Named 70 years ago: How Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz got its name

Named 70 years ago : How Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz got its name

Today, 70 years ago, Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz received its name. Once a residential area, it lay in ruins following the Second World War. Now a special project is to honor the woman whom the city square was named after.

After World War Two, the site of today's Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz lay in ruins. Before the bombing it had been a residential area. Allied bombs caused the greatest destruction in the Bonn in the area west of the former Rhine bridge. On August 5, 1949, the Street Naming Committee decided on a new name for the Platz (Square) after renovation work. After a controversy, it was named after the Austrian pacifist Bertha Sophia Felicita Freifrau von Suttner. The debate arose because there was no direct connection between Bonn and von Suttner. But the Bonn City Council decided 70 years ago in favor of the name of the peace activist. The General-Anzeiger reported on the name at that time. According to a newspaper report in 1949, many Bonners had been against the decision of the city council. The proposal "Beethoven Platz" was not adopted.

Bertha von Suttner was the first female Nobel Peace Prize winner. She was awarded in 1905 for her 1889 anti-war book "Die Waffen nieder" ("Put the Weapons Down"). Her work was well received in the pacifist movement.

The naming of the square in the city center celebrates its 70th birthday. In June, the Women's Network for Peace (FNF) created a display board with historical photos at the "Bertha-von-Suttner-Platz" tram stop. Heide Schütz, chairwoman of the FNF, wants to inform Bonn residents about the peace activist. "Thousands of people drive or walk across the Bertha every day - but only a few know who gave the place its name and what it looked like here shortly after the war. We want to change that! " The 70th birthday of the square is a wonderful occasion for this.

An exhibition on the works and life of Bertha von Suttner will also take place at the Bonn Stadthaus on Berliner Platz from the end of August to the end of October. On Friday, August 30, "Herz der Welt" ("Heart of the World") will be shown at the Frauenmuseum Bonn. The feature film from 1954 reports on the life of the Nobel Prize winner.

The women's network has had its place in Bonn for decades and will launch the "Bertha Bahn" project on September 21. Line 62 will travel through Bonn for one year, printed with quotations and a portrait of Bertha von Suttner.

(Orig. text: Emma Dietl; Translation: ck)

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