Anna Siemsen

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Anna Marie Siemsen (born January 18, 1882 in the village of Mark , today Hamm ; † January 22, 1951 in Hamburg ; full name: Anna Marie Emma Henni Siemsen, married Vollenweider ; pseudonym Friedrich Mark ) was a German educator, politician, author and pacifist .


Born in 1882 in the village of Mark near Hamm in Westphalia, Anna Siemsen grew up in a Protestant pastor's family with the siblings Paula (1880–1965; married to the doctor Karl Eskuchen since 1911 ), August Siemsen (1884–1958; teacher, politician, Journalist, publicist), Karl Siemsen (1887-1968; lawyer, politician) and Hans Siemsen (1891-1969; journalist, writer). She attended a secondary school for girls in Hamm, passed a teacher's examination in Münster in 1901 , then worked as a private teacher and studied German , philosophy and Latin from 1905 to 1911 in Munich , Münster and Bonn . In 1909 she received her doctorate ( Dr. phil.; In 1910 she passed the state examination for teaching at secondary schools. This was followed in her pedagogical training in 1912 by the supplementary examination in the subject of Protestant religion at the University of Göttingen , after which she worked as a high school teacher .

In the years 1920/1921 she was deputy for technical and vocational schools in Düsseldorf . She then moved to Berlin from 1921 to 1923 as a senior school inspector at the magistrate, where she belonged to the founding circle of the Association of Determined School Reformers . As part of Greil's school reform , on August 24, 1923, she became senior teacher for the general schools in the Jena-Weimar school district . In the same year she received an honorary professorship at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena . In 1932 she was stripped of this honorary professorship by the National Socialist Thuringian Minister of Education , Fritz Wächtler , because she had signed a petition in favor of Emil Julius Gumbel .

In 1933 he emigrated to Switzerland. There she entered into a sham marriage in 1934 with Walter Vollenweider, who was then the secretary of the Swiss workers' youth, in order to obtain a secure residence status . She obtained Swiss citizenship and was therefore also allowed to engage in public political activities.

After the Second World War, Anna Siemsen returned to Germany in 1946 and in 1947 took over the management of a special course for the training of elementary school teachers. From 1947 to 1949 she held a teaching position for modern literature at the University of Hamburg . In the years that followed, from 1949 to 1951, she taught at the Pedagogical Institute of the University of Hamburg.

Her grave is in the Osnabrück Hasefriedhof .

political life

Anna Siemsen joined the pacifist Bund Neues Deutschland during the First World War and was a member of the USPD from 1919 to 1922. In 1919/1920 she was a USPD city councilor in the Düsseldorf city council. From 1923 to 1931 she was a member of the SPD, where she belonged to the left, pacifist wing of the party, for which she was a member of the Reichstag for the constituency of Leipzig from 1928 to 1930. Since the founding of Urania, Monatshefte für Naturknowledge und Gesellschaftslehre in 1924 by Julius Schaxel , she has written educational articles for them, especially on children's and young adult literature from a socialist perspective. From 1927 Anna Siemsen worked on the journal Der Klassenkampf-Marxistische Blätter , was co-editor of the Young Socialist series of publications and was a member of the board of the German League for Human Rights and the International Women's League for Peace and Freedom . In 1926 she was one of the founding members of the League of Social Democratic Intellectuals , which was rejected by the SPD party executive .

In the years 1931 to 1933 Anna Siemsen was a member of the SAPD , where she was considered the head of the "right", i. H. left-wing social-democratic-pacifist wing of the party . During this time, her contributions shaped the profile of the party's weekly newspaper ( Socialistische Wochenzeitung-Die Fackel , later Kampfsignal ).

While she was emigrating to Switzerland, Anna Siemsen worked for the SPS from 1933 to 1946 and edited its women's policy magazine Die Frau in Leben und Arbeit . After her return to Germany, she was a member of the SPD from 1946 until her death in 1951, where she did educational and youth work and was committed to European unification , including the Socialist Movement for the United States of Europe (its German Section was renamed Anna Siemsen-Kreis in her honor after her death ) and in the German Council of the European Movement , of which she was a member of the Executive Council from 1950.

There has been an Anna-Siemsen-Weg in Berlin-Neukölln since 1966 ; in an area named after Social Democrats. In 1984, the Anna-Siemsen-Gang in Hamburg's Bergedorf district was named after her. There are also Anna-Siemsen-Straßen and Anna-Siemsen-Wege as well as Anna-Siemsen schools in other cities .


  • The words of the form ¤´-`-x in the verses of Hartmann von Aue . Bonn 1909 ( dissertation ).
  • Community spirit education. Stuttgart 1921.
  • style samples. Bielefeld and Leipzig 1922.
  • Literary excursions through the development of European society. Jena 1925.
  • On the 400th anniversary of the death of Thomas Munzer in 1525. Zwickau 1925.
  • profession and education. Berlin 1926.
  • Political art and art politics. Berlin 1927.
  • At home in Europe. Unliterary rambles. Urania, Jena 1928.
  • From below. The Book of Freedom. Dresden 1928 (3rd edition published together with Franz Diederich ).
  • The Girls Book. Jena 1929.
  • people and children of people from all over the world. Jena 1929.
  • youth self-education. Berlin 1929.
  • For youth consecration . The Road to Community . Leipzig no year (probably 1930).
  • Religion, Church and Socialism . Berlin 1930.
  • Party discipline and socialist conviction. Berlin 1931.
  • On the way to socialism. Criticism of the social democratic programs from Heidelberg to Erfurt. Berlin 1932.
  • Germany between yesterday and tomorrow. Jena 1932.
  • Spanish picture book. Paris 1937.
  • The way out. Zurich 1943.
  • Ten years of world war. Olten 1946.
  • Introduction to Socialism. Hamburg 1947.
  • letters from Switzerland. Hamburg 1947.
  • The social foundations of education. Hamburg 1948.
  • art and politics. A word about our time and its obligations. Hamburg 1948.
  • women's lives in three millennia. Dusseldorf 1948.
  • Goethe. man and fighter. An introduction to his life and a selection of his poems. Frankfort 1949.
  • The Book of Freedom. Voices of peoples and nations from four millennia. Frankfurt 1956 (edited together with Julius Zerfass).

Journal articles (selection)

In: The socialist doctor


  • August Siemsen: Anna Siemsen, life and work. Hamburg no year (probably 1951).
  • Anna Siemsen , International Biographical Archive 06/1951 of January 29, 1951, in the Munzinger Archive ( start of article freely available)
  • Ralf Schmölders: Anna Siemsen - socialist teacher in the Weimar Republic. In: Ilse Brehmer (ed.): Motherhood as a profession? Curriculum vitae of German teachers in the first half of this century. Volume 1. Centaurus, Pfaffenweiler 1990, ISBN 3-89085-258-0 , ( Women in History and Society 4, 1), pp. 110–124.
  • Ralf Schmölders: personal bibliography Anna Siemsen (1882-1951). Archive of the workers' youth movement, Oer-Erkenschwick 1992, ISBN 3-926734-14-0 , ( archive help 5).
  • Rudolf Rogler: Anna Siemsen (1882-1951). Life and literary work with notes on selected writings. Eigendruck, Berlin-Neukölln, (with misprints also in: interventionen (journal of POSOPA e. V.) ISSN  0939-4885 , 1995, issue 5, pp. 7-53).
  • Inge Hansen-Schaberg: Anna Siemsen (1882-1951). Life and work of a socialist teacher. In: Gisela Horn (ed.): The daughters of Alma mater Jenensis. Ninety years of women's studies at the University of Jena. Contributions to a scientific colloquium held in December 1997 at the Friedrich Schiller University in Jena. Hain-Verlag, Rudolstadt and others 1999, ISBN 3-930215-75-6 , ( Sources and contributions to the history of the University of Jena 2), ( Hain-Wissenschaft ), pp. 113–136.
  • Paul Mitzenheim: Peace education - an integral part of Anna Siemsen's educational endeavors. Jena Forum for Education and Science e. V., Jena 2000, ISBN 3-9807066-2-1 , ( writings of the Jena Forum for Education and Science eV ).
  • Cornelia Carstens: For freedom, truth and happiness. The educator and politician Anna Siemsen (1882–1951) . In: Berlin monthly ( Luisenstadt educational association ) . Issue 2, 2001, ISSN  0944-5560 , p. 55–59 ( ).
  • Christine Mayer:  Siemsen, Anna Marie Emma Henni, married Vollenweider. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 24, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-428-11205-0 , pp. 381–383 ( digitized ).
  • Christine Mayer: Olga Essig (1884-1965): The Female Vocational School (1928) and Anna Siemsen (1882-1951): Women's Education and Women's Professions (1926) . In: Kleinau, Elke and Mayer, Christine (eds.): Upbringing and education of the female sex. An annotated collection of sources on the history of education and vocational training for girls and women, vol. 2, Weinheim: Deutscher Studien Verlag, 1996, pp. 61-73.
  • Christine Mayer: Siemsen, Anna. In: Hamburg biography. Lexicon of Persons Ed. Frank Kopitzsch and Dirk Brietzke , Vol. 1, Christians, Hamburg 2001, pp. 289–290.
  • Anna Siemsen . In: Franz Osterroth : Biographical Encyclopedia of Socialism . Volume 1: Deceased Personalities. Verlag JHW Dietz Nachf. GmbH, Hanover 1960, pp. 289-290.
  • R. Jungmann, L. Rothe: Siemsen, Anna Marie . In: History of the German labor movement. Biographical Lexicon . Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1970, pp. 429-430.
  • Alexander Schwitanski (ed.): Anna Siemsen. Aspects of Intervening Thinking . Klartext, Essen 2016, ISBN 978-3-8375-1693-7 .
  • Marleen von Bargen: Anna Siemsen (1882-1951) and the future of Europe. Political concepts between the Empire and the Federal Republic (= studies on modern history 62). Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag 2017. ISBN 978-3-515-11516-2 ; review

web links


  1. Christine Mayer:  Siemsen, Anna Marie Emma Henni, married Vollenweider. In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 24, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 2010, ISBN 978-3-428-11205-0 , pp. 381–383 ( digitized ).
  2. At the beginning of 1933 she and her brother August Siemsen were among the signatories to Leonard Nelson 's Urgent Appeal of the Internationales Sozialistische Kampfbund (ISK) , which became of some importance because of its art-historical impact.
  3. Gabriele Clemens: Pacifist and socialist. Life of Anna Siemsen . In: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of March 7, 2017, p. 6.
  4. Anna Siemsen in the archive of social democracy .
  5. Anna-Siemsen-Weg. In: Street name lexicon of the Luisenstadt educational association (near  Kaupert )
  6. Horst Beckershaus: The Hamburg street names , Verlag Die Hanse, Hamburg, ISBN 978-3-86393-009-7