Hannah Karminski

When the Nazi regime dissolved the feminist organization to which Hannah Karminski had devoted her life, she found new ways to serve the German Jewish community by saving children and providing aid for families. As a young woman, Minna Johanna (Hannah) Karminski moved to Frankfurt, where she became a student and friend of Bertha Pappenheim, founder of the League of Jewish Women (Jüdischer Frauenbund, or JFB). Drawn by the appeal of the League’s advocacy for both women’s political equality and a merging of feminist ideals with Jewish tradition, Karminski became the League’s secretary and editor of its newsletter from 1924–1938. When the League was dissolved by the Nazis in 1938, Karminski remained in Germany and joined the Reich Association of Jews in Germany, though which she became a major organizer of kindertransports and welfare support for those still trapped in Germany. As male leaders were arrested, she rose through the ranks to become head of the welfare departments in 1941. It was during this time that she fell in love with Paula Fürst, whose forced deportation in June of 1942 devastated Karminski. Despite the loss, Karminski kept working to help the needy until her arrest in November of 1942 and subsequent transport to Auschwitz, where she was killed upon arrival.

Topics: Feminism, Holocaust

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Photo of Hannah Karminski courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Date of Birth


Date of Death
Administrator, Editor

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Hannah Karminski." (Viewed on January 27, 2020) <https://qa.jwa.org/people/karminski-hannah>.


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