SEX AND SOCIETY IN NAZI GERMANY by Hans Peter Bleuel

SEX AND SOCIETY IN NAZI GERMANY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The wonderful thing about Nature and Providence,"" the Fuhrer rhapsodized to the National Socialist Women's Association in 1934, ""is that no conflict between the sexes can occur as long as each party performs the function prescribed for it by Nature"" -- thus putting women on notice not to butt into the affairs of men, that their participation in the new order was to be through the womb. Almost immediately after seizing power the Nazis, as this compelling, minutely researched social history documents, ousted women from senior posts, restricted their rights to inheritance and higher education, pressured them to marry young and leave their jobs; every woman, it was expected, would be a mother at least by Mother's Day -- childless they weren't paid-up members of society. Breeding was a high priority and Reichsfuhrer Himmler himself took charge of the expanding Lebensbon (Fount of Life) lying-in homes for mothers of ""good blood"" (illegitimacy was actively promoted: ""You can't all get a husband,"" the Gifts' League was told, ""but you can all be mothers""), along with a postwar plan to enlarge the facilities to accommodate a program whereby still barren women 30 or over would be statutorily forced to couple with racially flawless ""reproduction assistants."" But even totalitarianism hasn't the black magic to change a sow's ear into a racially pure cow, and with the golden youth away at the front -- and squandering not a few seeds on inferior ethnic groups -- most frauleins went hay rolling with the nearest available POW, regardless of race, creed or color. A terrifying footnote to the times, but hardly applicable to our own.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1973
Publisher: Lippincott