Peace Palace

Bertha von Suttner

Bertha von Suttner (1843-1914) was an Austrian pacifist and one of the key figures in the fascinating Peace Movement that emerged during times of great mutual tension between European states. A stay in the Caucasus at the time of the bloody Russo-Turkish War increasingly shaped her pacifist ideals. She expressed her aversion to wars in the novel “Lay down your arms!” (1889) which made people worldwide think.

She managed to surround herself with statesmen and pacifists, maintained close ties with Henry Dunant, discussed the role of women with Aletta Jacobs and prompted Alfred Nobel to establish the Nobel Peace Prize. In 1905, she was the first woman ever to receive the prize.

During the First Hague Peace Conference in 1899, Von Suttner spent weeks in The Hague speaking to the various diplomats and convincing them of her ideas. Bertha von Suttner was present at the opening of the Peace Palace in 1913, a year before her death.

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