Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

Social Media home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Pre-order Book!
Pre-order Book!
Donate

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

Jonathan Ned Katz talks new book, LGBTQ history, state of the world
2021-05-05
Author, historian and activist Jonathan Ned Katz will come out with a new book, The Daring Life and Dangerous Times of Eve Adams, on May 18. The biography is centered on the life of Adams, a Jewish lesbian immigrant, and also ...


Gay News

Home of LGBTQ pioneers Phyllis Lyon, Del Martin first San Francisco lesbian history landmark
2021-05-04
--From a press release - SAN FRANCISCO — On Tuesday, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors unanimously passed an ordinance authored by District 8 Supervisor Rafael Mandelman to designate the former home of pioneering LGBTQ and civil rights activists Phyllis Lyon ...


Gay News

Northalsted plans to hold Market Days Aug. 6-8
2021-05-04
The Northalsted Business Alliance plans to host Market Days August 6-8, adding a Friday night edition, the first in its 38-year history. As vaccinations increase and Illinois begins planning for stage 5 reopening, organizers of the ...


Gay News

Jeannie Tanner show at City Winery on May 20
2021-05-03
On Thursday, May 20, at 7 p.m., City Winery Chicago, 1200 W. Randolph St., will host the first in-person performance of "3 Martini Jeannie." Throughout the pandemic, every Friday at 5 p.m., Tanner celebrated the close ...


Gay News

1971: The Chicago Daughters of Bilitis
2021-05-03
Excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life - An excerpt from Chicago After Stonewall: Gay Lib to Gay Life, a new book by St Sukie de la Croix. You can buy the book from Amazon.com, all good bookstores, and for a signed copy, rattlinggoodyarns.com ...


Gay News

Victory Institute launches LGBTQ political history website
2021-04-30
--From a press release - Washington, DC — Today LGBTQ Victory Institute — the only organization dedicated to identifying and supporting LGBTQ public leaders — released its new website "Pride & Progress: A history of LGBTQ political power in the United ...


Gay News

Pat Parker GCLS 2021 Trailblazer Award recipient
2021-04-30
--From a press release - Pat Parker, a poet, activist, and artist will receive the Golden Crown Literary Society's 2021 Trailblazer Award. Parker shaped the civil rights, women's rights, and gay rights movements of the late '60s and '70s in the ...


Gay News

Hate mail threatening Obamas, Biden, Harris sent to DuSable
2021-04-28
The Secret Service is investigating six threatening letters sent to the DuSable Museum of African American History that mention President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and the Obama family, among others, The Chicago Tribune reported. ...


Gay News

'Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories' virtual talk on May 16
2021-04-22
On Sunday, May 16, at 11 a.m. CT, Women and Children First will host the virtual panel discussion "Documenting LGBTQ+ Histories" on its Crowdcast Channel. Centering on the release of Diana Souhami's new book No Modernism ...


Gay News

Chicago Cultural Center historic interiors to be restored for June reopening
2021-04-22
--From a press release - CHICAGO, IL — Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) today announced the historic restoration of the landmark Chicago Cultural Center to reclaim two lost interiors decorated by the ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Retired Chicago Police Commander Nancy Y. Lipman dies
2021-04-22
Retired Chicago Police Commander Nancy Y. Lipman died April 11 due to complications from ovarian cancer. She was 61. Lipman was born Jan. 21, 1960 in Chicago and graduated from Morgan Park High School. She also ...


Gay News

Joan E. Biren aka JEB talks Portraits of Lesbians book journey and re-issue
2021-04-21
In an era where lesbian visibility was almost non-existent, activist and photographer Joan E. Biren (or as she is also known, "JEB") self-financed and self-published a photography book called Eye To Eye: Portraits of Lesbians. Biren's ...


Gay News

Bechdel, Rannells among upcoming CHF guests
2021-04-21
The Chicago Humanities Festival (CHF) announced its line-up of virtual programs with award-winning writers, scholars and cultural icons in late April and throughout May. Among LGBTQ participants/guests will be Fun ...


Gay News

Lightfoot calls resignation rumors 'homophobic, racist and misogynistic'
2021-04-19
On April 18, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot called rumors that she's resigning "homophobic, racist and misogynistic," The Chicago Tribune reported. Lightfoot tweeted, "1/ Good morning from my mansion in Sauganash. ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ Brandi Carlile, 'Legendary,' children's book, film festival, Janet Mock
2021-04-18
Lesbian musician Brandi Carlile memoir, Broken Horses, debuted at number one on The New York Times Best Sellers list, a press release announced. In addition to the hardback book, a very special audiobook edition of the ...


 



Copyright © 2021 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


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

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.