Thursday, June 9, 2011

On June 9

On this day in ...
... 1843, Baroness Bertha Sophie Felicita von Suttner (left) was born Countess Kinsky von Chinic und Tettau in Prague, then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. A prolific author and a long-time peace activist, in 1905 she would win the 5th-ever Nobel Peace Prize, and so become the 1st woman ever to be so honored. According to her Nobel biography, her book Das Maschinenzeitalter (The Machine Age) (1889) "was among the first to foretell the results of exaggerated nationalism and armaments." She carried this theme through to a popular novel published the same year, Die Waffen nieder (Lay Down Your Arms). That title later was used for a peace journal, one of von Suttner's many activities on behalf of peace. She died from an illness believed to have been cancer on June 21, 1914. Her Nobel biography concludes by observing that this date was just
two months before the erupting of the world war she had warned and struggled against. ... The war and its immediate aftermath put an end not only to the plans of the peace movement for the congress in Vienna but to its plans for a monument to Bertha von Suttner.

(Prior June 9 posts are here, here, here, and here.)

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