women in the Third Reich

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
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Beppo Schmidt
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women in the Third Reich

Post by Beppo Schmidt » 22 Dec 2003 04:05

what sort of civil service organization would women be required to serve in during WWII?

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Siegfried Wilhelm
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Post by Siegfried Wilhelm » 23 Dec 2003 20:41

The BDM for girls and the Frauenschaft for women. Both were 'required', but it was not particularly enforced, so many girls and women did not join.

SW~

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Germania
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Post by Germania » 24 Dec 2003 10:43

I think much female volunteers exist like Blitzmädchen or something else!

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HPL2008
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Post by HPL2008 » 24 Dec 2003 12:54

Also worth mentioning is the Reichsarbeitsdienst der weiblichen Jugend. (= National Labor Service of the female youth) Originally, a six-month period of service in the RADwJ was compulsory; this was increased to 12 months in 1941, the second half of which were made up of service for the Kriegshilfsdienst (Auxiliary War Service), which could practically take the form of almost any sort of work which contributed to the war effort.

For younger girls who were with the Bund deutscher Mädchen or BDM (= League of German Girls), there was also the annual Ernteeinsatz (= harvest help) in which they were to take place, in addition to a variety of other auxiliary roles fulfilled by BDM members, ranging from work in hospitals and other welfare work to work as auxiliary postal workers etc.

Another thing that comes to mind is the Pflichtjahr (= compulsory year), although this was already instituted in 1938, the year before the war broke out. Young women between the ages of 18 to 25 who intented to take up any sort of employment had to work for one year either in agriculture or in housekeeping.

Apart from these three examples, women were found in many other civil service branches and uniformed organizations, often to take up functions predominately or exclusively held by men in the pre-war era, ranging from employment with the Reichsbahn (= National Railways) to the Feuerwehr (= Fire Department).
Furthermore, there were, of course uniformed female auxiliaries with all branches of the armed forces (Army, Navy, Air Force and Waffen-SS) as well as the police. Apart from women who had volunteered for these careers, there were also many who were "drafted" by means of a "Notdienstverpflichtung" (= emergency service commitment)
Last edited by HPL2008 on 25 Dec 2003 20:27, edited 1 time in total.

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Tony Slug
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Post by Tony Slug » 24 Dec 2003 15:49

I guess one could label the "Luftwaffehelferinnen" as active service-women.

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Tony Slug
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Post by Tony Slug » 24 Dec 2003 15:50

Oops I ment flakhelferin....Where's my coffee.

Roger Griffiths
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Post by Roger Griffiths » 30 Dec 2003 14:59

The Third Reich was a male dominated society, much as all others were then and now. Practical requirements of the time drew women into prevous preserves of men. I don't expect Adolf liked it any more than employing Slavs in the armed forces. The Nazi ethic for women was as mothers and housewives. The use of women in the war effort was somewhat less than in Britain. This does not mean that women were looked down upon. The Nazis constantly told the German people that they were the master race and that included women. Adolf died with a photo of his mother on his chest. Reading memoirs of German women of the period does not betray any feeling being second class citizens.

Roger

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sylvieK4
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Post by sylvieK4 » 30 Dec 2003 15:32

For more details about the lives of German women during the Third Reich period, you might want to read this book:

Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family and Nazi Politics Claudia Koonz. St. Martin's Press, N.Y. 1987

You can find it through the Skalman Bookstore site, along with other relevant titles.

http://www.skalman.nu/bookstore-third-women.htm

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Lind
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Women's Role in Nazi Germany

Post by Lind » 30 Dec 2003 17:57

A woman's civic role in Nazi Germany was to the Furher - this meant to produce Arian offspring. Married or single, women would "mate" with male Arian soldiers and the children were housed together and trained in the "proper Arian way".


Factoid: Do you know where the "heil" originated? From "Heiland", which means healer...

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Eberhard Schweizer
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Post by Eberhard Schweizer » 31 Dec 2003 07:53

I suppose my offering here depends on ones interpretation of 'civil service'.

The Lebensborn project basically offered single and racially pure women the opportunity to copulate with ss officers and then donate their children to the ss who would then adopt out the child. From what I can recall their were inducements for those who gave their womb for the fatherland, but the exact details escape me. What I can recall is that the project was essentially a failure, and resulted in the ss resorting to the kidnapping of children in occupied countries (mainly Poland) to increase their racial stocks.

This documentary was on the History Channel some time back.

Karl da Kraut
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Post by Karl da Kraut » 01 Jan 2004 23:11

Membership in the Nazi youth organizations became obligatory in 1939 for both boys and girls from 10 to 18. Girls had to join the Deutsche Jungmädel (DJM; 10-14) and then the Bund deutscher Mädel(BDM; 14-18).

Lind wrote:
Factoid: Do you know where the "heil" originated? From "Heiland", which means healer...
Nope.

a) Heiland means saviour.
b) Heil and Heiland are of course related, but Heil doesn't derive from Heiland.

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