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Discovering Women’s History

German-Speaking Journalists (1900–1950)


Christa Spreizer

Discovering Women’s History brings to light the work of a selection of German-speaking women journalists from the first half of the twentieth century who made significant contributions to German life and culture, yet are barely known today. The volume builds upon scholarship on women and culture by focusing on individual journalists who published both within and outside the periodicals of women’s organizations and women’s magazines, thus offering a sampling of the vastly different perspectives of German-speaking women journalists during this period. The contributors to the volume aim to raise awareness regarding the great range of viewpoints represented by women journalists as well as challenging gender-based stereotypes of women’s writing that have traditionally tended to simplify the complexities of women’s diverse experiences. The volume closes with Erika Mann’s autobiographical fragment ‘I, of all People’ published here for the first time in the original English.
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‘Das Erwachen der Frau’Eliza Ichenhaeuser (1869–1932) and the First Wave of German Feminism



‘Das Erwachen der Frau’ Eliza Ichenhaeuser (1869–1932) and the First Wave of German Feminism

Nun winken uns rosenfarbene Bilder entgegen, Bilder, die eine bessere, veredelte, geistig, höherstehende Welt zeigen, eine Welt, die das Produkt des – ‘Erwachens der Frau’ ist.

— Eliza Ichenhaeuser, Zur Frauenfrage

Like other reform-minded women, Eliza Ichenhaeuser (1869–1932, née Rosenthal, pseudonym: E. Rosevalle) viewed the turn of the century as a time of progressive new beginnings and social activism with which to solve society’s ills, as evidenced in this quote from ‘Das Erwachen der Frau’ (Woman’s awakening), the concluding article in the first of her two volume collection of journalism articles Zur Frauenfrage (On the woman question, 1896, 1899).1 This early work offers a thematic overview of the ideals of liberal individualism and humanitarian reform to which she would dedicate her life, including better access for women to educational and professional opportunities, and equality in marriage and at the voting booth. ← 67 | 68 → According to Ichenhaeuser, only then would women have the independence to accomplish their natural duties in the domestic and the public spheres. The women’s movement was ‘die natürliche Folge der Entwickelung der Verhältnisse, der Menschheit, der Zeit.’2

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