Female Gender Roles: Complacency or Outcry?
Women were considered crucial to the existence and survival of the Aryan race. They were the ones who made the Aryan race at all possible, and for that reason, they were considered great. However, this was also considered their only role; women were useful solely for the purposes of reproduction and their roles as mothers and housewives, according to Nazi ideology. Women were designed to be wives and mothers and “should not work, but stay at home.” Hitler claimed, nevertheless, that men and women should value and respect each other equally, because both genders must perform their nature-assigned duties. During this time, that was the frequent thought throughout Europe, so for someone to make these statements would not be so unheard of. Prior to the Third Reich, the Weimar Republic had also supplied the thought that men and women should be considered equal, though nothing came of it; no laws were created for equality, except that women were given the ability to vote. Hitler followed with these practices and in combination with his beliefs, there maintained a steady flow of the denouncing of women’s power for many years. The Nazis continued with this by foregoing all women’s organizations except for their own. Even in these organizations, yet, women were subordinate to any men; they had no leadership roles, power, or influence over any policies. Their jobs were provided by the German Women’s Bureau, and women were almost always placed in domestic-type positions, whether that be cleaning, sewing, or in childcare. A law was also enabled during the Nazi period that encouraged women to leave their jobs before marriage for a supplemental loan (Law for the Reduction of Employment). However, during the start of the war, women were pushed into harder, more men-geared jobs, such as munitions. While the Nazi ideology said no to this, the war and economic situation said yes. Hitler was willing to do anything in an attempt to win the war. My question is this: How would this work in today’s society? Even back then, it’s difficult to wrap my mind around this idea that women were given zero respect and had no free will in their life choices as far as education and careers were concerned. I wonder if women had a problem with this but were ignored or if their voices were ever even raised loud enough to be heard…
 Spielvogel, p. 169
 “ “, p. 170
 “ “, p. 170
 “ “, p. 170
 “ “, p. 172
 “ “, p. 173
Spielvogel, Jackson J., and David Redles. Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History. 7th ed.
Donath, Otto. Aus Bombenhülsen werden Eimer, Kochtöpfe, Spaten und Schaufeln hergestellt. 1948. German Federal Archives Picture 183 (Allgemeiner Deutscher Nachrichtendienst – Bild 183), Aus Bombenhülsen werden Eimer.