Frieda Wunderlich


Frieda Wunderlich was one of ten German professors brought to the United States by the New School for Social Research in 1933 to form the Graduate Faculty of the New School, also known as the “University in Exile.”

Frieda Wunderlich was born in Berlin Germany on November 8, 1884. She received her doctorate in economics from the University of Freiburg in 1919 and became a professor at the Handelshochschule in Berlin shortly after graduation.

Wunderlich became one of the leading women figures in pre-Hitler Germany, holding positions in the Berlin City Council and the Prussian State Parliament. In 1930 she was appointed to Judge of the German Supreme Court for Social Welfare.

During the years from 1923 to 1933, she was the editor of the anti-Hitler publication Soziale Praxis, to which she contributed numerous articles on social welfare, unemployment and labor. In 1926 she published Produktivität, which received a great deal of attention not only in Germany, but in the United States as well.

After leaving Hitler’s Germany to come to New York and the New School for Social Research in 1933, Wunderlich remained on the faculty for the next two decades. In 1939, she became the first woman in the United States to be elected as Dean of a graduate school when she was elected Dean of the Graduate Faculty of Political and Social Science of the New School. Dr. Wunderlich wrote a series of books on labor and social problems, eight of which were published in the United States and include: Labor under German Democracy (1940), Arbitration, 1918-1933 (1940), British Labor and the War (1941), German Labor Courts (1946), and Farm Labor in Germany, 1810-1945 (1961).

Source: Frieda Wunderlich Papers, Biographical Sketch. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives. German and Jewish Intellectual Emigre Collection. Web. 12 Nov 2014.

Photo: Frieda Wunderlich. Communications and External Affairs (CEA). New School Archives and Special Collections Digital Archive. Web. 12 Nov 2014.