German Federation for Maternity Protection and Sexual Reform
The Bund für Mutterschutz und Sexualreform (Mutterschutzbund) was a German association founded in 1904/05 with the aim of improving the position of women as mothers in legal, economic and social terms.
Purpose and aim
In § 1 of the statutes of the Federation for Maternity Protection and Sexual Reform it says:
"The purpose of the federal government is to improve the position of women as mothers in legal, economic and social terms, in particular to protect unmarried mothers and their children from economic and moral dangers and to eliminate prevailing prejudices against them ..."
The federal government campaigned in particular for unmarried women and their children and advocated a sexual reform that was directed against the prevailing "lies and hypocrisy" in questions of sexual life. The practical-charitable and socio-ethical work had the goal of improving the position of women and bringing about a "recovery" of sexual relationships. In 1912 the association had a total of 36 homes for single mothers .
“You just have to grasp the absurdity of this: the great importance of women for humanity lies in motherhood. And yet one has not shied away from counting every motherhood of the woman outside of the father-right marriage as a crime. "
In addition, the association advocated the introduction of maternity insurance (which is now implemented in the form of maternity benefit).
The Federation for Maternity Protection can not only be assigned to the women's movement , but also at least to the reform movement around 1900, which strongly shaped the Wilhelmine Empire.
On November 12, 1904, a union for maternity protection was founded in Leipzig . Its first signatories were the poet Ruth Bré (Elisabeth Bouness), who left soon after the foundation, the doctor and life reformer Friedrich Landmann from Eisenach and the Munich landowner Heinrich Meyer.
On February 26, 1905 , the architect's house was re-established in Berlin . The main initiator was the feminist Helene Stöcker , who shaped the federal government in a special way. Numerous well-known personalities such as the feminist Lily Braun , the Swedish writer Ellen Key , the economist and soil reformer Adolf Damaschke , the philosopher Christian von Ehrenfels , the gynecologist Alfred Hegar , the women's rights activist Hedwig Dohm , the free-thinking politician Friedrich took part in the founding meeting and the call for the foundation Naumann , the national economist and sociologist Werner Sombart , the national economist and sociologist Max Weber and the doctor, philosopher and eugenicist Ludwig Woltmann . The following members were elected to the federal executive committee: Lily Braun, Walter Borgius , Heinrich Finkelstein , Carl Galli , Agnes Hacker , Albert Kohn , Maria Lischnewska , Max Marcuse , Bruno Meyer and Adele Schreiber-Krieger .
In 1908 the association was renamed the German Association for Maternity Protection and Sexual Reform .
In 1909 the federal government already had 4,000 members. He organized public general assemblies every two years: 1907 in Berlin (topic “Reform of conventional gender morality”), 1909 in Frankfurt am Main (“The woman and venereal diseases”), 1911 in Breslau (“Maternity protection through education and enlightenment”) and 1913 again in Berlin (“Birth Policy and Prostitution Problem”).
Mother Welfare Association participated in the Weimar cartel to the more free-thinking and free-spirited came together organizations. Helene Stöcker , who was also in close contact with the German Monist Federation and wrote regularly in monistic magazines, justified her participation in the Weimar Cartel in 1912 in the association organ of the Mutterschutzbund: "If we sexual reformers really want to achieve success, we need, like a large political bloc of the left, so also of a culture block of liberal cultural endeavors ”.
In the Weimar Republic , the federal government did not succeed in building on its old membership. However, he remained very active and shifted the focus from “maternity leave” to “human protection”. In close cooperation with the Magnus Hirschfeld Institute , a federation fought for the decriminalization of homosexuality . In 1925 the BfM joined a cartel for criminal law reforms.
In 1911, parallel to the International Hygiene Exhibition in Dresden , the BfM organized the first International Congress for Maternity Protection and Sexual Reform, at which Magnus Hirschfeld and Helene Stöcker gave lectures. The participants came from the USA, Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Norway, Austria-Hungary, Russia and Sweden. There an international association of the movement for maternity protection and sexual reform was founded. Helene Stöcker noted: “It was unanimously of the opinion that the German group in the International should have the lead, since in no other country the intellectual movement was so advanced and the handling of problems so developed as it was in Germany. “Max Rosenthal became chairman; The politician Eduard David was appointed to the advisory board .
Magazines of the Mutterschutzbund
The organ of the federal government was the monthly Die Neue Generation , which from 1905 to 1907 was called Mutterschutz, magazine for the reform of sexual ethics . The editor was Helene Stöcker until 1933 .
The majority of the Confederation consisted of representatives from the radical wing of the bourgeois women's movement . However, other groups were also involved, such as Henriette Fürth as a representative of the proletarian women's movement oriented towards the SPD, free - thinking people and pastors, some of whom belonged to the free religious movement .
Around a third of the members were men, which differentiates the Mutterschutzbund from all women's organizations at the time, which only included women in their ranks. Helene Stöcker wrote: “Although on the surface it was about problems for women, we were completely clear that there is no such separation in reality. On the contrary, we were convinced that the problems of love, marriage and parenting can only be solved by both sexes together. It seemed pointless to us to separate the sexes in the manner of the old women's movement. "
The members included gynecologists, social scientists and midwives.
- Auguste Forel (Swiss psychiatrist, eugenicist, monist, member of the ethical movement )
- Henriette Fürth (SPD women's politician and publicist)
- Ernst Haeckel
- Franz von Liszt
- Alfred Ploetz (doctor, eugenicist)
- Heinz Pothoff
- Bruno Wille
- August Bebel (joined 1906)
- Grete Meisel-Hess (joined 1908).
- Horst Groschopp : Dissidents. Freethinking and culture in Germany. Dietz Verlag, Berlin 1997, ISBN 3-320-01936-8 .
- Gudrun Hamelmann: Helene Stöcker, the “Bund für Mutterschutz” and “The New Generation”. Haag and Herchen, Frankfurt am Main 1992, ISBN 3-89228-945-X .
- Frank Simon-Ritz: The organization of a worldview. The free-spirited movement in Wilhelmine Germany. (= Religious cultures of the modern age. Volume 5). Gütersloh 1997, ISBN 3-579-02604-6 . (Diss. Univ. Bielefeld 1994/1995, Faculty of History and Philosophy)
- B. Nowacki: The Federation for Maternity Protection (1905-1933). (= Treatises on the history of medicine and natural science. Issue 48). Matthiesen, Husum 1983, ISBN 3-7868-4048-2 .
- Deutschlandradio Berlin: 100 Years of the Mutterschutzbund. ( Memento of April 13, 2005 in the Internet Archive )
- Regina Kusch: Helene Stöcker attacked the sexual taboos of her time. In: Calendar sheet (broadcast on DLF ). November 13, 2019, accessed November 13, 2019 .
- Meyer's Large Conversational Lexicon . 6th edition. Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1909 ( zeno.org [accessed on November 13, 2019] lexicon entry "Mutterschutz").
- Meyer's Large Conversational Lexicon . 6th edition. Bibliographisches Institut, Leipzig / Vienna 1909 ( zeno.org [accessed on November 13, 2019] Lexicon entry “Maternity Insurance”).
- Bernd Nowacki: The Bund für Mutterschutz (1905-1933). Husum 1983, p. 124.
- Horst Groschopp: Dissidents. 1997, p. 231
- Helene Stöcker: Memoirs. ed. by Reinhold Lütgemeier-Davin and Kerstin Wolff. Böhlau, Cologne 2015, pp. 113–115.
- On May 26, 1905, the Berlin local group was founded. The Berlin-based members of the federal board were also members of the board of the Berlin local group.
- Contrary to the prevailing opinion in the secondary literature, Gudrun Hamelmann writes that the Mutterschutzbund had only given itself the name Bund für Mutterschutz und Sexualreform since the General Assembly in order to underline the sexual reform already practiced with the addition of sexual reform : G. Hamelmann: Helene Stöcker . 1992, p. 49.
- Helene Stöcker: Memoirs. Böhlau, Cologne 2015, p. 302.
- Frank Simon-Ritz: The organization of a worldview. 1997, p. 162.
- Helene Stöcker: Memoirs. Böhlau, Cologne 2015, p. 303.
- Helene Stöcker: Memoirs. Böhlau, Cologne 2015, p. 156 a. 302-304.
- Helene Stöcker: Memoirs. Böhlau, Cologne 2015, p. 156.
- Bernd Nowacki: The Bund für Mutterschutz (1905-1933). In: Treatises on the history of medicine and natural science. Issue 48, Matthiesen, Husum 1983, p. 76.
- Helene Stöcker: Memoirs. Böhlau, Cologne 2015, p. 114.
- Michael Schwartz : Socialist Eugenics. 1995, p. 66 ff.