Why of all things were the Nazis terrified of the flapper girl? Find out how fear of die neue Frau or the “New Woman” led Nazis to construct their ideal woman as her opposite, and how they stamped her out by further vilifying Jews.
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Podcast theme music mixed from “Gregorian Chant”, “Mystery Sax”, and “There It Is” by Kevin MacLeod
Episode theme music mixed from “Pop Goes the Weasel” by Kevin MacLeod and “Sieg Heil” by LeoHMagic.
Additional music and audio from “1920s Hot German Jazz Compilation” by Giorgia Nikola Rigas Renadov, “Marching 3” by Freesound.org, “Dzhankoya (Tom na Krymu)” by Létající Rabín Klezmer Ensemble, and “Sounds of a Factory” by Jonathan Billings.
“Invasion of the Body Flappers” skit mixed from Invasion of the Body Snatchers Trailer, “María (Creepy Horror Psycho Video)” by NatureWorld1986, and “Masculine Women, Feminine Men” by Savoy Havana Band.
Flapper Girl – Pixabay.com
Hitler face – Needpix.com
SS Flag – Wikipedia
3 thoughts on “Flapper Girls Vs. Nazi Octomoms – Sex in the Third Reich”
Did the great Marlene Dietrich come up in your research? Her image, coming out of the Weimar Berlin Burlesque scene, was somewhat androgynous and famous for her husky voice. Dietrich took part in masculine coded activities such as training in a boxing gym but she also embraced feminine dress as well. She wasn’t the model of Aryan motherhood having only had one child with her husband. She embraced and controlled her sexuality and both her and her husband lived sexually permissive lifestyles and neither seemed to care. She was also not-covertly bisexual carrying on affairs with women both in Germany and in the Hollywood.
Yet despite all this she was one of the biggest entertainers in Germany even into the Nazi period. In fact, even after she had moved to Hollywood the Nazis attempted to recruit her back to Germany.
Of course she was very much anti-Hitler, became an American citizen and even took part in USO tours.
Why do you think she remained popular after the rise of Hitler? Especially since she presented a very transgressive model of womanhood for the time.
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Interesting question. I love Marlene Dietrich. She was very much of the spirit of the times – feminine dress yes, but famously also very masculine dress sometimes. I don’t know why she remained popular in Germany after Hitler’s rise, but I would say Germany was never as unanimously Nazi as we might think. While the SS and Hitler Youth were often deeply indoctrinated, the popular masses were often just keeping their head down or sliently dissenting, and transgressive voices could still speak to them. The Nazi government itself probably courted her for the PR, even though she was vocally anti-Nazi. If she came back to Germany, that could be seen as tacit support for the regime, which would have been a big PR boost. What do you think?
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I agree with that analysis and add that the German film industry didn’t get compromised all at once. Granted many artists could see where it was going. A big English speaking star like Marlene easily had a fat Hollywood contract waiting for her. My guess is that the regime must have believed they could mold her. Glad she didn’t have a price on her integrity.
I did some more reading about Dietrich and it seems that after the war she was a controversial person in West Germany. Apparently there were protesters at some of her concerts in the 1960s in West Getmany. My guess is that had to do with resentment. She got to live the good life in Hollywood while West Germans had to deal with bombing raids, starvation, and the chaos of rebuilding the country after the war.
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