Whose Mothers? Generational Difference, War, and the Nazi Cult of Motherhood

TitleWhose Mothers? Generational Difference, War, and the Nazi Cult of Motherhood
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsHeineman, Elizabeth D.
JournalJournal of Women's History
Volume12
Issue4
Pagination139 - 164
Date Published2001
Abstract

In Nazi Germany during World War II, the regime differentiated between older and younger mothers, deemphasizing younger women's maternal functions and emphasizing those of older women. The government believed that younger women, including mothers, were more fit than older women for paid labor and that older women's housework was essential to civilian men's work performance. For this and other reasons, propaganda emphasized the sacrifices of bereaved war mothers over the suffering of war widows, even those with children. By honoring women whose mothering work was done, the Nazis were able to appease popular pro-mother sentiment while simultaneously minimizing material assistance to young mothers in the workforce.

URLhttp://muse.jhu.edu/journals/jowh/summary/v012/12.4heineman.html
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