Mixed Messages Delivered to Young Girls
While Nazi Germany is full of ideologies that don’t come through in practice, one hypocritical notion that is astonishing to read about and discuss is the treatment of young mothers. Women were highly praised for being the bearers of the future. It was even stated that the women’s place was as “guardians of the nation’s source of life” in the Principles and Organizational Guidelines of the National Socialist Women’s Leagues (Sax & Kuntz 264). This idea was pervasive enough in the culture that not only older women were being influenced by this message, so too were young girls believing this idea that they needed to begin child rearing in order to support the country. It was said that, “in cities, a shocking morality can be found within the ‘state youth’ (Sax & Kuntz 324). Girls were becoming pregnant at young ages perhaps to fit in with the expectations the state had of women. In fact, several of them would even claim to not know who the father was due to them claiming lots (Sax and Kuntz 324). However, when they did become pregnant, they would be immediately thrown out of the Hitler Youth as they were seen as morally corrupt. The young girls of the time were receiving mixed messages about their place in the world. On one hand, they were being told that they needed to bring up the children who would continue on the Aryan race and on the other hand they were being punished for having those children at too young of an age.
Bundesarchiv, Bild. Members of the BDM. 1935. Wikipedia. Web. 23 Oct. 2015.
Sax, Benjamin, and Dieter Kuntz. Inside Hitler’s Germany: A Documentary History of Life in the Third Reich. D.C. Heath and Company, 1992. 264-324.