Partner Anna Maria Eysoldt, Jeanette "Jenny" Riedemann, Hildegard Moniac
Sternstraße 37, 53111 Bonn, Germany
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Burg Hemmerich, 53332 Bornheim, Germany
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Friedhof Rudolf-Breitscheid-Straße Rüdersdorf, Landkreis Märkisch-Oderländ, Brandenburg, Germany
Johanna Elberskirchen (11 April 1864 in Bonn – 17 May 1943 in Rüdersdorf) was a feminist writer and activist for the rights of women, gays and lesbians as well as blue-collar workers. She published books on women's sexuality and health among other topics. Her last known public appearance was in 1930 in Vienna, where she gave a talk at a conference organised by the World League for Sexual Reform. Elberskirchen published a pamphlet on ‘The Love of the Third Sex’ under the slogan, ‘No Degeneration. No Guilt’ (1904).
In the summer of 1892, Anna Maria Eysoldt married Ernst Aebi (1856-1922), a lawyer from Bern, who was a city councillor. The marriage was not happy, and Anna Eysoldt fought for many years for her right in the context of a grueling divorce process in which she was supported by Johanna Elberskirchen. Elberskirchen vociferously approached Aebi, the Swiss authorities and the Social Democrats, and did not shy away from arrest warrants, escapes or arrests. Around 1891, at the latest in 1892, Anna Eysoldt had met Elberskirchen. The girlfriends became life and work companions. Around 1900 they went to the Rhineland and lived together until Eysoldt's death in 1913. Together, the two women wrote the book Die Mutter as paediatrician for the Munich publishing house Seitz & Schauer. It was published in 1907, translated into Czech in 1910 and published by the renowned publisher A. Hynek .
Elberskirchen was open about her own homosexuality which made her a somewhat exceptional figure in the feminist movement of her time. Her career as an activist was ended in 1933, when the Nazi Party rose to power. There is no public record of a funeral but witnesses report that Elberskirchen's urn was secretly put into Hildegard Moniac's grave, who had been her life partner.
Based on the assumption that women's libido only exists in order to secure the creation of offspring and is therefore fundamentally different from men's libido, Elberskirchen argued that: "If it was the yearning for a child, there would be no abortion, no infanticide, no suicide. In that case the awful punitive articles wouldn't exist. And first and foremost the outrageous, immoral contempt of an unmarried mother and her child wouldn't exist - there would be no 'fallen' women, no 'bastards'.
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