A female NSDAP member on women in Nazi Germany (1936)

Emilie Muller-Zadow, a member of the National Socialist Women’s Organisation, explains the basis of party policy and the role of women in Nazi Germany:

“The place that Adolf Hitler assigns to woman in the Third Reich corresponds to her natural and divine destiny. Limits are being set for her, which earlier she had frequently violated in a barren desire to adopt masculine traits. The value and sanctity of goals now being set for her have been unrecognised and forgotten for a long time; and due respect is now being offered to her vocation as mother of the people, in which she can and should develop her rich emotions and spiritual strengths according to eternal laws.

This wake-up call of National Socialism to women is one more indication that in Germany today it is not arbitrary laws that are being issued, but rather a nation is returning to essential, eternal rules of order. It is therefore not at all surprising that the state and party claim the education of mothers as exclusively their task and insist that all training be carried out only by National Socialists and according to the principles of National Socialism. For the way a mother sees her child, how she cares for, teaches, and forms him, the principles that she instills in him, the attitude that she demands of him, all of this is crucial for the national health, for a German morality, and for the unified overall mind-set of the future nation.

Some think they can argue that the purely practical part of motherhood training – for example the care of newborns – is independent of politics and world-view and is not influenced by them. But this is only partially true. The following may serve as an example: In the post-war period a real mania prevailed in clinics and institutions to keep premature babies or infants with the most serious hereditary diseases alive for a shorter or longer time in incubators and with the most sophisticated measures, even those babies whose chances for a full life every doctor judged as next to nothing. These experiments cost great amounts of the national wealth, while in the homes of the unemployed, normal children died from a lack of bare necessities.

A complete change of opinion has occurred in this area, as now only the functional, realistic principles of the state are in force, a state that examines and treats the individual according to his value. So in the whole project of motherhood training there is scarcely a component whose basic orientation and objectives are not formed by National Socialism. The training of German women for the calling of motherhood cannot be confined to the official courses, which are offered for this purpose by the German Women’s Organisation, nor can it be limited to the education of the nation’s youth, provided by the League of German Girls. A complete educational development and permeation of the whole nation can only succeed if all responsible maternally-oriented women feel impelled to instruct and actively help their sisters.”