By Dick Martin
Nazi doctrine pigeonholed their women as obedient mothers and wives, but a cadre of strong female supporters aided the rise of the Fuhrer and some of his most trusted men.
Hitler’s always spoke of his mother, Klara, as a saintly figure, whose major accomplishment was having him as a son. She was born on August 12, 1860 and died in 1907 at the age of 47. She was a simple woman whose birthday was designated as a “day of honor” for the German mothers.
Hitler’s broader message for German women was to serve their husbands and raise children leaving nearly everything else to men. Specifically, they were to raise sons who would become warriors and daughters to become mothers of future warriors. As a reward for having many children, the Nazis handed out the Cross of Honor of the German Mother – a bronze one for four or five children, silver for six or seven, and gold for eight or more.
From his earliest days in Munich, Hitler recognized the importance of appealing to women and remained a bachelor to exude what he thought was a sexually charged magnetism. In his early rallies, he even placed women in the front rows to exploit their enthusiasm. They persuaded their husbands to join Hitler and they devoted themselves utterly and selflessly to the Nazi Party’s interests.
Throughout his reign, women taught Hitler the social graces he lacked, provided a maternal influence, and the funds and connections to mix it up with the German elite. Other than Eva Braun, three women would significantly influence Hitler: Winifred Wagner, Helene Beckstein, and Elsa Bruckmann.
Despite all this, Hitler was thought to be impotent, a neuter! Two women who would probably know are his mistresses, Eva Braun and Geli Raubal, both victims of suicide.
Hitler’s women never abandoned their self-justifying fantasies, thus demonstrating the Fuhrer’s continued power over them-even after he had perished along with his millions of victims.
Taken and edited from a piece by Andrew Nagorski in the April 2020 edition of WWII magazine
Well written Dick. As we have come to expect from you. It’s amazing how much history I have learned since you started your research. Thanks!
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