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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.
- 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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