The Red Cross was created by a Genevan who received the Nobel Prize in 1901.
Henry Dunant was born in Geneva on 8 May 1825 in a religious and humanitarian family. From the age of 26, he started evolving in the business world and later on became president of the Financial and Industrial Company of Mons-Gémila Mills in Algeria. Needing water rights for his firm, he wanted to address the Emperor Napoleon III directly. However, at this time, the Emperor was in the field directing the French armies who with the Italians were trying to drive the Austrians out of Italy. On 24 June 1859, Henry Dunant was in Solférino, northern Italy, during a battle that left 40’000 dead and wounded soldiers. With the help of the local people he tried to organize first aid. He was deeply affected by what he saw and when he returned to Geneva, he started thinking about an organization that would help and treat the war-wounded. In 1863, with four acquaintances, he created a committee that would later become the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The meeting took place in an apartment in the Old Town, the house still stands and can be seen there. One year later, the Geneva Convention was signed in Geneva.
Today, visitors can explore the Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum to better understand the objectives and the work of this humanitarian organization.