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Women In Nazi Germany Essay

1321 words - 5 pages

Women in Nazi Germany In the years leading up to World War I, women in Germany were slowly gaining more rights and opportunities. They were allowed to pursue an education, work, and had won the right to vote. While the education they received was slightly different than that of men, they were still able to attend universities. Work was appreciated, but the pay was never equal to that of men.This evolution of the role of women in Germany took a large step backward when Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party came to power. More traditional roles of women as homemakers and mothers were favored over the new working class female. However, these changes were not set in stone. When the Nazis needed more females in the workplace, they conveniently changed their party policy.The role of women in Nazi Germany depended in large part on their heritage. Aryan women who joined the Nazi party saw their roll change. Unlike the Catholic Center Party, these women did not hold a political office. They were not directly involved with the government. Women in the Third Reich were expected to breed frequently in order for future generations of Aryans to grow in number. Most were expected to fill the roll of housewife. However, some were given guard positions at concentration camps for other women.As more legislation passed against Jews, Jewish women watched their role in society become increasingly smaller. Women of different religions with whom these people fought for the women's emancipation movement openly chastised them. Despite a large portion of non-Jewish Germans' secret apologies for taking an anti-Semitic stance publicly, very few gentiles said anything to put an end to the ridiculous legislation. Unfortunately, this feeling of isolation would only get worse.Before the camps became an integral part of the Final Solution, Jews were encouraged to emigrate. Some Jewish women were permitted to stay longer than others. Charlotte Salomon of Berlin, for example, was an extremely talented artist. She was permitted to study at the prestigious Akademic der Kunste until she fled for France in 1938.Another Jewish woman was permitted to stay in Berlin throughout the entire Nazi reign because she was the favorite seamstress of a few Nazi leaders' wives. Despite being told to remain unnoticed, she would often go to the opera with Nazis. She sat with the extravagantly dressed patrons to prove that she could be every bit as elegant as her Nazi oppressors.The Nazis were strongly against women in the workplace. They felt that women should be physically and mentally trained to raise a family. They also felt that a woman had no business in politics. While other parties such as the Catholic Center Party allowed women to hold political office, the Nazis completely dismissed the notion.Between 1935-1936, new policies emerged which prepared women for both motherhood and employment. Expansionism called for a higher birthrate, while factory workers were needed to aid with rearmament. The...

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