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Women and the Nazi East: Agents and Witnesses of Germanization

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This pioneering book examines the role of women in Nazi Germany's "nationality struggle" during the 1930s and in measures to Germanize occupied Poland during World War 2. Drawing on previously untapped materials from Polish and German archives, as well as memoirs and oral testimony from German women who were sent to wartime Poland, Elizabeth Harvey analyzes the function of female activism within Nazi imperialism, its significance, and the extent to which women embraced policies intended to segregate Germans from non-Germans and to persecute Poles and Jews. Casting fresh light on women's attitudes and involvement in Nazi policies, the book emphasizes the distinctive nature of female complicity in the system of racist domination. Harvey offers a new perspective on Nazi occupation policies, with vivid insights into regime practices at the grass roots and German civilian responses to the treatment of the Polish and Jewish population. In addition, she explores the complex ways in which Germans after 1945 remembered the Nazi East.

Author Biography: Elizabeth Harvey is senior lecturer in modern history at the University of Liverpool, the author of Youth and the Welfare State in Weimar Germany, and co-editor, with Lynn Abrams, of Gender Relations in German History.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300100402
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 11/1/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Note on Place Names and Terminology
Ch. 1 Introduction: Women, 'Germandom' and Nazism 1
Ch. 2 Weimar Women and the Mission to the Eastern Borderlands 23
Ch. 3 The Nazification of Women's Borderland Activism, 1933-39 44
Ch. 4 The Recruitment Drive: 'Womanly Tasks' and Germanization in Occupied Poland 78
Ch. 5 'Uncanny Space' or 'German Homeland'? German Women's Constructions of the 'East' 119
Ch. 6 Motherliness and Mastery: Making Model Germans in the Annexed Territories 147
Ch. 7 Moulding the Next Generation: Village Schoolteachers in the 'Reichsgau Wartheland' 191
Ch. 8 Childcare and Colonization: Kindergartens on the Frontiers of the Nazi Empire 232
Ch. 9 Building on the Volcano: Training Village Advisers in Kreis Zamosc 261
Ch. 10 Leaving the East Behind 283
Ch. 11 Conclusion 294
App.: Biographical Data on Respondents 302
Notes 305
Bibliography 358
Index 373
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