Explain the reasons for Nazi Policies towards women - Nazi Germany Essay Example
When the Nazis, led by Adolf Hitler were in power in Germany, they had certain policies towards the female sex – namely that they were to be housewives, and that all with jobs should give them up as to open up more spaces for the men, to make it seem that he is solving the unemployment problem that was caused by the Wall Street Crash, the First World War and the Depression- his officially given reason for this was so the women could concentrate more on raising the children in a good, healthy, Nazi environment, and to make sure they are taught all of the Nazi ideals- so that when they become adults they will continue to support either Hitler or his successor in the “Thousand Year Reich”, or “Thousand Year Reign”, as it would be very difficult to achieve such a feat without the support of all generations- because the people who are children now, will in twenty years be part of the German population that are voting either for or against Adolf Hitler’s Nazi Party.
Despite the fact that he believed they were not to work, Hitler still claims that in his eyes they were just as important as the German men, just in a different way - Explain the reasons for Nazi Policies towards women introduction. Hitler claimed that women’s lives should be based around the KKK – “Kinder, Kirche und Kiche”, or Children, Church and Kitchen. He subtly used propaganda to persuade women to have more children, for example by showing posters in the streets of happy families with many children, or giving awards to women with many children- for example the “gold cross” and a privileged seat at Nazi meetings, which were awarded to women with eight or more children.
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Women were encouraged to involve themselves with intercourse outside of marriage… whether the men are married or not. The law was also changed so that a divorce could be given on the grounds of infertility, which was supposed to make sure that as many German couples as possible were able to have children Although not as popular as the male equivalent (the Hitler Youth), the German Maiden’s League grew to be accepted by many young women, as it was thought to be an exciting escape from the boring duties in the home. The league taught the girls how to cook, clean, and other jobs that would be useful in the future when they become the wife of an Aryan citizen.
This would help Hitler’s “Thousand Year Reich”, as the future children will in years to come be adults, who will aid to Hitler’s continuation of power in Germany- which will be essential to the Reich. Another reason on how Hitler persuaded women to have children was with the marriage loan system. When a new couple were married they were given a loan of one thousand marks. As soon as the couple have their first child the money owed is dropped by two hundred and fifty, meaning that they can keep a quarter of the money. If they have a second child they are allowed to keep another quarter… now making it five hundred marks that they have received for free. If they have a third, they get another quarter, and if they have four children then they no longer have to pay back any of the loan.
This made newlywed couples feel more strongly towards having many children, as there is now financial gain from it. Another way of how a woman having many children assists her with financial troubles is the money paid to couples by both the government and the Nazi party if she is a member of it. These payments are given per child and monthly, and can often be more money than the husband earns in the same period of time. It is clear that all of Hitler’s propaganda used to make women want to have more children worked, because the birth rate increased from fifteen per thousand in 1933 to twenty per thousand in 1939. There was also an increase in pregnancies outside marriage. These girls were looked after in state maternity hospitals.
Despite all of Hitler’s efforts to stop women from working, and to concentrate on raising the children and running the home, in 1939 , when the Second World War started, all of the men – whom had occupied the jobs once retained by women before Hitler’s ideals started taking power – were called to join the army and fight. This meant that for German industry to continue -and to earn the money used for arms during the war, and for the arms to be made during the war – women would have to go back to work. Although disapproved of by Hitler, he could see that it was the only way Germany had a chance to win the war, and let women begin to go back to work.
During this period of time the role of women was hardest, as they were forced to struggle with the responsibilities of having a career, whilst still trying to be a successful mother with her large amount of children, and raise them in a proper, Aryan, Nazi German fashion, as Hitler had indirectly taught them to do through his subtle propaganda and youth groups. Despite this, women were still stopped from doing some jobs, for example; there was no chance for German women to serve in the armed forces, as there was in Allied countries. Also, they were not allowed to work in factories. Quoted from Sauckel (the Nazi minister in charge of labour), “Factory work might inflict moral harm on German womanhood; not only might their physic and emotional life be affected but also their ability to bear children” (Taken from Inside The Third Reich by Albert Speer, 1970). Speer then goes on to say “Goering totally concurred.
But just to be absolutely sure, Sauckel went immediately to Hitler and had him confirm the decision. All my good arguments were therefore blown to the winds”. This quotation shows that while it was obvious that Hitler did not want women working, the position and pressure under which he was he had to make some decisions that he was not happy about, and even his closest followers would not know whether he would agree or disagree on particular ideas or statements. In conclusion, I believe that the reasons for Nazi policies towards women were to keep the Volksgermeinschaft (People’s Community) correct and complete, with women as mothers and housewives.
Despite this, when put under pressure Hitler had to go against his own ideals, but given a chance I imagine that he would not have done so. As well as this, another role of women was to have many children as possible. Also to teach their children about Hitler’s ideals, and therefore to continue the “Thousand year Reich”. To keep women doing this, Hitler and the Nazis would have to have some control over the women, and they did this through Propaganda. The main reason for the Nazi policies towards women is, in conclusion, so they would have more children and there would therefore be a larger quantity of able-bodied young men available and ready to fight for their country and Fuehrer in the future, when these young children have grown into adults.