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Conservative Empowerment and the Gender of Nazism: Paradigms of Power and Complicity in German Women's History.

Journal of Women's History | June 22, 2000 | Leck, Ralph M. | In the mid-1980s, controversy about the origins of Nazism and the Holocaust raged in West Germany. When the definitive anthology of the debate--the Historikerstreit, as it came to be known--appeared in 1987, it seemed as though the debates had run their course.(1) They had not. Later that year, a different but related debate erupted between German historian of women Gisela Bock and American historian of German women Claudia Koonz concerning the role of women in Nazism. Were German women victims or perpetrators? What role did German feminists play in Hitler's rise to power?

The answers Bock and Koonz provided to these crucial questions were determined by their theoretical assumptions about how historians should view women's roles in a patriarchal society. I wrote this article to familiarize nonGerman women's historians with the debate and to offer--even to those familiar with the controversy--a comprehensive appraisal of the interpretive implications of gendered interpretations of Nazism. I use Joan Wallach Scott's essay "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," in which she made her groundbreaking distinction between cultural feminism and gender theory, as my foundation.(2) The Bock-Koonz debate is thus recast with an eye to understanding gender theory's historiographical effects on perceptions of women's power, guilt, and complicity in the Third Reich. The Surface Debate and Its Context Claudia Koonz's Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family, and Nazi Politics appeared in 1987, and was praised by such historians as Mary Nolan, who called the book "a model of how to proceed" with a social history of Nazism.(3) It might be assumed that other women's historians too would enthusiastically embrace

Koonz's text, for here was a text that rectified the total absence of gender themes in the Historikerstreit.(4) But, in fact, Koonz's analysis was premised on claims that some feminist historians found distasteful and inaccurate. The leading German women's historian of Nazism, Gisela Bock, denounced Koonz's book with the vehemence of someone whose worldview was under assault. Indeed, that was the case. The lack of a "feminist" consensus in the ensuing debate between Koonz and Bock signaled a theoretical impasse in feminist historiography. Since both tended to forego grand theory, initially they were unable to conceptualize the source of their dispute: an interpretive paradigm shift which, coterminous to their debate, was heralded by the publication of Scott's seminal Gender and the Politics of History.(5) Scott, and feminist philosophers like Linda Alcoff, challenged the worldview of cultural feminists who celebrated ontological conceptions of gender identity.(6) By the mid-1980s, cultural feminism had become a major strand of German historiography. Such historians as Irene Stoehr and Elizabeth MeyerRenschhausen argued that "organized motherhood" within the German women's movement had been an empowering response to misogyny and a powerful weapon for combating patriarchy.(7) Critics of cultural feminism rejected this thesis and gender theorists, especially, maintained that maternal ideology replicated many patriarchal identities. Cultural feminists' predominant view of women as victims of patriarchy was, in fact, being besieged by a social history of women as actors--even perpetrators. To understand this challenge, we need to retrace the debate. Bock's review of Mothers in the Fatherland, which appeared in 1989, opened with recognition of the thematic narrowness of the public debates about Nazism. "The 1980s brought to an international level a new interest in the research of National Socialism ...; the debate about causes, responsibility and guilt, the historical and actual meaning of genocide led to the Historikerstreit. Women and their history played no role in this debate. This certainly is in part attributable to the sexual

blindness of customary historical scholarship."(8) One might presume, then, that Bock would embrace Koonz's text with the intensity of a kindred spirit. After all, Mothers in the Fatherland was a powerful retort to sexual blindness, and Koonz had moved sexual politics from the margins to the interpretive center. However, Bock was not pleased with the leading role Koonz attributed to women in the Nazi drama. "At the grassroots of daily life, in a world populated by women, we begin to discover how war and genocide happened.... [German women] created the social side of tyranny," she argued.(9) Though Bock sought a female protagonist, she could not endorse Koonz's script. Her response was swift and clear: women were not the perpetrators of Nazi tyranny. German women, on the contrary, were "particularly resistant to National Socialism."(10) Clearly, the debate about Nazism in Germany was not over. Koonz and Bock continued it, with a new gender twist. Bock sought to refute the claim that women were complicit in the Holocaust by attacking Koonz's methodology. "A feminist ideology, that reduces women's history to an attack on `separate spheres,' is not an adequate model for an analysis of mass murder."(11) The reason for its inadequacy was that both victims and perpetrators shared separate spheres ideology. Furthermore, Koonz's claims, according to Bock, were not persuasive given the fact that 60 percent of Schutzstaffel (Adolph Hitler's security police, SS) men and an even higher percentage of concentration camp personnel were unmarried. For these brutal perpetrators of genocide, the family, as signified by "domestic" women, did not represent the social side of tyranny. Koonz's response to Bock's critique, which appeared in 1992, referenced research challenging the contention that German women were mere victims of Nazism. Recent scholarship indicates that, in some areas of Germany, a higher percentage of the vote for Nazis came from women than men. Thus, many German women were not resistant to Nazism.(12) But, by far, the most contentious empirical debate centered on Nazi natal policy. In Zwangssterilisation

und Nationalsozialismus: Studien zur Rassenpolitik und Frauenpolitik (Forced sterilization and national socialism: Studies of racial and women's politics, 1986) and several related articles, Bock had claimed that Nazism was antinatal and that the Nazi policies of compulsory sterilization and abortion were the most important precursors to mass murder and genocide.(13) According to Bock, the biocrats of Nazi body politics had developed "a coherent policy combining sexism and racism."(14) Koonz challenged Bock's antinatal thesis with evidence of a sharp increase in the birthrate after 1933. Most important, Koonz was clear about the implications of Bock's conceptions of power and victimization: "In her research concerning sterilization, Bock places archival sources in the foreground to show women as the victims of sexism. Without underestimating the effect of sterilization practices on women, I find no proof of specific misogynist intentions among Nazi eugenicists to justify Bock's assertion that the politics of sterilization was the result of the sexism of Nazi leaders. In reality, the official portrayal of racial and genetic `Minderwertigen' [less worthy ones] were, in the propaganda of race politics, gender neutral."(15) According to Koonz, Bock's primary emphasis on sexism rather than racism led to a presentation of all women as victims of patriarchal Nazism. This necessarily obscured the racial differentiation of victimization. The course of the debate, then, brought into relief divergent conclusions concerning guilt and complicity. Koonz: Between Cultural Feminism and Gender Feminism The arrival of a gendered history of fascism gave new meaning to the feminist dictum that the personal is political--a meaning that was methodologically opposed to Bock's cultural feminism. Scott had been quite clear about the implications of gender theory for historians of difference. "By insisting on fixed differences, ... [cultural] feminists contribute to the kind of history they want to oppose. Although they insist on the reevaluation of the category `female' ..., they do not examine the binary opposition [male/female] itself."(16) Scott had read early drafts of Mothers in the Fatherland, and, therefore, it should not be

surprising that Koonz's methodology also critiqued cultural feminism. Koonz contended that Bock bracketed the male and female spheres of Nazi society in a way that gender theory did not. "Bock confidently distinguishes between `masculine' and `feminine,' Nazi and anti-Nazi, powerful and helpless, victims and perpetrators. It is particularly the sharpness of this polarized opposition that my study disputes."(17) Koonz's examination of that male/female binary--as mutually reinforcing rather than conflicting spheres of patriarchy--produced a new historiographical paradigm of power. The "female sphere" was no longer a selfevident moral and cultural contraposition to the "male sphere." Rather, Nazi patriarchy was interpreted as a shared, if sexually differentiated, symbolic social order. From the perspective of gender theory, then, "feminine" difference is no longer a critical antipode to "male" Nazi culture. "Feminine" consciousness and Nazi family values depended upon the male/female binary and thereby affirmed, consciously or unwittingly, the institutional and symbolic system of patriarchal difference. The broader historiographical implications of gender theory derived from a renunciation of two essential assumptions of cultural feminism: (1) women are not merely the victims of patriarchy, and (2) the politics of difference are not necessarily antipatriarchal. Mothers in the Fatherland stood at a crossroads between cultural feminism and gender history. Koonz never relinquished the conclusion that Nazism "carried a deeply anti--feminist message," which one may interpret as a carryover from cultural feminism (more will be said about Nazism as antifeminism below).(18) For now, we need to highlight the transposition of the debate into another historiographical realm: German feminism. Koonz's assertion that Nazism was antifeminist starkly contrasted her earlier conclusion that "the National Socialist solution to the `woman question' had been prefigured in the goals of middle-class [German women's] organizations."(19) What must be highlighted and explained is the contradictory nature of these claims: (1) Nazism is antifeminist, and (2)

Nazism is a continuation of the mainstream German women's movement, a movement most historians identify as feminist. How do we explain Koonz's Manichean conclusions? To answer that question, we need to understand Koonz's evolutionary journey away from cultural feminism and toward gender theory. A prominent tendency of cultural feminism was the celebration of women's separate experiences. Following this logic, Koonz designated early Nazi women's leaders as "heroines" in the 1977 edition of Becoming Visible: Women in European History.(20) She was particularly enthusiastic in her argument that female Nazi leaders controlled their own feminine organizational sphere. However, Koonz's positive gloss on female Nazi leaders eventually gave way to a more critical view of German women's organizations. When the second edition of Becoming Visible appeared in 1987, she excised the designation "heroines," a change that symbolized the relative decline of cultural feminism. The praiseworthy inflection was supplanted by an attempt to explain their female collaboration as personal empowerment. Koonz asserted that "despite its overt opposition to women's equality, the fascist vision of an ideal society incorporated the notions of nineteenth-century women's rights advocates who envisioned a strong society founded on separate but equal spheres."(21) What makes this thesis so powerful is the volume of evidence that has been marshaled to support it. German women's organizations did fortify patriarchy through their support for conservative political parties. During the Weimar Republic, the cultural feminist Bund Deutsche Frauenvereine (Confederation of German Women's Associations, BDF) was overwhelmingly allied with political conservatives and/or economic liberals: Deutschnationale Volkspartei (German National People's Party, DNVP), Deutsche Demokratische Partei (German Democratic Party, DDP), and Deutsche Volkspartei (German People's Party, DVP).(22) While socialists and communists were patriarchal, their ideologies at least contained a rhetorical commitment to sexual equality. Thus,

the historical record supports Koonz's new interpretation of the legacy of German cultural feminism. Particularly through her analysis of Nazi language, Koonz made a case for the complementariness of Nazism and German cultural feminism. She located a common discourse in Nazism and the German women's movements, that is, Lebensraum (living space).(23) This shared discourse, she demonstrated, contained a binary meaning. For middle-class women, like those in the BDF, Lebensraum was a celebration of the political role of the domestic sphere. Again, facts support Koonz's discursive interpretation. Lebensraum ideology, indeed, reflected the politics of the BDF's constituent organizations. By 1933, the Bund Deutscher Hausfrauen (Union of German Housewives, BDH) was the largest member organization of the BDF, numbering close to three hundred thousand members.(24) Its cultural goals were, at least in part, economically determined. The BDF praised stay-at-home motherhood as the cultural ideal--one in which most working-class women could never participate--and set up agencies to police domestic servants and ensure their distance from the Socialdemokratische Partei Deutschland (German Social Democratic Party, SPD). In both Weimar Germany and, later, Nazi society, the patriarchal cultural ideal of Lebensraum (although Koonz never goes this far) empowered these women with pride and social status. Correspondingly, for the predominately male Nazi leadership, Lebensraum was the conceptual centerpiece of a racist plan for imperialist expansion in the East; Germany needed living space. The discourse of Lebensraum, then, was an example of how patriarchy functioned in Nazi society: as a common discursive regime with sexually differentiated but mutually reinforcing political meanings. From this perspective, the leading women's organizations in Germany were empowered, not victimized, by Nazism. Their discourse of Lebensraum and ideology of motherhood participated in the Nazis' politics of cultural superiority. Bock rejected Koonz's discursive analysis, arguing that the politics of Lebensraum and traditional family values were not unique to Nazism. Rather,

they were the values of most victims. Thus, concluded Bock, Koonz's discursive articulation failed to distinguish between perpetrators and victims.(25) Here, we see a major interpretive disjunction. While Bock sought a clear delineation between victims and perpetrators, Koonz contended that such clarity was neither possible nor desirable. She maintained, for instance, that "many middle-class Jews ... [would have] welcomed an authoritarian state except for its antiSemitism."(26) This critical interpretation of the victims is extremely unusual in the historiography of Nazism. Koonz suggests that victims could haw,, held bigoted or ethnocentric views. Certainly, many Jewish victims shared the Nazis' antipathy for homosexuals.(27) It should be noted that Koonz's critique of cultural feminism did not derive exclusively from her engagement with gender theory. Her self-proclaimed egalitarian approach to feminist politics was also significant. In 1986, Koonz asserted that egalitarian feminism, if it had been supported by the majority of German women, would have rendered Weimar culture immune to Nazism and proposed egalitarianism as the political antidote to Nazi separatism.(28) The next year, in an essay about fascism, she concluded, "particular social policies will succeed in liberating women only in the context of institutions that guarantee equality."(29) Koonz rejected the proposition that ontologies of difference empower women and remained skeptical of Bock's implied proposition that separate is equal, or superior. Bock, on the other hand, sought to marginalize Koonz's assertion by upbraiding it as American "equal rights feminism," but Bock never asked or answered a fundamental question.(30) Is a sexually egalitarian Nazism imaginable? In the end, Koonz's description of Nazi patriarchy as a social unity of opposites--"love as a source of hate, motherhood as a source of death, Otherbeing and separate spheres as a cause of massacre"--confounded Bock, who referred to Koonz's analysis as irrational, contradictory, and illogical.(31) This rejection of Koonz was connected to a broader denunciation of gender history.

Bock not only derided "gender history as men's history," but conflated gender theory, antifeminism, and "male-dominated scholarship."(32) Bock's male-baiting may seem illogical given the fact that gender theory was originated by women who continue to embrace it as a strategy for women's emancipation and who thus see themselves as feminists. However, it is quite consistent with the logic of cultural feminism and its assumption that the instrumental male sphere stands in opposition to a liberating female sphere. Bock's deprecation of gender theory, at a minimum, indicates the historiographical presence of paradigmatic incommensurability.

Is Nazism Antifeminist? Bock's Positionality(33) I argue above that Koonz's 1986 essay on separatism was something of a historiographical breakthrough. She broke with interpretive orthodoxy by posing two questions, the first explicit and the second implicit: (1) How did the separatist vision of "German feminism" prefigure the National Socialists' solution to the woman question? and (2) How were women empowered by systems that were also patriarchal? The first question posits the similarity of patriarchal conceptions of gender in German feminism and Nazi ideology. This linkage displaced a broad historiographical orthodoxy that treated Nazism as antiwoman and antifeminist. In addition to Bock, other leading historians have interpreted Nazi Germany as antifeminist. Annette Kuhn maintains that "anti-feminism is the hidden theoretical basis of German fascism."(34) David Schoenbaum described Nazi antifeminism as "secondary racism."(35) A preeminent historian of women in Wilhelmine Germany, Ann Taylor Allen, polemicized that "National Socialist views of motherhood were distinctly anti-feminist."(36) What does antifeminism mean? This question is not easy to answer because antifeminism is rarely defined. Historians often use the term vaguely to maintain that Nazi patriarchy was injurious to women. The implication is that women could not have benefited from and did not support Nazism. The problem with the appellation "antifeminist" is that it falls into the theoretical trap of false consciousness.(37) Gender theory, by rejecting all essentialist explanations of culture, exposes foundational theories of false consciousness as fictions.(38) It also reveals the ways in which historians displace the question of women's complicity by reducing women to victims. Allen and Bock, for example, are willing to label "feminist" the BDF's strategies of empowerment within and through patriarchal identities when those activities facilitate a positive and celebratory history of German women. When this strategy of empowerment is shown to buttress Nazi cultural politics, however, Allen and Bock call the Nazis' similar politics of difference "anti-feminist."(39) This apparent


inconsistency is completely consistent with the paradigmatic logic of cultural feminist historiography, which seeks a positive gloss to the politics of difference. The designation of Nazi social policy as antifeminist is particularly problematic because it equates illiberalism, antimodernism, and patriarchy with antiwoman policies. This categorical sleight of hand is to women's history what the mistaken conflation of liberalism and the bourgeoisie are to German political history. Neither the German bourgeoisie nor the mainstream German women's movement was politically liberal. With few exceptions, the German bourgeoisie, irrespective of gender and party appellations (the National Liberals, for example), opposed political equality for workers and women. Because most AngloAmericans equate feminism with political equality, to describe the BDF as "feminist"--as most historians do--conceals the fact that its largely middle- and upper-class constituencies, like the German bourgeoisie itself, were antiegalitarians who opposed universal suffrage for women and the proletariat. Furthermore, to apply the term antifeminist to Nazi culture allows one to ignore strong continuities between pre-1933 mainstream German women's organizations and the sexual politics of the Nazis. Suffice it to say, there is an important politics of reception immanent in naming Nazi policies antifeminist, one that conceals linkages between the mainstream German women's movement and Nazi culture. The indeterminacy of feminism as a historical category implies the need to analyze historiographical assumptions within specific historical and geographical contexts. Bock's variant of "feminism" derived from her German historical context. Historian Atina Grossmann likened Bock's interpretive position to that of a German daughter who stresses "mother's and grandmother's fortitude under bombing raids and in flight with their young children from the advancing Red Army, and the energy of the sturdy Trummerfrauen [rubble women] tidying up the ruins of the bombed out cities."(40) Bock's praise of women's suffering was, more importantly, indicative of post-1945 gender relations in the Bundesrepublik

Deutschland (German Federal Republic, BRD). As scholar Robert Moeller has concluded, "in the language of pronatalism, motherhood, the sanctity of family relations, and the [BRD] state's attempts to shape these private relationships, there were striking continuities across the divide of 1945."(41) Bock's feminism symbolized the cultural assumptions of the BDF, Nazis, and BRD, namely, a feminism that separates "female" and "male" characteristics. For example, her 1984 essay "Wages for Housework as a Perspective of the Women's Movement" reflected her political inclination to empower women in their "natural" roles rather than challenging the validity of naturalized identities.(42) This form of essentialist feminism might be labeled "conservative empowerment feminism," because it seeks to empower women while conserving patriarchal conceptions of gender identity. Interestingly, Bock's essentialist feminism proved not to be a liability to the historiography of Nazism. Bock's critique of Koonz, perhaps despite itself, revealed the limits of the explanatory power of both gender theory and feminist theory. The acceptance or rejection of separate spheres ideology is an insufficient explanation of victimization, since victims and perpetrators shared patriarchal assumptions. Bock also revealed that Koonz contradicted herself in arguing (1) that motherhood ideology was the social side of tyranny, and (2) that Nazism opposed traditional visions of motherhood and the family. This inconsistency, I believe, marks the theoretical condition of women's history in 1987. With one foot still in cultural feminism, Mothers in the Fatherland portrayed the Nazis as having infiltrated the presumably apolitical sphere of the traditional family. Conversely, situated at the center of emerging gender historiography, Koonz recognized the theoretical inadequacy of the public/private dichotomy. From her perspective, the personal is always political (not unlike Marx's analysis of private property and religion), and civil society is in a mutually constitutive relationship with the state. Gender theory thus helped to displace the private/ public dichotomy that dominated the historiography of Nazism.

Racial Patriarchy and Theological Patriarchy One of the grave dangers of comparing the BDF to the Nazis is the production of undifferentiated conceptions of patriarchy. The sexual codes of Nazis and the BDF were patriarchal, but, similar to the concept of feminism, patriarchy must be defined and contextualized. Koonz's thesis was that traditional visions of gender contributed immensely to bringing the Nazis to power. But she was also careful not to conflate totally the sexual politics of the Nazis and the German women's movement. Only a differentiated understanding of patriarchy can explain these incompatibilities. After the Nazis came to power, they tried to institute their patriarchal vision of society, the basis of which was not entirely compatible with traditional versions of patriarchy. The foundation of Nazi sexual politics was the biology of race. The Nazis supported abortion if it meant exterminating genetically "inferior" fetuses. They also publicly approved of unwed motherhood as a means of increasing "Aryan" births. The Third Reich's racial variant of patriarchy was distinct from the theological strain of patriarchy that predominated within the BDF. In stark contrast to the Nazis, theological patriarchy inclined Christian members of the BDF to oppose abortion entirely. Moreover, they rejected the legitimacy of out-of-wedlock births, and, therefore, did not support the Nazi unwed motherhood (Lebensborn) program. Furthermore, supporters of theological patriarchy supported a doctrinal rather than racial version of religious ethnocentrism. They welcomed Jewish converts to Christianity and, in many cases, sought to protect converts from persecution. In spite of conflicts over abortion and unwed motherhood, the distinction between racial patriarchy and theological patriarchy was not absolute. Domestic ideology and heterosexism were shared elements of Nazi ideology and the BDF worldview. Moreover, religious anti-Semitism was a cultural sibling of the racial anti-Semitism of the Nazis. Nor should we lose sight of the fact that Gertrud Baumer, the most influential BDF leader, supported Hitler's order to integrate the

federation into the Nazi mass women's organization, even though this meant the expulsion of Jewish members. Thus, a nuanced understanding of patriarchy must acknowledge incompatibilities and affinities at the same time. Above all, the distinction between racial patriarchy and theological patriarchy facilitates an analysis of degrees of continuity and discontinuity in post-1945 Germany. After 1945, racial patriarchy was discredited and the political dominance of the Christian Democrats symbolized the hegemony of theological patriarchy. By placing an anti-Nazi, Konrad Adenauer, at the head of their party, the Christian Democrats convinced themselves that they, too, were anti-Nazi. Just as cultural feminists absolved female culpability by de fining German women as victims, the Christian Democrats embowered themselves from the question of Christian culpability by projecting the victimization of Adenauer (and the martyrdom of Christ) onto their own souls. Adenauer was an exception among Christians who as a group displayed no trace of moral superiority during the Third Reich.(43) Consequently, the affinities of racial patriarchy and theological patriarchy, and their role as balusters of Nazi culture, were downplayed by placing an anti-Nazi Christian at the helm of the Christlich-Demokratische Union (Christian Democratic Union, CDU).(44) The lack of Christian self-critique facilitated such important continuities across the chronological divide of 1945 as the primacy of women's identity as mothers and the legal victimization of homosexuals.(45) Conservative Empowerment Feminism: Peculiarities of German History The concept of conservative empowerment feminism enables us to answer two crucial questions: (1) How are women empowered by political systems that are also patriarchal? and (2) Why do some women support patriarchal parties? If, as cultural feminists presume, patriarchy is a system of female oppression by men, then it is illogical to suggest that women would fortify patriarchy, thereby causing their own victimization. However, if patriarchy is a sociosymbolic culture, then


both men and women may fortify or resist it. Those women who resist it would not necessarily share an identity of sisterhood with those who support it. Only from the perspective of a gendered analysis does it make sense to say that women can and do support patriarchal culture as a means of empowerment. Patriarchal empowerment comes at the expense of different sexual systems (polygamy, homosexuality, equality, etc.). Feminists like Bock are confounded by the critical conclusions of gender theory because they imply an end to feminist identity politics. As cultural feminists, Bock and, for example, Allen are willing to admit that women may be empowered through their female roles. They are not willing to admit, however, that affirmation or passive acceptance of those roles is always a political decision about cultural empowerment and one that necessarily will be oppressive to those marginalized by the Aryan/Christian/heterosexist character of the patriarchal, domestic Third Reich. Escaping cultural feminist assumptions permits a new reading of German women's history. Gender theory and the notion of conservative empowerment allow us to perceive agency within patriarchy. Women have never been merely victims of patriarchy. In Michel Foucault's critique of psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud, power is posited as productive and not simply repressive: "the relationship between sex and power is not characterized by repression."(46) Histories of European women's movements confirm that patriarchal culture is both productive and repressive. Most nineteenth-century women's organizations are examples of conservative empowerment feminism. Cultural feminists, who were mostly from the middle class, did not so much reject patriarchy as redefine it, primarily through a redeployment of spiritual motherhood.(47) Therefore, although inegalitarian, the parameters of patriarchal culture were not free-floating nor was its meaning entirely fixed. Early German feminism was, for the most part, both antiegalitarian and facilitative of women's empowerment. Since cultural feminism affirmed the naturalized assumptions of a patriarchal gender regime, conformity and empowerment were symbiotic not opposite.

Although historian Geoff Eley, in his review of Mothers in the Fatherland, did not perceive the analogy, Koonz's text was every bit as revolutionary as The Peculiarities of German History, which he coauthored with David Blackbourn.(48) Eley and Blackbourn's epochal revision of the Sonderweg thesis (German historical exceptionalism) hinged on the understanding that mass socialist and workers' movements institutionalized political liberalism. (Here, we witness another paradox of designation: socialists were political liberals, if economic illiberals, while groups like the National Liberals were political illiberals.) Eley and Blackbourn reasoned that it made no sense to deny the presence of a bourgeois political revolution in Germany if political illiberalism best fortified bourgeois hegemony. The historical record denied the connection between the bourgeoisie and political liberalism, they concluded. In fact, the bourgeoisie's primary interest was economic liberalism, which functioned quite well under conditions of political illiberalism. Historian Nancy Reagin has developed a corollary epochal revision of Nazi historiography and German women's history in her A German Women's Movement: Class and Gender in Hanover, 1880-1933.(49) Similar to Eley and Blackbourn, Reagin focused on the presence of a thriving bourgeoisie instead of the absence of democracy in Hanover. In Wilhelmine society, in Weimar Germany, and, later, with the Nazis, the appeal of patriarchy to bourgeois women was the appeal of conservative empowerment and class privilege; Hanover women's organizations, for instance, "adeptly used perceived gender differences, rather than equal rights feminism, in setting and pursuing their goals.... Leaders of the women's associations repeatedly emphasized that they were not radical Emanzen (`libbers'), who sought political reform.... The political context of these programs was subtle and not overtly partisan. The overall goal was to further the embourgeoisment of the German working class."(50) The panoptical policing of working-class women undertaken by Hanoverian women's organizations and housewives' associations was coded through the sexual stereotype of patriarchy

as apolitical and nonpartisan. Such practices were hardly apolitical. Rather, these women embraced the politics of illiberalism, sexual inequality, class privilege, antisocialism, heterosexism, and religious ethnocentrism. Their worldview was fundamentally and overtly patriarchal. But Reagin does not criticize these organizations' affirmation of patriarchy. As a gender theorist, she has a more productive agenda. She does not presume that patriarchy entails the absence of power for women but demonstrates, on the contrary, that conservative empowerment was a partisan strategy for bourgeois women, which worked until Social Democrats initiated parliamentary democracy in 1920. Reagin's research calls into question cultural feminists' tendency to celebrate women's organizations as a separate culture. Prior to 1919, prominent bourgeois German women's organizations relied heavily on municipal governments to finance their charitable activities. These municipal governments, elected through a restricted franchise and dominated by the National Liberals, paid rents and created salaried positions for prominent bourgeois Christian women. The interdependence of bourgeois women's organizations, illiberal and rabidly antisocialist municipal governments, and Protestant churches is proof of the theoretical insufficiency of the liberal and feminist dichotomy of public and private. There was no strict division between "public" municipal governments and "private" charity organizations run primarily by the Deutsch-Evangelischer Frauenbund (German Protestant Women's League, DEF). In sum, Reagin's research rejects the propositions (1) that women's organizations were meaningfully separate from the public politics of antidemocracy and class domination, and (2) that women's organizations, including the "feminist" BDF, were antipatriarchal. Similar to that of Eley and Blackbourn, Reagin's portrait of German women's organizations established a different historical account. She supplanted the narrative of Nazi illiberalism as antibourgeois with a class narrative that illustrates important cultural continuities among the bourgeois


culture of pre-World War II Germany, Weimar women's organizations, and Nazi ideology. Perhaps the most revolutionary consequence of a gender interpretation of Nazism is that it renders much of the debate about electoral differences (sex and party) inconsequential. If, for example, votes for the Zentrum (Catholic Center Party) and the Bayerische Volkspartei (Bavarian People's Party, BVP) affirmed a matrix of right-wing values largely homologous with Nazi values, then electoral differences may cloak a more significant cultural identity.(51) Women's support for the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (National Socialist German Workers' Party, NSDAP) played a significant role in bringing Hitler to power. But votes for such conservative parties as the DNVP, which garnered substantial support from Protestant women, contributed to a right-wing, illiberal, sexist, and elitist culture, one that facilitated the end of parliamentary democracy and eventually Gleichschaltung (coordination of society under Nazi administration). At a minimum, the alacrity with which Pope Plus XI signed the Vatican's Concordat with Hitler--within the first six months of the NSDAP's ascension to power in 1933--indicates the compatibility of most Catholic and Nazi values.(52) This agreement should solicit reflection on the conclusion (common among political historians) that "before the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, the Catholic Church had been a major opponent of Nazism."(53) In fact, Zentrum's parliamentary support for the Enabling Act (allowing Hitler dictatorial power to pass laws without reference to the president or Parliament) was crucial in winning Hitler dictatorial power. What social historians of Nazi society must explain is the relative ease with which religious organizations and middle-class women's organizations integrated themselves into the Nazi state. In the effort to explain this seemingly painless assimilation, recent histories have focused on anti-Semitism. Koonz's research has demonstrated quite clearly that this cannot be the starting point of explanation. The racial policies of the Third Reich were often the most controversial, not the most easily affirmed. It was the culture and values of

patriarchy that were the most widely held. By linking these to the more radical ideology of racial purity, the ideological extreme of racism was domesticated.


Gender Theory: Scott's Failed Reconciliation Reagin's scholarship is illustrative of an interpretive chasm that is far more pronounced among historians of German women than among historians of U.S. women. Most women's historians in the United States view politics of difference and politics of equality as two valid means of women's empowerment. For example, in both "Deconstructing Equality-Versus-Difference" and an essay about French feminist Olympe de Gouges, Scott not only reconciles theoretically equal rights feminism and cultural feminism, but also affirms the politics of difference as a strategy of empowerment.(54) Such affirmation of the politics of difference is problematic, because it reverses the original basis of gender theory. In Scott's essay "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis" and in Linda Alcoff's essay "Cultural Feminism Versus Post-Structuralism: The Identity Crisis in Feminist Theory," gender theory was constituted as a methodological rejection of cultural feminism.(55) Alcoff even went so far as to suggest that cultural feminism is really a stealthy form of misogyny. It is almost as though Scott, having produced a fractured sisterhood, set out to repair it. In subsequent essays, she revised her position and added to her theorizing cultural feminism as a legitimate strategy of empowerment. This volteface was not necessarily contradictory, although it is certainly confounding. Seen in its totality, Scott's theory of gender rejected cultural feminism as a methodology but embraced it as a means of gaining power. This is why such cultural feminists as Allen and such historians of gender as Reagin both can legitimately claim Scott as their theoretical godmother. While Scott's reconciliation of equal rights feminism with cultural feminism has reestablished a political sisterhood of sorts, Reagin's work symbolizes the persistence of irreconcilability in the historiography of German women. Most historians of German women have defined the BDF as feminist, regardless of its political inegalitarianism. Reagin does not. While she acknowledges that some leaders within the BDF were feminist (Minna Cauer and Anita Augspurg, for

instance), Reagin refuses to recognize the BDF as a "feminist" organization because it "rejected political equality for all women."(56) Unlike Scott, then, Reagin's variant of gender theory rejects cultural feminism not only as a methodology but also as a strategy of empowerment. The sisterly reconciliation that Scott theoretically negotiated among Anglo-American women's historians does not exist among historians of German women. Reagin's unwillingness to embrace the politics of difference as "feminist" derives from the political context of German women's history. Scholars of German women's history tend to be partisans of either the middle-class cultural feminism of the BDF or the egalitarian politics of the proletarian women's movement. Reagin's work, whose subtitle refers to class and gender, is egalitarian in its outlook and highly class-conscious. Here, gender theory amplifies the class character of cultural feminism. The persistence of deep interpretive divisions among historians of the German women's movement replicates, then, the class realities underlying German history. Indeed, attention to the significance of class can shed new light on the immanent political meanings of the Bock-Koonz debate. In her critique of Mothers in the Fatherland, Bock associated Koonz's historiographical assumptions with communist-feminist Klara Zetkin's "plea for equality" (Gleichheit).(57) Bock also associated communist demands for equality with the Gleichheit of Jewish men and women in death.(58) In so doing, she linguistically linked communist and Holocaust Gleichheit. Wittingly or not, in her discursive identification of communism and the Holocaust, she invoked rhetorical strategies common among conservatives in the Historikerstreit. German historians Andreas Hilgruber and Ernst Nolte too deployed anticommunist arguments to justify German militarism and mass murder. Why would Bock associate Koonz's equal rights feminism with communism when much of contemporary American feminism developed as a rejection of residual patriarchy within the organizations of the New Left?


The reason for Bock's red-baiting is found in the historiography of German women. The canonical English-language history of the German women's movement is Richard J. Evans's The Feminist Movement in Germany, 1894-1933.(59) The English adjective "feminist" carries the assumption of a universal sisterhood. The equivalent text in German is Barbara Greven-Aschoff's Die burgerliche Frauenbewegung in Deutschland, 1894-1933.(60) The adjective "bourgeois" carries a class connotation that is absent from the Anglo-American meaning of "feminist." In Bock's German cultural context, the adjective "bourgeois" exists in a binary relationship to the term "proletariat." In this world, to attack the BDF and insist on its cultural connections to German fascism, as Koonz does, means, to Bock, that Koonz identifies with a different women's movement: the one Zetkin chronicled in Zur Geschichte der proletarischen Frauenbewegung Deutschlands (History of German women workers movement). (61) Of course, American equal rights feminism has little in common with Zetkin's class politics. The fact that Bock conflated the two indicates the persistence of class tensions in contemporary German feminism. Koonz could not see the importance of Bock's red-baiting or its parallel in the Historikerstreit because her work was not class-conscious.


Beyond Sexual Identity? The Nazi Matrix of Empowerment Attention to the class character of women's politics in Germany is only one means of conceiving of patriarchy as the empowerment of particular women under Nazism.(62) Ultimately, Nazism must be defined as an ensemble or matrix of values; a person's positionality, her/his particular experiential reality, determined the priority of Nazism's various appeals. The multiple appeal of Nazism derived from a weft of such hierarchical discourses as heterosexism/ homosexuality, German/foreign, Gemeinschaft/Gesellschaft, Christian/Jewatheist, nationalism/internationalism, patriarchy (male-female difference)/equality, Uberparteilichkeit (above party difference)/self-interest, racial purity/decadence, and order/disorder. With the matrix concept, female guilt is no longer exclusively sex-based. Rather, heterosexist, nationalist, racist, class, and religious elements of Nazi ideology provided a shared politics of cultural superiority. One may place undue emphasis on the patriarchal character of Nazism and forget that both men and women participated in the cultural authorization of righteousness and concomitant feelings of cultural superiority. Consequently, the category "women," approached from either a feminist or gender frame of mind, is not sufficient to determine women's identification with Nazism.(63) Women supporters of Nazism were attracted to and benefited from ethnocentric identities that were not gender specific. The matrix concept also reveals anti-Semitism's insufficiency as an explanatory device.(64) An exclusively anti-Semitic interpretation of Nazism often neglects the multiple symbolic meanings of "Jew" within Nazi ideology. Anti-Semitism was not simply a precursor to the Holocaust; it was also a heterogeneous politics of cultural containment and conservative empowerment. In Nazi ideology, the Jew was simultaneously a greedy capitalist, atheistic communist, urban intellectual, sexual pervert intent on destroying the family, racial alien who threatened Aryan procreation, and religious other. The Nazi construct "Jew" was made up of a symbolic layering of ethnocentric subjectivities intent on the cultural containment

of multiple "others" as much as it was on the destruction of "Jewish bolshevism." The polyvalent meaning of anti-Semitism reveals that Nazism's appeal was multiple and complex. Nazi ideology was not an objective ideology that possessed a universal meaning for all Germans. It was a form that could be filled with various subjective contents. Therefore, a determination of the appeal of Nazi ideology requires an individual assessment of what sociologist Georg Simmel called the "psychological a priori" of historical meaning.(65) If Nazism is viewed as a hydra of identities, then the question of guilt must be preceded by a differentiated investigation of the mental frameworks of experiences, for example, of which Nazism's faces solicited support in any given case. Nazi ideology was a potent mixture of various identities and policies combining, like a chemical reaction, to create a toxic elixir authorizing racial anti-Semitism and the Holocaust. Various banal ethnocentric identities plowed the soil for the ideologically extreme doctrine of race and nourished Hitler's willing executioners, not the other way around. Does the affirmation of Nazism by women who felt empowered by patriarchal elements of Nazi ideology comport with holding them guilty for the mass murder of Jews, homosexuals, Jehovah's Witnesses, Communists, Slavs, and others? Is support for the Nazis' affirmation of Christian motherhood tantamount to personal participation in genocide? I think the answer in both cases is a provisional no. The proviso, for example, stems from a need to take responsibility for the role that Christian ideology and heterosexism played in creating an uncritical and bigoted atmosphere of unwitting malevolence. Conclusion Diametrically opposed claims about the role of women in Nazi society were the fulcrum of the Bock-Koonz debate. Cultural feminists like Bock believed that the Nazi patriarchal regime victimized women. Koonz stood at the threshold of an emerging gender theory, codified by Scott and Alcoff, wherein German women were no longer exclusively seen as victims.


Gender theory facilitates a reexamination of questions of guilt in two ways: (1) by positing patriarchy as a form of (conservative) women's empowerment, and (2) by providing the theoretical foundation for a matrix concept which theorizes the hydra-headed appeal of Nazism. Since the Nazi patriarchal regime was connected to nonsexual forms of cultural superiority, German women's affirmation of Nazi patriarchy does not amount to irrational support of sexual inequality. It was the embrace of ethnocentric cultural identities that empowered women by exalting their social status as mothers, Germans, and Christians. To understand the appeal of the Nazi patriarchy to women we need to reconstruct an individual psychological a priori, namely the subjective meanings of Nazi ideology. This task cannot proceed without a grasp of the relationship of Nazi patriarchy to other ethnocentric identities that are not gender specific. NOTES (1) Historikerstreit: Die Dokumentation der Kontroverse um die Einzigartigkeit der nationalsozialistischen Judenvernichtung (Munich: Piper Verlag, 1987). (2) Joan Wallach Scott, "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," in Gender and the Politics of History (New York: Columbia University Press, 1988), 28-52. (3) Claudia Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family, and Nazi Politics (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1986); and Mary Nolan, "The Historikerstreit and Social History," New German Critique 44 (spring/summer 1988): 51-80, quotation on 70. (4) See Lerke Gravenhorst and Carmen Tatschmurat, eds., Tochter-Fragen: NSFrauen-Geschichte (Freiburg, Germany: Kore, 1990). This volume represents an important shift toward a more critical view of women's place in Nazi society. It also constitutes a reconciliation between some German feminists and the Left. The self-conception of 1970s German feminism was often anti-Left. The best examples of feminist antisocialism are Mary Nolan, "Proletarischer AntiFeminismus," in Frauen und Wissenschaft: Beitrage zur Berliner

Sommeruniversitat fur Frauen (Berlin: Courage Verlag, 1976), 356-77; and Annemarie Troger, "Dolchsto[Beta]legende der Linken: Frauen haben Hitler an der Macht gebracht," in ibid., 324-55. Troger's rejection of women's culpability is consistent with Bock's position. In fact, a Bock essay celebrating separatist culture appeared in the same volume. In contrast to Bock, gender historians and socialists challenge--although in different ways--the idea that patriarchal culture entails equal domination of all women. Moreover, they understand patriarchy as a system that is not solely the creation of men. (5) Scott, Gender and the Politics of History. (6) Linda Alcoff, "Cultural Feminism Versus Post-Structuralism: The Identity Crisis in Feminist Theory," Signs 13, no. 3 (1988): 405-36. (7) Irene Stoehr, "`Organisierte Mutterlichkeit'. Zur Politik der deutschen Frauenbewegung um 1900," in Frauen suchen ihre Geschichte: Historische Studien zum 19. und 20. Jahrhundert, ed. Karin Hausen (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1983), 221-49; and Elizabeth Meyer-Renschhausen, Weibliche Kultur und soziale Arbeit: Eine Geschichte der Frauenbewegung am Beispiel Bremens, 1810-1927 (Cologne, Germany: Bohlau Verlag, 1989). See, especially, Stoehr, "`Organisierte Mutterlichkeit,'" 219-24. (8) Gisela Bock, "Die Frauen und der Nationalsozialismus: Bemerkungen zu einem Buch von Claudia Koonz," Geschichte und Gesellschaft 15 (1989): 563-79, quotation on 563. (9) Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland, xxxv, xxxiii. (10) Bock, "Die Frauen und der Nationalsozialismus," 563. Bock borrowed the quote from Jill Stephenson, The Nazi Organisation of Women (London: Croom Helm, 1981), 18. See also Jill Stephenson, Women in Nazi Society (New York: Barnes & Noble, 1975). Stephenson's research does not uniformly support Bock's position. Unlike Bock, Stephenson contends in both texts that the Nazis initiated pronatal policies that were beneficial to (Aryan) mothers. (11) Bock, "Die Frauen und der Nationalsozialismus," 577.

(12) Helen L. Boak, "'Our Last Hope': Women's Votes for Hitler--A Reappraisal," German Studies Review 12, no. 2 (1989): 289-310. (13) Gisela Bock, Zwangssterilisation im Nationalsozialismus: Studien zur Rassenpolitik und Frauenpolitik (Opladen, Germany: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1986). See also Gisela Bock, "Antinatalism, Maternity, and Paternity in National Socialist Racism," in Maternity and Gender Policies: Women and the Rise of the European Welfare States, 1880s-1950s, ed. Gisela Bock and Pat Thane (London: Routledge, 1991), 213-34. (14) Gisela Bock, "Racism and Sexism in Nazi Germany: Motherhood, Compulsory Sterilization, and the State," in When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany, ed. Renate Bridenthal, Atina Grossmann, and Marian A. Kaplan (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1984), 271-96, quotation on 277. (15) Claudia Koonz, "Erwiderung auf Gisela Bock's Rezension von Mothers in the Fatherland," Geschichte und Gesellschaft 18 (1992): 394-99, quotation on 395. (16) Scott, "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis," 40. (17) Koonz, "Erwiderung auf Gisela Bock's Rezension," 394. (18) Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland, xix. (19) Claudia Koonz, "Some Political Implications of Separatism: German Women between Democracy and Nazism, 1928-1934," in Women in Culture and Politics: A Century of Change, ed. Judith Friedlander et al. (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), 269-85, quotation on 281. (20) Claudia Koonz, "Mothers in the Fatherland: Women in Nazi Germany," in Becoming Visible: Women in European History, ed. Renate Bridenthal and Claudia Koonz (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1977), 445-73, quotation on 448. (21) Claudia Koonz, "The Fascist Solution to the Woman Question in Italy and Germany," in Becoming Visible: Women in European History, 2d ed., ed. Renate


Bridenthal, Claudia Koonz, and Susan Mosher Stuard (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987), 499-534. (22) Richard J. Evans, The Feminist Movement in Germany, 1894-1933 (London: Sage, 1976), 242-45. (23) This discursive analysis is central to all of her work on fascism. See, especially, Claudia Koonz, "The Competition for Women's Lebensraum," in When Biology Became Destiny, 199-236. See also Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland, 451, Koonz, "The Fascist Solution," 517, and Koonz, "Some Implications of Separatism," 272. (24) Actually, there were two housewives' organizations: Reichverband der Deutschen Hausfrauverein (Imperial Organization of German Housewives, RDH) and Verband Landwirtschaftlicher Hausfrauenvereine (Federation of Royal Housewives Unions, VLH). The former had two hundred thousand and the latter ninety thousand members by 1931. Together, the housewives' associations comprised the largest constituency of the BDF. The second largest, Frauengruppen des Gewerkschaftsbundes der Angestellten (Women's Group of Trade Union Employees, FGA), had about one hundred thousand members. No other member organization had more than fifty thousand members. Evans, Feminist Movement, 241-42. (25) Bock, "Die Frauen und der Nationalsozialismus," 574. (26) Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland, 360. (27) Orthodox rabbis have sought to keep homosexual victimization out of a Holocaust memorial. See Robert Pela, "Taking the Triangle out of the Star," Advocate, 9 December 1997, 45-46. (28) Koonz, "Some Political Implications of Separatism," 282. (29) Claudia Koonz, "Fascist Solution," 529. (30) Bock, "Die Frauen und der Nationalsozialismus," 565. (31) Ibid., 564.


(32) Gisela Bock, "Women's History and Gender History: Aspects of an International Debate," Gender and History 1, no. 1 (1989): 7-30, quotation on 17, Gisela Bock, "Challenging Dichotomies: Perspectives on Women's History," in Writing Women's History: International Perspectives, ed. Karen Offen, Ruth Roach Pierson, and Jane Rendall (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1991): 1-23. For a different use of the term "men's history," see Ute Frevert, "Mannergeschichte oder die Suche nach der ersten Geschichte," in Was ist Gesellschaftsgeschichte?: Positionen, Themen, Analysen, ed. Manfred Hettling et al. (Munich: C. H. Beck, 1991), 31-43. (33) On the theory of positionality, see Alcoff, "Cultural Feminism Versus PostStructuralism," esp. 428-36. Similar to literary poststructuralism, positional theory proposes that identity is never singular but always complex and multiple. However, unlike literary poststructuralism, positional theory explains the sociological and historical grounds of multiplicity. In attempting to construct the different positionalities of German women, Georg Simmel has been my theoretical guide. Georg Simmel, "Der Fragmentcharacter des Lebens," Logos 6 (1916/1917): 29-40, and Georg Simmel, Grundfragen der Soziologie (Individuum und Gesellschaft) (Berlin: G. J. Goschen Verlag, 1917). (34) Annette Kuhn, "Der Antifeminismus als verborgene Theoriebasis des deutschen Faschismus," in Frauen und Faschismus in Europa: Der faschistische Korper, ed. Leonore Siegele-Wenschkewitz and Gerda Stuchlik (Pfaffenweiler, Germany: Centaurus, 1990), 38-50. (35) David Schoenbaum, Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1967), 187. (36) Ann Taylor Allen, "Materialism in German Feminist Movements," Journal of Women's History 5, no. 2 (1993): 99-103, quotation on 102. (37) In the Marxist version of false consciousness, workers who do not support revolutionary socialism are said to possess false consciousness. This assertion presumes two things: (1) an objective basis for ethics (economic equality), and

(2) an ideological absolution of anticommunist workers. How are they absolved from supporting anticommunist politics? Their conservative political decisions are explained as determinations of capitalist culture. Feminist false consciousness functions similarly. It (1) presumes an objective foundation for female solidarity and ethics (biology), and (2) absolves women of betraying that solidarity by treating their pro-patriarchal predilections as either the social determinism of patriarchy or as a resistance to patriarchy itself. In the latter case, "feminine" spheres, identities, and values are conceptually positioned as antimale, as a counterforce to patriarchy. (38) See Hans-Jurgen Arendt, "Die `Gleichschaltung' der burgerlichen Frauenorganizationen in Deutschland, 1933/34," Zeitschrift fur Geschichtswissenschaft 17 (July 1979): 615-27. (39) The theoretical tension between Allen and Koonz is not merely hypothetical. Allen's Feminism and Motherhood is a self-conscious renunciation of Koonz's "predominantly negative treatment" of German women's affirmation of a patriarchal domestic Reich. Ann Taylor Allen, Feminism and Motherhood in Germany, 1800-1914 (New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, 1991), 7. (40) Atina Grossmann, "Feminist Debates about Women and National Socialism," Gender and History 3, no. 3 (1991): 350-58, quotation on 354. (41) Robert G. Moeller, "Reconstructing the Family in Reconstruction Germany: Women and Social Policy in the Federal Republic, 1949-1955," Feminist Studies 15, no. 1 (1989): 137-69, quotation on 169. (42) Gisela Bock, "Wages for Housework as a Perspective of the Women's Movement," in German Feminism: Readings in Politics and Literature, ed. Edith Hoshino Altbach (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1984), 246-50. (43) Of additional relevance is Doris Bergen's thesis that "sexism and a sharp division of gender roles helped pave the way for racist antisemitism in the Church." See Doris L. Bergen, Twisted Cross: The German Christian Movement in the Third Reich (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996), 68.

(44) Alcide De Gasperi played a similar mnemonic role in post-war Italian politics. He spent the war years in opposition to Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and became head of the Christian Democrats after the war. (45) See Robert G. Moeller, Protecting Motherhood: Women and the Family in the Politics of Postwar West Germany (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993). (46) Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality, vol. 1, An Introduction, trans. Robert Hurley (New York: Vintage Books, 1980), 8. (47) On the politics of spiritual motherhood during the Wilhelmine period, see Allen, Feminism and Motherhood in Germany. On the role of Muttergeist (spiritual motherhood) in the gender politics of National Socialism, see Kate Lacey, Feminine Frequencies: Gender, German Radio, and the Public Sphere, 1923-1945 (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1996), 97-99. (48) Geoff Eley, Review of Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family, and Nazi Politics, by Claudia Koonz, Signs 14, no. 1(1989): 708-11, Geoff Eley and David Blackbourn, The Peculiarities of German History: Bourgeois Society and Politics in Nineteenth-Century Germany (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1984). (49) Nancy Reagin, A German Women's Movement: Class and Gender in Hanover, 1880-1933 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1995). (50) Ibid., 102, 97. (51) Voting for conservative parties was not necessarily a marker of anti-Nazism. For instance, Nazi and Zentrum voters may have shared a range of values. None of the following texts reference this possibility: Thomas Childers, The Nazi Voter: The Social Foundation of Fascism in Germany, 1919-1933 (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1983); Jurgen W. Falter, "Die Wahler der NSDAP, 1928-1933: Sozialstruktur und parteipolitische Herkunft," in Die nationalsozialistische Machtergreifung, ed. Wolf gang Michalka (Paderborn, Germany: Schoningh, 1984):47-59; or Richard F. Hamilton, Who Voted for Hitler? (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1982).

(52) On 13 March 1933, Pope Pius XI praised Hitler's anticommunism. The Concordat was signed 8 July 1933. Tim Kirk, The Longman Companion to Nazi Germany (New York: Longman, 1995), 127. (53) Jackson J. Spielvogel, Hitler and Nazi Germany: A History (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1988), 111. (54) For a masterful application of this theory, see Joan Wallach Scott, "French Feminism and the Rights of `Man': Olympe de Gouges's Declarations," History Workshop 28 (autumn 1989): 1-21. In a different essay, Scott argues that feminist studies should move beyond the dichotomy of difference versus egalitarianism. However, she does not explain why German women's organizations were unable to do this. Joan Wallach Scott, "Deconstructing Equality-Versus-Difference: Or, The Uses of Poststructural Theory for Feminism," Feminist Studies 14, no. 1 (1988): 33-50. (55) For example, Alcoff argues that the essentialist politics of cultural feminism may solidify "an important bulwark for sexist oppression.... Women have always been defined as a subjugated difference within a binary opposition: man/ woman, culture/nature, positive/negative, analytic/intuitive. To assert an essential gender difference as cultural feminists do is to reinvoke this oppositional structure ... [which is] controlled by a misogynist discourse." Linda Alcoff, "Cultural Feminism Versus Post-Structuralism," 414, 417, 423; and Scott "Gender: A Useful Category of Historical Analysis." (56) Reagin, A German Women's Movement, 263. (57) Bock, "Die Frauen und der Nationalsocializmus," 570. (58) Ibid., 575. (59) Evans, Feminist Movement. (60) Barbara Greven-Aschoff, Die burgerliche Frauenbewegung in Deutschland, 1894-1933 (Gottingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1981). (61) Klara Zetkin, Zur Geschichte der proletarischen Frauenbewegung Deutschlands (Frankfurt: Verlag Marxistische Blatter, 1984).

(62) Most working women affirmed motherhood ideology but were oppressed by their inability to meet its ideal: stay-at-home motherhood. The Nazis did not organize middle- and upper-class women for work because Nazi cultural legitimacy derived from the conference of special class rights. One of those was the right not to have to work outside the home. See Leila J. Rupp, "`I Don't Call That Volksgemeinschaft': Women, Class, and the War in Nazi Germany," in Women, War, and Revolution, ed. Carol R. Berkin and Clara Maria Lovett (New York: Holmes & Meier, 1980), 37-53, and Leila J. Rupp, Mobilizing Women for War: German and American Propaganda, 1939-1945 (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1978). (63) Denise Riley, "Am I that Name?": Feminism and the Category of "Women" in History (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1988). This text is perhaps the best articulation of the incompatibility of gender theory, with its assumption of women's multiple and differentiated positionalities, and "women" as a feminist category. (64) Two recent histories of the Holocaust focus narrowly on anti-Semitism. See John Weiss, Ideology of Death: Why the Holocaust Happened in Germany (Chicago: I. R. Dee, 1996); and Daniel Jonah Goldhagen, Hitler's Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust (New York: Knopf, 1996). Of the two, Weiss does a better job of analyzing the overlap of anti-Semitism and other hatreds. (65) Georg Simmel, Die Probleme der Geschichtsphilosophie: Eine erkenntnistheoretische Studie (Leipzig, Germany: Duncker & Humblot, 1892), 2-4. RALPH LECK teaches in the Department of History, Women's Studies Program, and Honors Program at Indiana State University. His book, Georg Simmel and Avant-Garde Sociology: The Birth of Modernity, 1880-1920 is forthcoming from Humanity Books. He currently is writing a monograph on philosopher/activist Helene Stocker and the origins of radical feminism in Germany.