Helene Stöcker, Ph.D.
  (1869 - 1943)

Philosopher, Publicist, and Women's Activist

Helene Stöcker was the organizer and prophet of the so-called radical wing of the bourgeois women's movement. She propagated a "new ethic" for one's sex life that was based on the ideal of love of German Romanticism and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche.

Stöcker engaged herself in the struggle for the right of a woman to study, and was one of the first female students at the Berlin University (Art History, Philosophy, National Economics) In 1901 she completed her doctor title in Bern. She then lived as an independent publicist in Berlin and gave speeches and lectures at the Lessing-College.

In 1905 was co-founded the Federation for the Protection of Mothers. She led the Federation until its end in 1933 (even though she was never officially its chairperson) and edited the organ of the Federation: "Protection of Mothers: Journal for the Reform of Sexual Ethics" from 1904-07, from 1908-33 "The New Generation."

The fight against the penal code draft of 1909 that would also criminalize female homosexuality, brought Stöcker in closer contact with Hirschfeld and the WhK (Scientific-Humanitarian Committee). In 1912, she became a member of the WhK. In the twenties, she took part in the Cartel for the Reform of the Sexual Penal Code and in the founding of the World League for Sexual Reform.

Since the First World War, an additional focal point of her work was the fight against war and militarism. After the Reichstag was burned, Helene Stöcker left Berlin. She then went to Czechoslovakia; from there she went to the United States in 1941 via Switzerland, England, Sweden, and the Soviet Union. At that time, she already suffered from heart disease and cancer.