Bertha von Suttner

Activist Type

Bertha von Suttner, an Austro-Bohemian noblewoman, novelist, and pioneering pacifist, made history in 1905 as the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Her remarkable journey from a childhood marked by exclusion to becoming a leading figure in the peace movement is an inspiration. Von Suttner's influential novel, "Die Waffen nieder!" (Lay Down Your Arms!), catapulted her into prominence, advocating for disarmament and the establishment of international peace institutions. Her tireless efforts led her to address the International Congress of Women in Berlin and attend the First Hague Convention, advocating for an International Court of Justice. Even amid personal tragedy and her battle with cancer, she continued her crusade for peace, shaping the discourse at the Second Hague Peace Conference. Von Suttner's legacy endures, commemorated on coins, stamps, and through statues in Vienna and Graz, a testament to her enduring impact on the pursuit of peace.

Artwork by
Florine Glueck

To highlight Bertha von Suttner's literary contributions, her own handwriting has been integrated into the portrait. At the top, you can see the title of her most famous book, “Lay Down Your Arms,” and her signature at the bottom. Her handwriting held significant personal value as well, as evidenced by the letters she exchanged with her close friend Alfred Nobel, a relationship often credited with influencing the establishment of the Nobel Peace Prize. In Austria, Bertha von Stuttner was on the 1000 Schilling banknote until 2002, when they started using the Euro. (1000 Schilling is about 80 Dollars). To ensure her immediate recognition, the familiar image from the banknote served as the foundation for the portrait.


Austria Flag
March 17, 0976
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