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Founding of the Association for the Encouragement of Employment Qualification among Members of the Female Sex (Retrospective, 1890)

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"On December 13, 1865, the great hall of the English House was packed with an assembly composed of men and women from the most intelligent classes of Berlin.

The question raised by president Lette had struck all circles like a bolt of lightning; in every family, in every social gathering it was vigorously debated, finding enthusiastic supporters and determined opponents, though the sharpest edge of ill-will, bias, and mockery had been blunted from the very outset. For the person who had made himself the champion of the cause was too pure, too untouchable for any of that, and he also opened the assembly in his modest and winning way.

'The matter is supported equally from the perspective of humanity and justice as well as the national economy,' president Lette said after his words of welcome, . . ."

The first constitutive meeting took place on February 27, 1866; the association counted 300 members and was given the name: "Association for the Encouragement of Employment Qualification among Members of the Female Sex."

"President Lette was able to open the meeting with the happy news that Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess, through a letter from her cabinet secretary, the Chamberlain Major von Normann, had expressed her gracious support for the efforts of the association, which was also confirmed by a gift of 500 Talers.

For the first time, the Association for the Encouragement of Employment Qualification among Members of the Female Sex had been mentioned in connection with the name of the noble lady who would henceforth remain most intimately connected with its history. We find this name on every page of this history, not only as the protectoress, which she became at the request of the newly elected board, but also as a wise and far-seeing advisor, active helper, patron, and friend, who never – during the highest earthly joy as well as the bitterest, deepest suffering – lost sight of the places where the association was working, always keeping her protective hand over them."

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