Citizens' Campus: Bertha von Suttner. On the trail of a woman of peace

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Fr. 12.04.2024
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In her memoirs from 1909, Bertha von Suttner recalls a conversation with Alfred Nobel and his dream, which was to solve the contradiction of his life. He wanted to create a machine with such a massively devastating effect that wars would become impossible. This idea of her friend and confidant, of wanting to do something against wars and prevent them - by whatever means - was a constant companion to her, above all through her own direct experience, such as the Turkish-Russian War. In 1882/83, the plan to not only report on wars in newspapers, but to realize the goal of making war impossible in a novel, matured for the first time. She succeeded in this in her novel "Lay Down Your Arms", which first appeared in 1889 and was translated into 18 languages. The fictional story of Countess Marta Althaus, later Countess Dubsky, a woman of the Viennese court aristocracy, traces the painful path of the struggle of both sexes against the inhuman wars through various stages. The basic motif of the novel "Armed peace is no peace" is based on the utopia that the human will is stronger than the rattling of all sabres.

Speaker Prof. Dr. Ilse Nagelschmidt held the professorship for Modern German Literature at the University of Leipzig until her retirement in 2020, with a research focus on GDR literature and German-German literature after 1989.


Admission: 5€