Progress Through Marginalization: Jewish Women at the Forefront of the German Women’s Movement

Hanau, Alicia

German-Jewish women of the late 19th century found themselves sidelined on three fronts. As women in a traditionally patriarchal German society, German-Jewish women were generally limited to the domestic sphere. As Jews in a patriotic German society, German- Jewish women faced virulent anti-Semitism and Judeo-phobia. And finally, as women in the Jewish community, German-Jewish women were demoted to an inferior status in religious practice. This paper explores the tri-marginalization of Jewish-German women of the Kaiserreich era. Furthermore, this paper argues that tri-marginalization pushed Jewish- German women to the forefront of the German women’s movement. German-Jewish women’s tremendous progression, especially as compared to their German female counterparts, arose primarily through their ability to push boundaries from within the confines of their relegated community.


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Athena Center for Leadership Studies
Center for Digital Research and Scholarship
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October 21, 2015