Recommended Reading on 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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Diotima
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by Diotima » 05 Aug 2010 13:18

I want to recommend some books not mentioned here yet (I hope at least). They are in German, which many people here read - and I'll try to find translations.

Sigrid Chamberlain: Adolf Hitler, die deutsche Mutter und ihr erstes Kind

The book analyzes the classic education manual The German Mother and her First Child from a psychological point of view. The NS educational principles, this is her hypothesis, result in a child that is emotionally wanting and thus more easily adaptable to frameworks like the HJ. I'm not so sure that all the mothers followed the advice given in the book - if they did, it would certainly have resulted in depressed children, as she advocates a very strict regiment, i.e., "breaking the will" of the child. However, the writer's strict tone and her repeated appeals to the mothers seem to hint that most German mothers followed a more gentle line and had to be admonished into following the official line.


Frauengruppe Faschismusforschung: Arbeitsbuch und Mutterkreuz

A collection of essays by left wing feminist writers - strong influence of 1960s ideology (ripe for the next round of ideology critique ;-) ) but nevertheless interesting to read. Many facts about the different biographic options of working women, young women, mothers, party career women etc. Basic information which is useful if you want to dig further. Not new but still readable enough.
http://www.amazon.de/Mutterkreuz-Arbeit ... 3596237181


Irmgard Weyrather: Muttertag und Mutterkreuz. Der Kult um die deutsche Mutter

A very interesting book stock full of information about the whole process of Mutterkreuz awards, the Muttertag ceremonies and the official cult of the mother. Personally, I'm very interested in it since two of my great-grandmothers were awarded the Mutterkreuz but both felt ambivalent about it. They sure felt the flattering acknowledgement of their hard work as mothers but they also felt embarrassed, and they did not agree with the aggressively pro-natal policies of NS Germany. (Try to have not more than three children! both advised their daughters and daughters in law, and they followed the advice). Still, the book helped me to understand how women were recruited emotionally for the cult of the German Mother, and how my great-grandmothers must have felt being honored.
http://www.amazon.de/Muttertag-Mutterkr ... 390&sr=8-7


Anja Klabunde, Magda Goebbels, Annaeherung an ein Leben

This biography of Magda is interesting but still leaves me, like most biographies, dissatisfied and hungry for more What made this woman tick? We will probably never know. Maybe her good looks made life too easy for her when she was young, and she never developed her own sense of identity? She always adapted herself to the man at her side, but at the same time, resisted this process of adaptation. She seems to me a woman who, after a certain point in her life, put her feelings into a box and never looked at them again. As ideal of elegant beauty and model mother she is still fascinating, as humiliated wife of Goebbels and killer of her children, she is certainly one of the more chilling figures of NS history. I recommend the book although, as I said, it digs at the surface. Magda lets us come no nearer, I fear.
http://www.amazon.de/Magda-Goebbels-Ann ... 969&sr=8-1


Erich Kasberger, Heldinnen waren wir keine

A collection of stories, told by "normal women". Oral history - no judgement, no distance, and the historical framework is quite sketchy - but that's after all not the point of the book. If you want to hear voices of women who remember their life in NS Germany as mothers of soldiers, forced laborers or enthusiastic national socialists, this book is for you. Easy reading but certainly a good overview of stories of younger and older women from all walks of life.

http://www.amazon.de/Heldinnen-waren-ke ... 257&sr=8-3

bob7708
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by bob7708 » 06 Aug 2010 17:36

The Women Who Knew Hitler: The Private Life of Adolf Hitler....

I just got through reading "The Women Who Knew Hitler: The Private Life of Adolf Hitler" and it is a terrific read! I couldn't put it down once I started reading it. it's a book I highly recommend.
You can purchase it at Amazom.com at the website below.

http://www.amazon.com/Women-Who-Knew-Hi ... 342&sr=1-1

uhu
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by uhu » 18 Aug 2010 03:39

My favorite is still Surviving the Fire[u). It consists of around 25 short stories of women during the war. The most interesting one I found was by Klara Hacker who was in the Luftwaffe in France during the invasion and retreat. Amazon shows a few used starting from .77 cents!

Put in "Hacker" in the area of searching to read a sample from the book at the Amazon site.

bob7708
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by bob7708 » 18 Aug 2010 06:02

I just ordered your book "Surviving the Fire" from Amazon and hope to get in in a weeks time. Bob :D
uhu wrote:My favorite is still Surviving the Fire[u). It consists of around 25 short stories of women during the war. The most interesting one I found was by Klara Hacker who was in the Luftwaffe in France during the invasion and retreat. Amazon shows a few used starting from .77 cents!

Put in "Hacker" in the area of searching to read a sample from the book at the Amazon site.

uhu
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by uhu » 20 Aug 2010 02:23

Just finished reading Goodbye Stalin which was well written and very interesting. As the product description says,
"The planes came. My mother leaped from the driver's seat screaming. Into the ditch! A heart-wrenching story of one family's struggle to be free. Sigrid and her family escaped communism not once but four times. They went from feudal glory under the Czars through the Soviet revolution to democracy in Estonia, Nazism in Poland during World War II, then communism in East Germany, and finally freedom in West Germany and the United States."

Aristocrat Estonian Volksdeutsche family tracing liniage to the Teutonic Knights. Moved to German occupied Poland when Russia took Estonia as part of the Hitler-Stalin pact. Trekked at the end of the war to East Germany. Like all these books, one you want to read when you think you've had a tough week!

At our favorite internet books sites for less than two bucks and worthy of being in the library.

bob7708
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by bob7708 » 29 Aug 2010 04:12

bob7708 wrote:I just ordered your book "Surviving the Fire" from Amazon and hope to get in in a weeks time. Bob :D
uhu wrote:My favorite is still Surviving the Fire[u). It consists of around 25 short stories of women during the war. The most interesting one I found was by Klara Hacker who was in the Luftwaffe in France during the invasion and retreat. Amazon shows a few used starting from .77 cents!

Put in "Hacker" in the area of searching to read a sample from the book at the Amazon site.


Just finished "Surviving The Fire" uhu and it was a great read. Thanks for recommending it. :D

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Keir
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by Keir » 23 Jan 2011 13:30

I want to thank Diotima for her selection of books, but in particular her synopsis of Adolf Hitler, Die Deutsche Mutter Und Ihr Erstes Kind. Our first child was born December 21 (Stalin's and, fortuitously given that she heard his first cries from the hallway, my mother's birthday) and our hebamma lent me the book as well as Haarer's 1959 edition of Die Mutter Und Ihr Erstes Kind even though I don't know German. I'm thinking of encouraging a student to do this topic for the research paper just so I can find out more....
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murx
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by murx » 02 Mar 2011 09:50

The complete collection of the NS women's journal "Frauenwarte" can be researched and read under this link:

http://www.ub.uni-heidelberg.de/helios/ ... warte.html

elizabeth f.
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by elizabeth f. » 20 May 2011 20:52

Hildegard Knef, German movie star during the war, wrote two memoirs. The first "Gift Horse" is outstanding. It was recommended to me by a woman who was five during the carpet bombing of Hamburg and fled east where she and her mother lived in a DP camp for almost two years. I have a few more interesting titles I'll post in the next few days.

elizabeth f.
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by elizabeth f. » 20 May 2011 20:57

Another, suggested to me some years ago by a member of the Axis History Forum, rare tale of Czech volks deutsch woman and her travails in the sudetenland post-war. See The Hour of the Women by Christian Graf Von Krockow

elizabeth f.
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by elizabeth f. » 20 May 2011 21:21

"Nothing for Tears" Lalli Horstman (memoir)
Socialite Jewish-German woman's tale of life during wartime and after "liberation" by the Red Army. She was married to a vainglorious aristocrat and former diplomat who resigned his position as German ambassador to Spain when the National Socialists came into power in '33 only to spend the rest of his life collecting porcelain, silver, art and books. Well written and published by Weidenfeld & Nicholson my favorite publisher for memoirs of this sort appearing fairly quickly after the war ended.
"More Was Lost" Eleanor Pereyni (memoir)
On a trip to Budapest with her parents (mother, author of The Bitter Tea of General Yen,) the author falls in love with an aristocratic but impoverished landowner with a castle on the border w. the Ukraine. The young marrieds set up house and settle into a brief pastoral idyll. During a trip to Paris in late summer '39 the author discovers she is pregnant and chooses not to return. Six or eight years later her Axis officer husband is released from a Russian POW camp and she decries his letter writing skills and responsibilities as a husband and father from the safety of Connecticut and her desk at Conde Nast.

kathy
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by kathy » 13 Jan 2013 22:25

I posted this in the 'What is everyone reading . .' thread. If it is okay to put it here also, I found it online . . . .

And Then There Were None, by E.M.Hazell. English language.


http://www.hazellarts.com/And%20then%20 ... 20none.htm

It is an autobiographical account of a woman born in 1926 and raised in Mannheim.

kathy

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Rivet
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by Rivet » 14 Jan 2013 02:26

I've started reading the Men-at-Arms, by Osprey Publishing, book World War II German Women's Auxiliary Services by Gordon Williamson. Not quite finished yet, but so far it is a good text. :milsmile:
"Good actions ennoble us, and we are the sons of our deeds."—Miguel de Cervantes

Rob Munch
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Re: Recommended reading on women in the Third Reich

Post by Rob Munch » 17 Mar 2013 06:45

Hitler's Women by Guido Knopp.

The following excerpt is sourced from Amazon.com:

"Of course I love my husband, but my love for Hitler is stronger," wrote Magda Goebbels, the socialite wife of Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and super-mom of the Third Reich.
An unprecedented look at the women of Hitler's inner circle, "Hitler's Women" presents six chilling portraits of the leading women in Hitler's life and the role they played in the Nazi regime. Here are the lives of Eva Braun, Hitler's mistress, whose lifelong dream of marrying the Fuehrer was fulfilled shortly before they committed suicide; Magda Goebbels, who married her husband to be close to Hitler; Richard Wagner's daughter-in-law Winifred, who refused two proposals of marriage from Hitler; Leni Refenstahl, the brilliant filmmaker who became the Nazis' propagandist; diva Zarah Leander, who denied ever being a Nazi but made a fortune in films for the fatherland; and screen goddess Marlene Dietrich, who left Germany and fought Hitler with all means at her disposal.
The lives of these women illuminate how the Nazis envisaged German womanhood--loyal, stylish, talented and maternal--and show that it is often a short step from collaboration to dissent, from conformity to resistance. Award-winning German journalist Guido Knopp mines diaries, letters, unpublished photographs and interviews with friends to create an absorbing, intimate look into a dark part of history.
The Last Field Marshal. One Man's Struggle Between Duty and Conscience During World War II.
http://www.amazon.com/Marshal-Struggle- ... B00BG7769O

uhu
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Aurora

Post by uhu » 12 Apr 2013 21:39

Aurora, by K.F. Ritter, 2006.

"An Alabama school teacher in Germany struggles to keep her children druing WWII Germany after she discovers her husband is a German spy"

Amazing book, spellbinding reading. The author, for most of her career, served as director of science and technical libraries for the U.S. Navy and Nasa. Her book is about her famlily, mainly her Mother, Mary Aurora Evans Ritter. Aurora's family traces their roots to early Pioneer stock. Aurora moved to New York in the early 1930's, and met, and married, Nikolas Ritter who had emigrated from Germany. She moved to Germany with Nikolas in the late 30's. Nikolas Ritter became a Luftwaffe Major in charge of spying operations in the U.S. and Britain. His team, pre war, brought the plans for the Norden Bombsight, and Sperry Gyroscope to Germany. Major Ritter was the Luftwaffe officer that ran the operation later novelized in "The English Patient". When the war starts, Aurora gets a divorce but finds she can't leave Germany with her children. The bulk of the book is then her time in WW-II Germany, with two young children, the author of the book being one of them. Bombed out, strafed twice, the three endure wartime Germany for the duration of the war. Very well written and illustrated with many unpublished photographs. I'd suggest the book for everyone interested in ANY segment of WWII Germany. Keep your eyes open for this one, and don't miss it!

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