Rothbarth, Margarete

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Rothbarth, Margarete

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  • Rothbarth, Margarete Johanna

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Margarete Rothbarth was born in 1887 in Frankfurt (Main). She studied history, German and English at the Universities of Heidelberg, Munich, Berlin and Freiburg. In 1913 she received her doctorate. During the First World War she taught at a high school in Freiburg and also worked at the German archive for folk music. In 1918 she became a political secretary to Friedrich Naumann, and taught at Naumann’s Staatsbürgerschule (citizenry school). After Naumann’s death she became head of the library and archive of the German League of Nations Association. From 1922 until 1926 she worked as a scientific assistant at the foreign archive section of the Federal Ministry of Finance. As a delegate of the German League of Nations Association she participated at international meetings of LN societies.

Rothbarth joined the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation (IIIC) in November 1926, serving in the Information Section. In 1931 she was promoted to the rank of Secretary at the IIIC, a contract that was renewed for a period of 5 years in 1936. While on a trip to Switzerland in 1939, the Second World War broke out and she was unable to return to Paris to complete her tenure until 1941. After the war, she filed a formal complaint with the LN about not having received her payment during that time. She won the ensuing lawsuit. She died in 1953 in Switzerland.


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Created by Jan Stöckmann 10-08-2015. French translation by Alexandre Coutelle, 19-11-2015.




  • UNESCO Archives, Archival Group 1, IIIC. A.IV.28.16
  • U. Lemke, ‘‘La femme, la clandestine de l’histoire‘. Margarete Rothbarth – ein Engagement für den Völkerbund’, Lendemains, n° 146/147 (2012).

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