The daughter of a Prussian general, she was briefly married to the professor of philosophy Georg von Gizycki, who was associated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) without however being a member of the party. After his death, in 1896 she married Heinrich Braun, who was a Social Democratic politician and a publicist.
Lily Braun joined the SPD at an early age and became one of the leaders of the German feminist movement. She belonged to the revisionist opposition within the SPD. Revisionists didn't believe in the dogmas of historical materialism and the socialist revolution. Revisionists believe in the slow adaptation of society.
Lily was heavily influenced by Friedrich Nietzsche and wanted the SPD to focus on the development of personality and individuality instead of levelling everybody. Women should have their own personality and should not have to be only regarded as (future) mothers and wives. She wanted economic freedom for women and the abolition of legal marriage. She died after a long illness on 8 August 1916.
- Die Frauenfrage : ihre geschichtliche Entwicklung und ihre wirtschaftliche Seite (The Women's Question: historical development and economic aspect)
- Wahrheit oder Legende: Ein Wort zu den Kriegsbriefen des Generals von Kretschman (Truth or Legend: A word on the war letters of General von Kretschmar)
- Die Mutterschaftsversicherung : ein Beitrag zur Frage der Fürsorge für Schwangere und Wöchnerinnen (Maternity Insurance: an article on the question of care for pregnant womena and those in childbed)
- Die Frauen und die Politik (Women and Politics)
- Memoiren einer Sozialistin - Lehrjahre (Memoirs of a Socialist - Apprenticeship years) (Novel)
- Memoiren einer Sozialistin - Kampfjahre (Memoirs of a Woman Socialist – Years of Struggle) (Novel)
- Mutterschaft : ein Sammelwerk für die Probleme des Weibes als Mutter (Motherhood: A collection of works on the problems of women as mothers)
- Die Liebesbriefe der Marquise (The Marchioness's Loveletters)
- Die Frauen und der Krieg (Women and the War)
- Im Schatten der Titanen : Erinnerungen an Baronin Jenny von Sustedt (In the Shadow of the Titans: Recollections of Baroness Jenny von Sustedt)
- Lebenssucher (Searchers for Life)
- Frauenarbeit und Beruf (Women's Work and Career)
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