- National Socialist ‘bride schools’ dictated women must learn domestic skills
- They were trained to be ‘perfect’ brides of SS men in the Third Reich
- Headed by Gertrud Scholtz-Klink – a close ally of Heinrich Himmler
- Bridal school rulebook found in the Federal Archive
A sinister set of rules for would-be wives of Nazis in the Third Reich has been discovered three quarters of a century later.
Several ‘bride schools’ were set up with the aim of providing the perfect partners for Adolf Hitler’s henchmen.
Regulations dictated that young women would be taught ‘washing, cooking, childcare and home design’ before they could walk up the aisle with the men who would staff death camps and rule conquered lands with an iron fist.
They were also instructed in social niceties – such as how to hold conversations at cocktail parties – and how to bring up their children worshipping not God or Jesus Christ, but Hitler.
‘This is participation in the resurrection path of our people,’ said Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, chief of the Nazi bride schools which began 75 years ago when the first was established on the island of Schwanenwerder in the Wannsee lake outside of Berlin.
Along with the rulebook found in the Federal Archive were certificates adorned with the Germanic ‘Tree of Life’ which were presented to young girls who passed the six-week course to marry their sweethearts in the SS, Hitler’s paramilitary defence force.
The bride schools were a collaboration between Scholtz-Klink and SS chief Heinrich Himmler, who was obsessed with German superiority over all races and the need for a ‘strong family life to create a strong, pure nation’.
Himmler signed a decree in 1936 ordering all women who wanted to marry a member of the SS to participate in the special training courses.
Not only would they learn how to become ‘good wives’, but they would also ‘acquire special knowledge of race and genetics’.
Failure to comply meant refusal of the marriage certificate.
The documents show that the Nazis regarded women, above all else, as breeding machines and ‘sustainers of the race’, in the language of the schools.
Scholtz-Klink praised motherhood under the Nazis as ‘divine’ and in a speech to senior party leaders in 1935 ranted: ‘You need us, you depend on us.
‘We are into something good, we participate in the resurrection way of our people. Women must be the spiritual caregivers and the secret queens of our people, called upon by fate for this special task!’
But the doctrine of the bridal schools began to falter the bigger the toll the war took on the home front. With slave labour imports still not enough to plug the manpower gap left by men sent to fight Hitler’s war, Scholtz-Klink had to dream up a new ideal of womanhood – one less involved with babies and more about turning lathes and operating steel furnaces to turn out the material needed for the fighting man.
Scholtz-Klink was the highest ranking female Nazi in the history of the Third Reich. She ruthlessly followed the party line, disallowing any female with Jewish or gipsy blood, or mental illness or physcial deformity, from attending her bridal courses.
Intelligence files from the time report that Himmler could often be seen ‘sneaking’ around bride school gardens hoping to ‘catch glimpses of girls dancing’.
■ A Nazi war criminal has died of pneumonia aged 98 – a month before he was due to be sentenced for his part in sending 16,000 Jews to their deaths. Laszlo Csatary had been under house arrest for over a year in his native Hungary after being found guilty in his absence by a court in Slovakia. Prosecutors said he regularly beat and whipped interned Jews for no special reason, ‘regardless of their sex, age or health’.
OATHS OF S.S. BRIDES: BE LOYAL TO HITLER AND SUSTAIN GERMANIC RACE
The bridal candidates of the S.S. marriage academy had to swear certain things, including:
- Loyalty to Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler and Nazi Party superiors ‘unto death.’
- To marry in neo-pagan ceremonies before a party functionary and an altar bedecked with S.S. runes and oak-leaves instead of in a church before a Christian cleric.
- Pledge to remain at all times ‘Sustainers of the Germanic Race.’
- Promise to ‘become proficient in cooking and housekeeping, sewing, washing and ironing; childcare, nursing and home design.’
- Declare that any and all children born in marriage ‘will be raised in accordance with the ideals of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.’
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