German women had a very hard life after Hitler came to power. They were expected to do many things and were not expected to do many others. An example of this is when Hitler tried to encourage women to stay at home have children and get married which we can tell from source one which is a poster which was produced by the German government. It is a poster which shows a baby carried in it’s mothers arms and surrounded by the rest of the family (husband and three other children). From this I can infer that women were expected to look after their children and produce more, look after their husbands and finally look after the house. However this source may not be reliable as it was published by the German government who ma have used this as propaganda therefore telling us only what the government want people to think. I can also tell that women were encouraged to stay at home have children and get married form source number three which was also published by the Nazi government. Source number three shows the criteria needed for a woman to get an ‘Honour Cross’ which came from the government and came in the form of a bronze, silver and gold award. In order for women to get a bronze award they had to have four children, six children to get a silver award and have eight children in order to have a gold award. This therefore was an incentive for German women to have children as they got an award for having children from the government and a bribe. However this source may also not be reliable as it does not give us any statistics of how many German people got what awards. Another way in which Hitler and his party got people to get married was yet another form of bribery as I can tell from source eight which was a law which was passed giving a married couple a loan of 1,000 Reichsmarks (old German currency) on three conditions. These conditions were
- “The future wife spends at least six months in employment.”
- “Or the future wife gives up her job.”
- “Or the future wife promises not to take up employment so long as her husband earns more than 125 Reichsmarks a month.”
However with this law it most probably is reliable as the document was official and it was a law therefore making everyone have to follow it or get punished.
Another thing Hitler expected them to do was to follow the German laws and guidelines as to how they could live their lives. An example of this could be how they could dress. For example in source seven where he encouraged women not to do certain things such as wear “high heels, make-up or trousers”. He also encouraged them not to “dye their hair but wear it in plats or a bun.” From this source I can tell that the Nazi’s had some very strict rules on what women could or couldn’t do and also tell that women did what they were mostly told. However, even though the source is from a school textbook it’s reliability may be questioned as it wasn’t a document which was produced then therefore making it impossible for the publishers to know if the information they had written was all true or if some of it was biased or not true. Rules which women were also expected to follow were from source two the “rule book of the League of German Maidens” which are three rules which are:
- “A German woman does not wear make-up!”
- “A German woman does not smoke!”
- “A German woman has a duty to keep herself fit and healthy!”
However it is not a reliable document as it was written by the “League of German Maidens” who may have viewed life for normal women different to theirs. However we can infer from this source what was expected of German women in society and the strict rules and procedures they were expected to follow.
Another thing which women were expected to do was go give up their jobs or slowly forced to leave their jobs and do domestic chores as seen in source four. Source for was written by civil servants in the German government and exclaims that in the event of a man and woman going for the same job the man will always get preference to the woman, no matter if the woman has more qualifications than the man. From this I can tell that women were given second-preference to men which was a form of prejudice. I can also tell from this source that men were more superior to women. I also think that this source is reliable as it is official guidelines therefore making it true and reliable.