Partner Clara Willdenow
Kreuzstrasse 44, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
Friedhof Baumschulenweg, Kiefholzstraße 208-221, 12437 Berlin, Germany
Mentona Moser (19 October 1874–10 April 1971) was a Swiss social worker, communist functionary, and writer. Though born of wealth, Moser became convinced based on her family history that the idle social life led by nobles was unhealthy. After studying in London and being involved in the settlement movement, Moser returned to Switzerland and founded an Association for the Blind, a service to help tubercular patients, a women's school to teach social work practices and helped the city of Zürich found workers' cooperatives. When her mother, cut off the stipends from her inheritance, Moser helped found the Swiss Communist Party and began working at Pro Juventute as a manager of maternal and infant care. She was a suffragist and established one of the first birth control clinics in Zürich.
In 1903 Moser moved into a student apartment in Zürich and began giving lectures on public welfare. She also began publishing, with such works as Contributions to the Charity and Social Assistance in Their Practical Application Feminine Youth of the Upper Classes: Considerations and Recommendations. Founding an association for the blind, she arranged chauffeurs, pamphlets and helpers and then also founded the first social welfare office to assist tubercular patients. By 1904, she had moved into an apartment with the Dr. Clara Willdenow and her friend, Pauline Bindschedler, at Kreuzstrasse 44. She and Willdenow became lovers, and in Moser's later biography, she described their relationship as "lesbian love", a phrase not in common use at the time. Soon she had submitted design plans to the city council for laborer settlements in Zürich, which led to the construction of such settlements near St. Jacob's Church and in Zürichberg.
After coming in to her inheritance in 1925, Moser worked to establish an international children's home in Russia. She moved to Berlin and participated in communist opposition to both the National Socialist Party and fascism. When Hitler rose to power, her remaining inheritance was confiscated and she fled back to Switzerland where she worked until the end of World War II as a writer. In 1950, she was invited to become an honorary citizen of the German Democratic Republic because of her dedication to communism and development of social programs. She was awarded both the Clara Zetkin Medal and the Patriotic Order of Merit by East Germany.
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