Nobel Peace Laureate Dag Hammarskjoeld: Only under GOD from Administrator's blog

Author/Compiler: Tihomir Dimitrov (; also see


Nobel Prize: Dag Hammarskjoeld (1905–1961), Secretary-General of the United Nations, was posthumously awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize for his work toward peace in the world, especially in the Middle East and the new Republic of the Congo, Africa. He died on September 18, 1961, in a plane accident (under mysterious circumstances), while on a peace mission to the Congo.

Nationality: Swedish

Education: Ph.D. in political economy, University of Stockholm, Sweden, 1934

Occupation: Secretary-General of the United Nations (1953-61)


1. “I now recognize and endorse, unreservedly, those very beliefs which were once handed down to me.

From generations of soldiers and government officials on my father’s side I inherited a belief that no life was more satisfactory than one of selfless service to your country – or humanity. This service required a sacrifice of all personal interests, but likewise the courage to stand up unflinchingly for your convictions.

From scholars and clergymen on my mother’s side I inherited a belief that, in the very radical sense of the Gospels, all men were equals as children of God, and should be met and treated by us as our masters in God.

The two ideals which dominated my childhood world met me fully harmonized and adjusted to the demands of our world of today in the ethics of Albert Schweitzer, where the ideal of service is supported by and supports the basic attitude to man set forth in the Gospels. In his work I also found a key for modern man to the world of the Gospels.” (Dag Hammarskjoeld, Servant of Peace, New York, Harper & Row, 1962, 23-24; see also Van Dusen 1967).

2. One of Hammarskjoeld’s prayers, published in Markings (1964):

“Give me a pure heart that I may see Thee,

A humble heart that I may hear Thee,

A heart of love that I may serve Thee,

A heart of faith that I may abide in Thee.”

(Dag Hammarskjoeld, Markings, New York, Alfred A. Knopf, translation – W. H. Auden and Leif Sjoberg, 1964, 100).

Markings is Dag Hammarskjoeld’s diary, which was published posthumously in 1963 in Swedish. In a letter, found with the manuscript of Markings in Hammarskjoeld’s New York apartment (after his 1961 death in an air crash), Hammarskjoeld termed his diary “a sort of white book concerning my negotiations with myself – and with God.”

3. “Forgiveness is the answer to the child’s dream or a miracle by which what is broken is made whole again, what is soiled is again made clean. The dream explains why we need to be forgiven, and why we must forgive. In the presence of God, nothing stands between Him and us – we are forgiven.” (Hammarskjoeld, Markings, Knopf, 1964, 124).

4. “The inner experience of God’s love is the deepest sense of joy and fulfilment a human being can have – nothing surpasses it. All other experiences of love, beautiful though they are, are like reflections or reminders of the real thing.” (Hammarskjoeld, Markings, 1964).

5. “Before Thee, Father,

In righteousness and humility,

With Thee, Brother,

In faith and courage,

In Thee, Spirit,

In stillness,

Thine, for Thy will is my destiny,

Dedicated, for my destiny is to be used and used up according to Thy will.”

(Hammarskjoeld, Markings, 1964).

6. Brian Urquhart (Hammarskjoeld’s biographer) wrote: “The springs of Hammarskjoeld’s sense of vocation ran deep. They were traditional, intellectual, and religious. His identification with Christian thought was not messianic, but rather in the old tradition of the imitation of Christ in sacrifice and in service to others. He was a member of that small and lonely band who throughout history have engaged at the same time in trying to deal with the hard world of political and social reality and in searching endlessly for a spiritual meaning which transcends that world. Hammarskjoeld’s religious faith was very personal, and non-ritual. He wished neither to impose it on others nor to have others interpret it to himself. Religion for him was a dialogue of his own with God, and faith was the foundation for duty, dedication, and service, qualities that he considered most essential in himself and most admirable in others.” (Brian Urquhart, Hammarskjoeld, NY, Alfred A. Knopf, 1972, 23-24).

7. “Rejoice if God found a use for your efforts in His work. Rejoice if you feel that what you did was ‘necessary,’ but remember, even so, that you were simply the instrument by means of which He added one tiny grain to the Universe He created for His own purposes.” (Hammarskjoeld, Markings, 1964, 143).

8. “Your cravings as a human animal do not become a prayer just because it is God whom you ask to attend to them.” (Hammarskjoeld, Markings, 1964, 11).

9. “How can you expect to keep your powers of hearing when you never want to listen? That God should have time for you, you seem to take as much for granted as that you cannot have time for Him.” (Hammarskjoeld, Markings, 1964, 12).

10. “Pray that your loneliness may spur you into finding something to live for, great enough to die for.” (Hammarskjoeld, Markings, 1964, 72).

11. “To be free, to be able to stand up and leave everything behind – without looking back. To say Yes.

Yes to God, Yes to fate, Yes to yourself. This reality can wound the soul, but has the power to heal her.” (Hammarskjoeld, Markings, 1964).

12. “It is not sufficient to place yourself daily under God. What really matters is to be only under God.” (Hammarskjoeld, Markings, 1964, 110).

13. “It is our conception of death which decides our answers to all the questions that life puts to us.” (Hammarskjoeld, Markings, 1964, 160).


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