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Based on thorough and extensive research in German national and regional archives as well as the archives of the U.S. occupying forces, this pathbreaking book argues that marital status can define women's position and experience as surely as race, gender, sexual orientation, and class. Heineman finds that, while the war made the experience of single women a dramatic one, state activity was equally important. As a result, West German women continued to be defined in large part by their marital status. In contrast, by the time of reunification marital status had become far less significant in the lives of East German women.
In one broad, comprehensive sweep, Elizabeth Heineman compares prewar and postwar, East and West, lived experience and public policy. Her sharp analytical insights will enrich our understanding of the history of women in modern Germany and the role of marital status in twentieth-century life worldwide.
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|List of Abbreviations|
|Ch. 1||Introduction: War, Politics, and Marital Status||1|
|Ch. 2||Housewives, Activists, and "Asocials" Controlling Marital Status Under Nazism||17|
|Ch. 3||War Wives, Workers, and Race Traitors: Losing Control During War||44|
|Ch. 4||The Hour of the Women: Survival During Defeat and Occupation||75|
|Ch. 5||Marriage Rubble: The Crisis in the Family, Public and Private||108|
|Ch. 6||Restoring the Difference: The State and Marital Status in West Germany||137|
|Ch. 7||Narrowing the Difference: The State and Marital Status in East Germany||176|
|Ch. 8||What's the Difference? Marital Status and Everyday Life in the Reconstruction Germanys||209|
|Epilogue: Who's more Emancipated? Feminism, Marital Status, and the Legacy of War and Political Change||239|
|App. A||Statistics from Published Reports||247|
|App. B||The Darmstadt Study||252|