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Pappenheim, Bertha


PAPPENHEIM, BERTHA (1859–1936), social worker and leader of the German Jewish feminist movement. Born in Vienna to a wealthy Orthodox family, Bertha Pappenheim was treated by Josef *Breuer, a colleague of Sigmund *Freud, who regarded her case ("Anna O.") as a major breakthrough in psychoanalysis. She subsequently moved to Frankfurt and became the headmistress of an orphanage in 1895. In 1904 she founded the *Juedischer Frauenbund (and edited its periodical), affiliated to the German women's movement. She visited Galicia, Romania, and Russia, organizing relief work and aid to refugees. Her major efforts were directed against white slavery, prostitution, and illegitimacy. In 1914 she founded an institute at Neu-Isenburg (near Frankfurt) for unwed mothers, prostitutes, and delinquent women, and later for children as well. Bertha Pappenheim directed her organization with a firm hand and led study groups on the ethics of social work at the Frankfurt Lehrhaus. As a strong advocate of modern Jewish social work, she spearheaded the founding of German Jewry's national social welfare organization, the Zentralwohlfarhtsstelle der deutschen Juden, in 1917. A religious Jew, she remained a vigorous opponent of Zionism. She died soon after she was interrogated by the Gestapo. She translated into German the memoirs of (her ancestor) *Glueckel of Hameln (1910, republished: 2005), the Ẓe'enah u-Re'enah (1930), and the Maaseh Buch (1929), and wrote under the pen name of Paul Berthold.


D. Edinger (ed.), Bertha Pappenheim: Leben und Schriften (1963); idem, in: jsos, 20 (1958), 180–6. add. bibliography: M. Kaplan, The Jewish Feminist Movement in Germany (1979); G. Maierhof, "Bertha Pappenheim," in: Wegbereiterinnen der modernen Sozialarbeit (1999), 63–85; M. Brentzel, Anna O.Bertha Pappenheim (2002); M. Brentzel, Sigmund Freuds Anna O.Das Leben der Bertha Pappenheim (2004); G. Maierhof and C. Wenzel, Ariadne. Forum fuer Frauen-und Geschlectergeschichte. Juedisch-Sein, Frau-Sein, Bund-Sein. Der Juedische Frauenbund 19042004, no. 45/46.

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