marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Mobilizing Women For War

Mobilizing Women For War: German and American Propaganda 1939-1945 by Leila J. Rupp

A comparative study.  Discusses the pre-war image of women, in both Nazi ideology and American imagery (noting that American imagery would be, in fact, more comparable to German imagery than Nazi imagery in particular).  Both center about maternity and the home, although the Nazi image was more public oriented.  The Nazis conceded that some forms of work were womanly -- such as teaching girls or health care for women, or agricultural labor on the family -- and the healthy young athletic woman were to sacrifice for their Volk.

Then war hit.

Both countries tried to mobilize women as war workers.  Only the American effort succeeded.  Goes into detail about the efforts on both sides to propagandize it -- both aiming it at women who had not worked and appealing to motives to help the individual soldiers they were related to -- considerably more extensive on the American side -- and some of the other issues.  Like, say, the Nazis calling for sacrifice from the moment they ascended to power, and the Americans having it as a novelty for wartime.  And how American soldiers' wives got small allowances, which were not cut if they worked, whereas the German ones were more generous but cut if they worked.

Interesting study of effects.
Tags: ethos, history reviews: world war ii era, secondary source, world-building: social structure

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