Saturday, August 29, 2009

Different take on women at Nuremberg

Research for my lecture this Monday on "Women at Nuremberg" turned up a 75-year-old reminder that not only ethnic status, but also gender status, was a target of totalitarianism during that era.
"Hitler Condemns Women in Politics" declared an Associate Press article published in a September 1934 edition of The New York Times.
The article reported on a speech in Nuremberg, at which Adolf Hitler, who’d become Germany’s Chancellor a year earlier, said:
‘Liberalism has a large number of points for women’s equality. The Nazi program has but one: this is a child. ‘While man makes his supreme sacrifice on the field of battle, woman fights her supreme battle for her nation when she gives life to a child.’
He linked notions that women might play other roles in society to his least-favored ethnic group – of course – and also to the apparent curse of "‘intellectualism.’"
In short, Hitler "derided the mixing of women in political matters," and "added that he believed parliamentary life tended to degrade women."
His audience?
Two thousand "woman politicians," Nazi Party organizers who "applauded his statements energetically."


(credit for photo of September 1934 rally at Nuremberg)


2 comments:

Room 641A said...

Not that it matters much, but I'm sure Hitler never referred to his movement as "Nazis". He used "national socialists" or "national socialism", or occasionally "the movement".

See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazism#Terminology

Diane Marie Amann said...

This is a direct quotation of the New York Times article.