Female Air Raid Wardens?

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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helen
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Female Air Raid Wardens?

Post by helen » 30 Mar 2004 16:29

Just browsing a site with propaganda T-shirts on - i found one with a picture of a female air raid warden on.

i didnt know that women were encouraged to do such jobs - they werent in Britain as far as i know - perhaps the Reich was a bit more liberal when it came to utilising womens skills - in between having children of course!

Does anyone know anything about this occupation?

Thanks

Helen

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Locke
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Post by Locke » 30 Mar 2004 17:08

I'm not a specialist in this topic but women in the Reich were at the beginning not encouraged to do such jobs. But in the war almost all men were sent to the front so women had to take their jobs and as there were bombings, women also worked as air raid wardens. (Flak-Helferinnen).
There are some informations about female uniforms in this topic. http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... elferinnen

Regards,
Polona

xcalibur
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Re: Female Air Raid Wardens?

Post by xcalibur » 30 Mar 2004 17:38

helen wrote:Just browsing a site with propaganda T-shirts on - i found one with a picture of a female air raid warden on.

i didnt know that women were encouraged to do such jobs - they werent in Britain as far as i know - perhaps the Reich was a bit more liberal when it came to utilising womens skills - in between having children of course!

Does anyone know anything about this occupation?

Thanks

Helen
UK introduced conscription for unmarried women ages 19-30 in December 1941. The ATS, or Auxiliary Territorial Service employed some 200,000 women as mechanics, clerks, as well as in manning AA batteries. In adddition there was a large Civil Defence organization employing some 375,000 women as air raid wardens, fire fighters, etc. Additionally, there was the WAAF, Women's Auxiliary Air Force which maintained barrage balloons...

Almost forgot: There was the WVS, Women's Voluntary Service for Air raid Precautions, founded 1938, which had to do with relocating people bombed out, clearing rubble, moving children to the countryside, etc.

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Vikki
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Post by Vikki » 31 Mar 2004 03:38

German women were used in this capacity in both the military and civilian worlds, particularly, as Locke said, to fill the gaps left as more and more German men were sent to the front.

Within the Luftwaffe, they were integral to both the Flugmeldedienst (Aircraft Reporting Service), who "manned" (pun intended!) visual observation and radar posts, and the Flugwarndienst (Aircraft Warning Service), who communicated detected air raids to military and civilian authorities. They were officially incorporated into the Luftwaffe in this capacity as early as 1941.

But I think the image you're referring to is of a well-known recruiting poster for the Luftschutz, "Frau im Luftschutz!". Civilian women served in both the Luftschutz (the civilian Air Protection service) and Feuerwehrdienst (Fire Defense Service). In these positions they acted as "Air Raid Wardens"---sounding alarms, rounding up civilians into bomb shelters, or helping to evacuate them---but also in firefighting, and in post-raid cleanup, such as decontamination, etc.

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