German Woman Official at Harvard
American Institutions Give Political Ideas To Young Student
Miss Hildegard Brucher, 28-year old city councillor thinks she is the only German student who had to be persuaded to come to Harvard this year under a U. S. government scholarship.
Last summer, Miss Brucher was in the race for a seat as the Bonn Parliament. Since 1947 when the Free Democrats invited her to run successfully for the Munich City Council she has told teachers, students and ward committees that there should be more young blood in Germany's infault government.
She started off by barnstorming Munich. During one address, a spectator demanded "Why don't you go home to your kitchen and cook-pot?" Miss Brucher constantly campaigned that women, ousted from politics under Hitler, should enter the government field.
"If I knew as little about cooking as you do about politics," she told her hocklers, "I would be ashamed." The newspapers picked up the quip and Miss Brucher found herself widely quoted.
Won One, Lost One
She won her first election, but lost her second. During her Bonn campaign she had been invited by the U. S. government to study for a year at the Littauer School of Public Administration at Harvard. With another election pending, she refused.
After the ballots were counted and she had lost, she found she could still change her mind, and sailed for this country, temporarily giving up her post on the Munich City Council. If the present government falls, however, she will be forced to return to Germany before the school year here is complete.
Miss Brucher's career started with a doctor's degree under a Nobel prize winner at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich. Government is her main interest and she finds Littauer "intellectually stimulating." Following up her class work she has interviewed Boston mayorality candidates and investigated the Cambridge city-manager government; with possible recall to her council chair a constant threat she is jamming her time with activities.
Working for the American-founded "Die Neve Zeitung" she first dealt with political problems. In 1947, when the French occupation zone in Germany was behind a "silken curtain" and practically inaccessible to correspondents, Miss Brucher some how procured a passport from American authorities and muckraked the French administration there for her newspaper.
Quick to pick up new ideas, Miss Brucher already sees in America's League of Women Voters a political weapon that might be used in Germany. In legislative halls, she has plugged for equal rights for the sexes and pushed through a bill giving equality in rights and pay to women office holders.
She also feels German primary education should be revamped along the American lines. She is anxious to see more student participation in forming a democratic Germany. And she is keeping up her journalism; she is now preparing an article on "How to Treat Communism in the United States."