“Neville Chamberlain . . . Never Got a Dinner”, Anthony Sacramone writes at Commentary’s “Contentions” blog:
The late actor and comedian Red Buttons had a routine he performed regularly at celebrity roasts in which he would bemoan the fact that the guest of dishonor was being recognized by his peers when great personages throughout history went through their whole life . . . and never got a dinner.
Well, somewhat in that vein, the Nobel Committee’s website has a page dedicated to the men and women who throughout the past century have been nominated for Nobel Peace Prizes but were finally found wanting.
Some at first blush would appear to have been no-brainers, at least from Oslo’s perspective: Mahatma Gandhi, for example, or even Maria Montessori.
But some nominees should definitely be filed under I’M SORRY BUT YOU MUST SPEAK LOUDER.
Adolf Hitler was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize by a member of the Swedish parliament, who later thought better of it when he was warned by the Austrian minister for travel that once Hitler is invited to your country, he never leaves.
Juan and Eva Peron were both nominated, as was Benito Mussolini (no doubt for teaching East Africans better living through chemistry).
Even Joseph Stalin was nominated — twice — for his efforts to bring World War II to an end, primarily by occupying Eastern Europe.
It doesn’t seem fair that Barack Obama should have been nominated after only 11 days in office — and then actually awarded the prize — when Nevile Chamberlain, the man who secured peace in our time . . . never got a dinner.
Still though, I think the spirit of Chamberlain is alive and well with this year’s winner.