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Ensinger, Doris (1944-2020)

Doris with Luis

A short biography of German anarchist Doris Ensinger.

Ensinger, Doris (1944-2020)
“I am not one of those heroic women who have tenaciously committed themselves to the fight against tyranny and in favour of a more just and more humane society and who have risked their lives in this struggle; nor am I one of those women who entered history for her life and work. However, the example of so many brave women inspired me to contribute something, in my modest way, in the struggle for a better world”.

Doris Ensinger was born in 1944 in Germany, near Magdeburg, where she spent the first years of his life. In 1948, her family fled the area occupied by the Soviets towards Bavaria.. From 1964 she studied translation at the University of Saarbrücken and it is there that she became involved in student revolt.

In the seventies she actively participated in the Munich alternative movement and lived in flats organised according to the tenets of anarchist collectivisatiion as practised in Spain in 1936. In 1977 she met the well-known anarchist activist Luis Andrés Edo (see his biography here at libcom) in Barcelona and they fell in love. They lived together for the next thirty years until his death in 2009, sharing many activities in the anarchist movement. From 1981 to 2010, she taught translation, civilisation and culture at the Autonomous University of Barcelona at the Faculty of Translation. She authored a book on her relationship with Edo published by Barrikade in Germany under the title Whether denken, gerade leben - Erinnerungen an mein Leben mit Luis Andrés Edo which then appeared in Spanish under the title Amor y Anarquia (Love and Anarchy).

Doris was to say: “At great events I was with him, but not in the front line. I did not like public speaking or being a protagonist, I preferred to help organise or document the events. I am not a heroic woman, but I have defended my ideas fearlessly in other areas, as now in this book.”

She died of a kidney disease at the age of 76 years on 8th August 2020.

Nick Heath

Posted By

Battlescarred
Aug 12 2020 14:04

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Kate Sharpley
Aug 17 2020 12:55

There's now an interview with her on the KSL site https://www.katesharpleylibrary.net/ksn1qw

Let us say something about the libertarian ideal. No matter how the laws, political backdrop and its protagonists may alter, the one thing that does not change is the libertarian ideal. What has been your experience of that, Doris, as an activist linked to that ideal?

Increasingly, the rejection of power is spreading because it is plain that corruption goes hand in hand with power and comes in all shapes and forms. It destroys human relationships, belief, ethics and morality … everything. The imagined ideal has not yet been achieved because it always runs into obstacles, the adversary had and still has all the power and all the machinery needed to prevent libertarian ideas from thriving too much. Moreover, the libertarian world is made up of human beings and as such they are wreathed in contradictions and imperfections. However, in the almost forty years I have been living in Barcelona now I have met lots of veteran comrades who fought in the Civil War and who looked to social revolution to effect that radical change in society. They were faithful to their ideals unto death. I have also known a lot who were younger people at the end of the 1970s and who fight on for those ideals and are not disillusioned by the turn taken by the sham Transition and who still fight on, campaigning for their ideals. And above all there are lots and lots of youngsters living out those ideas.