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Clara Zetkin
C Zetkin 1.jpg
Clara Zetkin (ca. 1920)
Born
Clara Josephine Eißner

5 July 1857
Wiederau, Saxony
Died 20 June 1933 (aged 75)
Arkhangelskoye, near Moscow
Nationality German
Other names Klara Zetkin
Occupation Politician
Peace activist
Women's rights activist
Political party SPD (till 1917)
USPD (1917–1922)
(Spartacus wing)
KPD (1920–1933)
Partner(s) Ossip Zetkin (1850–1889)
Children Maxim Zetkin (1883–1965)
Konstantin "Kostja" Zetkin (1885–1980)
Parent(s) Gottfried Eißner
Josephine Vitale/Eißner

Clara Josephine Zetkin (born Clara Josephine Eissner; 5 July 1857 - 20 June 1933) was a German Marxist theorist and advocate for women's rights.

Clara Zetkin was born in Wiederau. She trained as a teacher at Leipzig Teachers College for Women. During her studies, she became involved with the women's and labour movements. In 1878 she joined the Socialist Workers' Party of Germany. In 1910, she proposed the celebration of International Women's Day, which is celebrated today every 8 March.

Clara was a member of the Spartacus League, with Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg. Zetkin died near Moscow.

She was a recipient of the Order of Lenin (1932) and the Order of the Red Banner (1927).

Zetkin went into exile, this time to the Soviet Union. She died there, at Arkhangelskoye, near Moscow, in 1933, aged nearly 76. Her ashes were placed in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis, by the Moscow Kremlin Wall, near the Red Square.

After 1949, Zetkin became a much-celebrated heroine in the German Democratic Republic, and every major city had a street named after her. Even today, Clara Zetkin's name can still be found on the maps of the former lands of the GDR.

Posthumous honors

  • Zetkin was memorialized on the ten mark banknote and twenty mark coin of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) (East Germany).
  • After 1949, every major city in the GDR had a street named after her.
  • In 1954, the GDR established the Clara Zetkin Medal (Clara-Zetkin-Medaille).
  • In 1955, the city council of Leipzig established a new recreation area near the city center called "Clara-Zetkin-Park"
  • In 1967, a statue of Clara Zetkin, sculpted by GDR artist Walter Arnold, was erected in Johannapark in Leipzig in commemoration of her 110th birthday.
  • In 1987, the GDR issued a stamp with her picture.


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