ABC 0185

Jan Gottlieb Bloch

Jean de BLOCH (1836—1902), leading financier and industrialist, a pioneer of railroads in the Kingdom of Poland and in the Russian Empire, known as the King of the Railroads. Founder of financial institutions of the Kingdom of Poland, including Bank Handlowy w Warszawie and the Warsaw Loans Association; long-time President of the Warsaw Stock Exchange; founder of Poland’s first Statistical Office. Initiator of many civic projects, including the foundation of the Warsaw University of Technology. Author of several scientific studies on railroads, finance and loans, land and municipal management; two of his studies were awarded the Golden Medal at the Geographical Congress and the Great Exhibition. Leading promoter of pacifist ideas, participant of the pacifist movement, author of the voluminous study The Future of War In Its Technical, Economic and Political Relations which anticipated the disastrous impact of modern military operations. Candidate for the Noble Prize for Peace in 1901. Organiser of the 1899 International Peace Conference at the Hague. Founder of the first-ever War and Peace Museum in Lucerne, Switzerland. Philanthropist and social activist.(read more)

Nobel Peace Prize

During over hundred year-long Nobel Prize history, only one Pole had been honoured with this award – Lech Wałęsa. However, he is not the only one, who contended for it. In between 1901 and 1955 there had been many candidates nominated by several national and foreign organizations (the names of the nominees and other information about the nominations cannot be revealed until 50 years later). The first one was Jan Gottlieb Bloch, a great industrialist and financier, railway builder in the Kingdom of Poland and Russian Empire, commonly named “the king of railway”. Nonetheless, he had been nominated thanks to his peacekeeping, not economic, activity. The strongest argument for his candidature had been the voluminous book “The future of War” published in 1989. It showed Bloch’s beliefs that in the face of fast technical development, contemporary wars do not make sense, because they lead to a catastrophe. And that is because, there is no society that would be able to bear preparing and going to war.... (read more)