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Nazi Germany

  • By: Sonja M. Allen
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Between 1933 and 1945, the National Socialist regime influenced parenthood in general and maternity in particular. After Adolf Hitler came to power, a series of measures were implemented regarding population, race, and gender policies, which focused on women as mothers and potential mothers. These measures encouraged the fertility of so-called Aryans (white race) and limited the population growth of those who were deemed undesirable.

Each woman was classified in one of four groups: Those encouraged to marry and have children; those discouraged to marry or have children; those allowed to marry but should be sterilized; and those who must be sterilized and not allowed to marry.

Antinatalism

For the purposes of raising the population's “quality,” the National Socialist state pursued policies to control population growth as part of ...

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