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Explain the [German] attitude towards women and family. What was done from 1933-39 to encourage this attitude?

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Introduction

Explain the attitude towards women and family. What was done from 1933-39 to encourage this attitude? Germany had been through a major depression and due to this found that birth rates were decreasing although this wasn't the only reason. It was also due to improved standards of living; this now meant contraception was available. Also there was a desire for better education for women. Between the years 1900 and 1933 female employment had increased by a third. One reason for this was due to the war, women had been drafted into the factories to help with he war effort, they found that they enjoyed having the jobs and didn't really want to leave them. Another reason was due to woman having the vote; they were no where near to having equal rights with men although it did make a huge difference to them. Although this all changed when the Nazis came to power in 1933 they had very traditional ideals about women. They believed that nature had created women to give birth and that they shouldn't stray form this duty. ...read more.

Middle

This was a success in some areas especially the German Girls' League, although there was some rebellion over these requests. The Nazis Woman's League taught woman that their place was in the home, they were never banned from having jobs. The woman just complied with the request of staying at home with children. Woman were also excluded from important positions in the nazi party itself including the reichstag, they were only given important roles in specific interest groups. Hitler wanted to encourage a birth rate increase; it had almost halved from the beginning of the century. He aimed at making children seem more appealing to newly-weds. They began to introduce a number of grants, interest-free loans and schemes aimed at increasing the population. But there was a catch the couples could only receive this aid if the wife pulled out of her job. For all the Nazis wanted to keep the woman at home their most important priority was to increase the birth rate and therefore increases the population. ...read more.

Conclusion

Medical inspections also occurred they discouraged 'racial inferior stock' to having children as well as them being put on a sterilisation programme. The Nazis were in power for 12 years and six of those they spent at war. Due to the small amount of time it was probably impossible for the Nazi ideas to work completely. The amounts of births and marriages rose from 1932 until 1934, from there onwards they stayed level. This shows that the policies didn't have that much of an effect. Although it is impossible to tell if there was an effect but there was something else countering it. For all the Nazis Women's League only encouraged women to give up their jobs and return to their traditional roles, many of those watched their jobs being taken away form them. Women were dismissed from the civil service, medicine and the judicial system. Although the Nazis didn't managed to dismiss all women from their jobs the amount of female teachers fell in 1933 but then regained all lost ground by 1938. Even though the Nazis did everything in their power to encourage marriage divorce was still high and continued to rise. Sarah Coughlin - 2 - ...read more.

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