Written by students at school 36, Kiev
A whole museum in a suburb of Oslo is built for one exhibit only, but what an exhibit! It is not a model, but a real ship by the name "Fram", which means "Ahead". This word became the motto of the whole life of Fr. Nansen. He created this boat himself.
Nansen was a very inventive person. He devised light skis, elastic sledges, clothing for arduous journeys and even aluminium pans of special construction. All these things aid the research work of polar investigators nowadays.
Fr. Nansen was born in 1861. He could have become an office scientist and zoologist. Being a descendant of Norwegian Vikings he had not only an inquisitive mind, but also physical strength and endurance. One of the university's professors advised him to try himself on an arctic expedition aboard a whaling ship. Thus Nansen began his research and scientific activities. He set himself the objective of reaching the North Pole, drifting on the ship together with the drift-ice. At first "Fram", started along the Arctic Ocean to New Land and from there to the Siberian coast.
Nansen was always interested in the Russian North. His many volumes of research work were translated into Russian. "Fram" persisted in drifting to the East and Nansen realised that the ship would pass far from the Pole. So, on the 14th of March 1895, he decided to go to the Pole on skis, accompanied by a dog team.
The competition to be the first discoverer of the North Pole was cruel and not always honest. His great aim was to investigate the vast unknown spaces of North Pole. Having overcome all the difficulties all members of the expedition returned home safely in September 1896.
From that time began the diplomatic activity of Nansen. After the First World War he became a representative of Norway in the League of Nations. In June, 1921, the Council of the League, instituted its High Commission for Refugees and asked Nansen to administer it. For the stateless refugees under his care Nansen invented the «Nansen Passport», a document of identification which was eventually recognised by fifty-two governments It was a temporary document for displaced persons.
That year, being 61 years old, Fr. Nansen was rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. He can be considered to be the first defender of the law in the 20th century.