1957, he was re-elected.
Hammarskjöld began his term by establishing his own secretariat of 4,000 administrators and setting up regulations that defined their responsibilities. He was also actively engaged in smaller projects relating to the UN working environment. For example, he planned and supervised every detail in the creation of a "meditation room" at the UN headquarters. This is a place dedicated to silence, where people can withdraw into themselves, regardless of their faith, creed, or religion.
During his term, Hammarskjöld tried to smooth relations between Israel and the Arab states. Other highlights include a 1955 visit to China to negotiate the release of 11 captured US pilots who had served in the Korean War, the 1956 establishment of the United Nations Emergency Force, and his intervention in the 1956 Suez Crisis. He is given credit by some historians for allowing participation of the Holy See within the United Nations that year.
In 1960, the former Belgian Congo and then newly independent Congo asked for UN aid in defusing the Congo Crisis. Hammarskjöld made four trips to Congo, but his efforts toward the decolonisation of Africa were considered insufficient by the Soviet Union; in September 1960, the Soviet government denounced his decision to send a UN emergency force to keep the peace. They demanded his resignation and the replacement of the office of Secretary-General by a three-man directorate with a built-in veto, the "troika." The objective was, citing the memoirs of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev, to "equally represent interests of three groups of countries: capitalist, socialist and recently independent."
In September 1961, Hammarskjöld learned about fighting between "non-combatant" UN forces and Moise Tshombe's Katangese troops. Hammarskjöld was en route to negotiate a cease-fire on 18 September when his Douglas DC-6 airliner SE-BDY crashed with no survivors near Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Hammarskjöld and 15 others perished in the crash, whose circumstances are still unclear. There is some evidence that suggests the plane was shot down.
Göran Björkdahl (a Swedish aid worker) wrote in 2011 that he believed Dag Hammarskjöld's death was a murder committed, in part, to benefit mining companies like Union Minière, after Hammarskjöld had made the UN intervene in the Katanga crisis. Björkdahl based his assertion on interviews with witnesses of the plane crash, near the border of the DRC with Zambia, and on archival documents. Former U.S. President Harry Truman commented that Hammarskjöld "was on the point of getting something done when they killed him. Notice that I said 'when they killed him'."
On 16 March 2015, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed members to an Independent Panel of Experts which would examine new information related to Hammarskjöld's death. The three-member panel, led by Mohamed Chande Othman, the Chief Justice of Tanzania, also included Kerryn Macaulay (Australia's representative to ICAO) and Henrik Larsen (a ballistics expert from the Danish National Police). The panel's 99-page report, released 6 July 2015, assigned "moderate" value to nine new eyewitness accounts and transcripts of radio transmissions. Those accounts suggested that Hammarskjöld's plane was already on fire as it landed, and that other jet aircraft and intelligence agents were nearby.
Spirituality and Markings
In 1953, soon after his appointment as United Nations Secretary-General, Hammarskjöld was interviewed on radio by Edward R. Murrow. In this talk Hammarskjöld declared: "But the explanation of how man should live a life of active social service in full harmony with himself as a member of the community of spirit, I found in the writings of those great medieval mystics [Meister Eckhart and Jan van Ruysbroek] for whom 'self-surrender' had been the way to self-realization, and who in 'singleness of mind' and 'inwardness' had found strength to say yes to every demand which the needs of their neighbours made them face, and to say yes also to every fate life had in store for them when they followed the call of duty as they understood it."
Hammarskjöld's only book, Vägmärken (Markings), was published in 1963. A collection of his diary reflections, the book starts in 1925, when he was 20 years old, and ends the month before his death in 1961. This diary was found in his New York house, after his death, along with an undated letter addressed to then Swedish Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Leif Belfrage. In this letter, Hammarskjöld wrote: "These entries provide the only true 'profile' that can be drawn ... If you find them worth publishing, you have my permission to do so". The foreword is written by W.H. Auden, a friend of Hammarskjöld's.
Markings was described by the late theologian, Henry P. Van Dusen, as "the noblest self-disclosure of spiritual struggle and triumph, perhaps the greatest testament of personal faith written ... in the heat of professional life and amidst the most exacting responsibilities for world peace and order." Hammarskjöld wrote, for example, "We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours. He who wills adventure will experience it – according to the measure of his courage. He who wills sacrifice will be sacrificed – according to the measure of his purity of heart."
Markings is characterised by Hammarskjöld's intermingling of prose and haiku poetry in a manner exemplified by the 17th-century Japanese poet Basho in his Narrow Roads to the Deep North. In his foreword to Markings, the English poet W. H. Auden quotes Hammarskjöld as stating: "In our age, the road to holiness necessarily passes through the world of action."
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America commemorates the life of Hammarskjöld as a renewer of society, on the anniversary of his death, 18 September.
- Hammarskjöld posthumously received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1961, having been nominated before his death.
- Honorary degrees: Carleton University in Ottawa (then called Carleton College) awarded its first-ever honorary degree to Hammarskjöld in 1954, when it presented him with a Legum Doctor, honoris causa. The University has continued this tradition by conferring an honorary doctorate upon every subsequent Secretary-General of the United Nations. He also held honorary degrees from Oxford University, United Kingdom; in the United States from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia, the University of Pennsylvania, Amherst, Johns Hopkins, the University of California, and Ohio University; in Sweden, Uppsala University; and in Canada from McGill University as well as Carleton.
- Refusal to resign: One of Hammarskjöld's greatest moments was refusing to give in to Soviet pressure to resign. He said: "It is very easy to bow to the wish of a big power. It is another matter to resist it. If it is the wish of those nations who see the organization their best protection in the present world, I shall do so again."
- He is credited with saying: "I would rather live my life as though there is a God and die to find out that there isn't, than to live my life as though there is no God and die to find out there is." (See: Pascal's Wager)
- Clergyman M. Craig Barnes has reflected on a quotation of Hammarskjöld's published in a placard: "The humility that comes from others having faith in you...” Barnes reflects on the quote's importance for humility and connectionalism in contemporary leadership.
- John F. Kennedy: After Hammarskjöld's death, U.S. president John F. Kennedy regretted that he had opposed the UN policy in the Congo and said: "I realise now that in comparison to him, I am a small man. He was the greatest statesman of our century."
- In 2011, The Financial Times wrote that Hammarskjöld has remained the benchmark against which later UN Secretaries-General have been judged.
- Historians' views:
- Historian Paul Kennedy hailed Hammarskjöld in his book, The Parliament of Man, as perhaps the greatest UN Secretary-General because of his ability to shape events, in contrast with his successors.
- In contrast, the conservative popular historian Paul Johnson, in A History of the Modern World from 1917 to the 1980s (1983), was highly critical of Hammarskjöld's judgment.
- Buildings and rooms:
- The Waterloo Co-operative Residence Incorporated has a student dormitory named after Dag Hammarskjöld.
- Columbia University: The School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University has a Dag Hammarskjöld Lounge. The graduate school is dedicated to the principles of international peace and cooperation that Hammarskjöld embodied.
- Stanford University: Dag Hammarskjöld House, on the Stanford University campus, is a residence cooperative for undergraduate and graduate students with international backgrounds and interests at Stanford.
- The Geneva School of Diplomacy and International Relations in Geneva, Switzerland, has a room named after him.
- Dag Hammarskjöld Stadium is the main football stadium of Ndola, Zambia. Hammarskjöld's ill-fated flight in 1961 crashed in the outskirts of Ndola.
- Dag Hammarskjöld College: founded in Columbia, Maryland, in 1972, educated international students from 1972-1974. The concept that international relations are relationships between individuals, and that the better we understand each other, the better chance there is for world peace, was the centerpiece for this college. The college admitted students from both undergraduate and postgraduate levels while they lived in an international community.
- Makerere University in Uganda: Dag Hammarskjöld Hall of residence for graduate students.
- Dag Hammarskjöldsleden is a road in Gothenburg, Sweden.
- Dag Hammarskjölds Gade is a street in Aalborg, Denmark.
- Dag Hammarskjölds Väg is a street in Lund, Sweden.
- Dag Hammarskjölds Väg is at about 8.2 km one of the longest streets in Uppsala, Sweden. Several other streets in Sweden share this name.
- Dag Hammarskjølds vei is a residential street in Fyllingsdalen, in Bergen, Norway.
- Dag Hammarskjöld's Allé is a street in Copenhagen, Denmark.
- The headquarters of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL) in Santiago, Chile lies on Avenida Dag Hammarskjöld.
- The headquarters of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Society for International Cooperation, GIZ), is on Dag-Hammarskjöld-Weg in Eschborn, Germany.
- Hammarskjöldplatz is the wide square to the north entrance of the Messe Berlin fairgrounds in Berlin, Germany.
- Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza is public park near the headquarters of the United Nations in New York City; several of the surrounding office buildings are also named after him, like:
- There's a public square in Haedo, Buenos Aires, Argentina, named after him.
- Dag Hammarskjöldhof is a street and a shopping center in the town of Utrecht, Netherlands.
- Dag Hammarskjöldlaan is a street in the town of Castricum, Netherlands.
- Dag Hammarskjöldhof is a street in the town of Gouda, Netherlands.
- Dag Hammarskjöldlaan is a street in the town of Hellevoetsluis, Netherlands.
- Hammarskjöldstraat is a street in the town of Hoofddorp, Netherlands.
- Dag Hammarskjöldsvei street in Fyllingsdalen, Bergen, Norway
- Hammarskjöld Road is a road in the town of Harlow, UK.
- Hammarskjöld Drive in Burnaby, BC, Canada.
- Dag Hammarskjöld is a street in Tunis, Tunisia.
- Schools: A number of schools have been named after Hammarskjöld, including Hammarskjold Middle School in East Brunswick Township, New Jersey; Dag Hammarskjold Middle School in Wallingford, Connecticut; Dag Hammarskjold Elementary School in Parma, Ohio; Dag Hammarskjold Elementary (PS 254) in Brooklyn, New York; Dag Hammarskjold School#6 in Rochester, New York; Dag Hammarskjold Elementary School in Oakland (now an airport parking business) and Hammarskjold High School in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
- Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation: 
- Religious commemoration: He is also commemorated as a peacemaker in the Calendar of Saints of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on 18 September of each year.
- Memorial awards:
- Medal: On 22 July 1997, the U.N. Security Council in resolution 1121(1997) established the Dag Hammarskjöld Medal in recognition and commemoration of those who have lost their lives as a result of UN peacekeeping operations. Hammarskjöld himself was one of the first three recipients.
- Prize in Peace and Conflict Studies: Colgate University annually awards a student the Dag Hammarskjöld Prize in Peace and Conflict Studies based on outstanding work in the program.
- Medallion by the sculptor Harald Salomon issued in Denmark 1962 to help financing the Danish Foreign Aid Program.
- Postage Stamps: Many countries issued postage stamps commemorating Hammarskjöld. The United Nations Postal Administration issued 5- and 15-cent stamps in 1962. They show the UN flag at half-mast and bear the simple inscription, "XVIII IX MCMLXI". The United States Hammarskjöld commemorative 4-cent postage stamp, issued on 23 October 1962, was actually released twice. Famous for its misprint, the second issue is often referred to as the Dag Hammarskjöld invert.
- On 6 April 2011, the Bank of Sweden announced that Hammarskjöld's image will be used on the 1000-kronor banknote, the highest-denomination banknote in Sweden. Copyright problems have delayed making the new currency design official.
- Durel, Bernard, op, (2002), «Au jardin secret d’un diplomate suédois: Jalons de Dag Hammarskjöld, un itinéraire spirituel», La Vie Spirituelle (Paris). T. 82, pp. 901–922.
- Fröhlich, Manuel (2008) "Political ethics and the United Nations: Dag Hammarskjöld as Secretary-General". Routledge, London.
- Lipsey, Roger Hammarskjöld: A Life (University of Michigan Press; 2013) 670 pages; scholarly biography
- Urquhart, Brian, (1972), Hammarskjold. Alfred A. Knopf, New York.
- Velocci, Giovanni, cssr, (1998), «Hammarskjold Dag», in Luigi Borriello, ocd – Edmondo Caruana, ocarm – Maria Rosaria Del Genio – N. Suffi (dirs.), Dizionario di mistica. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, Città del Vaticano, pp. 624–626.
- Lichello, Robert (1972) "Dag Hammarskjold: A Giant in Diplomacy." Samhar Press, Charlotteville, N.Y. ISBN 978-0-87157-501-2.
- "Nobel Prize Facts".
- "Next U.N. secretary general - The Japan Times". This article names Kofi Annan as the other one.
- "How Not to Select the Best UN Secretary-General". 28 October 2015.
- Linnér S (2007). "Dag Hammarskjöld and the Congo crisis, 1960–61" (PDF). Uppsala University. p. Page 28.
- Sze, Szeming (December 1986). Working for the United Nations: 1948-1968 (Digital ed.). Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh. p. 20. Retrieved 7 November 2014.
- "Biography, at Dag Hammerskjoldse". Daghammarskjold.se. Archived from the original on 2 October 2013. Retrieved 2013-09-10.
- Sheldon, Richard (1987). Hammarskjöld. New York: Chelsea House Publishers. p. 28. ISBN 0-87754-529-4.
- Mary Cherif; Nathalie Leroy; Anna Banchieri; Armando Da Silva. "The Meditation Room in the UN Headquarters". UN.org. Retrieved 2013-09-10.
- "Holy See's Presence in the International Organizations". Vatican.va. 22 April 2002. Archived from the original on 15 February 2014. Retrieved 2013-09-10.
-  Archived 22 October 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Dag Hammarskjöld – biography". Daghammarskjold.se. Retrieved 2013-09-10.
- Borger, Julian (17 August 2011). "Dag Hammarskjöld: evidence suggests UN chief's plane was shot down". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
- Borger, Julian (4 April 2014). "Dag Hammarskjöld's plane may have been shot down, ambassador warned". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
- Susan Williams, Who Killed Hammarskjold? 2011, Hurst Publishers, 2014, Oxford University Press
- Bjorkdahl, Goran (17 August 2011). "Dag Hammarskjöld: I have no doubt Dag Hammarskjold's plane was brought down". The Guardian. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
- Bjorkdahl, Goran (February 2013). "EYEWITNESSES: The Hammarskjold Plane Crash. International Peacekeeping, Vol.20, No.1, February 2013, pp.98-115". Taylor & Francis. Retrieved 2014-08-02.
- Jamie Doward, "Spy messages could finally solve mystery of UN chief’s death crash", The Guardian 13 December 2014.
- "UN announces members of panel probing new information on Dag Hammarskjöld death". UN News Centre. 16 March 2015. Retrieved 18 March 2015.
- Associated Press (6 July 2015). "Panel: Possible Aerial Attack on Hammarskjold Plane in 1961". The New York Times. The New York Times. Retrieved 6 July 2015. Over the years, there have been multiple claims that the plane was shot down, and that Hammarskjöld was actually killed in an assassination plot involving some combination of the CIA, a Belgian Mining Company, a South African paramilitary unit, and British intelligence, because he was pushing for the Congo’s independence, which would have hurt the interests of any of those forces. Adding fuel to the theories was a copy of a secret government document that surfaced in South Africa 18 years ago, which suggested that the CIA, MI5, and the South African government were in on Hammarskjöld ’s death. They presented statements from CIA director Allen Dulles, saying “Dag is becoming troublesome … and should be removed.”
- Henry P Van Dusen. Dag Hammarskjold: A Biographical Interpretation of Markings Faber and Faber London 1967 p 47.
- Hartman, Thom (3 March 2005). Markings - the spiritual diary of Dag Hammarskjöld. BuzzFlash.
- Auden, with Leif Sjoberg, translated the book into English. Hammarskjold, Dag (1964). Markings. New York: Ballantine Books.
- Henry P Van Dusen. Dag Hammarskjold: A Biographical Interpretation of Markings Faber and Faber London 1967 p 5
- Dag Hammarskjold: Markings Leif Sjoberg and WH Auden (trans) Faber and Faber London 1964 p 63.
- Dag Hammarskjold: Markings Leif Sjoberg and WH Auden (trans) Faber and Faber London 1964 p149
- WH Auden Foreword to Dag Hammarskjold: Markings Leif Sjoberg and WH Auden (trans) Faber and Faber London 1964 p 23.
- Carleton Through the Years. Accessed 2011-03-31
- Mary Cherif; Nathalie Leroy; Anna Banchieri; Armando Da Silva. "Dag Hammarskjöld: The Un Years". UN.org. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- "UPI Audio: Year (1961) in Review". UPI. 2013-08-22. Retrieved 2013-09-10.
- TIME magazine
- "Other people's faith in you, their pastor | The Christian Century". The Christian Century. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
- Alec Russell (13 May 2011). "The road to redemption". The Financial Times. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- "Hammarskjold House | About". Stanford.edu. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- "Event Area North" (PDF). Messe Berlin. Retrieved 2013-09-19.
- "Neighborhood News". New York magazine. March 14, 2011.
- "Convening thinkers and doers: Sweden's Dag Hammarskjold Foundation". Interenvironment.org. 25 November 1975. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- United Nations Security Council Verbatim Report 3802. S/PV/3802 22 July 1997. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- "Colgate University : P-CON Fellowships and Awards". Colgate.edu. Retrieved 2011-09-19.[dead link]
- Mary Cherif; Nathalie Leroy; Anna Banchieri; Armando Da Silva. "Selection of stamps commemorating the life of Dag Hammarskjöld". UN.org. Retrieved 2013-09-10.
- "Sveriges Riksbank/Riksbanken – Sweden's new banknotes and coins". Riksbank.com. Archived from the original on 27 September 2011. Retrieved 2011-09-19.
- "Sweden's New Bank Notes". unknown. Retrieved 2015-01-08.
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