Wives in the SS-Clan-Community

Front-page cartoon published in the Dec. 17, 1942 issue of Der Stuermer.

The cartoon shows Jews being afraid of the truth (Purity, manifested by a woman), in relation to the theme of Der Stuermer on racial defilement.  You must realize that even someone who was one-eights Jewish was likely to be sent to the concentration camps and was at the very least barred from holding government jobs or working in any of the academic professions.  His career prospects were finished.  The only work he could have found would have been the performance of menial tasks.

The racial policies of the Nazis were in effect an Affirmative Action program for “Aryans”, with an Aryan being anyone who was obviously not Jewish or who could prove that his ancestors were not Jewish, going back for some generations.

To qualify for membership in the SS, one first of all had to prove, going back for eight generations, that one did not have a Jewish ancestor.

The curious aspect of the Nazi dogma was that women were revered as the spiritual and emotional centres of homes and families, much more so than that has ever been the case in other nations and other times.  Women were important to the Nazis for a number of reasons, such as: to give men something worth fighting for, to give men tangible emotional and physical comfort and support in the home-sphere, and to breed and raise children for the next war that was seen as being necessary and certain to come.

That is where national socialism differed from communism of the kind in place in the USSR and other communist nations who more closely followed the teachings of Marx and Engels.  The Nazis were a bit smarter than the latter, in as much as that they considered the Marxist dream of bringing all women into the workforce and thereby to increase production for the state to be impractical.  It was considered to be impractical because only with a woman in charge of her own children she raised with the support of her husband was it to be expected that the children would grow into worthy members of the State.

Still, women needed to be married to produce children, as illegitimacy and births out of wedlock were frowned upon.  For which reason, towards the end of the war — in the face of the enormous losses of men’s lives experienced throughout the war — Hitler considered to make polygamy legal and desirable and issued a memorandum to that effect through his personal secretary, Martin Bormann, on January 29, 1944.

Now let’s replay that a bit.  Women had to be married to men to have children.  SS-men needed to be married to women to have children.  For women to be able to marry SS-men, they had to become members of the SS and prove, with an enormous amount of digging for documents, birth certificates for their parents and all of the birth certificates of their grandparents and all ancestors, going back for eight generations, that they were not Jewish.  That was only one mandatory requirement.  Another one was that every aspiring member of the SS, including women who wanted to marry SS-men, had to pass a test proving that he was well versed in the doctrine of Nazi ideology.  Only then could marriage to an SS-man be entered into.

No woman could become an SS-member by default, through marriage.  If she wanted to be come married to an SS-man, she had to go through a lot of effort to first become a member of the SS.  The Jews in the front-page cartoon in the Dec. 17, 1942 issue of Der Stuermer had every imaginable reason to be afraid of Purity in the form of a woman, because if a woman would hold them to account, it would quite possibly be an SS-woman and certainly be one of many (nurses, secretaries, cooks, telephone operators, etc., etc.) when they entered the concentration camp.

Gudrun Schwarz, in “Eine Frau an seiner Seite : Ehefrauen in der SS-Sippengemeinschaft,” (“A Wife at his Side: Wives in the ‘SS-Clan-Community'”) reports that, “Between 1931 and 1945 about 240,000 woman married SS-men.” (p. 11)

Not one of those women became an SS-wife by accident.  Read the rest of the story to find out whether or how many of them were held to account.

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