The life of women in Nazi Germany - From daily life and supporting the Nazi Party to the postwar mass rapes by the Red Army.
Latest hand-picked WWII news.
The Forgotten Horror of Ravensbrück, the Nazi Concentration Camp for Women
On December 5, 1946, the Hamburg Ravensbrück war crimes trials began in Germany. 56 miles north of Berlin and opened in 1939, Ravensbrück was the largest and most notorious of Nazi camps for women. Of the sixteen people on the stand that day, seven were female. Among them was 26-year-old Dorothea Binz, who, despite her gender, had risen to the rank of Assistant Chief warden or Oberaufseherin. Binz`s crimes included shooting, whipping and setting dogs on prisoners. By the end of the trials in July 1948, 21 out of the 38 individuals charged were women. Seventy years on, why does Ravensbrück remain a footnote in history?
Marie Jalowicz Simon - One of 1700 Jews who hid from Nazis in Berlin
On 22 June 1942, Marie Jalowicz Simon woke to find a Gestapo officer standing by her bedside. "Get dressed. We need to interrogate you." In a moment of inspired improvisation, the 20-year-old Berliner managed to distract first the Nazi official in her bedroom, then his colleague waiting at the bottom of the stairs, and escaped back into "submerged" illegality as a Jew in Nazi Germany. Now a new book tells the extraordinary story of her fate as one of around 1,700 "U-boats" – Jews who managed to survive the Nazi period submerged beneath the surface of everyday life.
Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)
German women’s role in Holocaust greater than previously thought, claims American historian Wendy Lower
The WW2 atrocities by women have always highly noticeable. There were Nazi camp guards like Ilse Koch and Irma Grese (There were up to 5,000 female guards in the concentration camps making up 10% of the personnel). And lesser known killers like Erna Petri, the wife of an SS officer who shot 6 Jewish children in Poland, or German secretary Johanna Altvater Zelle, accused of child murder in the Volodymyr-Volynskyy ghetto. The Nazi killing machine was male-dominated, but according to new research, the role of German women (as perpetrators, accomplices, interpreters) was far greater than previously understood.
Dear Uncle Adolf: Documentary film explores truckloads of fan letters sent to Hitler
"Dear Uncle Adolf" explores the fan letters Hitler got while in power. These notes, letters, and gifts - seized by the Soviets in 1945 - laid in Russian archives until they were discovered in 2007, forming the basis of a German book called "Letters to Hitler". Margarethe Wagner sent a pair of socks in 1938 after Hitler occupied the Sudetenland: "I knitted these for you as you freed us." Such women were under Gestapo monitoring as Hitler feared that his cult of personality could cause a disruption of home life. A special department in Munich and Berlin postal services dealt with the huge volume of fan letters sent to him every day.
Bereiterinnen: Third Reich female Horse-breakers (forum thread with photographs)
While the German cavalry maintained integral remount units, the training task for riders and horses in the mounted elements of infantry and artillery units, and for draught animals, fell to a rather strange group. Due to a lack of qualified officers and NCO`s in these units, German girls who were experienced in riding and breaking horses were used for these tasks. The horsewomen wore the standard uniform tunic of the staff auxiliaries riding breeches and boots. "Together with about 20 other girls and young women I became a female horse-breaker. We had the rank of Unteroffizier," recalls Margot von Schade.
Being violated by the Red Army soldiers: The first German woman to write a WW2 book on the subject under her own name
On Jan. 26, 1945, Gabriele Kopp got on a train to flee from the Soviet Red Army. Unfortunately the locomotive was hit, and the Germans run to a village. Soon Russian soldiers emerged, searching for girls: That day 15-year-old Gabriele was violated twice by a Red Army soldier. The next morning she was "taken" by two men. That afternoon, she hid under a table in a room full of refugees. When the Russian soldiers entered, the older women pulled her out and into the arms of a "greedy officer." It went on like this for 2 weeks - as she retells in "Warum war ich bloss ein Madchen?" ("Why Did I Have to Be a Girl?").
Women in Third Reich were persecuted for (mostly made up) affairs with foreign forced laborers
Gestapo arrested thousands of women for admitting they had affairs with foreign forced laborers in Nazi Germany. Historian Gisela Schwarze has looked into many cases: Some affairs did exist, but most confessions were false - and women beat into signing them. Men were usually executed and women sent to concentration camps. In 1940 SS leader Heinrich Himmler ordered: "Germans who engage in sexual relations with male or female civil workers of the Polish nationality... shall be arrested." At first the crime (racial defilement) only applied to relationships between Jews and non-Jews - later including Slavs.
Hermann Goering as a pin-up: The German women`s magazines mixed fashion and Fascism
With WW2 recipes and fashion, it seems to offer a diverting read for housewives. But a clue to the sinister aims of this women`s magazine lies in the choice of cover model: Hermann Goering. The Nazis wanted more than just entertain Third Reich women. Each issue of Frauen Warte (Women Wait) included articles full of propaganda. The cover photo from February 1940 shows Luftwaffe boss Goering cuddling baby daughter Edda in a warped version of the kind of `tough but sensitive man` images frequently seen today. Frauen Warte, the Nazi Party`s biweekly magazine for women, published 1935-1945, and in 1939 it had a circulation of 1.9million.
Female Perpetrators: Women under National Socialism by Kathrin Kompisch
In Nazi art and films women were portrayed as the fairer sex, fighting on the homefront. Adolf Hitler presented them gold crosses for raising kids - an image that was not questioned after the war. Historian Kathrin Kompisch reveals a very different reality: "Women typed the statistics of the murdered victims of the SS Action Squads in the east, operated the radios which called up for more bullets, were invariably the secretaries in all the Gestapo posts." The all-male hierarchy of the Nazi regime blocked out women from top posts, but the regime promoted female involvement in the Nazi terror at grassroots levels. 3,200 women served in the concentration camps.
Soviet sources: The Red Army violated every German female from 8 to 80
"Red Army soldiers don`t believe in `individual liaisons` with German women. 9, 10, 12 men at a time - they violate them on a collective basis," wrote Zakhar Agranenko, an officer of marine infantry, in his journal in East Prussia. The Soviet armies advancing into East Prussia in 1945 were a mix of modern and medieval: tank troops in padded black helmets, Cossack cavalrymen with loot strapped to the saddle, lend-lease Studebakers and Dodges next to horse-drawn carts. Soviet war correspondent Natalya Gesse saw the Red Army in action in 1945: "The Russian soldiers were violating every German female from 8 to 80. It was an army of rapists."
German schoolgirl`s wartime diaries: Bombing raids on Hamburg, evacuation
Bombing raids on Hamburg, evacuation to the countryside and the dangerous journey home are all recorded in a German schoolgirl`s WW2 diaries. The "battered, chintz-covered little book" belonged to Geseke Clark`s elder sister Hilke and might have stayed an unread heirloom if Geseke had not translated it. The diary also gives a glimpse of how effectively the children were brainwashed. Even at the end of the war, Hilke was still in awe of Adolf Hitler. "She had been at a school where the teachers were all Nazis. She was definitely indoctrinated, although not by our parents."
WWII diaries of a young German girl: 1944-1945 an idyllic time in Bavaria (Article no longer available from the original source)
World War II diaries of young German girl Elsbeth Zambas have been rediscovered by their author more than 60 years after the conflict ended. In 1944, she was an 11yo evacuee forced to flee Castrop-Rauxel as Allied bombs pounded the collieries there that fed the Nazi war effort. Her family`s proximity to danger was illustrated in 1943, when the basement of their home was waterlogged after the Dambusters` raid holed four damns and flooded the Ruhr valley. 1944-1945 diaries record an idyllic time spent away from this in Bavaria. The war which gripped the globe seemed far away. She looks back on her evacuee years as some of the happiest of her life.
The Hitler she knew - She grew up in 1930s and ‘40s Nazi Germany (Article no longer available from the original source)
"Sieg Heil! Sieg Heil!" Everyone was excited about him, celebrated when he came near, cried out to him in joy. His name was Adolf Hitler. And Thea Johnson loved him. She grew up in 1930s and ‘40s Nazi Germany and was swept up in the world of Nazism. To her, it was wonderful. For a while - then came war. Today, she and her husband, U.S. veteran, live in Wysox. Outside stands a U.S. flag. She`s written a book to show people "how it was on the other side for a young girl to go through a war." At age 10 she joined the Hitler Youth. "We worshipped him... His frequent speeches never ceased to inspire me. The war would soon end in certain victory."