Haste, Cate.


1st ed., 2001. 256 pp., photo-plates. D.j., 24 x 15cm. FINE. Nazi Women is an intriguing and often shocking look at the role German women played in the rise and fall of the Nazi dictatorship. In part, it is the story of how ordinary women were wooed by the Nazis. It investigates how women formed the backbone of the Third Reich by conforming to the Nazi ideal of housewives and motherhood, learning household chores and eugenics in the Reich's Bridal Schools and ensuring their children joined the Hitler Youth and the BDM (League of German Girls). As Hitler's power grew and war loomed, German women became complicit in a chain of ever more unconscionable acts. Hitler also enthralled women on a personal level but his intimate affairs were troubled and controversial. This book explores Hitler's devotion to his mother and his awkward, abstinent adolescence, culminating in an imaginary two-year infatuation. It also traces the turmoil of his adult relationships, the first being with his niece Geli who committed suicide following an incestuous arrangement with Hitler, one among several women known to have been intimate with Hitler and driven to despair. With Germany losing the war and Hitler's position becoming increasingly untenable, Nazi Women explores the Fuhrer's betrayal of his proclaimed ideals of motherhood and family values amid conflict and brutality.

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