Gruenberg, Sidonie Matsner
- Olive Hoogenboom
Gruenberg, Sidonie Matsner (10 June 1881–11 March 1974), educator of parents, writer, and authority on children, was born near Vienna, Austria, the daughter of Idore Matzner, a failed merchant, and Augusta Olivia Besseches, who later was the U.S. partner in a rubber-importing company. In 1888 Sidonie and her family moved to Philadelphia but returned to Austria within a year, only to have her father leave again for the United States in 1893. Sidonie and her mother and siblings joined him in New York City in 1895 after spending a year and a half in Hamburg, Germany, where she attended the Höhere Töchterschule. After a few months of public school in Manhattan, Sidonie in early 1896 entered the Society for Ethical Culture’s Workingman’s School and gave the valedictory speech when she graduated from its eighth grade in 1897. Because a stroke had partially paralyzed her father, she took a secretarial job to help her family financially. In 1903 she married Benjamin Charles Gruenberg, a young chemist who the year before began teaching biology at DeWitt Clinton High School; they had four children. Their marriage was a true partnership, providing them both the stimulus for growth and the opportunity to collaborate as writers and experts in the field of child study....