Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-07-10
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

German historian talks 'lesbian-like' German suffragists
by Carrie Maxwell, Windy City Times
2014-08-31

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


"Lesbian-like Women in the Late 1800s to World War II: The Lives of the Suffragists" was the title of a lecture by German historian Ingeborg Boxhammer Aug. 28 at the Center on Halsted, presented with Windy City Times newspaper.

For the past 20 years, Boxhammer has researched the history of lesbians and lesbian movies. She is also the co-administrator of a web portal on lesbian history.

Boxhammer's lecture focused on the lives of feminist suffragists Margarete Herz and Helene Wolff who lived and worked together as activists and dentists in the early 1900s. Her presentation included archival images of the women, their families, newspaper clippings and maps indicating where they lived and worked.

"As far as I was able to reconstruct, the life designs of Margarete Herz and Helene Wolff were orientated to economic and financial autonomy, democratic franchise [women's suffrage] and a healthy lifestyle and diet," said Boxhammer.

"As a well-known activist in the German Empire the militant feminist Johanna Elberskirchen indirectly pointed me in this [discovery of Herz and Wolff] direction," said Boxhammer. Boxhammer noted that Elberskirchen had a life partner Anna Eysoldt and was known as a political activist, speaker and writer who spoke out on a variety of issues including women's suffrage.

Boxhammer shared the evolution of women's involvement in German political life including the radical wing of the women's suffrage movement of which Herz, Wolff and Elberskirchen were members. On Oct. 13, 1909 Bonner Zeitung, a local women's suffrage group in Bonn, was founded by Herz, Wolff and others, said Boxhammer. Boxhammer explained that Herz became the organization's first president, Wolff was the organization's treasurer and Elberskirchen was the organization's secretary.

Herz and Wolff's families were of Jewish origin and Boxhammer noted that Herz was expropriated by the Nazi's ( Wolff died in 1917 ) in 1938. Boxhammer explained that Herz moved to Chicago to be with her brother Arthur and his family ( she died in 1947 in Chicago ).

Boxhammer noted that Herz and Wolff were first cousins and both families shared a close bond while they were growing up. In an 1890 photo of both families, Herz and Wolff can be seen standing next to each and were said to be inseparable, said Boxhammer. "Just a friendship among girls? We'll see," said Boxhammer.

"Both women registered on the same day, Jan. 19, 1909, in Bonn at the address Weberstr 47. ... They decided to occupy a flat jointly, rent a joint clinic as dentists and jointly fought for women's suffrage together," said Boxhammer.

Boxhammer shared a picture of Herz and Wolff circa 1913 or 1914. "The picture shows them in white light dresses which facilitate free and unrestrained movement," said Boxhammer. "These garments are deemed typical for the supporters of the reform movement which formed around the turn of the century" in an effort to free women from industrial constraints including corsets.

"Margarete Herz and Helene Wolff shared a very close friendship. Can this relationship be described as homosexual or even lesbian? What makes a woman historically homosexual? What makes a heterosexual woman? Can sexual contact ... be a criteria for this classification because it is known that the history researchers were not present?" said Boxhammer. "They remained unmarried and had no children. They were not associated with any men in any of the letters and documents handed down. They did not orientate themselves to the traditional image of women and went their own way. This included economic independence, political actions and self determined lives which they spent together."

"Lesbian-like fits very well with their [Herz and Wolff] relationship," said Boxhammer.

Diane Herz and Judy Chrisman—direct descendents of Herz through her brother, Arthur—attended the lecture and provided additional insight into the lives of both Herz and Wolff including photos, letters and confirmation of their lesbian-like relationship.

A Q&A session followed Boxhammer's presentation.

The online version of this article includes a video of the lecture.



facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Affinity looking for program coordinator 2019-07-17 - Affinity Community Services ( ACS )—a social-justice organization serving the needs of the Black LGBTQ community of Chicago with a particular focus on ...


Gay News

Adler Planetarium Celebrates 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing 2019-07-17 - Adler Planetarium Celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Three Days of Special Programming this Thursday-Saturday WHAT: ...


Gay News

Feminist theologian Dr. Mary E. Hunt kicks off DignityUSA conference 2019-07-11 - Feminist theologian Dr. Mary E. Hunt kicked off DignityUSA's three day conference, "True to the Spirit, True to Ourselves," with a keynote address ...


Gay News

'Stonewall' exhibit extended through Aug. 10 2019-07-11 - "About Face: Stonewall, Revolt and New Queer Art"—being shown at Wrightwood 659, 659 W. Wrightwood Ave.—has been extended through Saturday, Aug. 10. A ...


Gay News

Larry Kramer gives us one more chance to wake the f*ck up 2019-07-10 - Our friend Larry Kramer, the godfather of the AIDS activism movement, hasn't lost his edge. That should surprise no one. In his speech ...


Gay News

Two Frank Lloyd Wright Trust Sites get World Heritage Desnignation 2019-07-08 - CHICAGO, IL ( July 8, 2019 ) — The Frank Lloyd Wright Trust is proud to announce that the Frederick C. Robie House ...


Gay News

Activist/author Urvashi Vaid keynotes DignityUSA event 2019-07-07 - Attorney, author and advocate Urvashi Vaid gave a keynote address at DignityUSA's three day conference, "True to the Spirit, True to Ourselves," July ...


Gay News

Lesbian tennis player: More athletes should 'come forward' 2019-07-07 - Professional tennis player Alison Van Uytvanck told The Guardian that more of her fellow athletes should come out of the closet, according to ...


Gay News

ART Darling Shear on artistic journey, making history 2019-07-07 - Mixed-media artist Darling Shear will become the first transgender artist to receive a grant from the Chicago Dancemakers Forum at the organization's annual ...


Gay News

ACS to honor Judge Pat Logue on July 23 2019-07-03 - The Chicago lawyer chapter of the progressive organization known as the American Constitutional Society (ACS) will honor several individuals at its 2019 Legal ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.