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9 January 2019


It is sobering, as we watch the UK tearing itself apart (agony, actually) to be reminded how backward it has been in the past – hey, New Zealand may have given women the vote in 1893 but we shall go on force feeding young women; of course women cannot be lawyers. Etc. Even in Germany, before the rise of Hitler, women were lawyers. Here is Margarete Berent (on the right) with the other women  in the Association of Women Lawyers and Judges in 1926. She left Germany in November 1939 (that must have been a harrowing journey) and went to Chile, after that to New York. She is mentioned in this excellent book about women lawyers in Germany (which also mentions Lore Ehrlich, who features in A Very Great Profession: The Woman’s Novel 1913-39 because of the remark she made when she too had to give up her legal career in Germany and on arriving in England said ‘the only English family I know are the Forsytes.’ It was she who had a battered copy of They Knew Mr Knight. Alas, she died in 1980 so she never saw Dorothy Whipple’s rebirth. But she re-qualaified as a lawyer in England. And England welcomed her!).

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