Fräulein Doktor Marie Munk – erste Richterin Deutschlands: Eine Fallstudie über das jüdische Bewusstsein und die Pionierarbeit einer Frau am Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts
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Fräulein Doktor Marie Munk – erste Richterin Deutschlands: Eine Fallstudie über das jüdische Bewusstsein und die Pionierarbeit einer Frau am Anfang des 20. Jahrhunderts. “Doctor Marie Munk – the First Female Judge in Germany: a Case Study of the Sense of Jewishness and the Work of a Pioneer in the Beginning of the 20th Century” analyzes the life and work of Marie Munk based on her two unpublished autobiographies and additional archival materials. This senior thesis focuses on the events between Munk’s birth in 1885 and her emigration to the US in 1933. Marie Munk came from a well-off Berlin family. Her parents were born Jewish but converted to Protestantism and brought up their children as devoted Christians. Munk studied law in Southern Germany and became the first female lawyer in Prussia and, later on, the first commissioned female judge in the Weimar Republic. Her professional success came to an abrupt end in 1933 after the election of the Nazi Party in Germany. She decided to leave the country and make the US her permanent home. Munk settled on the East Coast and lived there until her death in 1978. Marie Munk wrote two autobiographies – one in 1941 and an expanded and revised version in 1961. They point to the deep identity crisis that took place in Munk’s life as a result of Nazi persecution of Jews. Along with the issue of Jewish consciousness, the two texts provide insight into the challenges that awaited German women on their way to professional equality.