Mujeres Nobel

 

BERTHA VON SUTTNER

Nobel Peace Prize, 1905

She was the first woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. She was born in Prague on June 9, 1843 and grew up in an aristocratic, militarily-rooted environment. In her youth the reading of A Souvenir of Solferino by Henri Dunant - a witness of that battle, founder of the Red Cross and first Nobel Peace Prize - encouraged her future pacifist commitment.

    

In 1873 she went to Vienna to be a governess to the daughters of the Barons von Suttner, but her affair with Baron's firstborn led to his dismissal. That's when Alfred Nobel hired her as a secretary in her Parisian home. Despite the short time she worked with him, their friendship lasted a lifetime. In 1876 she returned to Vienna to marry Arthur von Suttner.

    

In 1883 she published her first novel Inventario del alma and, in 1887, she contacted the International Arbitration and Peace Association , which advocated dialogue and mediation against the use of weapons. Two years later she published what would be her masterpiece: Down with arms! in order to raise awareness about the importance of defending peace in the world.     

The book was an immediate success and soon became an icon of the pacifist movement, translating into numerous languages. In 1891 she founded the Austrian Association for Peace and, throughout her life, she participated in international forums of whichs she informed Alfred Nobel, who, in 1893, wrote a letter considered the genesis of the Nobel Peace Prize. She was nominated for this prize since the first edition and finally received it in 1905, for her great contribution to the defense of peace and the European Union.

    

She died in Vienna on June 21, 1914, at age 71, shortly before the outbreak of World War I.