Bertha von Suttner Wins the Nobel Peace Prize
Bertha Felicitas Sophie Freifrau von Suttner (Baroness Bertha von Suttner, Gräfin (Countess) Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau; 9 June 1843 - 21 June 1914) was an Austrian novelist, radical (organizational) pacifist, and the first woman to be a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
Suttner was born in Prague, the daughter of an impoverished Austrian Field Marshal, Franz-Josef Graf Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau, and wife Sophie von Körner, and governess to the wealthy Suttner family from 1873. She had an older brother, Arthur Franz Graf Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau. She became engaged to engineer and novelist Arthur Gundaccar Freiherr von Suttner (who died on December 10, 1902), but his family opposed the match, and she answered an advertisement from Alfred Nobel in 1876 to become his secretary-housekeeper at his Paris residence. She only remained a week before returning to Vienna and secretly marrying Arthur on June 12, 1876.
Bertha von Suttner Monument in Wagga Wagga, Australia.
Suttner became a leading figure in the peace movement with the publication of her novel, Die Waffen nieder! ("Lay Down Your Arms!") in 1889 and founded an Austrian pacifist organization in 1891. She gained international repute as editor of the international pacifist journal Die Waffen nieder!, named for her book, from 1892 to 1899. Her pacifism was influenced by the writings of Henry Thomas Buckle, Herbert Spencer, and Charles Darwin. Though her personal contact with Alfred Nobel had been brief, she corresponded with him until his death in 1896, and it is believed that she was a major influence in his decision to include a peace prize among those prizes provided in his will, which she won in 1905.
A film entitled Die Waffen nieder by Holger Madsen and Carl Theodor Dreyer was released by Nordisk Films Kompagni in 1914.
Austrian writer, born at Prague on the 9th of June 1843, the daughter of Count Franz Kinsky, Austrian field marshal, who died shortly after her birth. On her mother's side she was descended from the family of the German poet, Theodor Körner. After receiving a careful education she travelled abroad and resided for a long period in Paris and in Italy. In 1876 she married the novelist, Freiherr Arthur Gundaccar von Suttner (1850-1902), and for the next nine years lived with him at Tiflis in the Caucasus. After 1885 she resided at Schloss Harmansdorf, near Eggenburg, in Lower Austria.