Awakening, Breaking Off, Returning

The Women's Movement and Social Work as a Women's Profession 1890 – 1955

Principal investigator: Prof. Dr. Sabine Toppe

Project staff: Filiz Gisa Çakır, Friederike Mehl, Aleksandra Stojanoska


The aim of the project is to focus on social work as a women's profession in its development and establishment and at the same time to make it more visible. For this purpose, three phases in the period from 1890 to 1955 are considered. In the phase of the awakening (1890-1933) the formation of girls and women groups for social aid work is examined, which represent the cornerstone of social professional work. The phase of the breaking off (1933-1945) stands for the time of the National Socialism, in which the role and appearance of (co) perpetrators in the so-called people's care should be considered. The last thematic focus is the phase of the returning (1945-1955), in which the further development of social work as a profession and the way the women's movement deals with the Nazi past is the focus.

On these topics, archive material from the holdings of the girls' and women's groups for social aid work, the Social Women's School Berlin and documents on Alice Salomon's memoirs from the ASA will be partially restored, digitized and made available online in the META catalog and in the DDF. In addition, thematic and biographical essays will be written.

Funding: Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ)

Keywords:  Social Work, Women's Profession, Women's and Girls' Groups, Women's Movement, People Care