Q: What is the topic—i.e. what focused category of historiography–are you considering as the focus for your literature review? What interests you in historians’ work on this subject of study? Briefly introduce one key work of peer-reviewed, academic scholarship published in the last twenty years on the topic.
The topic that I have chosen is the Education System in Nazi Germany during the second world war with the focus around women’s education. The topic may develop into looking at the education system before the war and how they tried to correct it after the war to see the impact the education had during the war. I had trouble thinking of a topic because it is difficult to find a topic that is interesting to research, broad enough to find information, but also specific enough to not be overwhelmed. I am learning about different forms of education in my education class at the moment so I wanted to write something about education. I needed to then relate it the topic to something historical and I realized that I have never been exposed to the education system in a socialist country, let alone women’s education in a socialist country.
This topic interested me because at first thought, I assumed I would be writing about how there was no education for women in Nazi Germany and how there may be few primary sources from women during this time. However, after doing some research through the library data base, I actually found a couple different sources that describe women’s education in Germany leading up to and during the war. After skimming over a couple different ones I came to realize that women were commonly well educated during this time and their talents were fostered to help them grow as humans and intellectuals. Which thinking about it, lines up very well with Hitler’s goal of the “perfect race”. He had harmful idea of creating the prefect race in humanity, which in turn meant the women were to be educated so they too could become the best they could. While these sources do state that women were educated, they were not nearly as valued as the boys and men being educated during this time. The main reason that the women were educated as well as they were was so they could raise their children to continue the politics of Germany at that time.
The source that I found that best discusses the education of women and where the ideas above came from is a Peer Reviewed Journal by Gregory Paul Wegner called Mothers of the Race: The Elite Schools for German Girls Under the Nazi Dictatorship. It was published in 2004 and discusses the education of girls under the dictatorship of Hitler. The abstract explains how girl’s education came second to the boy’s but that powerful women in the Third Reich believed it best for the girls to be educated as well. The journal then discusses the Nazi perspective on women’s education, the schools opened for the girls, and the stress of their education under the war. The author of this journal is a professor in the Department of Educational Studies at University of Wisconsin which can lead me to believe that this source is quite credible. While it is not a primary source, which I worry will be difficult to come by, I believe it will lay out the basic beliefs and set up of the women’s education in Nazi Germany.
Gregory Paul Wegner, “Mothers of the Race: The Elite Schools for the German Girls Under the Nazi Dictatorship,” Journal of Curriculum & Supervision 19, no. 2 (Winter 2004): 169. Accessed September 24, 2019. EBSCOhost. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspxdirect=true&db=eft&AN=507953106&site=ehost-live.