Bertha Von Suttner, a young Austrian
aristocrat, was briefly Nobel's secretary and housekeeper in Paris
(1876). Their friendship lasted until his death. In 1889 her anti-war
novel Die Waffen Nieder! (Lay Down Your Arms), caused a
sensation and made her world famous. Tolstoy and Nobel were among those
who congratulated her. The book inspired the peace movement and gave Von
Suttner a leading role in it. She established the Austrian Peace
Society (1891) and co-founded the German Peace Society (1892).
A sceptical Nobel said to her in 1892:
factories will put an end to war even sooner than your [peace]
congresses; on the day when two army corps may mutually annihilate each
other in a second, probably all civilised nations will recoil with
horror and disband their troops."
"Inform me, convince me - and then I will do something great for the movement."