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Women in Nazi Germany Kinder, Kuche, Kirche Children, kitchen and church.

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Presentation on theme: "Women in Nazi Germany Kinder, Kuche, Kirche Children, kitchen and church."— Presentation transcript:

1 Women in Nazi Germany Kinder, Kuche, Kirche Children, kitchen and church

2 “Her world is her husband, her family, her children and her home” The Nazis tried to limit women to their primary task of childbearing. Before 1929 it looked as though the numbers of women in industry and the professions would continue to increase but the Depression put paid to that. The Nazis used this to persuade or drive women back into the home. Professional women were hardest hit. Married women in the civil service and medicine were dismissed. 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.

3 “ The mission of women is to be beautiful and bring children into the world” The Nazis promoted motherhood by offering Birth grants Family allowances Interest free loans to newly married couples provided that the woman did not go out to work.

4 The Honour Cross of German Motherhood “Marriage and childbirth became racial obligations rather than personal decisions” Lisa Pine. Four children were the ideal. Prolific mothers were given a medal Bronze awarded for 4 or 5 children Silver awarded for 6 or 7 Gold awarded for 8 or more.

5 At the same time there were restrictions on contraception Abortion was more difficult to obtain Childless couples had to pay higher taxes Divorce was easier for the simple reason that unproductive marriages were worthless to the national community There were forced sterilisations of “undesirables”

6 Lebensborn During the war in their quest for a larger genetically pure German population led to the encouragement of procreation outwith marriage. The Lebensborn or Life Springs programme. Essentially these were state run brothels where “Aryan” women had babies by SS men

7 Effects From 1933 to 39 the birth rate did rise. Marriages rose from 516,000 in 1932 to 740,000 in Divorces increased after 1938 The increases may be due more to economic prosperity rather than Nazi policies.

8 Education To prepare women for their proper role. University enrolment of women was restricted to only 10% However restrictions were relaxed as the demand for well educated workers increased.

9 Assessment of Nazi Policies and Women The Nazis encouraged marriage and childbirth The Nazis encouraged divorce and sterilisation Although Hitler refused to conscript women into industry during the war more women went into work under the Nazis

10 Advantages Some women were happy to stay at home with their families than have to work long hours in a factory Social services improved Women were given milk, food and linen parcels for their babies, there were rest homes to recuperate in after giving birth and there were kindergartens to help mothers.

11 Middle class women probably suffered more from the restrictions The Nazis were quite cautious and relied on moral and social pressures to keep women at home. Many of the Nazi ideas were more extreme versions of views held by conservative organisations and the Catholic church before the Nazis came to power.

12 Historians’ Views “ the vast majority did not perceive the Third Reich as a women’s hell. Much of what it introduced was doubtless appealing, the rest one learned to accept.” Uve Frevert. “The anti feminist policies of the regime after 1933 were at least partially successful, in that they secured the approval, perhaps gratitude of many German people, men and women alike” Tim Mason


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