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For the asteroid, see 12799 von Suttner

A German postage stamp commemorating Bertha von Suttner.
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 Austrianmarker novelist, radical (organizational) pacifist, and the first woman to be a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.


Suttner was born in Praguemarker, Bohemia, 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 Parismarker residence. She only remained a week before returning to Vienna and secretly marrying Arthur on June 12, 1876.

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 after 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.

Commemoration on coins and stamps

  • Bertha von Suttner was recently selected as a main motif for a high value collectors' coin: the 2008 Europe Taler. The reverse shows important people in the history of Europe, including Bertha von Suttner. Also depicted in the coin are Martin Luther (symbolising the transition from the Middle Ages to the modern period); Antonio Vivaldi (exemplifying the importance of European cultural life); and James Watt (representing the industrialization of Europe, inventor of the first steam engine in the 18th century).

  • She is depicted on the Austrian 2 euro coin, and was pictured on the old Austrian 1000 schilling bank note.

  • She was commemorated on a 2005 German postage stamp.

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