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By Claudia Koonz

From wide learn, together with a outstanding interview with the unrepentant leader of Hitler’s Women’s Bureau, this ebook strains the jobs performed by way of ladies – as fans, sufferers and resisters – within the upward push of Nazism. initially publishing in 1987, it truly is an immense contribution to the knowledge of women’s prestige, culpability, resistance and victimisation in any respect degrees of German society, and a list of spectacular ironies and paradoxical morality, of compromise and braveness, of submission and survival.

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Extra resources for Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family and Nazi Politics

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Her face turning blue as hands closed tightly around her throat. She continued. I gulped the tea. " From a newspaper clipping, I knew that her husband, an SS general who supervised the schools designed to train the future elite, vigorously denied having belonged to the Nazi Party. Not his wife. "Of course I told the Americans I had belonged to the Nazi Party. " There was that steadfastness again. "The time has come for all of us decent Germans who served our people during the Third Reich to speak out.

Her gentle femininity is a startling contrast to the military atmosphere. She is a friendly woman in her middle thirties, blonde, blue-eyed, regular featured, slender. She sits in her wicker chair on her little balcony and chats with her visitor. Her complexion is so fresh and clear that she dares to do without powder or rouge. She talks, and one notices that her firm, capable hands have known hard work. . How does she feel about the possibility of Germany's going to war? She glances up at the swastikas and across at the black boots of the uniformed men beyond the doorway and she turns quickly away to hide the tears in her eyes.

The postmark, Tubingen, meant nothing to me; I knew no one who lived there. Then I felt a chill travel up my spine. How many times had I seen that regular, graceful hand at the end of letters and documents. "Sehr geehrte Frau Dr. Koonz," the letter began. I had always met my subjects through their records; now a ghost rose out of the archival mist and addressed me. The leader of millions of Nazi women under Hitler had decided to talk to me. What did she want? What did I want from her? When I embarked on this research project, the paradox of the topic riveted my attention.

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