In Memoriam Felix M. Bertram

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Pax Christi International mourns the passing of Mr. Felix Bertram, main representative at the United Nations in Vienna.

It is with great sadness, but also with deep gratitude, that we remember the life of Mr Felix M. Bertram who died on Palm Sunday, 5 April 2020, in Vienna, Austria. He was 92 years old.

Felix has been the chairperson of Pax Christi Vienna for many years and represented Pax Christi International at the United Nations as well as the NGO Committee on Peace at the UN in Vienna.

He was a member of the Commission for Security and Disarmament of Pax Christi International. Felix played a key role in the advocacy work for security and disarmament not the least in his own country Austria.

Together with many others, he played an essential role in lobbying and campaigning against anti-personal landmines. In 1997, the Ottawa Treaty (Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction) was adopted. The Convention became a milestone in getting a global ban.

Later on, Felix continued advocating for other major disarmament challenges including small arms, arms trade, cluster munitions and—not the least—nuclear weapons. Felix M. Bertram spoke several times during the Hiroshima action on 6 August at the Stephansplatz in the city centre of Vienna. For decades, he was committed to a world without nuclear weapons and a world without war.

In addition to disarmament, human rights were also a main concern for Felix. He hosted delegates of Pax Christi International at the United Nations World Conference on Human Rights taking place in Vienna in June 1993. Solidarity with refugees was very important to him, encouraging him to join the working group of Pax Christi International dealing with migration and asylum seekers.

Many friends of Pax Christi are very grateful to Felix and his dear wife for the many times that they were able to stay at the apartment with the Bertram family in Vienna. Their unlimited hospitality was a gift to the whole movement. It was a pleasure staying with the Bertram family. We shared so many experiences and concerns. My last stay with the Bertram family was in December 2014 when I attended the Vienna Conference on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons.  Felix was happy to see that his work for justice and peace continued.

Pax Christi International is very grateful for the life and commitment of Felix. May Felix rest in God’s peace.

Brussels, July 2020
Fr Paul Lansu
Board Member, Pax Christi International

Photo of a Pax Christi Austria action taken from their public Facebook group.