Marie Stritt

John Florens | Jul 22, 2023

Table of Content


Marie Stritt († September 16, 1928 in Dresden) was a German theater actress and women's rights activist who, as president of the Federation of German Women's Associations, campaigned for the abolition of § 218.

Marie Stritt was born Marie Bacon in Sighisoara on February 18, 1855. The eldest of ten siblings - six of whom died in infancy - she came from a German family of lawyers in Transylvania. Her father, Josef Martin Bacon (1820-1885), was, among other things, a Hungarian member of the Reichstag. Stritt's brother, Josef Bacon (1857-1941), was the town physicist and founder of the local museum in their hometown.

Her mother Therese Bacon was already involved in women's politics at a time when a larger women's movement did not even exist. It was also her mother who introduced Marie Stritt to the Dresden women's movement in the early 1890s.

In 1873 Marie Stritt left Sighisoara to become an actress. She attended the Vienna Conservatory and received her first engagement in Karlsruhe in 1876. There she made her debut as "Käthchen von Heilbronn" and as "Marianne" in Die Geschwister. She remained there until 1881 in the role of the lovers. This was followed by Frankfurt am Main, where, however, she soon terminated her contract and worked only as a guest, among others in Hamburg and Dresden.

Stritt married the opera singer Albert Stritt (1847-1908), with whom she had two children. In 1889 she took leave of the stage and settled in Dresden. There she became increasingly involved in the women's movement from 1894 - inspired not least by her mother.

Marie Stritt is considered an important pioneer of the German women's movement. Thanks to her training as an actress, she was considered one of the best speakers of the women's movement. She gave lectures throughout Germany on the legal status of women. Between 1891 and 1896, Stritt was a member and, for a time, president of the Frauenverein Reform. In 1894, she founded the first legal defense association for women in Dresden. In 1896 she was one of the initiators of the protest campaign Frauen-Landsturm against the draft of the BGB. From 1899 to 1910, she was chairwoman of the Federation of German Women's Associations. From 1900 to 1920, Marie Stritt was editor of the BDF's publication organ. This publication organ appeared under the title Centralblatt until 1913, after which it was renamed Frauenfrage. Stritt exercised great influence in the German women's suffrage movement. From 1911 to 1919 she chaired the German Association for Women's Suffrage, and from 1913 to 1920 she was president of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance. In 1920 she was a delegate of the Reich government to the International Congress in Geneva, from 1899 to 1921 she was editor of the Zentralblatt des Bundes Deutscher Frauenvereine (Central Gazette of the Federation of German Women's Associations), and from 1920 to 1922 she was an honorary council member for the DDP in Dresden. In 1919 she became a member of the extended federal board of the Federation of German Women's Associations and from 1922 to 1927 was chairwoman of the City Federation of Dresden Women's Associations. Stritt was also a co-founder of the Verein für Frauenstudium (later Verein für Frauenbild-Frauenstudium).

A good 100 years ago, her portrait photo already graced the first page of the largest mass-circulation illustrated newspaper, the Berliner Illustrirten Zeitung. That was in June 1904 - at the start of the International Women's Congress in Berlin, which she chaired as chairwoman of the Federation of German Women's Associations. In 1910, Stritt was replaced as chairwoman by Gertrud Bäumer at the instigation of the conservative majority. The reason was Stritt's involvement in the Federation for Maternity Protection, which also supported unmarried mothers, as well as comprehensive sexual reform and her uncompromising advocacy against § 218, which criminalized abortion. Although Stritt belonged to the radical wing of the women's movement in terms of her positions, she rejected any polarization and strove to mediate between the competing wings.

After Marie Stritt died in Dresden, she was buried in an urn grave in Sighisoara.

On the occasion of her resignation as chairwoman of the Federation of German Women's Associations, the Marie Stritt Foundation was established. Its interest income was to be made available to Marie Stritt as income, but the capital was to remain in the possession of the BDF. Due to inflation, the foundation had to be dissolved in 1923.


  1. Marie Stritt
  2. Marie Stritt
  3. Stephan Meder, Arne Duncker, Andrea Czelk: Die Rechtsstellung der Frau um 1900 – Eine kommentierte Quellensammlung. Böhlau Verlag, Köln / Weimar / Wien 2010, ISBN 978-3-412-20577-5, S. 805.
  4. a b Stadtmuseum Dresden (Hrsg.): 100 Jahre Frauenwahlrecht. Frauen wählen in Dresden. Dresden 2019, S. 19. Nach anderen Quellen trat sie ihr Amt als Stadträtin bereits 1919 an, siehe Infotafel Marie-Stritt-Straße in Dresden.
  5. (en) Richard J. Evans, The Pursuit of Power : Europe 1815-1914, Penguin, 29 novembre 2016, 848 p. (ISBN 978-0-7352-2121-5, lire en ligne).
  6. a b et c Anne-Laure Briatte-Peters, « Hors du mariage, point de salut ? Regards de réformateurs et de féministes (Allemagne, fin xixe – début xxe siècles) », Genre & Histoire, no 16,‎ 1er février 2016 (ISSN 2102-5886, lire en ligne, consulté le 6 novembre 2018).
  7. a b c d e f et g (en) Helen Rappaport, Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers, ABC-CLIO, 2001, 888 p. (ISBN 978-1-57607-101-4, lire en ligne).
  8. (de) « Marie Stritt: "Kampffrohe Streiterin in der Frauenbewegung" - Siebenbürgische Zeitung ».
  9. ^ a b c d „Marie Stritt”, Gemeinsame Normdatei, accesat în 24 aprilie 2014
  10. ^ a b c d Marie Stritt, Nationalencyklopedin, accesat în 9 octombrie 2017
  11. ^ a b c "Stritt, Marie". Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers - Credo Reference. Retrieved 2018-01-15.[permanent dead link]

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