Women in Nazi Germany

1. How did the lives of German Women change in Germany under Nazi rule?

As Hitler came into power over Germany, the National Socialist German Workers Party (NSDAP) had stated that they disapproved of Women working. Adolf Hitler claimed that for the German women that “Her world is her husband, her family, her children and her home”. The view that women should stay at home began when around a third of male workers all lost their jobs and became unemployed during the depression in the 1930’s. Nazis argued that men were being replaced by Women. During the election campaign of 1932, Adolf Hitler promised that if he gained power he would take out 800,000 women out of employment. The decline in the Unemployment of women after the Nazis gained power showed that it was not necessary to force women out of their jobs, however women working in the professions were taken action on to be reduced. Hitler’s hostility to women was shown by his huge decision to put them out of work as he believed that they were ‘Unable to think logically or reason objectively, since they were ruled only by emotion’.

Girls from the age of ten joined the Jungmadel (Hitler youth). At fourteen the girls could join the Bund Deutscher Madel (German girl’s league) to learn how to be a good wife, and mother and the three K’s, Kueche, Kirche, kinder (children, church and cooking)

They were told not to smoke or diet as it could affect their ability to have healthy children. To the Nazis, the ideal German woman had blue eyes, was blond and sturdily built. She was meant to have broad hips and no interest in fashion, make-up or slimming. The hair was not allowed to be permed of dyed and trousers were frowned upon when worn. The only thing that Women were encouraged to do was to have children. Contraception and abortion was banned.

In 1933 a law was passed that every newly wed couple were given a government loan of 1000 marks, this helped them to be encouraged to have four children or more. There were even medals for women who had a large family. Three million women won medals for having four or more children in 1939. It was thought to be important to marry people who were physically fit and racially pure German so that the German nation would remain pure. It was the Women’s duty to assure that the future of Germany was one of a strong, high population. This just showed how much the women of Germany lives became controlled by the Nazis, they couldn’t have a say for themselves without being punished.

Explain parts played by the different agencies in support of Nazi ideas.

Doctor Joseph Goebbels was the head minister of Nazi propaganda. He was very loyal to Hitler and it was his job to send the Nazi message home to all families. Propaganda was a form of advertising to help influence people and persuade large numbers of people to believe what you wanted them to believe. Goebbels used almost every method for winning people over. He made sure that news papers were edited to what the headlines should be. Radio stations were under goebbels control, he encouraged people also to listen to them by selling them cheaply in shops.

When it came to women’s propaganda, it was mainly used in posters such as pictures of families who looked happy together and strong. They usually showed them also with blonde hair and blue eyes, the way Hitler wanted them to be, purely bred.

Rhymes were also made up for women such as

"Take hold of kettle, broom and pan,
Then you’ll surely get a man!
Shop and office leave alone, Your true life work lies at home."

This was to try and persuade them German women what their role was at home. Another statement about women and their role as a wife and mother was made by Joseph goebbels:

“The mission of women is to be beautiful and to bring children into the world. This is not at all as.........unmodern as it sounds. The female bird pretties herself for her mate and hatches eggs for him. In exchange, the male takes care of gathering food, and stands guard and wards off