The Control of Women

How Hitler controlled women in nazi Germany.

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How did the Nazis encourage women to be "perfect"?

The Nazis used a mixture of propaganda and terror in order to encourage women to fit into what they wanted.

Propaganda

  • Loans - Women were given marriage loans of 1000 Reichmarks. The more children they had, the less they had to pay back.
  • Medals- Women were awarded the iron cross for having children. Bronze= 4 children and Gold= 8. Women were given a high status for having children.
  • Dress- High heels and fashionablle dress were frowned upon, propaganda showed this to be wrong.

Terror

  • Sacked- Women were sacked from all jobs under government control eg. teachers, doctors etc.
  • Forced Abortions- Women were encouraged to abort or euthanize handicapped babies.
  • Sterilisation- Women with hereditary handicaps were forced to be sterilised.
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How did the war affect women?

Back to work

  • With men going to war, women were suddenly needed in the workplace again
  • Women manned arms factories, industy and farms
  • This was heavy, physical work that women weren't used to.

Difficulty to meet Nazi Ideals

  • Having to work meant that women could not stay home with their children or teach them Nazi morals.
  • The stress of war caused women to start drinking and smoking
  • No men = No children
  • Women had affairs because their husbands were away.
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Were women better or worse off?

Better off

  • Marriage loans
  • Women who wanted to stay at home benefitted.
  • "Motherly" women were given a higher status
  • Medals for lots of children
  • Higher rate of marriage
  • Looked after by state- if married.

Worse off

  • Educated or career women much worse off
  • Sterilisation for women with inherited weaknesses
  • Encouraged abortion
  • Fashion and individuality taken away
  • Seen as "baby factories"
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Expectations of women

  • Kinder- They were expected to be Mother's to large families, and encourage to have as many children as possible by recieving iron crosses (4 kids) and gold medals (8 kids)
  • Kirche- They were expexted to teach Nazi morals and values to the family 
  • Kuche- They were expected to be good housewives to their husbands, they shouldn't work
  • Make up and trousers were frowned upon
  • Should be Aryan, with simple, tied back hair.
  • Slimming was discouraged because being slim was not thought to be good for child bearing.
  • Should be strong and athletic but with wide, child bearing hips
  • Should not drink or smoke as this could harm the family
  • Should wear simple clothes made from availabe materials (prepartion for war)
  • Should be able to cook using leftovers and small amounts (prepartion for war)
  • Homes for unmarried women called "Lebensborn" were set up for SS men to impregnate women (basically brothels).
  • Expected to allow husband to impregnate single women and sometimes bring up the child.
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