How many female soldiers were in World War I.
The First World War
Apl. Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Kruse, born in 1957, is an academic senior counselor and adjunct professor in the field of Modern German and European History at the Historical Institute of the Distance University in Hagen. His main research interests include the history of the First World War, the history of the French Revolution, the history of the German and international labor movement and the history of the political cult of the dead. Among others, von Kruse has published: Wolfgang Kruse: The First World War, Darmstadt 2009 (history compact of the WBG).
The First World War has long been considered an engine of women's emancipation. The war efforts of women on the "home front" in the increasingly total war not only seemed to have brought about an enormous expansion of female gainful employment. They also seemed to have strengthened the role of women in public and ultimately brought about their political equality with the introduction of women's suffrage. This apparently clear picture has been put into perspective and revised by recent social and cultural history research.
Development of gainful employmentStudies of social security membership have shown that the number and proportion of women in employment increased between 1914 and 1918, but the increase was less than in the pre-war years. The increase in female employment was therefore a long-term development that was slowed down rather than accelerated by the First World War. After the start of the war, many women were unemployed because many jobs were lost due to the crisis in transition to the war. In the war industries, there was an enormous increase in the number of women employed in the period that followed. However, it was essentially a matter of shifts within the group of employed women who had lost some of their previous jobs in the consumer goods industries, but also in the domestic service, in order to take on better-paid jobs than women workers in the war industries. On the other hand, women who were previously inactive could only be induced to work in the war industry to a limited extent, despite various efforts.
Working women in the German Reich
|As of 1.||1914||1915||1916||1917||1918||1919|
Source: Ute Daniel, Workers' Women in War Society, page 38.
Employment of adult female workers in the German Reich by branches of industry 1914-1918
March 1914 = 100
|Industries||Sept. 1914||March 1915||March 1916||March 1917||March 1918|
|Stone and earth industry||67,2||67,4||74,6||82,8||87,0|
|Leather and rubber industry||67,7||57,3||57,8||89,1||96,8|
|Wood and carving industry||24,6||89,9||148,5||109,5||115,7|
|Food and luxury food industry||139,7||133,2||155,7||159,0||146,5|
Source: Stefan Bajohr, Half of the Factory, page 125.
Changed gender roles
Size and composition of the German workforce in 1913 and 1918
Absolute numbers in each case in 1000 workers; relative changes in percent
|Men and women overall||7387||6787||-8%|
|of it grow up||6816||6185||-9%|
|of which under 16||571||602||+6%|
|of it grow up||5410||4046||-25%|
|of which under 16||384||421||+10%|
|of it grow up||1406||2139||+52%|
|of which under 16||187||181||-3%|
Source: Jürgen Kocka, Class Society in War. German social history 1914-1918, Frankf./M. 1988, p. 27.
The war engagement of the women's movementShortly after the start of the war, leading representatives of the bourgeois women's movement made representations to the Prussian War Ministry and, with the latter's consent, set up a "National Women's Service", in which the social democratic women also took part under the sign of the truce. The women saw their main task in the social military service on the home front, i. H. in the alleviation of the rapidly spreading misery, especially of the lower classes of the population. This took place primarily out of national war involvement, but it was also connected with the hope of being able to demonstrate the importance of the female sex for the state and nation and to improve the position of women in this way.
Memorandum of the Federation of German Women's Associations on the reorientation 1917
The manifold tasks of the war economy and war welfare led during the war to a considerably increased attraction of women in municipal administrative bodies, deputations and commissions, food and labor offices, etc. At the same time, large administrative bodies of the Reich and the federal states, the War Food Office and the corresponding federal organizations, the War Office, the Reich Committee for the Welfare of War Disabled Persons and others. Women used as advisory boards and employees. Thus, under the pressure of the war, which forced the appropriate forms of organization for itself without lengthy wars of principles, the insight has been put into practice at various points that the great questions of people's nutrition, women's work, and social welfare should be involved to the greatest possible extent from women at a central point. During the war, administrations of large Prussian cities decided on their own initiative, in unabashed recognition of the war work done by women, to include women in a large number of permanent deputations. In order to give these women the civil rights demanded by the city ordinance for such offices, but denied them, they went to the Landtag with their own petitions. As a result, the desire of the city administrations to maintain the cooperation of women for peace that had proven itself during the war, and even to secure it to a greater extent, was expressed, which was so naturally pioneered during the war without any agitation by the women's movement, needs legal support through a "reorientation" that initially grants women the right to stand as a candidate for municipal councils and thus the right to belong to all municipal commissions and deputations. But also in the larger circle of state and empire, the war has given women a right of consultation in areas that are close to them. The tasks of the transitional economy and the reconstruction are as difficult to solve without them as the domestic achievement during the war. According to the conviction of the Federation of German Women's Associations, the eligibility of women to be elected to the parliament is the only sure guarantee in the long run that the affairs of women and the circle of mothers are given sufficient consideration in legislation and administration. Developments so far, both in economic conditions and social forms of life, as well as the participation of women in public life and in state tasks, have made this goal of women's participation in popular representation clearly evident. Even before the active and passive women's right to vote in Germany provides a broad basis for women's participation in the state, their participation in the tasks that are particularly close to them should be ensured. The path to this is taken through the War Food Office and the War Office. Women are to be consulted for the preparation, initiation and implementation of all government measures that have to do with matters relating to their specific sphere of life: with questions of women's work; consumption, housing policy, youth welfare, health care, population policy, etc. Women are to be drawn into such parliamentary commissions in which the same questions are discussed.
From: Women's tasks in the future Germany. Yearbook of the BDF, Leipzig 1918.
The anti-feminist discourseIn fact, however, the war-specific activities and changes brought women in the male-dominated public by no means only approval and recognition. Rather, the number of voices also increased who saw this as a dissolution of the traditional gender order and, against it, advocated aggressive anti-feminism. A crisis of masculinity, which seemed to manifest itself in the growing emancipation of women, the excessive demands of men due to the demands of modern society and, last but not least, in the decline in the number of births, was already mentioned more and more often before the First World War. But in view of the changes caused by the war, especially the multiple crippling of the men at the front on the one hand and the increasing importance of women on the "home front" on the other hand, the view was now more and more radically expressed that at the latest after the end of the war the supposedly natural separation gender roles should be restored. The military service of the men at the front, who risked their lives for their homeland, which was perceived as female, was heroized and thus acquired all the more the claim to assume a social priority again in the future. In Germany this view was reinforced by the interpretation of the outcome of the war. Because the legend of the "stab in the back" of the homeland in the back of the front troops "undefeated in the field" reinforced the idea that only the men of the front were suitable to determine the fate of Germany.
Letter from the Chief of the General Staff of the Field Army v. Hindenburg to Chancellor v. Bethmann Hollweg, October 23, 1916
From: Erich Ludendorf (ed.), Documents of the Supreme Army Command on their activities in 1916/18, 2nd edition Berlin 1921, p. 78f.
Impoverishment and willingness to protest of the working class womenFor most of the German women, especially among the workers, the total war resulted in total overexertion and impoverishment. In addition to the double burden of gainful employment and housework, there were the problems of bringing up children and the supply of food and consumer goods. The adolescents were poorly cared for, they often developed without parental supervision and they could quickly get on the wrong track in the gray areas of war society. And the longer the war lasted, the more the situation worsened: food rations became scarcer, clothes and shoes could hardly be replaced, and the poorer sections of the population were unable to compete on the booming black market. The "food polonaises", the often hours-long queuing in front of grocery stores and public dispensaries, were a burden, especially for women. Rumors quickly made the rounds here, and the widespread dissatisfaction quickly turned into open uproar, especially when the queuing was unsuccessful in the end because there were no more goods despite ration cards. The long isolated but diverse social protests of working class women and young people increasingly became an integral part of the proletarian anti-war movements of 1917/18, which ultimately led to the overthrow of the German Empire.
War and Emancipation? One conclusionBefore it even makes sense to think about the possible emancipatory effects of war, it must first be noted that the war brought most women hardship and suffering. For the women, supposed advances such as taking on jobs previously reserved for men were by no means a departure to new shores; on the contrary, they were a consequence of hardships and necessities of life, and they brought about exploitation and wear and tear that had no national or feminist enthusiasm , but aroused dissatisfaction and a willingness to protest. In her study of working-class women in war society, the historian Ute Daniel therefore argued that, from a subjective female point of view, the war did not bring about emancipation in the state, but only emancipation from the state, which was ultimately without duration. However justified it is to emphasize the war-related upheavals and counter-tendencies towards female emancipation, it should be noted that the war mobilization of women in the First World War led to structural and conscious changes in gender relations that could not be revised at all levels. Just one example of this is the proportion of female union members, which was permanently and significantly higher after 1918 than before the start of the war in 1914.
Selected literature:Stefan Bajohr, Half of the Factory. History of women's work in Germany 1914-1945, Marburg 1979.
Ute Daniel, working women in war society. Job, family and politics in the First World War, Göttingen 1989.
Ulrike von Gersdorf, women in military service 1914-1945, Stuttgart 1969.
Birte Kundrus, "warrior women". Family policy and gender relations in the First and Second World War, Hamburg 1995.
Susanne Rouette, Social Policy as Gender Policy. The regulation of women's labor after the First World War, Frankf./M. 1993.
- What makes people feel different from others
- How will gambling affect college players
- Where can I find abandoned kittens
- Should Voelkerball become an Olympic sport
- What is the best bathroom layout
- Drinking milk increases belly fat
- What are your favorite home improvement
- What is Azitromicina 500mg used for
- How can I improve myself through meditation?
- What's your story about the demolition
- Know your way around online betting
- Is Java code managed or unmanaged code
- What are some of the characteristics of a good scientist
- Can I download at 320 kbps
- What is a collimation eyepiece
- A monopoly will necessarily make a profit
- What are the most successful mobile apps
- Why is a multi-stage rocket necessary
- What is Old Testament theology
- How do I stop being obsessed with her
- Could Trump end Iran
- How do Swedes feel personal space?
- What is Lana Del Rey's favorite color
- People with anorexia often become scurvy