The German socialist women's movement 1890-1914

The German workers' revolution of 1918/19 and why it was defeated

Submitted by dalcassian on 9 September, 2013 - 3:06

In January 1919 Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht, the two most prominent leaders of the German revolutionary movement, were savagely murdered in Berlin. Rosa Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht were victims of a wave of terror unleashed by the leaders of German Social Democracy in order to crush working-class revolution.

Rosa Luxemburg: fiery, sharp, funny, sometimes sad

Submitted by Matthew on 14 September, 2011 - 12:22

Rosie Woods reviews The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg, published in March 2011 by Verso Books.

Many women on the left have their own heroines, women from the past who have inspired them. Sylvia Pankhurst, Clara Zetkin, Minnie Lansbury... Mine has always been Rosa Luxemburg. The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg showed me her personal side.

International working women's day

Submitted by Matthew on 9 March, 2011 - 12:27

I had resolved to avoid reading the Guardian on Tuesday 8 March. I knew they would be publishing a “100 most inspiring women list” on this, the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day. And I had no desire to revisit the taste of my breakfast on my way into work.

The list had been trailed in the paper some weeks before and promised to include Margaret Thatcher, Oprah Winfrey and Hillary Clinton. Hence the anticipation of nausea. In the event, the list was not as bad as I expected, just boring and predictable.

Discussing German socialist women Janine Fri, 07/06/2007 - 10:45

May saw the start of a very-welcome socialist feminist discussion group in London. Organised by Workers' Liberty, it is meeting every month. The first discussion was about the German socialist women's movement of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. As this is a pet subject of mine, I was happy to be asked to introduce the discussion.

OK ... three themes:

German socialist women’s movement - Self-organisation and class unity

Submitted by Anon on 4 November, 2005 - 9:48

During the nineteenth century, the emerging workers’ movement began to develop its policy on the “woman question”. Some of the early, “utopian” socialists argued strongly for women’s liberation. Ferdinand Lassalle led the “proletarian anti-feminists”, opposing votes for women and urging male workers to strike against women’s entry into industrial labour. Marx and Engels opposed Lassalle, arguing that women’s work was a step forward, a precondition for liberation.

German socialism and the “woman question”

Submitted by Anon on 21 October, 2005 - 6:34

During the nineteenth century, the emerging workers’ movement began to develop its policy on the “woman question”. The early, “utopian” socialists argued strongly for women’s liberation. Ferdinand Lassalle led the “proletarian anti-feminists”, opposing votes for women and urging male workers to strike against women’s entry into industrial labour. Marx and Engels opposed Lassalle, arguing that women’s work was a step forward, and a precondition for liberation.

Introduction Janine Mon, 10/10/2005 - 11:24

Introducing a series of articles on the German socialist women's movement 1890-1914, by Janine Booth

During the nineteenth century, the emerging workers’ movement began to develop its policy on the ‘woman question’. The early, ‘utopian’ socialists argued strongly for women’s liberation. Ferdinand Lassalle led the ‘proletarian anti-feminists’, opposing votes for women and urging male workers to strike against women’s entry into industrial labour. Marx and Engels opposed Lassalle, arguing that women’s work was a step forward, and a precondition for liberation.

Organising Working-class Women Janine Mon, 10/10/2005 - 11:13

The second in a series of articles about the German socialist women's movement 1890-1914, by Janine Booth

Education

German socialist women placed strong emphasis on education. They set up education clubs for women and girls (Frauen- and Madchen-Bildungsverein), which held meetings, hosted lectures, published articles and pamphlets, and gathered information on women’s working conditions. Each club had between 50 and 250 members, who paid a small monthly fee.

Working-class Women and Bourgeois Feminists Janine Mon, 10/10/2005 - 11:03

The third in a series of articles about the German socialist women's movement 1890-1914, by Janine Booth

What is often seen as one issue - referred to at the time as the ‘woman question’ - actually developed quite differently amongst women of different classes.

Bourgeois women

Should the Workers' Movement Have Special Structures for Women? Janine Mon, 10/10/2005 - 10:50

The fourth in a series of articles about the German socialist women's movement 1890-1914, by Janine Booth

Laws against women’s organisation

After Bismarck’s Anti-Socialist Law lapsed in 1890, laws remained which restricted women’s political activity. The 1851 Prussian Association Law banned women from membership of political organisations, and from organising politically.