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Maria Krüger, formerly Bücking, née Fraerich

(b. 17 October 1907 in Gotha, Thuringia; d. 7 January 1987 in Bremen)

Maria Krüger was an impassioned educationalist and co-founder of the “Lebenshilfe für geistig  behinderte Menschen”  (organization for the aid of people with intellectual disabilities). From 1951 to 1959 she represented the German Communist Party (KPD) as a member of the Bremen parliament. She was involved in the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) and the “Demokratischer Frauenbund Deutschlands” (DFD; Democratic Women’s League of Germany).

Maria Krüger wanted to become a doctor but was forbidden by her father, a pastor in Horn, to pursue that profession. Instead she trained as a kindergarten teacher at the “Frauen-Erwerbs- und Ausbildungsverein” (an association for the vocational qualification of women), where Agnes Heineken was one of her teachers. She then took a position at the kindergarten of the burlap factory, where she became acquainted with the difficult living circumstances of female labourers, one of the experiences that led her to turn to the KPD.
 
Maria Krüger ran a small harbour-side kiosk where books were among the items she offered for sale. During the National Socialist era, she was arrested and sentenced to prison on charges that her kiosk was a meeting place for the resistance. She served her sentence in the Fuhlsbüttel Penitentiary.

After the war, Maria Krüger ran for office on the KPD ticket and represented that party in the Bremen parliament from 1951 to 1959. She remained a dedicated and disputatious Communist until her death. Although she sometimes had differences of opinion with younger party members, they always encountered her with respect because of her openness and integrity. Her impact and the appreciation she enjoyed among her colleagues and superiors are also reflected in the fact that three senators spoke at her funeral.

Edith Laudowicz