A Nazi Party member with his wife, awarded the Cross of Honour of the German Mother (gold grade) for having 8 children.
The Nazi Ten Commandments for the choice of a spouse
- Remember that you are a German.
- If you are genetically healthy you should not remain unmarried.
- Keep your body pure.
- Keep your mind and spirit pure.
- As a German choose only a spouse of the same or Nordic blood.
- In choosing a spouse ask about his ancestors.
- Health is also a precondition for physical beauty.
- Marry only for love.
- Don't look for a playmate but for a companion for marriage.
- You should want to have as many children as possible.
Nazi ideology stated that according to the law of nature men and women should carryout different and separate roles.
Women in Nazi Germany were expected to:
- Give up employment once married.
- Have children and look after them.
- Care for the home and their husband.
The Nazi party constitution excluded women from all senior positions within the organisation. From 1933 onwards, women were excluded from jobs in medicine, law and in leadership posts in the civil service. The number of women teachers was also reduced.
A cap of 10 per cent was put on the proportion of women attending university.
Discouraged from the workplace, seen as subservient to men, a woman’s place was in the home, producing children for the master race.
In essence, women’s role within Nazi Germany was reduced to a purely biological purpose. Women were often praised for ‘services to the state and race’. This was emphasised in the slogan ‘Kinder, Küche, Kirche’ - Children, Kitchen, Church (see above).
Men and women were encouraged to marry, by being given loans, equivalent to half a year’s pay. If they produced more than four children, the loan did not have to be repaid. In addition, they were awarded a bronze medal. Couples who had six children were awarded a silver medal and those with eight a gold.
The Nazis used widespread propaganda to encourage women to fulfil their role. They were expected keep in good health, be modest and physically fit. In keeping with Nazi ideology, Their aim in life was to be subservient.