Reich Women’s Leader Gertrud Scholtz-Klink (1938)
In 1934, Gertrud Scholtz-Klink (1902-1999) (center, in white dress) took over the leadership of all National Socialist women's organizations. These included the National Socialist Women's League [NS-Frauenschaft or NSF] of the NSDAP, the German Women’s Enterprise [Deutsches Frauenwerk or DFW], an umbrella organization for women's associations, and the women's office of the German Labor Front. As Reich Women's Leader, it was her duty to train all German women in accordance with National Socialist ideology. Above all, this meant convincing them of the importance of their role as housewives and mothers and preparing them for it. Scholtz-Klink, who had five children of her own and 6 step-children, pursued this goal through a range of projects and propaganda initiatives. For example, by the spring of 1939 about 1.7 million German women had participated in courses offered by the DFW's Reich Mothers' Service. These courses provided instruction in household management, child rearing, and racial hygiene. Although Scholtz-Klink occupied all of the highest Nazi women's offices at the same time, neither she nor her organizations had any political influence within the regime. According to the National Socialist worldview, politics and power were reserved for men. Photo by Liselotte Purper (Orgel-Köhne).