Elly Heuss-Knapp

Elisabeth Eleonore Anna Justine " Elly " Heuss -Knapp (nee Knapp, born January 25, 1881 in Strasbourg, † July 19, 1952 in Bonn), wife of the first German President Theodor Heuss, was a German politician, social reformer and founder of the Müttergenesungswerk.


Elly Knapp was born in 1881 as the daughter of Lydia from Karganow and economists Georg Friedrich Knapp. The father was appointed to the University of Strasbourg. Shortly after her birth her ​​native of Georgia mother was diagnosed with a mental suffering and went to live in sanatoriums. Elly and her older sister Marianne was raised by her father alone.

In 1899 she took off her teachers exam and worked since 1900 on a so-called Progress School ( for girls who had just visited the seven years of primary school) in Strasbourg, whose co-founder she was. Just the work of Friedrich Naumann very appreciated. 1905 she studied economics in Freiburg and Berlin and began to hold first political speeches. In 1906 she participated as a student volunteer in the preparatory work for the great Work at Home exhibition, which dealt, inter alia, to the system of intermediate champion, the publisher and the possibility of collective bargaining and minimum wages. Soon she began to devote a series of lectures this topic.

In 1908 she married the journalist and later Federal President Theodor Heuss, an employee of Friedrich Naumann. They were married in Strasbourg by Albert Schweitzer. The marriage came in 1910 the son of Ernst Ludwig Heuss. This birth was having complications and was nearly fatal. As a result, Elly could get no further children. From 1922 began Knapp's theological interest especially at the Bible studies and participation in the Protestant community of Rev. Otto Dibelius.

With the power of the NSDAP Heuss-Knapp received a performance ban and her husband, who now worked as a lecturer, professional ban. In their home Persecuted and opponents of the Nazi dictatorship, such as the Rev. Martin Niemoller met. During this time began Heuss- Knapp, a writer and - mediated by the cousin Hermann Geiger, owner of Wybert - to work in advertising. With her ​​work, she fed the family. It revolutionized the radio advertising, which consisted only of the reading of newspaper ads until then, and is considered the inventor of the Jingles as an acoustic trademark of a company. This idea had patented Heuss- Knapp and used them for other companies and products; about Nivea, Erdal, Coffee Hag, Blaupunkt and Persil. The Autobiography of view from cathedral tower appeared in the first edition in 1934, in a second edition in 1952. The end of the war she and her husband lived in Heidelberg with her sister, the painter and photographer Marianne Lesser -Knapp.

From 1946 to 1949 she was a member of the Landtag of Württemberg -Baden - initially for the Democratic People's Party ( DVP ) and later for the Free Democratic Party ( FDP), which was created in 1948 nationally liberal and leftist groups from the merger. She worked in the socio - political committee, where they saw to it that school-age children each day got a meal and at least the schools had less than 50 to 60 students. Sometimes she was affectionately mocking - called mother country for their care.

Elly Heuss -Knapp had - as Theodor - can set up in 1919 as a candidate for the DDP to the Reichstag. This election (1918 ) was the first in which women had a right to vote. She fought that targeted women should be addressed without electioneering of each party.

Elly Heuss -Knapp was involved with her husband in the founding of the German Council of the European Movement in June 1949 in Wiesbaden, Germany. She was Vice President of the organization.

Elly Heuss- Knapp and Antonie Nopitsch founded in 1950 the German Müttergenesungswerk (full name today: Elly -Heuss -Knapp Foundation - German Müttergenesungswerk ). She died in 1952 in the University Hospital of Bonn and was buried according to one held by Helmut Gollwitzer funeral service in the Bonn Luther Church in the forest cemetery Stuttgart.

  • Elly Heuss- Knapp: Civics and Economics for Women ( 1910).
  • Elly Heuss- Knapp: Narrow paths, publishing Wunderlich, 1946
  • Georg Friedrich Knapp, Elly Heuss- Knapp: A youth. German ET - Anst. ; Edition: 2, exp. Edition (1947 )
  • Elly Heuss- Knapp: views from the cathedral tower. Memories. R. Wunderlich Verlag, Tübingen 1984, ISBN 3-8052-0086-2
  • Elly Heuss- Knapp, Margaret Father: citizen of two worlds. Publisher Wunderlich, 1961