After military service during the first world war, among others in the battle of Verdun, Ossietzky was convinced pacifist and become a Democrat . A few years later he wasSecretary of the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft and sought through publications and lectures in the German people to give peace a ' consciousness '. He was editor of the Berliner Volkszeitung and editor-in-Chief of the Weltbühnein 1926, which he and Kurt Tucholsky also the Publisher was. He thus had an important mouthpiece for his opposition to the clandestine German rearmament that was contrary to the Treaty of Versailles. Ossietzky was married to the English Maud Woods.
When the National Socialists came to power and the oppression of the Jews in Germany Germany began to leave, he refused because he felt that he could speak from abroad is not powerful enough. In 1927 and 1932 he spent a total of 8 months in prison. On February 28, 1933, the day after the fire in the Reichstag, he was again arrested and now sentenced to forced labor in a concentration camp. He came through camp Sonnenburg in the right camp esterwegen .
Von Ossietzky received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1935. That grant was a boost for the international campaign to free him. He got no permission for it's price in Sweden to pick up so it could not be awarded. The rules of procedure provides that the price the Laureate or his family to receive in Stockholm . From that time the Nazis prohibited any German retrieving and thus recognize the Nobel Peace Prize. After long tug of war was in 1992 the University in Oldenburg to Carl von Ossietzky called. TheUniversity chose this resistance fighter including on the grounds of his internment in the nearby camp esterwegen.