Marion Rowekamp

Marion Röwekamp studied law and history at the universities of Heidelberg, Munich and Berlin and was visiting scholar at the Columbia University of the City of New York. She is a doctoral candidate in early and modern history at the University of Munich and also engaged in her legal training in Berlin. Her research interest focuses on the history of the first German-speaking women lawyers. She is the author of the forthcoming Encyclopedia of German-Speaking Women Lawyers.

Articles by this author

Käte Wallach

Käte Wallach was a German lawyer who, due to her being Jewish, was unable to practice law in her country. After migrating to the United States in 1935, Wallach re-enrolled in law school, during which she was enthralled by library science and became a prominent scholar in both fields.

Else Rahel Samulon-Guttmann

Else Samulon-Guttmann showed her exceptional intelligence early in life, studying law at Berlin university and earning a PhD from Heidelberg University. Appointed a judge in 1929, she lost her position with the Nazi rise to power in 1933. Samulon-Guttmann stayed in Germany for her mother and was murdered at Auschwitz in 1944.

Erna Proskauer

Erna Proskauer dreamed of becoming a judge in Germany but lost her job in 1933 and emigrated first to France and then to Palestine. After returning to Germany, Erna faced several setbacks in her quest to return to her career as a lawyer but ultimately opened her own firm. At the age of sixty-five, she took over her former husband’s law office and continued working for another twenty years.

Nora Platiel

The Russian Revolution of 1917 made a convinced socialist of Nora Block and inspired her to study law. After leaving Nazi Germany for France and then Platiel, Platiel returned home, eventually becoming the first woman director of a German district court and being elected for three terms in the Hessian State Parliament.

Margarete Muehsam-Edelheim

Margarete Muehsam-Edelheim was a journalist with a doctorate in law. In her native Berlin, she co-founded the organization Women Law Graduates and served as a City Councilor. In the United States, Muehsam-Edelheim was a founding member of the Leo Baeck Institute’s Women Auxiliary, as well as serving in many capacities for various organizations.

Lawyers in Germany and Austria

German and Austrian women were first allowed to enter careers in law in the mid-1920s, following rules permitting their admittance to universities at the turn of the century. Although women were a small proportion of all lawyers, judges, and prosecutors in Germany and Austria, Jewish women were a significant group among those women, and they often faced both religious and gender-based discrimination.

Marta Friedländer-Garelik

Just the third Austrian woman to establish a legal practice, Marta Friedländer-Garelik’s law career was cut short by the 1938 Anschluss. She was able to escape Vienna through passage to Ireland, where she discovered her talent for handicrafts. After immigrating to Texas in 1941, Friedländer-Garelik started her own very successful knitwear factory.

Clementine Bern-Zernik

A lawyer by training, Vienna-born Clementine Bern-Zernik produced broadcasts for the US Office of War Information in London during the war, served as the director of a Displaced Persons Camp in post-war Germany, and spent the last 50 years of her life as a UN liaison to the New York Public Library. Throughout her life she maintained a strong Austrian identity and was a founding member of the Austrian-American Federation.

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Marion Rowekamp." (Viewed on April 19, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/author/rowekamp-marion>.