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The meteoric rise of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party cowed the masses into a sense of false utopia. During Hitler’s 1932 election campaign over half those who voted for Hitler were women. Germany’s women had witnessed the anarchy of the post-First World War years, and the chaos brought about by the rival political gangs brawling on their streets. When Hitler came to power there was at last a ray of hope that this man of the people would restore not only political stability to Germany but prosperity to its people.
As reforms were set in place, Hitler encouraged women to step aside from their jobs and allow men to take their place. As the guardian of the home, the women of Hitler’s Germany were pinned as the very foundation for a future thousand-year Reich. Not every female in Nazi Germany readily embraced the principle of living in a society where two distinct worlds existed, however with the outbreak of the Second World War, Germany’s women would soon find themselves on the frontline.
Ultimately Hitler’s housewives experienced mixed fortunes throughout the years of the Second World War. Those whose loved ones went off to war never to return; those who lost children not only to the influences of the Hitler Youth but the Allied bombing; those who sought comfort in the arms of other young men and those who would serve above and beyond of exemplary on the German home front. Their stories form intimate and intricately woven tales of life, love, joy, fear and death. Hitler’s Housewives: German Women on the Home Front is not only an essential document towards better understanding one of the twentieth century’s greatest tragedies where the women became an inextricable link, but also the role played by Germany’s women on the home front which ultimately became blurred within the horrors of total war.
This is their story, in their own words, told for the first time.
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