I was looking at a post at the German Propaganda Archive blog showing an example of the National Socialist “Frauen-Warte“, an official, bi-weekly women’s illustrated published by the party. A search on the main site of the German Propaganda Archive led me to their full page on Frauen-Warte, which in turn mentions the digitized collection of the magazine which is available via the web at a site maintained by the University of Heidelberg. So here we have yet another great resource, free and available to all of us netizens.
The purpose of the magazine was, of course, to put forward the National Socialist vision of women’s role in their society. Stereotypically, this included a lot of what you would expect: care for the children, support the men, manage the house. The higher purpose was service to the State; therefore, when the times called for it, the magazine also celebrated service outside of the home, or at least so it seems by looking at the first issue of 1941 as an example. 1941 was a war year, so to find the National Socialists emphasizing woman’s role outside of the home is not surprising, given that their men were busy being slaughtered on the Eastern Front. As such, we’re told in the article “Die faschistische Frau im Dienste der Nation” how women in fascist Italy are working as trolley conductors, farmers, machine workers, etc., while their men fight. The article’s German author assures her readers that their Italian counterparts took on these new roles with the greatest of enthusiasm. (Die Frauen sind dem Aufruf auf die hochherzigste Art gefolgt.)
Propaganda though it all may be, the covert art for each issue is worth having a look at. Some of it is really striking.