Frauen für die Front: Gespräche mit Wehrmachtshelferinnen

TitleFrauen für die Front: Gespräche mit Wehrmachtshelferinnen
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsKillius, Rosemarie
Number of Pages190
PublisherMilitzke
CityLeipzig
Abstract

This book consists of fourteen interviews conducted with former women auxiliaries of the German Wehrmacht. The interviewees are just a few of the half a million or so young, single, and mainly middle-class German women who were recruited for non-combatant military service during World War II. The interviews provide some fascinating insights into life as a (female) member of an occupying army. France and Norway are described in nostalgic terms, with wonderful hosts and frequent excursions into the countryside, whereas the East is portrayed as very dangerous territory in which partisans were around every corner. Italy likewise appears as chaotic and menacing in the final months of the occupation, with anti-German sentiment reaching new heights among the local population. In general, though, the kind of duties performed by Wehrmachtshelferinnen were boring and routine, in keeping with gendered stereotypes about what was and what was not "suitable" work for women. Pride in the achievements of the Wehrmacht was often mixed in with homesickness, especially around Christmas time, and a certain irritation at being posted from one location to the next on very short notice. Secrecy was paramount, giving the women an added sense of responsibility, although they were seldom provided with information on the actual course or effectiveness of particular operations.

Translated TitleWomen for the Front : Conversations with Women Auxiliaries in the Wehrmacht
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Call Number: 
54777979

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