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To What Extent Were Women Victims of National Socialism

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The era is also criticised and condemned for confining the role of the women from social, economic and corporate fields to the four walls of their houses, where they were meant to conceive the children of this superior German race, and to serve and soothe their husbands on their return from the jobs and battlefields as well. Kolingsky (1993) submits to state that the woman under Nazi Germany had been assigned the only task of sustaining and maintaining their beauty in order to attract their husbands or lovers for conceiving children. It was not a novel thing for the females, as the female bird preens herself for the male, and hatches the egg for him. In return, the male provides the food. Before embarking upon the topic under analysis, it would be advisable to look into the history of inclusion and exclusion of women in professional activities outside their homes. German Women 1871—1933: The disintegrated Prussian states had launched a long and dedicated struggle in order to turn the dream of united Germany into reality. They had to win three successive battles against Denmark, Austria-Hungary, and France in 1864, 1866 and 1871 respectively in order to accomplish the arduous unification process of the shattered Prussian states under one banner and in one unit. German Iron-Chancellor Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898) was determined to make his country as the leader of the world in all aspects. Consequently, he assured the active participation of men and women in various occupations. Bismarck had played the decisive role in the upsurge of the German nation, and Kaiser Wilhelm II turned the country into a tremendous military and economic giant of the entire region for the future years to come. He did not confine the flow of progress to men only. on the contrary, he invited women folk too to step forwards and render their valuable contributions to their nation on the basis of their educational qualifications, experiences, and skills. As a result, women started working shoulder to shoulder with the male folk in the health, education and nursing sectors, and even military services of the country too. Imperial Germany, under the Reichstag, promoted an active female role as teachers, nurses, soldiers and political activists (Mahajan, 2002). Although the courageous and dauntless political and strategic policies devised by the then German leadership during 1871 to 1914 turned the country into a marvellous state of Europe, and invited and included all strata of society, including men, women, young and old into nation-building programmes, yet the entire developments made by the political leadership in order to make Germany as unchallenged created rivalries against the constantly rising economy. However, rapid industrialization also invited the high crime rate, urbanization and prostitution etc in its wake. The disquiet caused by these factors was simultaneously exacerbated in Germany by the increasingly vociferous demands of the German women’s movement which emerged most strongly at the turn of the century. (Rowe, 1995)