democracy is sometimes a sweaty drudgery. A lot of miles three women in the Winter of 1918/19 trudging through the Bavarian snow, the village Inn the village Inn. In their backpacks dragging leaflets and info material, a large bell, to jingle, to the female rural population to the Assembly.

shows up Where the Trio also rushes equal to the village clergy, and warns: This man women destroy your marriage! What is Anita Augspurg, Lida Gustava Heymann, and Gertrud Baer not impressed in the Slightest. Time is of the essence, restless, they educate the women about a novelty: the right to vote and to be elected. Because in the 12. November 1918 had proclaimed the Council of people’s representatives:

“All elections to public bodies are now the same, secret, direct, universal suffrage on the basis of the proportional election system for all at least 20 years old male and female persons.”

two months later, found on July 19. January 1919, the elections for the Constitution-giving national Assembly. A Revolution: To Finland (1906), Norway (1913), Denmark and Iceland (1915) allowed the German women to the ballot box.

louder and louder

“This is undoubtedly the most striking success that has ever been won for our cause,” cheered “Ius Suffragii,” the international journal of women’s suffrage. Was a dream come true. For many feminists had fought inside her for decades, and have been spat on, ridiculed, and defamed.

The heroines are forgotten once a long time ago. Because they beat no riot like the British suffragettes, not bombs, set fire to, not a hunger strike. The German feminists have relied on what Clara Zetkin, an icon of the proletarian women’s movement, referred to mockingly as the “petition of heroism”.


they formed associations and journals, organized conferences, and demonstrated again and again, getting louder and louder. One of the most persistent among them: Anita Theodora Johanna Sophie Augspurg, the first doctorate in law in Germany, a pacifist and the champion of the bourgeois-radical women’s movement.

As Augspurg in 1857, came in Verden on the Aller to the world, were women in Germany choose to and study, well-paid occupations remained denied to them. In most German States they were not allowed to organize themselves politically, and were as the wives of socially and economically completely dependent on their male counterparts. Augspurgs a consequence, not only to marry, study abroad, civic corset blow up.

call to Eheboykott

“For a woman of self-respect, ( … ), it is in my opinion impossible to be a legitimate marriage to respond,” she wrote. Augspurg cut off her hair, wore flowing reform dresses, lived with women. An inheritance allowed her the training to become a teacher, actress and photographer.

“Where are the rights of the woman?” – Anita Augspurg 1903

in 1893, she went to Zurich to study law back in Germany, and they fought fiercely for a Reform of the Civil code. “Where are the rights of the wife?”, the lawyer’s daughter called with the eagle nose, 1896, at the first International Congress for women’s works and women’s aspirations in Berlin. And the heart of the ten years younger Hamburger merchant’s daughter Lida Gustava Heymann captured with your appearance.

for Nearly half a century, the “most flamboyant Couple of the women’s movement” (the book author Anna dünnebier and Ursula Scheu) stayed together. The two were provoked by their life-style as well as the commitment for gender justice and peace. Augspurg founded Germany’s first girls ‘ school and called for a Eheboykott. Heymann opened in Hamburg, the Kingdom’s first women’s centre, in Protest against state-sponsored brothels, they sued the Senate of the Hanseatic city because of pimping.

women’s right to vote? National Suicide!

in 1902, founded the “Anilide” (so their common journalistic shorthand), the German Association for women’s rights: the first organization in Germany, the rubbed exclusive the fight for women’s right to vote wasted vote. “We are not of inferior kind,” wrote Augspurg and published a “national anthem for women”:

“Germany, Germany above everything
If it is the woman
exempt their citizens-in crown
provides the Following a new time.”

to prevent this new time, organized the anti-feminists in the German Confederation to fight for the emancipation of women; the share of women was 1912 in this Association at an astonishing 25 percent. Excessive brain activity do the “woman is not only wrong, but sick, too,” wrote the neurologist Paul Julius Möbius in his treatise “On the physiological imbecility of the woman” – a best-seller in the pre-war period.

The women’s right to vote would be tantamount to “national suicide,” predicted top-anti-feminist Werner Heinemann, 1913. As in the year of the First world war broke out, came the (in Germany hopelessly divided) of the voting rights movement to a Standstill.

related articles ullstein Bild First presidential candidate of the United States: Vote for Victoria! Suffragette movement: the civil war of the sexes Corbis Anti-suffragist campaign: “Real masculinity for the man, true femininity for the woman,”

most of The feminists were now in the service of the national cause. Who, how Augspurg and Heymann, came out openly against the war, has been spied on, with speech banned or reported. The two made still more – and disguised their pacifist circle as a private Tea parties.

in 1917, the fight for women won the right back to swing, of all things, thanks to Kaiser Wilhelm II In his “Easter message” he promised electoral reform, no the woman claims. Enraged, published feminists of all Stripes a joint statement on the choice of law question, organized demonstrations, languages in October, 1918, Chancellor Max of Baden.

Nine percent of female deputies

As with the November overthrow, finally, the right of women to vote was announced, cheered the Activists. “Now a new life began!”, wrote Augspurg and Heymann in their joint memoirs.

“back, considering the following months appeared like a beautiful dream, as unlikely as gorgeous they were. The heavy-duty end of the war years had given way; elated step, then, to the future happy! (…) Needed no sleep; only a living flame burning participate: helping in the building of a better community.”

from Now on, the feminists put all their energy into the mobilization of New voters. With success: a Good 82 percent of the women flocked in the 19th century. January 1919 to the polls. Nearly nine percent of the deputies in the first democratic Parliament were female, this proportion should only be in 1983, significantly exceeded, as the Greens entered the Bundestag. 19. In February 1919, the social Democrat, Marie Juchacz was the first woman at the lectern of the German national Assembly in Weimar, and worked with the salutation, “gentlemen and ladies” for joy.

“Polonaise from voters and women voters:” women in 1919 in front of a polling station in Berlin

unlike Juchachz the candidate is not managed inside Augspurg and Heymann made the leap into active politics. The “old Reichstag and the new national Assembly will have a cursed-like appearance”, were you disillusioned.

In public appearances for peace and equality, the Couple always brutal hostility was suspended. “In Germany, ruled more and more of the Terror,” wrote “Anilide” in your magazine “a woman in the state”.

“Solidified body feeling”

blew up As a Nazi interference squad in the January 1923 your event and a pacifist by knuckles smashed the eye, in front of languages Augspurg and Heymann in Bavaria’s interior Minister and demanded that Adolf Hitler’s deportation to Austria. What are the two catapulted to the top of the death list of the national socialists.

After the “seizure of power” deprived of the brown shirts women, in fact, the passive right to vote, and urged judges from their Offices. In the “ABC of socialism” said: “The German women want to ( … ), in the main, a wife and a mother, you don’t want to be comrade.”

Augspurg and Heymann immigrated to Switzerland and pursued passed out of the Expansion of the inhuman Nazi dictatorship, which crushed everything that they for so long had fought. One of the last entries of her memoir is:

“the meaning and purpose of our life was to act: for freedom, justice and equality, in full Public. The base was lost! Often, the sensation came over us, as if we had survived ourselves, as we would have died, alive, already, suspended animation: look-of-state! Mentally: solidified body feeling!”

in 1943, died in probably the bravest Few of the German women’s movement in the space of a few months in Zurich.

To read More: Anna Dünnebier / Ursula Scheu: The Rebellion is a woman. Anita Augspurg and Lida G. Heymann, Munich, 2002.

Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.