• Sweden edition
 
Alfred Nobel’s last will and testament

Alfred Nobel’s last will and testament

Published: 03 Oct 2011 11:24 GMT+02:00
Updated: 03 Oct 2011 11:24 GMT+02:00

His 1895 testament stipulated his fortune was to be placed in a fund destined to honour "those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind."

He died a year later in San Remo, Italy.

He had decreed the bulk of his estate should be invested in "safe securities," and as a result, some 31.5 million Swedish kronor, the equivalent today of about 1.5 billion kronor ($222 million) were used to create the Nobel Foundation.

Nobel's will specified that the prizes should be divided into five equal parts, apportioned as follows for the physics, chemistry, medicine, literature and peace prizes:

"One part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

But when Nobel died childless and the will was read, the contents surprised many, including his own family. The document was challenged by two nephews who tried to have it declared null and void, and even King Oscar II of Sweden opposed Nobel's wishes, saying they were not "patriotic minded."

Adding to the confusion, Nobel had not appointed an executor for the testament, nor had he consulted the various institutions he had assigned to award the prizes to ensure that they were willing to undertake the task.

After more than three years of haggling, the Nobel Foundation was created to manage the capital in Nobel's estate and the five institutions agreed to award the prizes as Nobel had wished.

Since 1901, the year the first Nobel prizes were awarded, the Foundation has funded the prestigious awards created by their namesake.

The Nobel Prize for Economics, the only award not included in Nobel's will, is funded by the Swedish Central Bank, which created the prize at its tercentenary in 1968. It was first awarded in 1969.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

18:35 October 3, 2011 by philster61
Love the juxtaposition. Man invents an explosive powerful enough to destroy the earth, makes a fortune and then gets a guilty conscience.....
21:51 October 4, 2011 by Dr. Dillner
Yes, that is exactly what troubled him. He suffered from migraine headaches over it. This, his awards, was a way he sought to make things "right" with the world he "made".
07:45 October 7, 2011 by eldras
Wasn't like that at all. Nobel thought the way to end war was to win the arms race decisively.
12:54 October 7, 2011 by The_Truthisbitter
There are 2 questions that bug my mind, and I would appreciate a straight answer from anyone:

"what business is the Nobel Foundation actively engaged in that enables it generate all these bucks to sponsor the awards annually?"

" Does the Foundation sell dangerous explosives to belligerent entities to keep the Nobel Cash Basket afloat?"

Please, dear readers, your answers shall be helpful
10:19 October 8, 2011 by shahislam
Dear friends, it is another proof: how God works through human for the mankind. Everything happens for some reasons. Ahmad's death actually has made it easy to bring some, protected by out of date laws, including all the heartless and dangerous minded US politicians under justice.

Doesn't matter internal or foreign affairs, plot to commit crimes against humanity or planning, inciting bloodshed in foreign lands, manufacturing and training on mankind killing machines etc. were matters of uncivilized times, therefore, in the light of evolved collective intellectuality of the present time, are being viewed as nothing less than

crimes and the human heads-whether the top bosses such as a chair of a municipality or even an ex-President or Prime-minister of a country must face justice.

Obama still has the moral strength to smile happily and may set the first step to amend the laws and policies in this regard as Gun or Oil business-money is not the reason he is in politics today and I think, if his endeavors are misunderstood by majority of US and Global public he as a non-violent type writer and a peace loving person may happily decide to say good bye to Nasty political leadership and the fighting!
20:19 October 10, 2011 by jgmouton
These days, Nobel Prizes have lost their meanings because they are just politics.
Today's headlines
Elections 2014
Social Democrats win Swedish election
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

Social Democrats win Swedish election

Sweden's Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt stepped down late on Sunday night as Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven was poised to take over and the far right Sweden Democrats made historic gains. READ  

Elections 2014
ELECTIONS BLOG: Updates and analysis
Social Democrat leader Stefan Löfven. Photo: TT

ELECTIONS BLOG: Updates and analysis

The Local blogged live throughout Sunday night as our reporters watched Reinfeldt resign as prime minister, Löfven declare he was ready to lead the red-greens and the Sweden Democrats celebrate becoming Sweden's third largest party. READ  

Interview
Greens ready to join new government
Green Party co-leader Gustav Fridolin. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Greens ready to join new government

While the Green Party did not become Sweden's third political force as it hoped, it is set to govern alongside new prime minister Stefan Löfven. The Local spoke with Gustav Fridolin, one of the party's two co-leaders. READ  

Behind the scenes: Election night 2014
Is the the Alliance's last photo op as Sweden's government? Photo: Jonas Ekströmer/TT

Behind the scenes: Election night 2014

The Local reported live from the main parties' election events on Sunday night. Our reporters shared their insights ahead of the results. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden votes in tight election battle
People across Sweden are voting on Sunday. Photo: TT

Sweden votes in tight election battle

UPDATED: Sweden is expected to vote the centre-left Social Democrats back into power in general elections on Sunday, while the anti-immigration nationalist right is likely to make historic gains. READ  

Schyman shares stage with 'feminist' Pharell
Photo: Cissy Avrin

Schyman shares stage with 'feminist' Pharell

Feminist Initiative spokeswoman Gudrun Schyman grabbed the headlines late Saturday night when she joined US superstar Pharell Williams on stage during his worldwide hit "Happy". READ  

Toddler found 'frozen but alive' after forest search
Photo: TT

Toddler found 'frozen but alive' after forest search

A two-year-old boy who disappeared near Hedemora in central Sweden on Friday was found alive near his grandparents' home on Saturday morning ending an overnight search involving 1,000 people. READ  

Ikea offices raided by Russian investigators
Ikea Russia head Per Kaufmann outside a store in Moscow. Photo: TT

Ikea offices raided by Russian investigators

Russian investigators on Friday searched offices belonging to an Ikea subsidiary on the outskirts of Moscow, a spokeswoman for the Swedish group said, adding it was cooperating with the authorities. READ  

Elections 2014
Feminists close in on kingmaker role
Fi spokesperson Gudrun Schyman at a 'home party' on Friday evening. Photo: TT

Feminists close in on kingmaker role

With the Swedish election only a day away, the Feminist Initiative is only 0.1 percentage point shy of claiming seats in the parliament and depriving the Sweden Democrats of their kingmaker role. READ  

Elections 2014
Sweden Democrats head hit by gambling scandal
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Sweden Democrats head hit by gambling scandal

UPDATED: The nationalist Sweden Democrats were dealt two more blows on Friday as party leader Jimmie Åkesson was revealed to have a high-stakes gambling habit and footage was leaked of party members secretly filming foreigners. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
People-watching September 13th
Politics
Five possible election outcomes
Politics
Sweden elections: How do they work?
Politics
Sweden elections: Who's who?
Gallery
People-watching September 11th
Blog updates

12 September

EU sanctions: necessary, effective and timely (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Regular readers of this blog know I’ve written about the Russia-Ukraine crisis here. Today I’ve chosen to share an article by the UK Minister for Europe, David Lidington, with my readers: This week the European Union imposed further sanctions on Russia. This decision followed months of destabilisation of Ukraine by Russia, and months of political..." READ »

 

12 September

Editor’s blog (The Local Sweden) »

"Hi readers, With the Swedish election just days away, we’ve spent the week bringing you the latest headlines from the final stages of the campaign. Polls suggest that the gap between the ruling Alliance parties and the Social Democrat-led opposition is narrowing, but the result is far from certain. We’ve put together a list of five possible..." READ »

 
 
 
Lifestyle
What's on in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Gallery
Property of the week - Hornstull, Stockholm
Analysis
Five differences between the UK and Sweden
Welshman Jonny Luck is now a chef in Sweden
Society
How I opened my own restaurant in Sweden's Malmö
Sponsored Article
Stockholm tech fest: relive the magic
Gallery
People-watching September 8th
Photo: TT
Politics
Feminists fight for first seats
Politics
Immigration cut push from Sweden Democrats
Sheryl Sandberg says women have "low expectations"
Tech
Facebook exec talks women's limits in Swedish business
Politics
Left Party calls for justice and equality
Politics
Green Party wants 'better world' for kids
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

847
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se
If you want to drink, that’s your business.
If you want to stop, we can help.

Learn more about English-language Alcoholics Anonymous in Sweden. No dues. No fees. Confidentiality assured.
AA-EUROPE.ORG/SWEDEN