Publications of the German Historical Institute: From Nurturing the Nation to Purifying the Volk: Weimar and Nazi Family Policy, 1918-1945 (Hardback)
  • Publications of the German Historical Institute: From Nurturing the Nation to Purifying the Volk: Weimar and Nazi Family Policy, 1918-1945 (Hardback)
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Publications of the German Historical Institute: From Nurturing the Nation to Purifying the Volk: Weimar and Nazi Family Policy, 1918-1945 (Hardback)

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£52.00
Hardback 326 Pages / Published: 08/01/2007
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Fearing that the future of the nation was at stake following the First World War, German policymakers vastly expanded social welfare programs to shore up women and families. Just over a decade later, the Nazis seized control of the state and created a radically different, racially driven gender and family policy. This book explores Weimar and Nazi policy to highlight the fundamental, far-reaching change wrought by the Nazis and the disparity between national family policy design and its implementation at the local level. Relying on a broad range of sources - including court records, sterilization files, church accounts, and women's oral histories - it demonstrates how local officials balanced the benefits of marriage, divorce, and adoption against budgetary concerns, church influence, and their own personal beliefs. Throughout both eras individual Germans collaborated with, rebelled against, and evaded state mandates, in the process fundamentally altering the impact of national policy.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521861847
Number of pages: 326
Weight: 576 g
Dimensions: 235 x 163 x 26 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'It is one of very few books which explore aspects of social policy in both the Weimar and Nazi periods and the author is, therefore, able to contribute to wider historiographical debates about continuities in German history as well as the nature of the Nazi state and women's agency within it.' European History Quarterly
"Since the 1980s the history of the Third Reich has been entirely rewritten as the history of the Holocaust and the racial state. Less widely appreciated is the equally far-reaching impact of women's history. First during a time of recurring crisis, political polarization, and unbounded hopes, and then under a regime of unparalleled coerciveness and ideological ambition, biopolitical questions involving family, reproduction, and the placement of women in the imagined moral-political order moved to the centerground of politics in early twentieth-century Germany. In a salutary reminder of the radicalism of the right-wing assault on Weimar welfarism, Michelle Mouton delivers an excellent guide to the Nazi counter-ideal of a racially driven familial state." -Geoff Eley, University of Michigan
"[Mouton's] portrait of the interplay between state directives and their actual implementation offers a compelling reminder of the limits of social engineering, making it required reading for anyone interested in the operations of daily life under various modern regimes." -Julia Sneeringer, Journal of Interdisciplinary History
"...Mouton's book might best be described as extended exercise in qualification....The strength of the book lies in its relentless pursuit of the twists and turns of the Nazi policy-making process as the primary goal of the racial re-construction of German society ran up against the limits of state administrative and fiscal capacity and came into conflict with other priorities, as local judges, physicians, officials and social workers were faced with the practical problem of translating national policies into effective programs that affected real people..." --Larry Frohman, State University of New York, Stony Brook, German Quarterly Book Reviews
"This extremely well-written, engaging, and fascinating study brings a critical eye for valuable details about family life in the everyday as it intersected with German state officials' long-standing interest in family affairs." -Jean Quataert, H-German
"Michelle Mouton's study of Weimar and Nazi policy is a welcome addition to the literatures on women, the welfare state, the family, and resistance and collaboration. Marshaling a wide range of sources that includes oral interviews with forty-eight women, Mouton explores the formation and implementation of family policy in both German regimes at the national, state, and local levels." -Sace Elder, H-Childhood
"...a valuable addition to the history of modern Germany, public health, and population policy. It is an excellent demonstration of the fact that national politics and the meanings of citizenship cannot be properly understood apart from gender and family issues." -Lora Knight, H-Nationalism
"It is refreshing to read a book about Weimar and Nazi Germany that challenges stereotypes without making extravagant claims." -Jill Stephenson, Journal of Modern History

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