Schreiber, Adele (c. 1872–1957)

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Schreiber, Adele (c. 1872–1957)

Austrian feminist and politician. Name variations: Adele Schreiber-Krieger. Born in Vienna, Austria, around 1872; died in 1957; daughter of a doctor; married a doctor.

Adele Schreiber was born in Vienna around 1872. A rebellious daughter of a doctor, she left Vienna while still young, finding work as a reporter for the Frankfurter Zeitung in Berlin. Schreiber threw herself into the cause of women's rights. In addition to helping found the International Women's Suffrage Alliance in 1904 and the German Association for the Rights of Women and Children in 1910, she opened a home for unwed mothers.

Following World War I and the collapse of the monarchy in 1918, German women were granted the right to vote, and Schreiber benefited by winning a seat as a Social Democrat in the first Reichstag. As a member of the constitutional government that ran Germany from 1919 until the rise of Hitler in 1933, she concentrated especially on women's issues, chairing a committee that proposed a bill to make regulated prostitution illegal and serving as president of the German Red Cross. She also retained her journalistic roots by editing women's journals and producing a number of books about mothers and children, among them Mutterschaft and Das Buch von Kinde.

When Hitler assumed power in 1933, Schreiber went into exile. She lived in Great Britain until 1947, then moved to a town near Zurich, Switzerland. Fluent in five languages, she traveled throughout Europe and the United States, giving lectures and promoting women's causes. In 1956, the year before she died, she coauthored Journey Towards Freedom, the history of the International Alliance of Women, for which she had served as vice-president.

Malinda Mayer , writer and editor, Falmouth, Massachusetts