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ML 295 Women in Nazi Germany

Verena Hutter
taught in English
Even though Nazi ideology relegated women to the home, some women gained great influence and power during the Third Reich: Leni Riefenstahl, “Hitler’s filmmaker,” Magda Goebbels, wife of the Minister of Propaganda and the unofficial “First Lady,” and Ilse Koch, the “Bitch of Buchenwald.” This course investigates the motivations of these women (why did they join the Nazis?) and the contradictions between Nazi ideology and lived reality. We will also take a look at women in the resistance movement, including Marlene Dietrich, who joined the American Forces, and young Sophie Scholl, who was executed at age 22 for distributing anti-Nazi flyers. Material to be discussed in class includes excerpts from autobiographies, Nazi propaganda, and film.

Course counts toward the major and minor Women’s Studies and towards the minor in European Studies.