From June 14 until June 16, the Peace Palace Library, the Bertha von Suttner Project and Central Michigan University, will organize the third annual Bertha von Suttner Commemoration Week. The activities will consist of a two day Master Class and a Commemorative Lecture. By organizing these events, we hope to bring more attention to the contributions of women - past and present- to international law.
This year’s theme will focus ‘The Barbarization of the Sky, an essay written by Bertha von Suttner in 1912. The first English translation will be released in the Summer of 2016 and marks the 20th anniversary of the ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. Bertha von Suttner’s ideas will be connected to current themes concerning aerial bombardments and international law governing nuclear weapons. Both the Masterclass and the Library Lecture are intense, yet enriching educational experiences that connect the dots from the forgotten history of the Peace Palace and those who were involved in the 'Peace Through Law' movement to current issues in international peace and justice. Please register and join us!
The Bertha von Suttner Commemoration Week consists of two events, a two day Master Class and a Commemorative Lecture.
Bertha von Suttner Master Class 'Forward into Light', Tuesday 14 and Wednesday 15 June 2016
The 'Forward into Light' Master Class is an annual educational experience held at the Peace Palace that is interactive and interdisciplinary. The theme for this year's Master Class is Bertha's 1912 essay, 'The Barbarization of the Sky'. The first English publication which will be released in the Summer of 2016, marks the 20th anniversary of the International Court of Justice’s historic 1996 Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. In 2016, the Court will build on this jurisprudence in the Marshall Islands vs UK Case where it will consider whether the failure of the nuclear weapon states to enter into multilateral negotiations aimed at nuclear disarmanent violates the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
The speakers who will teach during the Master Class are recognized experts on Bertha von Suttner, the international peace movement and international law. At the end of the Master Class, students will have an enriched understanding of the interplay amongst technology, warfare, humanitarian norms and international law - themes that Bertha von Suttner addressed time and time again in her pre World War I writings.
For this occasion, we have invited, among others, attorney Laurie Ashton, Legal Counsel for the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Maja Groff, Senior Legal Officer at the Hague Conference on Private International Law and Professor Regina Braker, author of the book ´Weapons of Women Writers´.
For more information on the 'Forward into Light' Master Class, please click, here.
Please note that registration for the Master Class also includes access to the Library Commemorative Lecture.
The Bertha von Suttner Commemorative Lecture, Thursday, 16 June 2016
‘Beyond Die Waffen Nieder! Bertha von Suttner as a Philosopher, Futurist and Friend of Humanity’
In 2013, Bertha von Suttner became the first woman in history to be honored with a buste inside the Peace Palace. During the late 19th century, Bertha von Suttner, an Austrian author and peace activist, was one of the most prominent members of the international peace movement. In 1905, she became the first female recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Around the same time, she played an important role in the coming into existence of the Peace Palace. A century later, the Dutch Carnegie Foundation, the owner of the Peace Palace, acknowledged her for the significant role she played in our history by granting her two busts of which one was installed in the main hall of the Peace Palace. Since then, the Peace Palace Library, the Bertha von Suttner Project and Central Michigan University (USA) organize an annual Master Class and Commemoration Lecture to bring more attention to the contributions of women to international law. This year’s theme is ‘The Barbarization of the Sky, an essay written by Bertha von Suttner in 1912. The first English translation will be released in 2016 and marks the 20th anniversary of the ICJ Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Threat or Use of Nuclear Weapons. Bertha von Suttner’s ideas will be connected to current themes concerning aerial bombardments and international law governing nuclear weapons.
The program for this evening event will be as follows:
17.00 Doors Open
17.30 Opening Remarks by Candice Alihusain LL.M, Coordinator of the Reading Room of the Peace Palace Library.
17.45 Dr. Hope Elizabeth May, Professor of Philosophy, Central Michigan University (USA)
‘Awakening the Will to Thoughtfulness: Bertha von Suttner’s ‘Barbarization of the Sky’
18.15 Dr. Laurie Cohen, Professor of History, University of Innsbruck, Austria
‘Demanding Peace versus Humanizing War: A Bertha von Suttner- Henri Dunant
Debate in the Age of Nuclear Security?’
18.45 Dr. Regina Braker, Professor of German, University of Eastern Oregon, USA
‘Bertha von Suttner’s Feminist Pacifist Conviction amidst Militarist Skepticism:
The 1905 Nobel Peace Prize’
19.15 Q & A
To attend this Commemorative Lecture, registration as well as an admission fee of 7,50 Euro is required.
We kindly request you to register and pay the admissions fee by clicking the following link:
We wish to remind you that you are required to bring a valid ID (passport, driving license). Without a valid ID, you will not be able to enter the Peace Palace premises.
We would greatly appreciate it if you could attend this event.
Director of Peace Palace Library
A selection of relevant publications from the Peace Palace Library collection
- Belentschikow, V., Bertha von Suttner und Russland, Frankfurt am Main, Peter Lang Internationaler Verlag der Wissenschaften, 2012.
- Bertha von Suttner, Bruxelles, European Economic and Social Committee, 2006.
- Eyffinger, A.C.G.M., "The Stars of Eternal Truth and Right": Bertha von Suttner's Campaigning for Peace, Social Justice, and Womanhood, Oisterwijk, Wolf Legal Publishers, 2013.
- Götz, C., 'Die Rebellin, Bertha von Suttner : Botschaften für unsere Zeit', Elsdorf : Klein und Blechinger, 1996
- Hamann, B., Bertha von Suttner: ein Leben für den Frieden', München, Piper, 1986.
- Pick, H., Bertha von Suttner: Living for Peace: An Essay, Vienna, Austrian Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, 2005.
- Simensen, A.S., Kvinnen bak fredsprisen: Historien om Bertha von Suttner og Alfred Nobel, Oslo, Cappelen Damm, 2012.
- Stiehm, J.H., Champions for Peace: Women Winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, Lanham, Rowman and Littlefield, 2014.