Bock, G, (1983). Racism and Sexism in Nazi Germany: Motherland, Compulsory Sterilization, and the State. Signs. 8 (3), 400-421.

This article focuses on racism and sexism of the Nazi area and its’ relationship with motherhood and enforced sterilization.  Sterilization was an encouraged solution to these “social problems.”  This article, similar to the others, is a historical analysis.  The author, Bock, lists several references throughout the article.  Her argument is long and detailed and consistently relates back to her thesis.   The author successfully demonstrates the ways that sterilization influenced women’s lives and roles.  Women of the “superior” and “inferior” races were both targeted, by either being pressured to procreate and raise the perfect family or by being denied of their motherly role.

Fox, Jo. “”Everyday Heroines:” Nazi Visions of Motherhood in Mutterleibe (1939) and Annelie (1941).” Historical Reflections 35.2 (2009): 21-39. Historical Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

The National Socialist Party enforced very specific ideals about motherhood, this article by Jo Fox talks specifically about the portrayal of motherhood in two German films of the time Mutterleibe (Mother Love) and Annelie. The films demonstrate some of the strains between the Nazi idealized woman, and what women of the time truly wanted to be as mothers, wives, and workers. A brave, selfless mother became the idea German woman; Marthe, the main character in Mutterleibe is a caring and devoted mother who, through patience and sacrifice, manages to reintroduce order into her family’s life. The movie Annelie focuses more on the sacrifice of women by sending their husbands and children into the war, the film follows Annelie’s life and shows her as a beacon of sacrifice and bravery for others to emulate.

Gupta, Charu. “Politics of Gender: Women in Nazi Germany.” Economic and Political Weekly. 26.17 (1991): WS40-WS48. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.

This journal article discusses the role of women in Nazi Germany and how the Nazi ideology of the Third Reich shaped this role to fit the needs of the government and nation as a whole. Charu Gupta mentions how the role of women was manipulated depending on times of war or peace and how women were used specifically to promote a patriarchal society in whatever ways powerful men deemed necessary. Gupta successfully gets this message across by mentioning aspects of Nazi ideology and propaganda such as the worshipping of motherhood and the eugenics movement that took place. From this article, I learned about how women were used as pawns under the Third Reich and Nazi ideology helped to propagate this role for women throughout the nation.

Heineman, Elizabeth D. “Whose Mothers? Generational Difference, War, and the Nazi Cult of Motherhood.” Journal of Women’s History 12.4 (2001): n. pag. Historical Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

This article by Elizabeth Heineman explores the Nazi policies towards women in terms of motherhood, wifehood, and economic involvement. Heineman focuses on the differences in policy towards women of different ages and socioeconomic statuses, as well as the effects of their employment on children and husbands. There is a basic difference in the treatment of mothers with young children, and those with grown children; motherhood was somewhat de-emphasized with younger women, partly because they were needed for war employment, and also because while every soldier had a mother, less than half had a wife. Older women, mother’s of soldiers, where honored as previous mothers and also expected to remain at home to care for husbands, the older men who worked on the home front.

Kershaw, Ian. “The Hitler Myth.” History Today. 35.11 (1985): 23-29. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.

This journal article outlines the propaganda techniques used in Nazi Germany under the Third Reich to promote the image of Adolf Hitler as their one faithful, powerful leader. Ian Kershaw also goes on to talk about the importance of how Hitler’s propaganda and promotion of himself as a successful leader failed when the lack of actual success within his nation caught up with him and his Party. This article is very clear and concise. It successfully presents the reader with an idea of how Hitler and Goebbels used propaganda and ideology to secure the power of the Third Reich. I learned, most importantly, about how Hitler’s rise to power was made easier by both the political and economic uncertainty that was rampant in Germany and his propagated image of himself as a steadfast, manly leader.

Rupp, Leila J. “Mother of the “Volk”: The Image of Women in Nazi Ideology.” Signs 3.2 (1977): 362-79. JSTOR. Web. 25 Mar. 2013.

Leila Rupp’s article talks mainly about Nazi ideas about women and their place as mother and wife, as well as worker. She discusses the complex role that women were expected to fill in the Nazi state because of the combination of conflicting idealistic views as well as actual needs for them as a part of society. Much of the article is spent discussing the different views of the National Socialists and some Nazi militant groups, Rupp’s main thesis being that women had complicated parts to play and different conflicting views made it difficult for them. While the national socialist party focused mainly on encouraging motherhood from women and keeping them out of the public sphere, some of the militant groups pushed for equality and said that women and men are equally capable in many aspects of both the public and private sphere. The second half focuses more on enforced policies towards women concerning the birthrate and their process of raising children. One point on which the two apposing sides agreed was the state of the women themselves, German women were strong and healthy, having requirements to their family as well as the economy if they were needed.

Stephenson, Jill. “Education, Socialization, Organization.” Women in the Racial State. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 70-93. Print.

This article, “Education, Socialization, Organization” by Jill Stephenson starts by discussing women and girls in the context of schooling and education. At first, like the Jews, women and girls began to be excluded from education and forced out of schools to fulfill their “natural roles” as mothers and wives. This meant, however, that girls could be trained in schools to learn skills that mothers and wives would need and then the especially suitable girls would be trained as wives for the elite SS men, even though this was a contradiction of the Nazis’ vehement hatred of socialites. As the war became more imminent, Stephenson explains that women were trained to fill positions lost by men who were sent to war. Stephenson then transitions into talking about the BDM, women being conscripted for work, and labour service. She also discusses how Nazi women organizations grew, especially religiously affiliated groups. It is apparent throughout this article what tactics the party used to attract women into filling their “natural roles” as mothers and wives through these groups and propaganda like the radio programs and other recruitment tactics.

Stephenson, Jill. “Women at Work.” Women in the Racial State. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 50-69. Print.

This article by Jill Stephenson focuses on the patterns of employment for women between the falling of the Weimar Republic and during the second World War.  During the depression, the Nazi’s were able to manipulate women back into the home and out of the work force.  They told the women they were taking jobs from men who needed to support their families, and that these men were better equipped to do these jobs.  Married women in particular were looked down upon if they were the second income for their home.  However, once the war began and men left the work force, there was a high demand for women to enter the field again.  Stephenson discusses the different occupations a woman or her husband took and how this impacted her role in the home.

Stibbe, Matthew. “The Incorporation of Women into the Nazi State.” Women in the Third Reich. N.p.: n.p., n.d. 35-54. Print.

This chapter of the book Women in the Third Reich by Matthew Stibbe focuses on the role of women under the Nazi Regime. Stibbe first mentions the DFW and the women’s “work of the nation”.  He then goes on to explain the role of Nazi propaganda in regards to women and the idea of the “ideal” Nazi woman.  Thirdly, he discusses the Strength Through Joy initiative and its effect on the nation as a whole. Finally, he explains the Nazi policing of female sexuality and the reproductive sphere. This source outlines the many ways in which the Nazis controlled and manipulated the women of the Third Reich and how their incorporation into the Nazi State was strictly for the benefit of the Fuhrer and the German folk.

Yourman, Julius. “Propaganda Techniques Within Nazi Germany.” Journal of Educational Sociology. 13.3 (1939): 148-163. Web. 24 Mar. 2013.

This journal article seeks to demonstrate how the Nazi Party eradicated democracy and propagated their power in order to sway the nation to support them.  By listing each way in which the Nazis propagated their ideology, this article is successful in that it is interesting and informative.  The importance of this article lies in the fact that Julius Yourman provides us with the names of the techniques that unite propaganda across borders in order to shed light on which tactics of propaganda the Nazis successfully implemented and how. Yourman succeeds in this shedding of light on the atrociously propagated government under the Third Reich and how they affected the nation.

Weinstein, V, (2009). Working Weimar Women into the National Socialist Community: Carl Froelich’s Women’s Labor Service Film, Ich für Dich—Dufür mich (1934), and Mädchen in Uniform (1931). Women In German Yearbook: Feminist Studies in German Literature & Culture. 25 (e.g. 2), 28-49.

Weinstein’s article investigates two films, Ich füur Dich-Du für mich and Madchen, that provided the National Socialist’s image of the ideal women and how the image of the “modern woman” from the Weimar era could become a part of this new community.  Weinstein studies how femininity and filmmaking worked to help produce the Third Reich’s propaganda.   Nazi’s didn’t change their ideology but instead, wrote films that could relate to Weimar audiences by using similar themes and camera angle.  Specifically, she examines these films and the differences and connections between them.  Each film is explored and connected to how it made the image of the German Woman.  The film, Machen, shows the free Weimar woman and focuses on female homosexual relationships.  The National Socialist film, Ich fur Dich, references the other liberal film, Madchen, to help catch the approval of Weimar women and integrate them into their community and “contain their sexuality.”

Zimmermann, Clemens. “From Propaganda To Modernization: Media Policy And Media Audiences Under National Socialism.” German History 24.3 (2006): 431-454. Historical Abstracts with Full Text. Web. 23 Mar. 2013.

In “From Propaganda To Modernization: Media Policy And Media Audiences Under National Socialism” written by Clemens Zimmermann, it is clear that the media is a powerful tool for promulgating propaganda. What this article also discusses, however, is how the media modernized under the reign of National Socialism despite the traditionalist values of the Nazi regime. Zimmerman goes into detail about what groups of people were the audiences for particular types of media and what types of propaganda or other purpose each type of media served to transmit. The order of each of Zimmerman’s subtitles is progressive and intentional in terms of how media evolved and the purposes it served. It is important that he starts off by discussing Goebbel and then moves onto media’s early role as a vehicle for propaganda. Zimmerman then proceeds onto how media was perceived by the public; the “wireless set;” how people of the countryside responded; and then the effect of cinema. Zimmerman’s ordering of the article makes sense because he clearly outlines the move from political to practical to entertainment and how that transition functioned in National Socialist Germany.

Published on April 24, 2013 at 1:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

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