The role of women in Nazi Germany

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Grace Goodwin
Nazi Ideology and the role of women
Nazi Aims towards women and the family
Women were regarded as different, rather than inferior
The Nazis aimed to reverse many of the rights that had been given to women
under Weimar as it led to a declining birth and marriage rate.
Nature had created 2 sexes with different roles and it was the Nazis duty to
maintain these roles
A woman should only marry and reproduce with a husband who was Aryan-
Ten commandments for choice of spouse
Sex was for reproduction not pleasure and after children have been produced
there is no need to fulfill sexual urges
A woman's place was in the home, not in the workplace- married women were
barred from jobs in medicine, law and the higher ranks of the civil service
between 1933-36. Women who withdrew from work to marry were given
interest free loans
Children, kitchen, Church (Kinder, Kuche, kirche)
Women had a duty to create healthy Aryan children to carry on the thousand
year Reich
How did the Nazi's implement these aims?
When the Nazis came to power, women started to see the reversal of their
rights. In 1933, the law for the reduction of unemployment linked the fight to
reduce unemployment with the introduction of Nazi policies towards women.
This was followed by restrictions on the involvement of women in the civil
service. In October 1933, the guidelines for recruiting civil servants stated, "In
the event of males and females being equally qualified, the male should be
given preference" In years of high unemployment there was no real strong
reaction towards these policies. Marriage became influenced by legal changes
that threatened and encouraged German couples to product perfect Aryans.
Divorce became easier but this was in order to boost birth rates by ending
unproductive marriages that were deemed `worthless' to the national
community. The Nazis also created a number of female organizations that
upheld Nazi values and taught women how to be the prefect Aryan wife. The
Nazis also set up welfare schemes that supported women and children. In
Munich, Nazi organisations gave out 25,800 litres of milk, 1,500 food parcels
and 172 sets of baby clothes in one month alone. Another incentive to have
children was that women were awarded medals in recognition of their
contribution to national objectives
Why did the Nazi's fail in achieving some of these aims in the 1930's?
By 1937, the aims were threatened by the pressures of the economy, the
introduction of conscription and re-armament meant that there was a shortage
of labour in 1935. The Nazis views on women could only be upheld with a fatal
cost to the economy, but Hitler was not prepared to do this. Females were soon
allowed to work in factories and between 1937-39, female employment rose
from 5.9 million to 6.9million. The government even ended the arrangement
where women who withdrew from work to marry where given a loan without

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The number of women working steadily increased through the war as
Germany were losing more men and arms. By the end of the war, the
government could not bring itself to renounce fully its anti-feminist rhetoric.
The Nazis emphasis on family life was also undermined by the demands of the
Hitler youth, which took children away from their family and encouraged them
to challenge non-Nazi attitudes. The encouragement of divorce and
sterilization of those unworthy of marriage also contradicted family values.…read more

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Lisa Pine- "The Nazi regime utilized the family for its own ends. Marriage and
children became racial obligations rather than personal decisions... national
socialist reduced the functions of the family to the single task of reproduction.
They aimed to shatter the most intimate human group... and to place it as a
breeding and rearing institution completely in the service of the state."
Nazi Organisations for women
DAF- had a women's section called the Frauenfront.…read more

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