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HOW THE POSITION OF WOMENCHANGED IN THE YEARS 1933-39The change of the lives of Women in Nazi Germany
GOEBBLES 1929 “The mission of Women is to be beautiful and to bring children into the world. The female bird pretties herself for her mate and hatches eggs for him. In exchange, the mate takes care of gathering the food and stands guard and wards of the enemy.” This is Goebbels description of the role of women in 1929.
WOMEN BEFORE 1933 Women were given the vote in 1920‟s and in 1933 ten percent of the Reichstag was female. Many had a career in civil service, law, medicine and teaching. If they were employed by the government, they were paid the same as men. Women could go out unescorted and they could smoke! Most were slim, fashion conscious and they had short hair. They also wore trousers and short skirts.
MARRIAGE & FAMILY The Nazi‟s aimed to increase Germany‟s falling birth rate by giving loans to help you couples marry, provided the wife left her job. Marriage to Jews was banned. Women were to marry only „suitable‟ husbands to keep the Aryan race pure. On Hitler‟s mother‟s birthday (12 August) mothers got awarded medals dependent on how many children they had.
In 1938 it was possible to divorce your wife if she could not have children, even if it was a disease you had spread to her. They also set up Lebensborn. This was a operation set up to enable unmarried women to become pregnant by an SS man. This baby would then be the best Aryan possible A new organisation called the German‟s woman enterprise organised classes and radio talks on household topics and the skills of motherhood. Nurse‟s carrying Lebensborn babies
THE CROSS OF HONOUR OF THE GERMANMOTHER It was Hitlers idea to encourage Aryan population growth. Awards were bronze, silver, or gold cross depending on the number of children. Eight children meant a gold cross, six children for a silver cross, and four children for bronze cross. There was even a Golden Cross with Diamonds for between twelve and fourteen children. The crosses were awarded annually on August 12 (Hitlers mothers birthday), and the second Sunday in May (Mothering Sunday) Three million women won a medal for having four or more children in 1939 “Marriage and childbirth became racial obligations rather than personal decisions” Lisa Pine.
MONEY FOR MOTHERHOOD Women were encouraged to have as many children as possible. Financial incentives were offered for prolific childbearing – grants, tax-free loans and tax relief. Family allowance payments were increased. The Nazis wanted to increase the birth-rate so: -anti-abortion laws were passed. -access to contraception and advice about contraception was limited.
JOBS Instead of going to work women were encouraged to follow the three K‟s , Kinder, Küche, Kirche. Which means children, kitchen and chuch. Women doctors, civil servants and teachers were forced to leave their jobs Schoolgirls were trained for work at home In 1937, Germany did not have enough workers so they needed more women to work. Women were forced to do a compulsory „duty year‟ of work. This meant helping on a farm or family home for bed and board but no pay. This wasn‟t very successful. In 1936 women were barred from the legal profession and politics. However by 1937 a shortage of labour meant that women were needed to work to meet the Four year plan
IDYLLIC NAZI WOMANo Did not wear make-up oWas blonde, either in plait or bun. oWas athletic oDid not smoke
oWore flat shoes oWore a full skirt oDid all household duties, especially cooking
GERMAN RHYME 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 A German rhyme addressed to women
WHY DID THE POSITION HAVE TO CHANGE? During the years of the Weimar Republic women had become more modern. They were given the vote and enjoyed more employment opportunities (especially in the professions). The Nazis felt that „modern woman‟ was a degenerate threat to racial purity and the idea of Volksgemeinschaft. They wanted women to return to their traditional role.
WHY WERE WOMEN SO IMPORTANT TO THENAZIS ? Women in Nazi Germany played an important role in the idea of the Volksgemeinschaft. They were to provide the foundations of the racially pure community that Hitler hoped to create. Hitler said “every child that a woman brings into the world is a battle, a battle waged for the existence of her people”.
HOW THE POSITION OF WOMEN CHANGED INTHE YEARS 1933-39 They have different expectations of them: - They were not to work - They were to have many children - They were made to look a certain way They are now not equal with man, and all the progress over the past 10 years was destroyed They were influenced by propaganda to act as Hitler wanted They lost their freedom