• GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
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  • JOHANNES REUCHLIN
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  • W
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  • GERMANIC MIGRATIONS AND
  • Augspurg, Anita

    lang=EN-US style='font-size:10.5pt;font-family:"Meridien-Medium","serif"; color:black'>(18571943)

    radical feminist

    Anita Augspurg, a teacher, lawyer, and journalist,

    was one of the radical leaders of the middleclass

    womens movement. She was a member of

    the General German Association of Women

    Teachers along with Helene Lange, Gertrud

    BÄUMER, Auguste Schmidt, Hedwig Doh, and

    Minna Cauer. Most of these leaders had not

    married and were explicitly forbidden to do so if

    they worked in state schools. They considered

    the woman question first and foremost as one

    of education and employment.

    The womens movement after 1900 increased

    its struggle for the right to vote. Anita Augspurg

    and other radical feminists in 1902 created the

    German Union of Womens Suffrage (DVF),

    which grew to a membership of 10,000 by the

    beginning of WORLD WAR I. It formed the radical

    wing of the middle-class womens movement

    as the Federation of German Womens Associations

    (BDF) became more conservative on

    womens issues and in 1914 supported the

    annexationist war aims. The suffragists following

    Augspurg broke from the BDF and became

    active in the peace movement and sought an

    end to the war without annexations or indemnities.

    The stresses of the war divided the

    womens movement as much of the rest of German

    society.

    After women received the right to vote in the

    WEIMAR REPUBLIC, Anita Augspurg and other

    radical feminists became pacificists and formed

    the Womens League for Peace and Freedom and

    edited journals such as Woman in the State, fighting

    for womens absolute equality. It may seem

    strange, but Augspurgs feminist message proved

    too strong for socialist women. Middle-class

    women were alienated by their demand for

    social justice. Support for Augspurgs feminist

    message declined, so she turned to the International

    Womens League for Peace and Freedom

    for support. That also was no solution, because

    sociologically many younger women had become

    apathetic about womens rights issues and did

    not join the organizations. They saw Augspurg

    and other leaders as shrill and douty, believed

    that womens rights had been won, and were

    optimistic about their opportunities to have a

    career and be married. Newer organizations

    became successful with a new focus on sexual

    reform and motherhood. Augspurgs movement

    with its emphasis on pacificism and feminist

    reform therefore declined. Augspurgs organization

    and Helene Stöckers League for the Protection

    of Motherhood with its emphasis on sexual

    pleasure both were banned by the Nazis. While

    vacationing in Italy during winter 1933, Augspurg

    and her associate, Lida Gustave Heymann,

    decided not to return to Germany until HITLER

    was defeated. She died before 1945.

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