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'Beyond our wildest ambitions': German women's organisations 1914-18

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In this public lecture Dr Ingrid Sharp explores the response of the organised German women’s movement to the outbreak of the First World War and considers the challenges to their position of patriotic support for the war from within their own ranks. Before 1914, the bourgeois German women’s movement had been viewed with suspicion by left and right alike, and largely discounted by the government. All this changed with the outbreak of war in August 1914, when the Federation of German Women (BDF) was ready with a plan to coordinate the patriotic war work of organised German women. The BDF and its member organisations, including the League of Jewish Women under the leadership of Bertha Pappenheim, hoped to demonstrate the qualities of patriotism and civic responsibility that would lead to greater inclusion in the life of the state once war was over. This public lecture is part of the Women in German Studies (WIGS) annual conference.

This talk is part of the Department of German and Dutch series.

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