Anne Frank in the World, 1929 - 1945 Teacher Workbook

Women And Girls Under Nazi Rule

One of the aims of the Nazis was to deprive women of their freedom and the right to control their own lives. Many women were the victims of extreme violence and torture in the concentration and extermination camps.

The Nazis believed that a woman's place was in the home. The purpose of women was to produce babies, bring up children and to care for their home and husband. In the words of the famous Nazi slogan, women were to be confined to Kinder, Kirche, KŸche - children, church and kitchen. They were not allowed to take part in government, the law or education.

Before the Nazis took power, women had the vote and there were 30 women M.P.'s In 1921 the Nazis had banned all women from their own party leadership and party committees. Only 3% of the Nazi party were women. When the Nazis came to power in 1933, they threw out all the women MPs.

At the same time all married women doctors and civil servants and most married women teachers were sacked. They were banned from law courts as judges. lawyers and even as jurors. In Hitler's opinion,

women cannot think logically, or reason objectively, since they are ruled only by emotions.

Married women were supposed to have children, not jobs. Childless women were called traitors and mothers of large families were given a medal.

Every Aryan hero should marry only a blonde Aryan woman with blue, wide-open eyes, a long oval face, a pink and white skin, a narrow nose, a small mouth. A blonde blue-eyed man must marry no brunette, no Mediterranean-type woman with short legs, black legs. hooked nose, full lips, a large mouth and an inclination to plumpness. A blonde blue eyed Aryan hero must marry no Negroid-type of woman with the well known Negroid head and thinnish body. The Aryan hero must marry only his equal Aryan woman, but not one who goes out too much or likes theatres, entertainment or sport, or who cares to be seen outside her house. -- From Das Wissen der Na ton, 1934.

The school curriculum was changed so that girls mainly took domestic subjects. They were prevented from going to university. The government condemned make-up, fashion, nail varnish and slimness; in some cities the wearing of trousers by women was banned.

Boys were taught to be masters in the house. According to Nazi belief,

A real boy loves uniforms, smoke and battle; he does not play with dolls.

In Nazi society girls could look forward to only one future:

In the education of girls in the German state the emphasis must be placed primarily on physical education; only after that should the spiritual and mental values be considered. The one goal always to be kept in mind when educating girls is that some day they aim to be mothers. -- Adolf Hitler in "Mein Kampf'"