10 December 2021

BOOK: Petra SCHÖNEMANN-BERHENS, Alfred Hermann Fried: Peace Activist and Nobel Prize Laureate (Leiden: Brill, 2021). ISBN: 978-90-04-47037-8, € 116.00

(Source: Brill)


Petra Schönemann-Behrens provides an informative review of the life and times of Alfred H. Fried (1864-1921), a significant if underappreciated German pacifist of the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. In response to the militarism and international anarchy of the European states, Fried developed his unique notion of “revolutionary” or “scientific” pacifism, differentiating it from reform pacifism, in order to address the material causes of war. As theorist, practitioner, and journalist, Fried advanced radical ideas at the time: the formation of a pan-European union, the establishment of an effective international court of arbitration, the elimination of a secretive diplomatic class, and the expansion of international economic and cultural cooperation. 

This book is a translation of the German biography Alfred H. Fried: Friedensaktivist–Nobelpreisträger, published by Römerhof Verlag in 2011, and commemorates the 100th anniversary of Fried’s death. 


Petra Schönemann-Behrens, Dr. phil. (2004), is a teacher of history, ethics and German at Gymnasium Wildeshausen near Oldenburg, Germany. She has published articles on historical peace research, mainly on A. H. Fried, and contributed to various radio and TV programs on this topic. 

Edward T. Larkin, Ph.D. (1986), is Professor Emeritus of German at the University of New Hampshire (USA). In addition to having published numerous articles on major German and Austrian authors, he has also published six book-length translations. 

Thomas B. Ahrens, Ph.D. (1998), is Director of Convocations at Berea College (USA). A long-time college educator and academic author, he has published translations of Austrian authors in the refereed online journal No Man’s Land as well as two novels.



1 Childhood and Youth 
 1 The Early Years 
 2 Apprenticeship with a Bookseller and Fried’s First Experiences of Pacifism 

2 The Berlin Years 1884–1903 
 1 From Apprentice Bookseller to Publisher 
 2 Alfred H. Fried and Company 
 3 The Path to the Peace Movement 
 4 Experiments 
  4.1 Fried’s Hygienic Trash Collection and Removal Apparatus 
  4.2 The Self-Dating Envelope 
  4.3 An Election Atlas 
  4.4 Supplemental Encyclopedia 
 5 The Conference at The Hague 1899 
  5.1 The Founding of the Friedens-Warte in 1899 
 6 Consolidation Attempts around 1900 
  6.1 Esperanto 
 7 Flight from Berlin (1903) 

3 The Vienna Years, 1903–1915 
 1 A Reluctant Return Home 
 2 Fried, von Suttner, and the Austrian Peace Society 
 3 Work as a Journalist to 1907 
 4 Impulses from the Hague 
 5 The Foundations of Revolutionary Pacifism, 1908 
 6 Integration and Recognition 
 7 The Association of International Understanding 
 8 Nobel Peace Prize in 1911 and Honorary Doctorate in 1913 
 9 Before the Great War 

4 In Swiss Exile 1914/15–1919 
 1 The Move to Berne 
 2 1916: In the Crossfire of the Critics 
 3 Swiss Exile from 1917 to the End of the War 
 4 After the War – the Final Months in Switzerland 

5 Everywhere a Foreigner 
 1 Back to Vienna, via Munich 
 2 Final Works and Plans 
 3 Obituaries and Testimonials 

6 Survivors and Successors 
 1 Therese Fried 
 2 Fried and German Pacifism after 1921 

Die Friedens-Warte 
 1 The First Years 1899–1904 
 2 Consolidation Phase 1904–1909 
 3 Period of Growth, 1910–1914 
 4 War Censorship and the Path into Exile 
 5 Die Friedens-Warte in Swiss Exile 
 6 The Friedens-Warte after the War, 1918–1919 
 7 The Conflict over Succession, 1921–1924 
 8 The Friedens-Warte under Hans Wehberg, 1924 – 1962 
 9 A New Beginning in 1974 

Appendix 1: To my beloved wife 
Appendix 2: Program of Revolutionary Pacifism, 1908 

More information with the publisher.

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