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A year before his death, Alfred Nobel had written his third and last testament on a piece of paper. Three days after Nobel's cremation near Stockholm, Swedish newspaper Nya Dagligt Allehanda announced the existence of the testament.

33 million crowns
The surprising will soon was on everybody's lips. Family, friends and co-workers did get a lot less than they had expected. The justice court of Karlskoga-Bofors estimated Nobel's total estate on 33.233.793 Swedish crowns. Nobel left behind 100.000 crowns to most of his family members. The rest had to be invested in the now well-known prize fund.

Politicians blame Nobel
The reactions on the will were huge, especially in political circles. Politicians blamed Nobel for betraying the country, because his Swedish property would now be divided internationally. Especially the suggestion that Norway (looking for full independence from Sweden) would appoint the Peace Prize committee, was not received willingly. Furthermore Swedish institutes would take care of the other prizes, thus leaving out the Swedish parliament completely.

Noble Nobel money
The Norwegian parliament added more fuel to the flames by electing writer/politician Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson in the Nobel committee. Bjørnson fought for a complete Norwegian independence - international peace movements were enthusiastic: "We wouldn't have thought this was possible. Money that was born from dynamite is ennobled now".

The political pressure, the overwhelming extra work for the institutes and the law suits by family members made that it took quite a while before the Fund was finally raised. The fact that Nobel had used words and sentences that could be interpreted in multiple ways, led to extensive investigation which also resulted in further delay. At last in 1901 the Nobel Will's executors Ragnar Sohlmann and Rudolf Liljeqvist could present the first winners. Norwegian nationalist Bjørnson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1903.

Information from SPA Gipman, Honderd jaar Nobelprijs voor literatuur in namen, feiten en cijfers

Alfred Nobel's will, which he wrote himself without legal advice in 1895, created a sensation when it was released after his 1896 death, in part because such huge philanthropic bequests were unusual at the time. Although the one-page handwritten will was contested by relatives and others for reasons admirably outlined by RubenAzarja above, it was held to be valid, and the monies left by Nobel fund the annual Nobel Prize. The full text of the will follows:

     I, the undersigned, Alfred Bernhard Nobel, do hereby, after mature deliberation, declare the following to be my last Will and Testament with respect to such property as may be left by me at the time of my death:
     To my nephews, Hjalmar and Ludvig Nobel, the sons of my brother Robert Nobel, I bequeath the sum of Two Hundred Thousand Crowns each;
     To my nephew Emanuel Nobel, the sum of Three Hundred Thousand, and to my niece Mina Nobel, One Hundred Thousand Crowns;
     To my brother Robert Nobel's daughters, Ingeborg and Tyra, the sum of One Hundred Thousand Crowns each;
     Miss Olga Boettger, at present staying with Mrs Brand, 10 Rue St Florentin, Paris, will receive One Hundred Thousand Francs;
     Mrs Sofie Kapy von Kapivar, whose address is known to the Anglo-Oesterreichische Bank in Vienna, is hereby entitled to an annuity of 6000 Florins Ö.W. which is paid to her by the said Bank, and to this end I have deposited in this Bank the amount of 150,000 Fl. in Hungarian State Bonds;
     Mr Alarik Liedbeck, presently living at 26 Sturegatan, Stockholm, will receive One Hundred Thousand Crowns;
     Miss Elise Antun, presently living at 32 Rue de Lubeck, Paris, is entitled to an annuity of Two Thousand Five Hundred Francs. In addition, Forty Eight Thousand Francs owned by her are at present in my custody, and shall be refunded;
     Mr Alfred Hammond, Waterford, Texas, U.S.A. will receive Ten Thousand Dollars;
The Misses Emy and Marie Winkelmann, Potsdamerstrasse, 51, Berlin, will receive Fifty Thousand Marks each;
     Mrs Gaucher, 2 bis Boulevard du Viaduc, Nimes, France will receive One Hundred Thousand Francs;
My servants, Auguste Oswald and his wife Alphonse Tournand, employed in my laboratory at San Remo, will each receive an annuity of One Thousand Francs;
     My former servant, Joseph Girardot, 5, Place St. Laurent, Châlons sur Saône, is entitled to an annuity of Five Hundred Francs, and my former gardener, Jean Lecof, at present with Mrs Desoutter, receveur Curaliste, Mesnil, Aubry pour Ecouen, S.& O., France, will receive an annuity of Three Hundred Francs;
     Mr Georges Fehrenbach, 2, Rue Compiègne, Paris, is entitled to an annual pension of Five Thousand Francs from January 1, 1896 to January 1, 1899, when the said pension shall discontinue;
     A sum of Twenty Thousand Crowns each, which has been placed in my custody, is the property of my brother's children, Hjalmar, Ludvig, Ingeborg and Tyra, and shall be repaid to them.
     The whole of my remaining realizable estate shall be dealt with in the following way: the capital, invested in safe securities by my executors, shall constitute a fund, the interest on which shall be annually distributed in the form of prizes to those who, during the preceding year, shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind. The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery or invention within the field of physics; one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement; one part to the person who shall have made the most important discovery within the domain of physiology or medicine; one part to the person who shall have produced in the field of literature the most outstanding work in an ideal direction; and one part to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses. The prizes for physics and chemistry shall be awarded by the Swedish Academy of Sciences; that for physiological or medical work by the Caroline Institute in Stockholm; that for literature by the Academy in Stockholm, and that for champions of peace by a committee of five persons to be elected by the Norwegian Storting. It is my express wish that in awarding the prizes no consideration whatever shall be given to the nationality of the candidates, but that the most worthy shall receive the prize, whether he be a Scandinavian or not.
     As Executors of my testamentary dispositions, I hereby appoint Mr Ragnar Sohlman, resident at Bofors, Värmland, and Mr Rudolf Lilljequist, 31 Malmskillnadsgatan, Stockholm, and at Bengtsfors near Uddevalla. To compensate for their pains and attention, I grant to Mr Ragnar Sohlman, who will presumably have to devote most time to this matter, One Hundred Thousand Crowns, and to Mr Rudolf Lilljequist, Fifty Thousand Crowns;
     At the present time, my property consists in part of real estate in Paris and San Remo, and in part of securities deposited as follows: with The Union Bank of Scotland Ltd in Glasgow and London, Le Crédit Lyonnais, Comptoir National d'Escompte, and with Alphen Messin & Co. in Paris; with the stockbroker M.V. Peter of Banque Transatlantique, also in Paris; with Direction der Disconto Gesellschaft and Joseph Goldschmidt & Cie, Berlin; with the Russian Central Bank, and with Mr Emanuel Nobel in Petersburg; with Skandinaviska Kredit Aktiebolaget in Gothenburg and Stockholm, and in my strong-box at 59, Avenue Malakoff, Paris; further to this are accounts receivable, patents, patent fees or so-called royalties etc. in connection with which my Executors will find full information in my papers and books.
     This Will and Testament is up to now the only one valid, and revokes all my previous testamentary dispositions, should any such exist after my death.
     Finally, it is my express wish that following my death my veins shall be opened, and when this has been done and competent Doctors have confirmed clear signs of death, my remains shall be cremated in a so-called crematorium.
     Paris, 27 November, 1895
     Alfred Bernhard Nobel

The will was signed by four witnesses.

Source: http://www.nobel.se/nobel/alfred-nobel/biographical/will/will-full.html

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