Suttner, Bertha von

(1843–1914)
   Born in Prague to the Bohemian noble house of Kinsky, Suttner first hoped to be a singer. Realizing that her talents did not match her ambitions, she taught music for a time. She became a governess and social secretary in the Vienna home of Baron von Suttner in 1873. Following a short stint as a secretary to the Swedish industrial magnate Alfred Nobel, she returned to Vienna. There she married her employer’s son, Arthur (1850–1902), much against the wishes of his family. The couple fled to Tiflis in Georgia, a part of the Russian Empire. Suttner was horrified by the suffering she witnessed among Russian soldiers during the Russo–Turkish War of 1877–1878, turned her home into a hospital for the wounded, and resolved at that point to devote herself to the cause of world peace. Upon returning once again to Vienna in 1885, she started to write pacifist fiction. Her Die Waffen Nieder! Eine Lebensgeschichte (Throw Down Your Arms! A Story of a Life, 1889) was a one of the 19th century’s most influential best sellers. The great Russian novelist Leo Tolstoy said that the work had the same effect on contemporary thinking as Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin had in the United States. Its central theme was the despair and grief felt by women whose husbands and sons either died or suffered life-altering wounds in battle.
   Suttner had also opened contacts with the International Arbitration and Peace Association in London and studied pacifist doctrines. In 1890, she founded the Austrian Peace Society, known since 1964 as the Suttner Society. From 1892 until 1899, she edited a monthly, Die Waffen Nieder (Lay Down the Weapons), with a Jewish bookdealer, Alfred Fried, whom she met in Berlin. In 1891, her husband helped found the Vienna branch of the Union for Defense against Anti-Semitism. Also active in feminist causes, after 1902 Suttner was chairperson of the Peace Committee of the Federation of Austrian Women’s Clubs. Deeply troubled by the world armaments race of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, she represented Austria–Hungary in world peace conferences and was the president of the Office for World Peace in Bern. It was she who prompted Nobel to establish the eponymous Peace Prize, which she herself won in 1905. Suttner intended to call a world peace conference in Vienna during August 1914. In the midst of preparations for this gathering, she suddenly died, one week before Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo.

Historical dictionary of Austria. . 2014.

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  • Suttner,Bertha von — Sutt·ner (zo͝otʹnər, so͝otʹ ), Bertha von. 1843 1914. Austrian pacifist who wrote the novel Lay Down Your Arms (1889). She was the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize (1905). * * * …   Universalium

  • Bertha Von Suttner — Bertha Sophie Felicitas comtesse Kinský von Chinic und Tettau, baronne von Suttner (née le 9 juin 1843 à Prague morte le 21 juin 1914 à Vienne), fut une pacifiste autrichienne radicale, lauréate en 1905 du prix Nob …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bertha von Suttner — en 1906 …   Wikipedia Español

  • Bertha von Suttner — Bertha Sophie Felicitas comtesse Kinský von Chinic und Tettau, baronne von Suttner (née le 9 juin 1843 à Prague morte le 21 juin 1914 à Vienne), fut une pacifiste autrichienne radicale, lauré …   Wikipédia en Français

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  • Bertha von Suttner — Infobox Person name = Bertha von Suttner image size = 200px caption = Bertha von Suttner in 1906 dead = yes birth date = birth date|1843|6|9|mf=y birth place = Prague, Austrian Empire death date = death date and age|1914|6|21|1843|6|9|mf=y death… …   Wikipedia

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