Role of Women under Stalin vs. Role of Women under Hitler

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In theory, the role of women under Stalin contrasted greatly with the role of women under Hitler. In Marxist theory, treating women as second-class was a capitalist way of life and marriage was seen as little more than prostitution. This contrasts perfectly with Hitler’s role for women, which placed large emphasis on family life and women as mothers and wives. However in practice women under Stalin’s rule played a similar role to women in Nazi Germany. The economic situation and high divorce rates in mid-1920s Russia meant that women were forced into a much more matronly role than was intended. Immediately following the Bolshevik Revolution, women experienced a large change in social status. Lenin despised the traditional marriage and regarded it as akin to prostitution, with the woman being the property of her husband and subjugated to his will. Freeing women from this domestic role required the large scale provision of facilities such as canteens, laundries, kindergartens and crèches. This contrasts completely with what Hitler expected from women in Nazi Germany. Women in Nazi Germany were expected to follow the three “k”s, which translate to “children, kitchen and church.” Under Hitler, women were expected to play a much more matronly role than was initially intended in Russia, to the extent that women were awarded medals for the more children they had. The role of the family was emphasised to a much lesser extent in Russia than in Germany. Divorce in Russia was made easier so as to help free women from the constraints of marriage. It was expected that the change in the domestic roles of women would revolutionise the relationship between man and woman, as women would be freer to choose their own partners. This again perfectly contrasts with what was expected of women in Nazi Germany. The role of the traditional family was of immense importance in Nazi Germany and raising a successful family with six or more children was regarded as the penultimate goal in a...
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