Until the 19th century, women were regularly excluded from graduate education. When this convention changed, it was largely thanks to Jewish women from Russia. Raised to be strong and independent, the daughters of Jewish businesswomen were able to utilize this cultural capital to fight their way into the universities of Switzerland and Germany. They became trailblazers, ensuring regular admission for women who followed their example. This book tells the story of Russian and German Jews who became the first female professionals in modern history. It describes their childhoods-whether in Berlin or in a Russian shtetl-their schooling, and their experiences at German universities. A final chapter traces their careers as the first female professionals and details how they were tragically destroyed by the Nazis.
Luise Hirsch was educated at Heidelberg University and at Freie Universitat Berlin, Germany. She received her Ph.D. in Jewish history from the University of Duisburg in 2005.
List of Illustrations Acknowledgements Introduction Chapter 1. "To Quench Their Thirst for Knowledge Abroad": Jewish Women from the Russian Empire at German Universities Chapter 2. "She Was Like the Merchant's Ships": The Triple Benefit of Marginality Chapter 3. "We Lived and Felt for Germany": The German-Jewish Woman Students Chapter 4. Bread Students, Bluestockings, Bomb Throwers: The Growing Inclusivity of Universities in Imperial Germany Chapter 5. "Citizens of Academia": Jewish Women at the University Chapter 6. "Forced Right Out Of Creative, Fruitful Work": Jewish Professional Women in Weimar Germany and the Third Reich Biographical Notes on Selected Women Bibliography Index About the Author