In this historical
investigation I will be discussing whether attitudes towards women have
improved and to what extent did they actually improve between 1871-1971.
I will be looking at sources from these periods to show how attitudes towards
women actually were. I will also be looking at two historians who have
differing opinions on the matter. One of the historians is Gisela Bock who
investigated sterilisation of women in the third Reich and believes that all
women were discriminated under the Nazi regime. On the other end of the
spectrum, another historian that I will be looking at is Claudia Koonz who
wrote “Mothers in the fatherland” believes that mothers in the Third Reich
played a huge role in the Nazi regime and provided stability.1
This sparked a huge argument between the two historians at the end of the
Twentieth Century.  In the Wilhemine period women were treated in a traditional manner;
having to stay at home and take care of the children while men were the bread
winners. This slightly changed going into WWII due to men being on the
battlefield so women had to go into the factories. In the Weimar period women
got more freedom and the “new women” appeared where they were more equal with
men and could go out and party. Going into the Third Reich Hitler believed that
women should go back to their traditional manner and the three K’s the kirche
(church), kinder (children) and kuche (kitchen). In post
war Germany women were viewed in different ways. In the Republic of Germany
(FRD) women were equal to men by law but in real terms they weren’t. Whereas in
the German Democratic Republic (DDR) they were emancipated and were equal with
men under the communist regime. I will be going in further detail about these
periods throughout this historical investigation and show how there has been a
fluctuations in attitudes towards women.

Koonz, C. (1986). Mothers
in the fatherland. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

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