• Send page
  • Print page

Death of Mr Hans Haug

30-06-1995 Article, International Review of the Red Cross, No. 306

The ICRC was very sad to learn of the death in St. Gallen on 12 April 1995 of Mr Hans Haug, an honorary member of the Committee.

Born in 1921 in St. Gallen, Mr Haug studied law at the Universities of Geneva and Zurich. In 1967 he was appointed to the chair of public international law at the St. Gallen School of Advanced Economic and Social Studies and remained in this post until 1986.

Mr Haug joined the Swiss Red Cross in 1946; he was appointed Secretary General of the Society in 1952 and was its President from 1968 to 1982. Meanwhile, also from 1968 to 1982, he was one of the Vice-Presidents of the League of Red Cross Societies (now the Federation), an ex officio post which automatically falls to the President of the Swiss Red Cross. He was furthermore a member of the Council of the Henry Dunant Institute as from 1971 and was Chairman of the Institute's Council and Assembly from 1978 to 1980.

He was invited to join the ICRC as a member of the Committee, the ICRC's governing board, in March 1983 and was appointed an honorary member in 1992.

With the death of Mr Hans Haug, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has lost a man of great dedication who played a decisive role, both nationally and internationally, in its work. As President of the Swiss Red Cross he gave the necessary impetus to the National Society's activities to help others, whilst as Vice-President of the League and later as member of the ICRC, he skilfully promoted dialogue amongst the representatives of all the National Societies and spared no efforts to enhance the Movement's cohesion and th e efficiency of its action.

In his exemplary commitment for more than forty years to the Red Cross and Red Crescent, and true to the tradition of the founders of the Red Cross, he was always mindful of the linkage between action and the law. Through his research and teaching he contributed actively to the development and propagation of humanitarian law. The long list of his publications reflects his numerous spheres of interest, ranging from humanitarian law itself to the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, the Movement's contribution to peace and the fight against torture.

He left us valuable guidance in his book entitled Humanity for All - The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which is a remarkable expression of his all-embracing view of the message of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.

Hans Haug, a man of wisdom, perseverance, integrity and strong principles, mellowed by a typically Swiss German sense of humour, was a true Red Cross man who rendered exceptional service to the cause of the Red Cross.

All his numerous friends at the ICRC, the Federation and within the National Societies mourn his passing. And, as the President of the ICRC, Mr. Cornelio Sommaruga stressed when accompanying Hans Haug to his last resting place: " Humankind will be grateful to him. His message will remain engraved in our memory " .