Stocker, Helene

(1869-1943)
   feminist and pacifist; helped organize the Bund fur Mutterschutz und Sexualreform (League for the Protection of Moth-erhood and Sexual Reform). Born in Elberfeld (now in Wuppertal) to a home steeped in Calvinism, she broke with her family (her father manufactured tex-tiles) and trained to be a teacher. In 1901, writing on eighteenth-century German literature, she became the first woman in Germany to earn a doctorate. Nietzsche was her guiding intellectual influence.
   Stöcker began writing for the feminist Frauenbewegung during her student years, but by focusing on sexual reform and birth control, rather than suffrage reform, she offended many in the women's* movement. Residing from 1901 in Berlin,* she became president of the Bund für Mutterschutz in 1905 and founded Die neue Ethik (later Die neue Generation), a journal that declared sexual union a natural right based on a relationship distinct from marriage; she edited the journal until 1933. But the Bund fur Mutterschutz was torn by internal strife and eventually fell victim to a conservative campaign launched by the League of German Women's Societies (Bund Deutscher Frauenvereine, BDF). Stocker was also in the BDF.
   Stocker was an early member of the Bund Neues Vaterland (New Fatherland League), an antiwar group founded in November 1914. When it was proscribed in 1916, she created the Frauenausschuss fur einen dauernden Frieden (Women's Committee for a Lasting Peace); this was also suppressed. Mean-while, her pacifism and cohabitation with a man brought expulsion from the BDF. Alienated from the postwar women's movement, she helped found several groups linking feminism and pacifism. As part of the International League for Sexual Reform, she promoted legalized abortion and petitioned for the protection of unwed mothers and illegitimate children; the abolition of birth certificates bearing the word "illegitimate" was her achievement. A leader in the new German Peace Cartel, she supported Kurt Hiller's* Gruppe revolutionare Pa-zifisten (Revolutionary Pacifist Group) from 1926. In the older German Peace Society* she formed part of a leftist opposition that favored Soviet peace proj-ects (she never joined a party). During the Republic's final years she supported Willi Münzenberg* and his leagues against imperialism and fascism.
   On 28 February 1933, upon learning of the Reichstag fire, Stocker fled Ger-many. Following several years in Switzerland, she emigrated in 1941 to the United States.
   REFERENCES:Deak, Weimar Germany's Left-Wing Intellectuals; Richard Evans, Femi-nist Movement in Germany; Hackett, "Helene Stöcker"; Hamelmann, Helene Stocker, Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland; Wickert, Helene Stocker.

A Historical dictionary of Germany's Weimar Republic, 1918-1933. .

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  • Stoecker — Stöcker oder Stoecker steht für den Familiennamen folgender Personen: Adolf Stoecker (1835–1909), deutscher Theologe und Politiker Bernd Stöcker (* 1952), deutscher Bildhauer Christiane Stöcker (* ?), deutsches Fotomodell Detlef Stöcker (* 1963) …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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