Dag Hammarskjöld was a world citizen. He met his death in the heart of Africa as the world’s foremost international civil servant. During the years which have passed since his aircraft crashed in the tropical night, we have gained some knowledge of how he himself looked upon his mission as Secretary-General of the United Nations. We have learned that his cool and analytical intellect had a strong emotional basis and that his sense of duty had its roots in religious or mystical experience. It was this experience and his love of poetry and nature which gave him strength to be the servant of humanity.
The combination of knowledge, analytical intellect and a strong feeling of belonging to the international society made it possible for Dag Hammarskjöld to think of the world as his field of work and to feel the world’s problems as a personal challenge. At the same time he loved his native country and the province in which he had spent his childhood and he cared about the local and provincial developments in Sweden.
There was no tension between his citizenship of the world and his love of the natural scenery of Sweden. For that reason, wherever he was, in Africa, Asia or America, his mind would often leave the problems of the world, and make its way back to places which he knew well from his childhood and adolescence. His essay on Uppsala, which was the last paper he wrote, is evidence of this. It was written in Swedish in New York and translated into English only ten years later. It demonstrates how clearly he remembered every detail in his home town.