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Bertha Pappenheim

Bertha Pappenheim in a fancy black dress

Portrait of Bertha Pappenheim, 1905
© Leo Baeck Institut, New York

Bertha Pappenheim (1859-1936) founded the Jewish Women's League (Jüdischer Frauenbund). Throughout her life she campaigned for political rights and educational opportunities for Jewish women and girls. She was also involved in the struggle against prostitution and trafficking in girls.

As an historical figure, Bertha Pappenheim possessed numerous facets, exposed during various phases of her life, from her traditional Orthodox Jewish, bourgeois origins and education to her later commitment as a feminist to the founding of the Jewish Women's League home in Neu Isenburg. They also include Pappenheim's alleged hysteria, documented in the "Studies on Hysteria" by Sigmund Freud and Josef Breuer as the case study of Anna O.

Organization presented as a tree with branches

The different organizations and functions of the Jewish Women's League

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Bertha Pappenheim’s critique of head covering for women in Judaism (Speaker: Gayle Tufts)


Bertha Pappenheim (far right) as mother of the home
© Institute for Regional History Frankfurt/Main

Facsimiles, quotes, and photographs of Bertha Pappenheim give a varied impression of her personality and her social and political contributions.

The main part "Neu-Isenburg" shows pictures of life in the Jewish Women's League home and interviews with two historical witnesses from a documentary film produced by Hessian radio.

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