Weimar and Nazi Germany key topic 4

  • Created by: holly6901
  • Created on: 16-04-19 20:47

Nazi views and policies on women

Nazi views on women

The Nazis thought women should be homemakers and childbearers. Their slogan for women was 'Kinder, Kirche, Kuche'. They wanted to increase the birth rate and strengthen the Third Reich. Women had a central role in creating a genetically pure Aryan race for a strong Nazi state.

Nazi policies towards women

  • Women were encouraged to give up their jobs, get married and have large families. Women doctors, civil servants and teachers were forced to give up their jobs and girls were discouraged from higher education.
  • In 1933, The Law for the Encouragement of Marriage provided loans to help young couples marry, as long as the wife left her job. They could keep a quarter of the loan for each child they had. Maternity benefits were also increased.
  • Women were discouraged from wearing trousers, high heels and makeup. Dying or styling hair was frowned upon, as was slimming, which was thought bad for childbearing.
  • Women were given medals for having large families. 
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Successes and failures of these policies


  • In the first few years, the number of women in employment fell.
  • The number of marriages and birth rate increased.
  • The German Women's Enterprise organised Mother's schools and had 6 million members.

Limitations and failures

  • The number of women in employment increased from 1933 to 1939. 
  • From 1936, there was a labour shortage and more workers were needed in heavy industry due to rearmament.
  • Many employers preferred female workers because they were cheaper as women's wages were two-thirds of men.
  • Some women resented the loss of more professional jobs.
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Teachers had to accept and teach Nazi ideals. Nearly all joined the Nazi Teacher's Association.

The curriculum changed to put across Nazi ideas and prepare students for their future. Textbooks were rewritten to fit the Nazi idea of history and racial purity and had to be approved by the Ministry of Education. Mein Kampf also became a set text.

Boys learnt about military preparation whereas girls learnt needlework and cookery.

  • History was rewritten to glorifyGermanny's past and the Nazi Party.
  • PE took 15% of curriculum time to ensure girls were fit to be mothers and boys were prepared for the military.
  • Eugenics was a new subject about selective breeding and the creation of a master race. Children were taught they shouldn't marry Jews or POC.
  • Race studies was another new subject that taught Nazi ideas about the Aryan race.
  • In geography, children were taught about lands that used to be German and the need for new living space.
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Hitler Youth and League of German Maidens

The Nazis wanted to control the leisure time of the youth too. They closed down all other youth movements. There were 4 youth movements for 10-18 year olds, under tthe control of the Youth Leader of the Reich.

  • German Young People; for boys aged 10-13.
  • Young Girls; for girls aged 10-14.
  • Hitler Youth; for boys aged 14-18.
  • League of German Maidens; for girls aged 14-18.

From 1936 membership was compulsory, although many didn't join.

For boys, the focus was on training for the military. the girls were kept seperate and they focused on preparing for motherhood

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Successes and failures of Nazi policies towards th


  • Membership of the Hitler Youth reached 7 million in 1939.
  • Many young people enjoyed the activities.
  • Others enjoyed the sense of comradeship and belonging to something that seemed powerful.


  • At least 3 million hadn't joined Hitler Youth by 1938.
  • Some members found the activities boring.
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Policies to reduce unemployment

Job-creation schemes

By 1938, the government was spending 37.1 million marks on job-creation. One scheme was a road-building scheme to create autobahns(motorways). This improved the efficiency of the industry by allowing people and goods to get around easier.

The Reich Labour Sevice (RAD)

The RAD provided young men with manual labour jobs. From 1935, it was compulsory for men aged 18-25 to serve 6 months. Workers wore a uniform and lived in camps. They got low pay and carried out military drill too.


Rearmament created more jobs.

  • More money was spent on manufacturing weapons and other heavy industry grew, such as the iron industry. By 1939, 26 billion marks were spent on rearmament.
  • From 1935, all men aged 18-35 had to do 2 years of military service. The army expanded to 1,400,000 by 1939.
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Invisible unemployment and living standards

Who was in invisible unemployment

  • Jews dismissed from their jobs.
  • Women doctors, teachers and civil servants who were forced out their jobs.
  • Women who had given up work to get married.
  • Unmarried men under 25 who were pushed into the RAD.
  • Opponents of the regime in concentration camps.

Changes in living standards

There is a debate about living standards in 1933-29.

  • There was nearly full employment
  • The KDF tried to improve German's leisure time through trips to theatres, concerts and holidays.
  • Beauty of Labour tried to improve working conditions by building canteens and improved noise levels.
  • German workers lost their rights under the Nazis. Undder the German Labour Front, workers were not allowed to negotiate better pay and strikes were banned.
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The 1933 Sterilisation Law allowed forced sterilisation of those with any form of disability or deformity.


Homosexuality remained illegal and Nazi views on family meant same-sex marriage wasn't tolerated. Gay men were arrested and sent to concentration camps.


The Nazis wanted to remove gipsies as they threatened racial purity. In 1935, marriages between Germans and Gypsies were banned

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The persecution of Jews

Early policies 1933-34

  • In 1933, the SA boycotted Jewish shops. 
  • Jews were excluded from government jobs.
  • In 1934, councils banned Jews from public spaces.

The Nuremberg Laws, 1935

The nuremberg Laws were a series of laws about Jew which included:

  • The Reich Citizenship Law which meant Jews lost their citizenship, right to vote and right to hold office.
  • The Law for the Protection of German Blood  and Honour forbade marriage or partnership between Germans and Jews.
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Kristallnacht and after

On 8th November 1938, Goebbels organised anti-Jewish demonstrations which involved attacks on Jewish property, shops, hoomes and synagogues. So many windows were smashed that the events of the 9th November 1938 became known as 'Night of the Broken Glass' or Kristallnacht. Worse persecution followed

In January 1939, the ** was given the responsibility of eliminating Jews from Germany. This would happen through forced emigration.

  • On 30th April, Jews were forced into ghettos.
  • By the summer of 1939, about 250,000 Jews had left Germany.
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