Toni Sender

Toni Sender’s wide-ranging quest to save the world led her from the union hall to the German Parliament (as a socialist) and finally to the UN. Sender began calling herself a dissident at thirteen and by sixteen was a member of the Union of Clerical Workers. After working as a clerk in a Frankfurt furniture firm for seven years, she transferred to their Paris office in 1910, where she joined the Socialist Party and formed a women’s group to break down social and economic barriers to equality. She participated in an unprecedented women’s international anti-war congress in 1915. In 1917 she helped found Germany’s Independent Social Democratic Party (USPD) and became general secretary of the executive committee of the Council of Workers. Two years later, she became editor of the USPD’s newspaper, Volksrecht, and publisher and editor-in-chief of the women’s paper Frauenwelt in 1927. In 1920 she was elected to the German Reichstag for the USPD and from 1924–1933 served in Parliament. After fleeing to America in 1933, she joined the board of the German American Council for the Liberation of Germany from Nazism, and after 1944 became active with the UN in slave labor and displaced persons issues, retiring in 1956.


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A passionate pacifist and socialist, German Toni Sender (shown here in 1928) sought to harness the active participation of women to achieve social transformation. She continued the struggle for women's rights after immigrating to the U.S., where she ultimately returned to the Jewish tradition she abandoned at age 13.

Institution: Universität Ulm, Germany

Date of Birth


Date of Death

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Toni Sender." (Viewed on January 17, 2021) <>.


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