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Alfred Fried

Alfred Fried

The Nobel Peace Prize 1911
Nobel Co-recipient Tobias Asser

Die Friedenswarte (peace publication). Permanent Court of Arbitration, Netherlands. Collaborator, Nobelist Bertha von Suttner. Propaganda for peace: war was proof of validity of pacifistic analysis of world politics.

War is not in itself a condition so much as the symptom of a condition, that of international anarchy.

By Lillian Hatch

Alfred Hermann Fried was born in Vienna in 1864. He was fascinated by reading and books and at the age of 15 dropped out of school to work in a bookstore. Moving to Berlin, he opened his own printing press in 1887. In Berlin, he became friends with the pacifist Bertha von Suttner, author of the influential anti-war book Lay Down your Arms and with her, he published a magazine also titled Lay Down Your Arms.

In 1892 he co-founded the German Peace Society with Bertha von Suttner, Carl von Ossietzky, and Ludwig Quidde. He was one of the first persons to advocate for an international peace organization. Fried was a member of the Bern Peace Bureau and Secretary of the International Coalition of Central Europe,

After the Hague Peace Conference in 1899, Fried revised his philosophy of pacifism so that it emphasized economic and political cooperation to further the cause of peace rather than limiting arms and emphasizing international justice.

Also in that year he started a new publication Die Friedenswarte (The Peace Watch) which is still in existence. It was called, "The most efficient periodical of the Pacifist movement in the world" by Norman Angell who was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1933. In 1905 he started the journal Annuaire de la vie international which reflected his interests in international cooperation.

Fried immigrated to Switzerland at the outbreak of World War I in protest of the war. He continued his peace efforts and continued publishing Die Friedenswarte. He also worked to better the conditions of prisoners of war.

He returned to Vienna after the war and published Mein Kriegstagebuch (My War Journal) which chronicled his thoughts and activities during the war years. He campaigned against the Treaty of Versaille but warned the Germans that they should use peaceful means to try to revise it.

The collapse of Austria-Hungary led to his losing his wealth. Poverty stricken, Fried died of a lung infection in 1921 in Vienna at the age of 57.

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Alfred Fried
Photo: nobelprize.org

Name: Alfred Hermann Fried
Birth: 11 November 1864, Vienna Austria
Death: 5 May 1921, Vienna Austria
Residence at the time of the award: Austria
Role: Founder of Die Freidenswarte (a peace publication), Journalist
Field: Peace Movement
Honoring Alfred Fried