Flapper Girls Vs. Nazi Octomoms: Sex in the Third Reich – Deep Dive, German History

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.

Don’t forget to subscribe, rate, and review. Support the show on Patreon at www.patreon.com/btnewberg. Research, writing, editing, and production by B. T. Newberg. Logo Design by Rachel Westhoff. Animation by Maxeem Konrardy. Additional credits, references, and more at www.historyofsexpod.com.

References

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale. New York: Anchor, 1986.

Brashler, Karin Lynn. “Mothers for Germany: A Look at the Ideal Woman in Nazi Propaganda.” Thesis. Iowa State University, 2015.

Carney, Amy Beth. “Victory in the Cradle: Fatherhood and the Family Community in the Nazi Schutzstaffel.” Thesis. Florida State University, 2010.

Clark, Anna. Desire: A History of European Sexuality. New York: Routledge, 2008.

Dammann, Martin. Soldier Studies: Cross-dressing in der Wermacht. Berlin: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2018.

Guenther, Irene. Nazi Chic? Fashioning Women in the Third Reich. New York: Berg, 2004.

Gorden, Mel. Voluptuous Panic: The Erotic World of Weimar Berlin. Port Townsend, WA: Feral House, 2000.

Gordon, Terri J. “Fascism and the Female Form: Performance Art in the Third Reich.” Journal of the History of Sexuality, Vol. 11.

Hancock, Eleanor. “Only the Real, the True, the Masculine Held Its Value: Ernst Röhm, Masculinity, and Male Homosexuality.” Journal of the History of Sexuality. Vol. 8, No. 4, Apr. 1998, pp. 616-641.

Huebel, Sebastian. “Stolen Manhood? German-Jewish Masculinities in the Third Reich, 1933-1945.” Thesis. University of British Columbia, 2017.

Kühne, Thomas. “Protean Masculinity, Hegemonic Masculinity: Soldiers in the Third Reich.” Central European History. Vol. 51, 2018, pp. 390-418.

Kühne, Thomas. The Rise and Fall of Comradeship: Hitler’s Soldiers, Male Bonding, and Mass Violence in the Twentieth Century. Cambridge: University Printing House, 2017.

Loroff, Nicole. “Gender and Sexuality in Nazi Germany.” Constellations. University of Alberta, 2012.

Marhoefer, Laurie. “Among Abnormals: The Queer Sexual Politics of Germany’s Weimar Republic, 1918-1933.” Thesis. State University of New Jersey, 2008.

Marhoefer, Laurie. “Degeneration, Sexual Freedom, and the Politics of the Weimar Republic, 1918-1933.” German Studies Review. Vol. 34, No. 3, 2011, pp. 529-549.

Marhoefer, Laurie. Sex and the Weimar Republic: German Homosexual Emancipation and the Rise of the Nazis. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2015.

Michael, Robert, and Rosen, Philip. Dictionary of Antisemitism from the Earliest Times to the Present. Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2007.

Milton, Giles. Fascinating Footnotes from History. John Murray Publishers, 2010.

Schneider Hilton, Ella E. Displaced Person: A Girl’s Life in Russia, Germany, and America. Louisiana State University Press, 2004.

Statutory Order of the Leader and Chancellor on the establishment of the Cross of Honour of the German Mother of 16 December 1938. Reich Law Gazette (RGBl) Part I, 1938, No. 224, Page 1923)

Stryker, Susan. Transgender History. Berkely, CA: Seal Press, 2008.

Audio Credits

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.

Image Credits

Flapper Girl – Pixabay.com

Hitler face – Needpix.com

SS Flag – Wikipedia

3 thoughts on “Flapper Girls Vs. Nazi Octomoms: Sex in the Third Reich – Deep Dive, German History

  1. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 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?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

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