[...] it soon became clear that the sphere of activity of private charity organizations was too limited, obliging the state authorities to intervene and replace, extend, or improve the activities of these organizations in the social field.2 Hence, there was now, on the one hand, a growing need for professionals, and, on the other, a large group of aspirants or potential candidates for the job-the nurses, many of whom, especially the trained ones, were trying to find an alternative field of activity, because in the long run private practice and hospital work were not proving to be attractive forms of employment. Aus Schwester Gerda's Tagebuch (Charity's Thorny Path-Excerpts from Nurse Gerda's Diary);4 a report on her experiences as police assistant in Stuttgart;5 several other publications stemming from her work as police assistant; 6 and records of her dispute with her employer, the city of Stuttgart.7 The title of the diary-Excerpts from Nurse Gerda's Diary-notwithstanding, our assumption is that the book, a mixture of documentation, fiction, and autobiography, strongly parallels the editor's own life.8 Even if the diary is not altogether autobiographical, the episodes concerning private nursing are authentic enough-a finding corroborated by Agnes Karll, founder of the Professional Association of Nurses in Germany,9 who wrote the foreword to the book and who could speak from much personal experience as a private nurse.10 A Word about Henriette Arendt Henriette Arendt was born in Knigsberg in 1874.11 Her father, Max Arendt, was a merchant and city councilor.
“Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire”: From Private Nurse to Police Assistant— A Case Study from the Turn of the 19th to the 20th Century Sylvelyn Hähner-Rombach Institute for the History of Medicine of the Robert Bosch Foundation At the beginning of the twentieth century, new ﬁelds of activity for women— often for those with a nursing background—were gradually emerging. It had become clear to an increasing degree that the solution of the so-called social question by means of reforms would call for more and more professionals in the ﬁeld of social and welfare work, instead of the laypersons who until
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