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Auguste R. Lindt (Switzerland) 1956–60


Auguste Lindt worked as a foreign correspondent for various European newspapers in the 1930s and served in the neutral Swiss army during the Second World War. Moving into the diplomatic field, he chaired the UNICEF Executive Committee, and from 1953 he served as Switzerland's observer to the United Nations. Almost immediately after his appointment as High Commissioner, he mobilized support for some 200,000 Hungarians who fled to Austria and Yugoslavia as a result of the Soviet suppression of the 1956 Hungarian uprising. Soon after this, he initiated an assistance programme for some 260,000 Algerians who had fled to Tunisia and Morocco during the Algerian war of independence. Lindt's diplomatic handling of these sensitive situations did much to ensure states' acceptance of UNHCR as an organization with worldwide responsibilities.