The Nazis had clear ideas of what they wanted from women.

Women were expected to stay at home and look after the family. Women doctors, teachers and civil servants were forced to give up their careers. Even at the end of the war, women were never asked to serve in the armed forces.

Their job was to keep the home nice for their husband and family - their life should revolve round the three 'Ks':

  • church
  • children
  • cooking

Goebbels said: "The mission of women is to be beautiful and to bring children into the world."

Hitler wanted a high birth rate, so the population would grow. The Nazis even considered making it law that families should have at least four children. Girls did keep fit in the BDM to make themselves healthy for childbirth, but they were discouraged from staying slim, because it was thought that thin women had trouble giving birth.

The Law for the Encouragement of Marriage gave newly wed couples a loan of 1,000 marks, and allowed them to keep 250 marks for each child they had. Mothers who had more than eight children were given a gold medal. Unmarried women could volunteer to have a baby for an Aryan member of the SS.

Women were supposed to emulate traditional German peasant fashions - plain peasant costumes, hair in plaits or buns and flat shoes. They were not expected to wear make-up or trousers, dye their hair or smoke in public.

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