Women’s Roles in the Volksgemeinschaft
This week’s reading in Sax and Kuntz about the roles of women in the Volksgemeinschaft actually was interesting to read and analyze because this was truly how women were seen in the eyes of Nazi Germany. I find this very interesting because although these roles were more or less traditional womanly duties in most societies for most of history, Nazi Germany took the women’s roles to whole new levels. I say this because the Nazi Party basically institutionalized the roles and made them so much greater and bigger than what I have ever read about before. Two examples from the Sax and Kuntz reading that I honestly thought was astronomical was firstly, the document on the Principles of the National Socialist Women’s League. The points in this document which astounded me were essentially how a woman’s entire life and education, within the Volk, should be directed toward the task of motherhood and that the Nazi Party wants “a movement for revitalization of womanhood which will reawaken these profound female energies and will give women strength for their special tasks” (264-65). Essentially, a woman is met to cook and clean and devote her entire life to the ideal of motherhood and marriage. Another example from the reading that astounded me was how the Nazis awarded local mothers on Mothering Sunday for basically how many children these women were able to procreate to continue the Aryan race (266). I honestly laughed when I read about this, because I thought it was so absurd.
I did connect this with the idea of Mother’s Day, but on Mother’s Day we celebrate our mothers or our mother figures despite the amount of children they have, not give them an Honor Cross for how many children they were able to birth. All-in-all, although women did not seem to be treated terribly, I could not imagine my life where from the start of when I was born I was taught how to be a good mother and housewife, and this is all that I could be respected for.
Sax, Benjamin and Dieter Kuntz. Inside Hitler’s Germany. Lexington: D.C. Heath and Company, 1992.
“Nazi Propaganda Photo.” Wikipedia. Created in 1943. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/18/Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1973-010-31%2C_Mutter_mit_Kindern.jpg.