HTS – 2101
Professor Flamming and Winders
December 10, 2011
Nazi Germany: Reproductive laws and policies.
When the National Socialists rose to power in Germany in 1933 they reversed the gains that the women of Germany had previously made with respect to work, voting rights and overall equality. Previously, under the Constitution of the Weimar Republic that was adopted in 1919, women were guaranteed “equality before the law and full political rights for women, as well as labor protection”. When Adolf Hitler was sworn into office on January 30th 1933, he immediately pushed forth policies that reflected the views of the National Socialist German Workers' Party (NSGWP) that a woman’s place was in the home and as the bearers of the next generation of the Aryan race. The Nazis wanted to control the reproduction of the German population so they established laws against abortion and introduced compulsory sterilizations. Women no longer had any fundamental rights over their own bodies and reproductive lives and they were only seen as mothers or as potential mothers.
“If we say the world of the man is the state, the world of the man is his commitment, his struggle on behalf of the community, we could then perhaps say that the world of the woman is a smaller world. For her world is her husband, her family, her children and her home. But where would the big world be if no one wanted to look after the small world? How could the big world continue to exist if there was no one to make the task of caring for the small world the center of their lives? No, the big world rests upon this small world! The big world cannot survive if the small world is not secure.”
Adolf Hitler, speech to
The National Socialist Women’s Organization,
Nuremberg Party Rally, 7th September 1934.
The Weimar Republic, a parliamentary democracy established in Germany after World War I, came to an end when the Nazi Socialists rose to power. Soon after Hitler became the...