Nazi policies towards women
The Weimar republic had given women freedom to do what they wanted , but Hitler believed other wise.
Hitler believed in a master race, he wanted to build up a strong army and Aryan race- blonde hair and blue eyes a typical German stereotype.
According to the graph 1st published in 1932 the amount of live births was 933,126 Hitler was taken aback by this information, this statistic was not helping his country to build into the strong and powerful nation he so desperately wanted it to be.So he decided to introduce special rules and rewards.
He encouraged the women to give up work and focus mainly on having babies and leading a family life.He encouraged them with his famous saying “kinder keuche kirsch” which meant children, cook and church.
These were the things Hitler believed should and would make up a stable and “strong” family,and,by increasing those aspects – the German women would have more children bring them up with strong believes and make them tough enough to establish the master race As far as rewards go Hitler made a reward scheme he introduced medals for mothers, those who had 4 children were awarded a bronze medal, women with 6 children were awarded a silver medal and women with 8 or more children were awarded with a prestigious gold medal. Hitler gave 20 marks to the fifth child in the family this prospect urged women to reach that target; this was just another example of Hitler’s manifold of ulterior motives. E.g. the Hitler youth – where he got the children to come to extra curricular activities and then brainwashed them with his ambitions and Ideologies
In 1936 the Nazis began a breeding experiment called lebensborn , this consisted of fit , healthy , single young Aryan women were encouraged to visit these lebensborn centres were they could meet with SS soldiers and in a bid to encourage couples to have more Aryan children.
Any married couples who failed to produce children were encouraged to divorce and try again with another mate.
He went even further as to set a anti abortion policy which stated that women had no other option but to keep them, he made it even harder when he shut down all abortion clinics and stopped all contraception from being produced. He did this because he wanted every child conceived to be born so they could help build up the mater race.
Women were not encouraged to work but to mainly focus all there time and attention on nurturing their growing family. Job options were restricted and bleak, they were said to be “incapable of thinking without emotion”. To make this prospect even more attractive he gave newly married couples an interest free loan of 2000 marks as long as they pulled out of their jobs. This was to encourage more children to be made increasing his master race.
The Nazis wanted women to have no interest in fashion and make up; it was even frowned upon if women wore trousers. They were expected to be sturdily built and have broad hips – ideal for child bearing
The Nazis might have been a bit old fashioned with their views on women but they were not anti women infact Joseph goebbles once said “the mission of women is to be beautiful and to bring children into the world .This is not as un-modern as it sounds. The female bird preens herself for her mate and hatches eggs for him. In exchange, the male takes care of gathering food, and stands guard and ward off the enemy.”
Hitler believed that women were key to the future of the German nation upon which they could build a volksgemainschaft.
The volksgemainschaft was one of Hitler’s most important ideas about the future of Germany. Because the Nazis still believed that Germany was still divided due to WW1 and that they could unite it by making the people feel as if they were part of a very important community .this motivated the German people to work together and build up the master race.
During the war women got better food rations and better shelter, this was because the Germans couldn’t risk losing women because this would stunt the growth of the vastly rising Aryan race.
Despite the Nazis initially driving women out of work they were forced to reinstate their positions due to lack of man – they had gone to fight the war.
To conclude Hitler made these policies to firstly Encourage more births and secondly To prevent the weakening of the master race. These policies may seem old fashioned now but the Germans held women in very high regard always making sure they had everything.