Nazi's View of Marriage
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The National Socialist Party quickly turned heads in July 14th, 1933 through the Law Concerning the Formation of New Parties, by declaring itself the only political party that was "allowed to exist in the Third Reich" (156.HCCR). Soon thereafter, the political perception the Nazis were likely to enforce would transform the whole view of German culture, economy, race, and especially, the way German individuals emotionally and physically interacted with one another. One relationship in the German state that stood out in my mind was the Nazi’s view of marriage, its purpose, its use and its representation in the German state. The Nazi’s perceived marriage as a processing factory, where each partner had certain roles and purposes to fulfill. Through the creation of speeches, art and laws, the relationship that would stand to the occasion in representing the Third Reich was the relation between man and woman...marriage.
Marriage defined the Volksgemeinschaft, or “community of people,” of Germany because it was the basis relationship that connected the small world of the household to the larger German community. Also, marriage made it rightfully possible to produce "pure blood" German children with the genetically correct German parents. Marriage was so vital to the Nazis because it was the true basis of their socio-political perspectives. In effect, see if you agree with my thesis students...In order to define Volksgemeinschaft, the Nazis constructed marriage by associating the relationship with modeled public male and private female roles, and with the assumption of procreating “pure blood” Aryan children. The Nazis used marriage to define their Volksgemeinschaft because it enforced the vertical relationship in marriage into the Nazi based society and it would help increase the capacity and population of the Aryan race.
How the Nazi’s constructed marriage: Part one
Nazis constructed marriage to define their “community of people” by associating the relationship with modeled public male and private female roles. In the Nazis perspective, marriage was no longer a physical or emotional attraction between a man and a woman, yet it became a small system within a larger system that would sustain both the German households and the German society. Marriage soon became defined as a modeled system when Hitler depicted the Nazi‘s preferences in a speech to the National Socialist Women‘s section on September 8th, 1934.
In this speech, a description of the world of both man and woman was concentrated into a modeled system and roles were distributed to each gender. For example, Hitler announced that "If the man's world is said to be the State, it may perhaps be said that the woman's is a smaller world"(277). This small, private world of the woman is, in reality, her household, where she tends to her children, manages the kitchen and offers care to her husband after strenuous day of work. The husband, of course, tends to the greater public world, the world of finances, paying professions and politics. However, Hitler proceeded on with his speech and yearned that “The greater world is built on the foundation of the smaller world”(277), and the German households were what kept the larger German society alive and flowing with development. In effect, a structural marriage was the basis on which the German society was built on. The private duties of the woman complimented and secures the public services of her husband. Hitler proved the importance of marriage by emphasizing that “(the) great world cannot survive if the smaller world is not stable”(277). In reality, with the destruction of these households, and without the German wives and mothers, the greater good of the German society would corrupt as well. The wife in her private settings and the husband in the public environment defined the community of people. This was the circular scheme in which Hitler saw his perfect German population practicing. The Nazis defined the “pure” German community by constructing marriage and by localizing it within a modeled and institutionalized relationship.
How the Nazi’s constructed marriage: Part two
In order to define Volksgemeinschaft, the Nazis constructed marriage by assuming the rightfully tolerable procreation of “pure blood” Aryan children. Through the document of Racial Purity: Hitler Reverts to the Dominant Theme of the NS Program, we find out the view Hitler and the Nazi Party possessed of a “perfect” Aryan society. The improvement of the “Purity of blood which God has given to”(274) the German people could only be tolerably done through a marital relation. The procreation through the marital relation could, in effect, greatly contribute to the community of Aryan people. For the Volksgemeinschaft was the Nazi’s perception of a “perfect” Aryan community. Indeed, it didn’t exist, yet, the Nazi’s didn’t believe such a reality, but relied on their own beliefs of truth and purity. The kind of "Folk community"(274) the Nazi’s wanted to attain needed to keep proliferating and growing. The only obvious system of increasing the population of the Volksgemeinschaft was to produce pure German children. The marriages between an Aryan couple, would assumingly and hopefully bring an increase in "Blood and race free from intermingling"(274). Purity of German blood, of course, was what the Nazis were socially and physically striving for. Through marriage and procreation, the Nazi’s perception of a “perfect community” could have been accomplished. In order to define Volksgemeinschaft, the Nazis constructed marriage by assuming the rightfully tolerable procreation of “pure blood” Aryan children through a marital relationship.
Why the Nazi’s used Marriage to define the German Society: Part one
The Nazi defined their government by the construction of marriage because it created the possibility of the Nazis to enforce the type of vertical relationship occurring in the households, into German society. With the Nazi’s definition of marriage relating closely to an institutionalized system, the vertical relationship between man and woman was symbolically formed. In this relationship, the husband was placed above his wife, working in the crucial public environment. And the wife was evidently seen to be on the bottom, working in the smaller area of the household. With these perceptions, a frame of certain ideas is constructed into society that women are not socially similar, or cannot be compared on the same level of man himself. The marital relationship, thereby, invokes “natural occupations”(276) of women as a degrading duty that is politically forced upon them through the vertical relationship. With this sort of linear relationship working in the households, the Nazis hoped that the same sort of connection would be reflected upon the Nazi based society. The “distinct roles in life founded on their natural differences”(276) provokes a sense of inferiority of women compared to men. The Nazi’s perceived females to be second class citizens in marriages. By doing so, a vertical relation was perceived by all through living at home, which would hopefully provoke itself onto the Third Reich. If you can notice attachment 1 on the screen. This is a painting called the Peasant Family from Kahlenberg. This piece of art done by Adolph Wissel would have been a piece of work the Nazis would have approved of. For instance, you can notice that the father of the family is physically above the matriarchal figure, physically reflecting the vertical relationship between husband and wife. And, as you can see, the mother of the painting is attending to her maternal role by embracing and comforting her daughter. By defining the community through a modeled marriage, the vertical relationship was enforced into German society.
Why the Nazi’s used Marriage to define the German Society: Part two
The Nazis used marriage to define their Volksgemeinschaft because it would help increase the capacity and population of the Aryan race. Can anyone image receiving a $1000 loan, with practically no interest rate, if you married a “certain type” of person. How about this...what if you were informed by your government that if you and your marital partner had children, deductions would be taken off of your loan payments. This is exactly what the Third Reich was presenting to robust, pure blooded German males and females in the late 1930‘s. In the Document of Marriage Loans, section I, the Nazis “encouraged women to give up employment on marriage”(279). Since the 1000 Reichmarks would hopefully compensate for their employment losses, there was no need for the females to work outside the home. However, what the females needed to do while in the home was to produce children. The Nazis wanted to raise the capacity of the Aryan race, and the only way they knew how was to push in the incentives and keep the women at home. The point in producing children was to “provide future ‘national comrades’”(282). This push for nationalism seemed to favor more for the Nazis’ racial beliefs than for the actually fulfillment of the women themselves. The Nazis used marriage to define their Volksgemeinschaft because it would help increase the capacity and population of the Aryan race.
In order to define “the community of the people,” the Nazis crafted marriage by linking the relationship with modeled public male and private female roles, and with the assumption of producing “pure blood” Aryan children. The Nazis took advantage of marriage to define their Volksgemeinschaft because it enforced the vertical relationship in marriage into the German government and it would help increase the capacity and count of the Aryan race. Marriage was a way to seek the acceptance of a vertical relationship in the German society and to respectfully produce more Aryan children. For the Nazis, marriage was just another type of resolution in order to needle through their twisted plans for racial destruction and devastation. As you learn more about the Nazis and their road to a disaster, try to find other ways the Nazis used certain relationships to use in defining their society.