Rue Agnès Donckel - Street

Rue Agnès Donckel

University graduate, teacher, first female member of the municipality council in Mertert in 1929
Feminist, member of the "Action féminine"
Birth year
Year of death
Places of residence

Who is she?

Agnès Donckel, born on 24 October 1878 in Mertert, was the daughter of the carpenter Jean Georges Donckel and Catherine Wirtz de Donckelsmühle. The young girl followed a life path that was quite unusual at the time. She studied philology, first at the Sorbonne in Paris, then in Zurich. Her studies abroad suggested a strong and independent character, especially as she later worked as a teacher, did not marry and was actively involved in women's rights. She joined Catherine Schleimer-Kill's feminist movement "L'action féminine". In Esch/Alzette, the movement even presented an entire list of female candidates for the 1928 municipal elections, but Agnès Donckel went it alone in Mertert. Le mouvement féministe", a publication of the National Alliance of Swiss Women's Societies of 21 December 1928, devotes a short article to this subject and mentions the three women who were elected: Mrs Schaetten-Biver in Bissen, Mrs Schleimer-Kill in Esch/Alzette and Agnès Donckel in Mertert.

Agnès was appointed alderwoman and sat on the town council from 1929 to 1935. Political interest runs in the family: in the family tree of the mayors of Mertert there are several Donckels. Little is known about this woman other than that she is committed and much loved by the inhabitants of her community. They celebrate their new alderwoman on the feast of Saint Agnes. In a glowing article in the Luxemburger Wort of 29 January 1929, it is written: "[...] brachten die Einwohner von Mertert unter der einmaligen Mitwirkung sämtlicher Vereine [...] ihrer neuernannten Schöffin Fräulein Agnes Donckel eine herzliche Ovation dar.[...] das grenzenlose Vertrauen, das die Gemeinde Frl. Donckel entgegenbringt, in den letzten Wahlen in unzweideutiger Weise zum Ausdruck kam".

Agnès Donckel became president of the "Gaart an Heem" association and a member of the school committee. She died on 25 March 1960 in Grevenmacher.

Sources :
● Renée Wagener: "Frauen aller Stände, beschreitet den Weg der Selbsthilfe" in "Wenn nun wir Frauen auch das Wort ergreifen" 1880-1950, Luxembourg, Publication Nationale, Ministère de la Culture; 1997 pages 114-131.
● Gemeeneblat - Magazine for Mertert-Wasserbillig 03/2013 page 6.
● Luxemburger Wort of 29 January 1929.

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