The main conceptions of Enlightenment, Storm and Stress, Klassik, Romanticism, of Realism, Naturalism and Expressionism – that is, of the literary and cultural currents of one and a half centuries – proclaimed the dignity of man as long as they were not determined and shaped by official dogma. Man was to be free from prejudices, from governmental and clerical tutelage; he was to have adequate opportunity for education and intellectual development. The humanitarian attitude for which one strove was characterized by a yearning for inner peace and general happiness. It was marked by the consciousness of personal individuality as much as by the need of restraint of the individual through the societal order. In addition, it entailed efforts for social emancipation and a cosmopolitan spirit. The ‘classical’ writers, more than any others, seemed to initiate an epoch of Humanism. There was Lessing’s Nathan, 1 Schiller’s Kabale und Liebe, Wilhelm Tell, Marie Stuart, his philosophical essays and poetry, and Goethe’s Faust, Iphigenie, Wilhelm Meister’s Lehrjahre and Wilhelm Meister’s Wanderjahre. But the striving for objectivity of judgement, for public and private rationality, for personal fulfilment and genuine community spirit, for compassion and empathy, turned into the opposite. The barbarian did not hear the voice of humanity; ‘mutual truthfulness’ did not become the maxim of ‘public’ thought, speech and action. The repression of the humane is reflected in the idols which since the beginning of the nineteenth century have shaped or helped to shape the petit-bourgeois consciousness. The typical woman, man, and their relationship to each other reveal the aspects of this repression and the resulting complexes with their intellectual and emotional perversions. The process of female emancipation, initiated by Enlightenment, Storm and Stress, Romanticism and Klassik, was reversed, her degradation and depersonalization became an element of German ideology. Madel (maiden) is a key word in this process.