Meta Berger describes her husband's election to Congress in 1910

A Milwaukee Woman's Life on the Left: the autobiography of Meta Berger


The daughter of German immigrants, Meta Schlichting Berger (1873-1944) became a prominent and outspoken activist and politician at a time when women's roles and place in society were hotly contested. Married to Socialist Victor Berger, Berger was active in the peace and woman suffrage movements and was an important confidant and advisor to her Congressman husband. Her election to the Milwaukee school board in 1909 launched her political career, winning re-election to the board four times. Berger also served on the State Board of Education, the Wisconsin Board of Regents of Normal Schools, and University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. After Victor's death, she was even elected to his seat on the Socialist Party's National Executive Committee, a position given to few women. Berger's story, told in her own words, reveals her transformation from a more conventional wife and mother to a political activist and reformer. In this excerpt, Berger describes her husband's election to Congress in 1910 and their subsequent move to Washington, D.C. Berger's full autobiography is available for purchase from the Society.


Related Topics: Industrialization and Urbanization
Milwaukee Sewer Socialism
Creator: Berger, Meta
Pub Data: Excerpt from A Milwaukee Woman's Life on the Left, ed. Kimberly Swanson. Madison, Wis.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin Press, 2001.
Citation: Berger, Meta. "A Socialist in Congress!" in A Milwaukee Woman's Life on the Left, ed. Kimberly Swanson. (Madison, Wis.: State Historical Society of Wisconsin Press, 2001); Online facsimile at:  http://www.wisconsinhistory.org/turningpoints/search.asp?id=1247; Visited on: 7/29/2014
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