Outbreak of the war
End of the war

Peace movements and efforts in the First World War

Bertha von Suttner was probably the most prominent representative of Austrian pacifism before the First World War. Through her the idea of a peace movement became publicly known in Austria-Hungary. Even before the First World War, representatives of the bourgeoisie and the working class had subscribed to the idea of peace. When war broke out, their activities were brought to an abrupt halt. At the same time, new groups and institutions formed in opposition to war and militarism and in favour of peace. A small section of the bourgeois women’s movement spoke up for peace, as did Max Metzger und Johannes Ude, both theologists and priests. There were many links between the young Esperanto language community and the peace movement, not least in the person of Alfred H. Fried. Shortly before the outbreak of war, a further peace society, the Österreichischer Verband für allgemeine Völkerverständigung “Para Pacem”, was founded, and it was active between 1914 and 1918. Individuals like Julius Meinl, director of the food concern of the same name, and the expert in international law Heinrich Lammasch also actively opposed war and militarism.

Translation: Nick Somers