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Alice Salomon

Alice Salomon was honored as one of the founding mothers of social work in Germany for both the direct service organizations she created and her role as founding president of the International Association of Schools of Social Work. Salomon claimed her life began at age 21, when she joined a women’s group for relief work in 1893. In 1899 she ran the first yearlong training course in social work. She studied at Berlin University from 1902–1906 and wrote a controversial dissertation on pay inequity between men and women. In 1916 she created the German Conference of Schools of Social Work for Women, a forum which created standards for education and practice. She was an active member of several direct service organizations and became vice president of the International Council of Women in 1920. She wrote twenty-eight books and more than four hundred articles on social work, including many pieces on the challenges of international and inter-cultural social work. In 1932 a school she had created in 1908 was renamed the Alice Salomon School of Social Work in honor of her sixtieth birthday. She finally fled Germany in 1937 after a Gestapo interrogation, but because of her age, she struggled to find employment in America despite her reputation.

Alice Salomon, 1920
Full image

Though baptized a Protestant as a young woman, social worker Alice Salomon shut down her innovative Women's Academy in Berlin rather than oust Jewish faculty and students as the Nazis demanded. She is shown here in 1920.

Courtesy of Professor Joachim Wieler, Germany
Institution: The Alice Salomon Archive, Berlin

Date of Birth
April 19, 1872
Place of Birth
Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Alice Salomon." (Viewed on December 13, 2018) <>.


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