Bertha von Suttner in the Spotlight

Wednesday, June 6, 2007
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As the result of her high profile in European peace circles, von Suttner became a target of political cartoonists. An 1899 edition of the German satirical magazine Lustige Blätter featured von Suttner as one of the Furies of Greek mythology, who exercised vengeance on those who committed crimes against the gods, enacting punishing through wars, plagues, and attacks of conscience.


Recruiting the Tsar

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Von Suttner and others persuaded Tsar Nicholas II of Russia to establish the first International Peace Conference, which convened in The Hague in 1899. The 26 participating governments supported the development of international law, disarma-ment, and the peaceful settlement of conflicts. A second conference met in 1907; a third, scheduled for 1916, was canceled because of World War I.

“The Tsar as Tenor.” At right, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia leads other European heads of state in the Die Waffen nieder waltz. Caption: “The voice is quite nice, but much too weak for the orchestra.” (An actual waltz, named for von Suttner’s celebrated antiwar novel, was written for the 1892 peace conference in Bern, Switzerland.)


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