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René Cassin

René Samuel Cassin (5 October 1887 – 20 February 1976) was a French jurist known for co-authoring the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and receiving the Nobel Peace Prize. Born in Bayonne to a Sephardi Jewish family, he grew up in Nice, where he attended the Lycée Masséna, and graduated with a bachelor's degree at 17. He matriculated at the University of Aix, studying political economics, constitutional history, and Roman law, and awarded distinctions in law, and a university degree with distinction, and a first prize in the competitive examinations in the faculty of law. In 1914 in Paris, he was awarded his doctorate in juridical science, economics, and politics. Cassin served in World War I in 1916 at the Battle of the Meuse. In one operation he led an attack on enemy positions but was gravely injured in the arm, side, and stomach by machine gun fire. A medic saved his life, but he only received surgical treatment ten days later at Antibes. He was awarded the Croix de Guerre for his actions, but was too gravely injured to return to active duty, and was mustered out as a war invalid. He formed the Union Fédérale, a leftist, pacifist organization for veterans and founded the French Federation of Disabled War Veterans in 1918 and until 1940 serving as its president and then honorary president. As French delegate to the League of Nations from 1924 to 1938, Cassin pressed for progress on disarmament and in developing institutions to aid the resolution of international conflicts. In April 1941, Cassin made a radio broadcast from London, addressing himself especially to French Jews from a secular viewpoint and reminding them of the full and equal protection France had always offered Jews since the Revolution. He exhorted them to pay back that debt in part by joining the forces of Free France. In May, the Vichy Regime stripped Cassin of his French citizenship, and in 1942 sentenced him to death in absentia. In 1945, Charles de Gaulle suggested Cassin, having done so much for the French people, also do something to help the Jewish people. Cassin became the president of the French-Jewish Alliance Israelite Universelle (AIU) which had previously been primarily dedicated to educating Sephardi Jews living under the rule of the Ottoman Empire according to a French modernist curriculum. As president of the AIU, Cassin worked with the American Jewish Committee and the Anglo-Jewish Association, to found the Consultative Council of Jewish Organisations, a network dedicated to building support for Cassin's platform of human rights from a Jewish perspective while the UN human rights system was in its early stages of development. Following World War Two, Cassin was assigned to the United Nations, helping to draft the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Working from a list of rights elaborated by Canadian scholar and professor of law John Humphrey, Cassin produced a revised draft and expanded the text. He served on the UN's Human Rights Commission and the Hague Court of Arbitration. He was also a member (1959–1965) and president (1965–1968) of the European Court of Human Rights.


💬 Universal Declaration of Human Rights | אַלװעלטלעכע דעקלאַראַציע פֿון מענטשנרעכט | הַכְרָזָה לְכׇל בָּאֵי עוֹלָם בִּדְבַר זְכֻיוֹת הָאָדָם | Deklarasion Universal de Derechos Umanos (1948)

Contributed on: 10 Apr 2022 by Aharon N. Varady (transcription) | Zackary Sholem Berger | Refoyl Finkl (translation) | Unknown Translator(s) | Peng Chun Chang | Charles Malik | René Cassin | John Peters Humphrey | United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights |

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in English with its translations in Hebrew, Yiddish, and Ladino. . . .

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