IPM/FS/BvS Bertha von Suttner Papers, 1843-1914 (Series)

Archive plan context

Information on identification

Ref. code:IPM/FS/BvS
Title:Bertha von Suttner Papers
Creation date(s):1843 - 1914
Creation date(s), scattered dates:after 1843
Creation date(s), remarks.:One item, Bertha von Suttner's birth certificate, dates from 1843.

Information on extent

Archival Material Types:Paper File(s) / Document(s)
Extent:34 Boxes
Running meters:4.20

Information on context

Name of the creator / provenance:Bertha von Suttner
Collection period:1931
Administration history:Baroness Bertha Felicie Sophie von Suttner was born Countess Kinsky on June 9, 1843, in Prague. She was the posthumous daughter of a field marshall.

At thirty, she took a position in Vienna as teacher-companion to the four daughters of the Suttner household. In 1876 she left for Paris to become Alfred Nobel's secretary, but returned to marry Baron Arthur Gundaccar von Suttner, the son of the family.
Because of the Suttner's strong disapproval of the marriage, the young couple left immediately for the Caucasus where for nine years they earned an often precarious living by giving lessons in languages and music and eventually, by writing.

In 1885, the Suttners returned to Austria where Bertha wrote most of her books, including her many novels.

Through a friend, the Suttners then learned about the "International Arbitration and Peace Association" in London, which had as an actual working objective what they had now both accepted as an ideal : arbitration and peace in place of armed force. Wanting to be of service to the Peace League by writing a book which should propagate its ideas, Bertha von Suttner wrote a novel whose heroine suffers all the horrors of war : "Die Waffen Nieder" ("Lay Down Your Arms"), published in 1889.

From this time on, she became an active leader in the peace movement, attending peace meetings and international congresses, helping to establish peace groups, recruiting members, lecturing, corresponding with people all over the world to promote peace projects. In 1891, she attended the first International Peace Congress and started the fund needed to establish the Bern International Peace Bureau.

In 1892, with A. H. Fried, she initiated the peace journal "Die Waffen Nieder" remaining its editor until the end of 1899 when it was replaced by the "Friedenswarte" (edited by Fried) to which she regularly contributed comments on current events. She influenced Alfred Nobel in the creation of the Peace Prize.

Along with her husband, she also worked hard to gain support for the Czar's Manifesto and the Hague Peace Conference of 1899.

By 1905, when she received the Nobel Peace Prize, she was widely thought of as sharing the leadership of the peace movement with Frederic Passy.

She died on June 21, 1914, two months before the erupting of the World War she had warned and struggled against.
Archival history:After Bertha von Suttner's death, her papers were inherited by Alfred Hermann Fried who for many years had worked with her for the sake of peace. Taking into account the fact that the activities of Bertha von Suttner were very diversified and that she was very productive, it can be suspected that the collection (4 linear meters) is far from complete.
Source of transfer:In 1931, the League of Nations Library purchased the Fried and Suttner Papers from Fried's widow.

Information on content and structure

Contains also:The papers of Bertha von Suttner include a comprehensive series of correspondence covering the years 1870-1914. They also include her diaries for 1897-1914 as well as her literary manuscripts and newspaper articles on events relating to political and peace movements of that time.

Conditions of access and use

Access regulations:Open to research


Entries:  Suttner, Bertha von (Persons\)


End of term of protection:12/31/1974
Permission required:None
Physical Usability:Without limits

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