Berlin, 7. September 1939
The Reich Ministry of Labor
Va 5552/398/39 g.
Consultant: Dr. Hamann
RE: Labor Conscription for Married Women
(a) State Secretary Dr. Syrup has decided that married women who have hitherto not been in employment will continue not to be liable for labor conscription unless they wish to volunteer for the labor mobilization program entirely of their own free will. The regional labor offices are to be informed accordingly.
(b) To the Presidents of the Regional Labor Offices (personal)
Re: Circular of 3.vii.39
In the circular referred to above I have laid down that in peacetime women who have domestic and family responsibilities are not to be called up unless they were previously in employment and unless their family circumstances and health have changed in the meantime.
Even under the present circumstances I do not consider it advisable to utilize married women who were not previously in employment unless the women volunteer for the labor mobilization program entirely of their own free will. I request, therefore, that you ensure that the above-mentioned instructions contained in the circular continue to be applied.
The manpower requirements for plants engaged on projects of national importance must be met by exploiting all other possibilities (the employment of labor from plants engaged on non-priority projects, particularly of female workers and employees who become available through the closing down of such plants, by exchanging labor between the different areas, volunteers etc.). If this should prove impossible, please inform me of the fact.
Source of English translation: Jeremy Noakes, ed., Nazism, 1919-1945, Vol. 4: The German Home Front in World War II. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1998, pp. 313-14.
Source of original German text: Bundesarchiv Koblenz R 41/159 Bd I; reprinted in Ursula von Gersdorff, “Frauen im Kriegsdienst 1914-1945,” Beiträge zur Militär- und Kriegsgeschichte, Vol 11, 1969, pp. 296-97.