A Democratic German Feminist’s Response to the Catastrophe of National Socialism
Chapter 3: Republican Values, Female Agency and the International Peace Campaign
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Republican Values, Female Agency and the International Peace Campaign
It was the spring of 1919 by the time the Haags had completed the arduous journey home from Bucharest. As a young couple with an educational mission they now faced new challenges, for there was no consensus about the lessons to be learnt from the war. In Württemberg, fortunately, the outbreak of peace proved less chaotic than in other regions, although there were food shortages accompanied by civil strife. Revolution in Berlin, leading to the proclamation of the Republic, forced Kaiser Wilhelm II to flee to his estate in the Netherlands on 9 November 1918, leaving the other German crowned heads with no option but to abdicate. In Stuttgart, too, the red flag was raised over the royal palace, but it was not until 30 November that King Wilhelm II of Württemberg renounced his throne. Having been a respected constitutional monarch he received a state pension, living out his days in rural seclusion until his death in October 1921.
The new Württemberg constitution approved in April 1919 created relative stability at a time when neighbouring Bavaria was gripped by revolution and counter-revolution. In Stuttgart, under the leadership of the Social Democratic Party (SPD), which the Haags supported, the situation remained calm. Reform of the suffrage meant that women were now entitled to vote, and Württemberg benefitted from having a democratically elected regional government, the Landtag. A...
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