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Obituaries

Auguste R. Lindt; Swiss Diplomat, U.N. Refugee Commissioner in 1950s

April 20, 2000

Auguste R. Lindt, 94, a Swiss diplomat who served as U.N. high commissioner for refugees in the 1950s. He was appointed to head the U.N. refugee agency in 1956, and days later he began to mobilize an assistance program for 200,000 Hungarians who fled to Austria and Yugoslavia to escape Soviet repression. The following year he oversaw the agency's involvement in helping more than 260,000 Algerian refugees in Morocco and Tunisia. He served as the U.N.'s top refugee official until 1960. Born in the Swiss capital of Bern, into the Lindt family of chocolate makers, he studied law in Geneva and Bern. He then worked for eight years for several European newspapers, reporting from places including Manchuria, Liberia, Jordan, the Persian Gulf and Tunisia. He served in the Swiss army from 1940-45 and worked for the International Committee of the Red Cross in postwar Berlin. Lindt was a permanent observer for neutral Switzerland at the United Nations from 1953 until his appointment to the refugee agency. Later, he served as Switzerland's ambassador to the United States, the Soviet Union, Mongolia, India and Nepal. Announced Monday in Geneva.

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