For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Foreign Labor in Nazi Germany

by Homze, Edward L (2015)


During World War II, Germany recruited over eight million foreign laborers from her allies, the neutral countries, and the occupied territories. This book describes the inception, organization, and administration of the Nazi foreign labor program and its relationship to the over-all economy and government.Originally published in 1967.The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback and hardcover editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

Key Passage

Of all the early Nazi labor actions, none had as seriousaftereffects as the campaign to remove women from all gainfulemployment. Soon after the Nazis assumed power, theylaunched an intensive propaganda campaign to releasewomen from industry. The virtues of motherhood were extolled.Women were constantly being told that their properrole was in the home. Monetary incentives like the marriageloans were enacted. Generous allowances were later granted to soldiers' wives; as a result, many women refused to work.Klein noted that these measures were only too successful ininculcating the idea that women should remain in the home,"for their effects persisted into the period when labor becamescarce."18Naturally, the campaign to remove women from industrycannot be explained exclusively in economic terms. The Naziphilosophy, imbued with the concept of racial supremacy,dictated that every effort should be made to increase the population.The German birth rate had been steadily decliningsince the 1870's, as it had in all of western Europe, and theNazis wanted to arrest this decline. They were extremelysuccessful not only in arresting the decline, but also in rapidlyincreasing the birth rate by the end of the 1930's. (p.8)


Nazi, National Socialism, History, Twentieth Century, Military, Foreign Labor, Forced Labor, Slave Labor, Prisoner Labor, Prisoner Of War, Germany


German History

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