Bertha <I>Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau</I> von Suttner


Bertha Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau von Suttner

Prague, Okres Praha, Prague Capital City, Czech Republic
Death 21 Jun 1914 (aged 71)
Wien Stadt, Vienna (Wien), Austria
Burial Gotha, Landkreis Gotha, Thüringen, Germany
Plot Columbarium of Gotha
Memorial ID 143445002 View Source
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Nobel Peace Prize Recipient . Bertha von Suttner, as an Austrian-Bohemian author, has the distinction of being the first woman to received the Nobel Peace Prize, which was awarded in 1905. Known as the “generlissimo of the peace movement,” she is recognized as one of the leaders of the international peace movement of her day. She wrote the 1889 anti-war novel “Lay Down Your Arms,” which provoked many, yet her anti-militaristic message was heard. At a male-dominated peace congress, she was heard for her views on peace. By 1870 she had befriended Alfred Nobel and exchanged letters on the subject of peace for years, which may have been his reason for establishing a Nobel Peace Prize. A 1893 letter from him to her mentioned for the first time the idea of a peace prize. Born the Countess Bertha Kinsky von Wchinitz and Tettau, she was a member of the Austrian court and a product of an aristocratic society, that had strong militaristic traditions. Her own father, Lieutenant General Franz de Paula Josef Graf Kinsky von Wchinitz and Tetta, was in the Austria military and died before she was born. Being the third son, her father had the nobility but no money or land. Her mother was born in a less noble family, thus was not accepted at court as a widow. She was well-educated studying music, literature, languages, music and traveling. At one point, she toyed with the idea of becoming an opera singer taking lessons, but became engaged. Her fiancee died in 1873. At the age of 30 and nearly penniless, she accepted a position as a governess to the four teenage daughters of Karl Gundaccar von Suttner, who had been knighted in 1866. She fell in love with her wards' older brother, Baron Arthur Gundaccar von Suttner. In 1876 she went to Paris, France to become the secretary of Alfred Nobel. Upon her return to Austria, she and the Baron were eventually married against his parents' approval. With her husband being disinherited, the couple relocated in southwestern part of the Russia Empire, Caucasus, earning a living by teaching languages and music, before publishing books. With governmental unrest in the area., the couple resided in Caucasus for nine years. During this time, she published four novels addressing the subject of peace, including her first novel, “Inventory of a Soul.” Her husband began to write articles for the newspaper and translated plays. In May of 1885 the Baron's family welcomed them to return to Austria, where she continued to write books. They lived in Harmmannsdorf Castle. Her 1889 novel, “Down with Weapons!” made her one of the leading figures in the Austrian peace movement. In 1892 she founded and was chairwoman of the German Peace Society and became the editor of an international pacifist journal, “Down with Weapons!” In 1897 she led a petition for the establishment of the International Court of Justice, which was presented to Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria. In 1902 her husband, who was seven years younger than she was, died. Once again in debt, she sold Harmannsdorf Castle and returned to Vienna. She address the International Congress of Women in Berlin, Germany in 1904. For eleven months, she toured the United States, attending the Universal Peace Congress in Boston, and met President Theodore Roosevelt. In 1907 she attended the Second Hague Peace Conference in the Netherlands and in 1908 attended the International Peace Congress in London, England. In 1911 she became a member of the advisory council of the Carnegie Peace Foundation. While making plans for a Peace Conference to be held in September of 1914, she died of cancer in June. The conference was canceled. Seven days after her death, the Austria-Hungarian heir to the throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand' and his wife were assassinated by Bosnian Serbs, thus destroying any hope for peace with the beginning of World War I.

Bio by: Linda Davis

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  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: K. C. Mellem
  • Added: 7 Mar 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 143445002
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Bertha Kinsky von Wchinitz und Tettau von Suttner (9 Jun 1843–21 Jun 1914), Find a Grave Memorial ID 143445002, citing Hauptfriedhof, Gotha, Landkreis Gotha, Thüringen, Germany ; Maintained by Find A Grave .