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Sisters in Arms: Militant Feminisms in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1968

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Volume 38

Monographs in German History

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Sisters in Arms

Militant Feminisms in the Federal Republic of Germany since 1968

Katharina Karcher

178 pages, 8 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-534-1 $110.00/£78.00 Hb Published (May 2017)

eISBN 978-1-78533-535-8 eBook

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“Karcher offers a refreshing perspective on the history of the New Women’s Movement in West Germany and its relationship to militancy in this long-overdue study. Any future scholarship on feminist activism in Germany will need to consider this provocative and revealing book.” · Patricia Melzer, Temple University


Few figures in modern German history are as central to the public memory of radical protest than Ulrike Meinhof, but she was only the most prominent of the countless German women—and militant male feminists—who supported and joined in revolutionary actions from the 1960s onward. Sisters in Arms gives a bracing account of how feminist ideas were enacted by West German leftist organizations from the infamous Red Army Faction to less well-known groups such as the Red Zora. It analyzes their confrontational and violent tactics in challenging the abortion ban, opposing violence against women, and campaigning for solidarity with Third World women workers. Though these groups often diverged ideologically and tactically, they all demonstrated the potency of militant feminism within postwar protest movements.

Katharina Karcher is Sutasoma Research Fellow at Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge. Her research interests include feminist theory, European women’s movements, and the histories of protest, extremism and violence in the Federal Republic of Germany.

Subject: Postwar History Gender Studies
Area: Germany


Note on Translations
List of Figures
List of Abbreviations


Chapter 1. The New Women’s Movement in West Germany
Chapter 2. Terrorism, Feminism and the Politics of Representation
Chapter 3. Militant Feminist Protest against the Abortion Ban
Chapter 4. Women Fighting Back: Feminist Responses to Violence against Women
Chapter 5. Sisters in Arms? Militant Feminist Protest and Transnational Solidarity



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