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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 56.djvu/347

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WOMAN'S STRUGGLE FOR LIBERTY IN GERMANY.

women in the best manner, not to become rivals of men, but help-meets and able housekeepers.

The demand of the people of Breslau, Dr. Bosse said, was an unnatural one, and his refusal was founded on the fear that such a movement would increase and threaten the social foundations of all Germany, as the idea that women can compete with men in all careers is a false one.

The petition of the magistrate of Breslau was supported in the discussion by some of the national-liberal, free-conservative, and Polish representatives. These took the broad ground that girls have a right to equal education with boys, and that the educational institutions of Germany which have so long stood at the head of those of the world should not, in the matter of education of women, leave the question to be decided according to the whims of private individuals.

Some of the arguments of those who spoke in favor of the enterprise were amusing. One said that the girls of Germany would be grateful if the Minister of Public Instruction would furnish them with husbands, but, as there were not enough to go around, the others should have some career provided for them. Another, that about forty per cent of the girls of the higher classes no longer marry, and they should not be allowed to suffer the consequences of the fact that young men of the present day do not care to marry, but they have a right that the way be shown them to such careers as are suited to their feminine nature.

An objector said that he could not understand how any man of pedagogical culture could approve of a girls' gymnasium, for it is evident that any such progress for women as that would imply must be at the expense of the men, who would gain less on account of the increased number of candidates for work of all kinds and would more seldom be able to offer the best of all existences to a woman—that of wifehood. The city of Breslau was obliged, therefore, to give up the undertaking for the present, but the agitation of the question has probably prepared the way for more extended plans in the future in the same direction in Prussia.

A similar undertaking in Carlsruhe, in Baden, has met with better success, and resulted in the opening of the first official gymnasium for girls in Germany, in September, 1898. This gymnasium was planned about the same time as that of Breslau, and as the permission of the Minister of Public Instruction in Baden was obtained without difficulty, the institution came into existence according to the will of the people of Carlsruhe. Seventy-nine of the members of the BĂĽrgerauschuss voted in favor of the undertaking in the meeting in which the final action was taken early