The Impact Of Nazi Policies On The Position And Role Of Women In Germany, 1933 39

1186 words - 5 pages

The Impact of Nazi Policies on the Position and Role of Women in Germany, 1933-39

The Nazi regime aimed to utilize the family for its own needs. Women
were obligated to marry and have children, instead of having their own
personal decisions. The functions of the family were reduced to the
single task of reproduction. They aimed to break the family, and to
place it as a breeding and rearing institution completely in the
service of the totalitarian state.

The main objective of Hitler and the Nazis was to increase population
to help with 'Volksgemeinschaft'. Germany had a declining birth rate,
so they wanted to promote higher birth rates among the Aryan race.
This was another key element of the policies adopted. Women were
encouraged to have as many children as possible, however this was not
acceptable with 'undesirables' like Jews and Black people, only
'Aryans'. The policies used like financial incentives-marriage loans
and birth grants, meant that women were placed better when having
children. Their role was to maintain high birth rates, and their
position and situation was desirable for this role. However all women
did not accept this and many did not gain from the measures taken.
Underpinned in the policy was the fact that it would restrict women to
the home and reduce employment with women, which is what the Nazis
wanted. However this was not the case as there was actually a growth
in female employment from 1933-39. This was very ironic, the Nazis set
out their policies for women to be able to gain from them in having
children, however by having less children and getting jobs, women
still gained as employment levels rose. Not all women gained from the
Nazi agenda, as I have said it only applied to Aryans, there was
compulsory sterilisation of women who were mentally sick or who had
already produced weak offspring were often classified as 'unfit', this
included Jews and Black women. Those women who had been sterilised
were not allowed to marry.

Another aspect of the Nazi ideology on women was that they wanted
women to stay at the home. The effect that this had on the position
and role of women was that it limited their opportunities and
categorised them to a specific responsibility. However although this
seemed to be a degrading policy towards woman, which it was, Hitler
did aim to make a point that women were just as important as men,
there was equality, the only difference being the roles which they
played, which were equally important. This did mean that some women
felt more valued and appreciated in their roles, especially as they
could have stability and moderate prosperity. However the ideals set
by Hitler did include encouragement of birth outside marriage, which
conflicted with the role of women staying at home. The effects of the
growth in female employment and the...

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