French Dominican priest and professor. Father Dominique Pire reached a turning point in his life on a visit to Austria in 1949 where he found that 60,000 refugees were living in camps and asylums. He became a crusader for the resettlement of displaced persons and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1958 for his work with European refugees.
During World War II he was chaplain to the resistance movement for which he was awarded several medals. In 1950 he established the world's first home for refugees and in 1956 he created the ‘European villages’ in Austria and Germany, built near large towns and intended to integrate refugees into local life. He also established the international society, Aid to Displaced Persons, which gave material and moral support to stateless people.
Georges Pire was born in Dinan, Belgium, into a Catholic family. He was educated at the Collegio Angelico in Italy becoming a doctor of sacred theology in 1936. He was a Dominican priest, taking the name Father Henri Dominique, from 1934 to 1969, and a professor at the Studium de la Sarte-Huy from 1937 to 1947.
Pire received several honours including the Croix de Guerre with palms, Croix d'Honneur du Merite Civique Francais, Medaille de la Resistance with crossed swords, the French Legion of Honour, Cross of Merit, Germany, and the Sonning Prize, Denmark. Books by and about him include The Story of Father Dominique Pire, as told to Hugues Vehenne (1961), Bâtir la paix/ Building Peace (1967), and Vivre ou Mourir Ensemble/Living or Dying Together (1969).