Printer Friendly


In the mid 1950s, a little boy wrote to the headquarters of the Muttergenesungswerk, the "convalescent home for mothers," located in Stein bei Nurnburg, West Germany. His ill mother had recently completed a four-week cure, and he wrote his appreciation in the following letter:

We were very skeptical that the recovery time would really help my mother and really make her better ... [Now] I believe it [the Muttergenesungswerk] has strengthened some mothers more than the very best and most beautiful Schnitzel. [1]

It was perhaps a bit of an exaggeration that a mother's cure home was "even better than Schnitzel" as this grateful son enthused, but the Muttergenesungswerk did serve as an important institutional response to the Frauenfrage, or "women question," that framed West Germany's postwar reorganization.

Since the late 1940s, this reorganization was characterized by efforts to "validate the nuclear, patriarchal family as the foundation of West German society." [2] The social upheavals of war, occupation, and reconstruction fostered a desire to return to a traditional gendered "normalcy" in which women remained home to care for husbands and children while men provided for their families financially. [3]

Founded in 1950, the Muttergenesungswerk initially reflected the state's dominant conservative ideology that the family--and women's role in that family--should serve as the basis for a new German social order. [4] Werk publicity materials warned that if widows, refugees, and women who had become exhausted from intense physical labor during the war and its aftermath did not recover their health, they would be unable to fulfill their primary responsibilities as mothers. [5] Once treated, these same women would retake their positions as "the rallying points of the family" and "participate more joyfully in their marriages and raise their children with understanding and love." [6]

By the mid 1950s, the cure homes began to depart from this predominant conservative stance. Motivated by what it termed an increase in "degenerative neurological conditions," the Muttergenesungswerk argued that life had not substantially improved for women. This observation disputed the validity of the Federal Republic's newly created economic and social stability. Even as the government touted the widespread benefits of the Wirtschaftswunder (Economic Miracle) for West German citizens, sustained high illness rates among the nation's mothers suggested that many women continued to face urgent social problems.

The ravages of war and reconstruction, however, no longer provided convincing reasons for mothers to participate in cures away from their families. For the convalescent homes to remain a viable institution, administrators needed to reshape the Werk's mission. They accomplished this by picking up on widespread debates among politicians and the public regarding the intersection of motherhood and women's employment. [7] Cure home literature now stated that "the monstrous stress of our time... the constant work and mothers' employment" were bringing many West German women to their breaking points. Only extended time away from family and the workplace would enable "the burdened mother of today [to] achieve a real recovery." [8]

This redirection worked. The number of cure homes increased from 42 in 1950 to 167 in 1960. Over the span of ten years, half a million mothers had partaken in convalescent programs. President Heuss himself reflected at the end of the decade that "what had begun as a provisionary response, [had] become a foregone conclusion." [9]

Despite the Muttergenesungswerk's success, it has received surprisingly scant scholarly attention. In general, the convalescent homes of the 1950s have been viewed as little more than a conservative organization that fulfilled the state's agenda. Supposedly, cure programs offered no counseling other than that women should be submissive to their husbands for the ultimate good of their families. [10] Even in moderate interpretations, the Genesungswerk has been cited as a prime example of the determination on the part of women's associations to save the West German family during a time of political and social uncertainty. [11]

This assessment fits neatly into mainstream interpretations regarding the Federal Republic's postwar gender relations. Historians generally concur that the continuity of traditional gender roles was "the predominant tendency in the post-war era." [12] Although women acted with remarkable autonomy during the closing years of the war and its aftermath, many West Germans dismissed this period as a time of "forced emancipation," and "'normal' gender hierarchies were restored with remarkable speed." [13] Men returned to their roles as breadwinners and heads of families, while women resumed--at least theoretically--their positions within the "housewife marriage." The historical consensus agrees that this conservative form of domesticity remained "solid until the late 1960s." [14]

The Muttergenesungswerk, however, did more than just exhort women to follow their true callings as mothers. Dismissing it as a pawn for the government's conservative maternal ideology accordingly underestimates its significance in the Federal Republic's postwar gender debates. To be sure, the cure homes began with a relatively simple view of women's roles and remained committed to cultivating patients' maternal instincts. Cure directors, though, also recognized that women's health problems arose in large part because changing social realities were inconsistent with traditional expectations. [15]

In a shift from its initial years of operation, the Werk therefore undertook a more progressive approach toward the reigning maternal ideology. It emphasized that mothers needed to work and that they were permanent members of the nation's workforce. It further proposed that working mothers had needs which children, husbands, and employers failed to acknowledge. Beginning in the mid 1950s, administrators counseled patients to consider themselves as individuals entitled to take time off from their primary responsibilities as mothers, wives, and workers. This time was critical not only for restoring a mother's health, but also for allowing her the time to develop her own interests.

The evolution of the cure homes suggests that the currently predominant view of an uncomplicated, unchallenged maternalism dominating West Germany's postwar gender discourse was more complicated than scholars have initially considered. Prevailing views concerning women's roles in the Federal Republic did not remain static and were subject to various degrees of revision. As a socially constructed concept, gender was affected by numerous social, cultural, political, and economic factors. [16] The apparent continuity of traditional gender roles was therefore changing throughout the 1950s, and "domestic changes had cultural consequences which were not articulated as political values." [17]

While the Muttergenesungswerk was only one association that exemplified such changes, its transformation illustrates how the Federal Republic's gender formulations began to evolve by the end of the decade. As an organization continually recreating itself, the cure homes also illustrate how institutions maintain their viability by responding to leading social concerns. In the Werk's case, the initial decision to provide cures to ill mothers arose within a specific sociopolitical milieu underscored by conservative gender ideals, and administrators had to negotiate within this context. Once the original reasons behind the Werk's founding no longer remained convincing, administrators reconstructed cures to focus on women's employment, an issue that had emerged at the fore front of West Germany's gender debates.

1950-1953: "A Community of Women for Women"

When narrating her postwar experience as a "Trummerfrau," or "woman of the rubble," Dora Rauh recounted the grinding physical exhaustion and extreme hunger from which she and other German women suffered. The political uncertainty following the war was bad enough, but women worked "eight or nine hours in hard, physical labor with nothing to eat." Rau recounted that "there wasn't enough food either to live or to die," and many women simply "keeled over" from the strain. [18]

This woman's experience was not isolated, and Trummerfrauen served as a broader metaphor for all women who sacrificed their own welfare to feed, clothe, and house their children as well as to care for husbands who had returned home disabled. [19] These contributions proved so debilitating that countless women suffered from illnesses ranging from insomnia to malnutrition.

In response, Elly Heuss-Knapp announced on 31 January 1950 in a radio broadcast that she was founding the Mutrergenesungswerk. [20] As the wife of the Federal Republic's first president and activist in her own right, Heuss-Knapp was in a unique position to do so. She studied economics at the University of Freiburg and became "the first German girl" to receive a position in StraBburg's public assistance office. She later worked in Berlin, where she became acquainted with Friedrich Naumann and one of his colleagues, her future husband Theodor Heuss. Like the majority of women reformers at the time, Heuss-Knapp focused her professional development on maternal issues and counseled women to combine motherhood with their "own personal interests." [21]

Although Heuss-Knapp has traditionally received sole credit for founding the cure homes--the press referred to her as West Germany's Landesmutter for this achievement--the Werk's origins stretched back to the 193 Os. Unemployment among men had reached all-time highs, but wages for women were lower, forcing many mothers "to earn the family's upkeep." As a result, working women often shouldered double burdens as they juggled work and home responsibilities. Perceiving a dire social need, Antonie Nopitsch worked with the Lutheran Women's Work Organization and established the Bayerischer Mutterdienst in 1932 to provide recuperation periods for ill mothers as well as courses on motherhood. After the war, Nopitsch restructured the Dienst to aid mothers who had become refugees, widows, and/or homeless. [22]

Both Heuss-Knapp and Nopitsch recognized the Mutterdienst's far-reaching potential, and they collaborated to nationalize it. Under the umbrella of five welfare groups, they established the Mutrergenesungswerk as a "community of women for women," which would provide health care for ill mothers throughout the Federal Republic. [23] For Heuss-Knapp, founding the convalescent homes represented her life's "crowning achievement." [24]

Like other women's organizations created at the same time, the Muttergenesungswerk was moderate in its conception and sought to establish a sense of stability during political, economic, and social upheaval. It resembled groups such as the House of Catholic Public Services, the Lutheran House of the Family, and the Frankfurt Women's Association, all of which turned to Mutterlichkeit, a maternal ideology or "organized motherliness," that enabled women to combat anxieties and poor health caused by the war's devastation. [25]

This emphasis on maternal ideology had its roots in the nineteenth century when bourgeois reformers emphasized women's special character as mothers. Reformers envisioned women's "distinct female nature" as balancing male-dominated politics, and they encouraged mothers to develop their "unique womanly qualities" in the service of the state. [26] Eventually, activists extended this influence beyond the traditional spheres of home and family by transforming private motherhood into a "social maternalism" that would initiate public change. [27] Women focused specifically on lobbying for clinics and protective legislation that targeted mothers' health and employment. [28]

By this time, gender ideologies had influenced health care, as in few other professional areas. While maternal ideology helped women gain access into the political world, the image of "selfless womanly acts of love" persisted. Society continued to expect women to live for others while sacrificing their own needs and desires. [29] Not surprisingly, women's traditional gender roles translated easily into caring for the sick, and nursing patients became a female profession. [30]

Women's organizations of the 1950s resumed this focus on motherhood, women's health, and nursing the sick. They did not, however, fully imitate their nineteenth-century precursors. Groups now differed in their organization, with "fixed patterns of sociability" beginning to disintegrate. The Murtergenesungswerk was particularly progressive in that it spanned both religious and cultural ideologies. Protestants and Catholics overcame religious divisions to join forces. Church groups cooperated with the Socialist Workers' Welfare Group, a partnership that bridged deep cultural differences. [31]

In this respect, the cure homes were perhaps one of the more liberally created institutions of the time. In general, the desire to "rebuild the old order in the wake of postwar turmoil" resulted in a highly conservative socio-political climate. According to polls, the majority of West Germans viewed the family as "society's last bastion, the ultimate place for safety" and the "last stable structure remaining in society." [32] The onset of the Cold War further intensified the perceived need to return men and women to their traditional roles as a bulwark against communism. [33]

In response to these concerns, politicians formulated conservative policies, many of which recreated a "gendered normality" that preserved patriarchal authority and women's dependence on men. To legitimize this course, officials relied upon Mutterlichkeit to identify women first and foremost as mothers. [34] Even women politicians such as Marie-Elisabeth Luders of the Free Democratic Party embraced this ideology, urging West German women to resume their "task from time immemorial as the protector of home and family." [35]

Mutterlichkeit was both codified and institutionalized. While the Federal Republic's Basic Law provided for equality between the sexes, it qualified this equality by specifying that "marriage and the family [were] under the special protection of the state." [36] The creation of the Family Ministry in 1953 brought the family under the government's authority. [37] Under the helm of the conservative Franz-Joseph Wuermeling, the Ministry formally promoted the patriarchal construction of women's lives by glorifying motherhood as a woman's true and natural vocation. [38] From the beginning, the Family Ministry emphasized that "the concern of the bodily well-being of the family and the raising of our children predominantly rests [on] our mothers." [39]

Given the reigning social and political climate, it was no surprise that the Muttergenesungswerk mirrored the government's maternal ideology. Although Heuss-Knapp and Nopitsch claimed that they had created the cure homes as "ideologically independent" from the government, publicity materials employed language that was strikingly similar to the state's own gender definitions. [40] Heuss-Knapp herself maintained that "whether there is darkness or light in a family depends entirely upon the mother." [41]

Following this logic, the Genesungswerk argued that a woman's poor health affected not "just one person," but her husband and children as well. [42] If a mother did not recover, she would remain incapable of fulfilling her household duties. [43] Recuperative cures would prevent such dire consequences by improving the health of women who were no longer "in order," so they could resume their domestic responsibilities. [44] Clearly, the Werk's primary goal was to alleviate women's disorders through "personal rejuvenation, not social transformation." [45]

In promoting the dominant maternal ideology, the Muttergenesungswerk accomplished two things. First, it used the public's concern with the well-being of the West German family to argue that cures for ill mothers were a necessity, not a luxury. If mothers did not receive time away from their maternal--and wifely--duties, then the entire family would ultimately suffer. Four weeks in a convalescent home, the Werk vowed, enabled mothers to "handle even more difficult challenges and gain the courage to improve the family situation of their husbands and children on their own." [46] Husbands who might have been reluctant to support their wives' month-long cures had to concede that chronic illnesses would only harm their own interests.

Second, Heuss-Knapp and Nopitsch addressed concerns about the family's deterioration by arguing that the Genesungswerk's "politicization" of mothers' health served as one of the best means for handling wider social problems. [47] Like other women's groups, the cure homes emphasized that the construction of a "healthy and natural motherliness" would address the "perceived crisis of the family." [48] Returning healthy mothers to their respective hearths was an important weapon for fighting against "the current family-endangering tendencies" threatening West German society. [49]

In this way, the Werk challenged government officials to demonstrate their commitment to their own maternal ideology by providing cure homes with financial assistance. Initially, donations and private organizations financed mothers' cures, and insurance companies granted limited coverage. This support, though, was inadequate. Nopitsch, who had taken over as executive director following Heuss-Knapp's death in 1952, lobbied government officials to grant the cure homes federal funding. Aside from Theodor Heuss, her political allies included high-ranking Family Ministry officials and members of both the Social and Free Democratic Parties.

Their advocacy was to prove critical. Support from the Interior Ministry, for example, helped convince various state officials that mothers had already suffered tremendously during the war and the years immediately following defeat "without the opportunity to relax from their duties." This carried over into the Bundestag, where members voted to provide limited financing from the Postwar Fund, noting that cures would restore women's abilities to fulfill their "household duties." [50] Federal support contributed to the Werk's rapid growth. Between 1950 and 1953, the number of cure homes increased from 42 to 127. [51]

These facilities were located in some of the Federal Republic's "most well-known" spa towns, and they accommodated between twenty-five and thirty patients. No more than four women were assigned to one room, which was "quiet and clean" and "well-appointed." For many mothers, this was the first time that they had "their own beds," which were always "good feather beds ... [never] youth hostel mattresses." [52] This in itself was "a small wonder." [53] Homes also featured pleasant sitting rooms and gardens in which women were encouraged to relax and enjoy the communal aspects of their convalescence. [54]

Most homes handled a variety of physical conditions, such as arthritis, tuberculosis, asthma, angina, kidney disease, etc., and professionals treated patients by using combinations of physical therapy, medical supervision, and special diets. The "suspension from the everyday world" additionally included counseling, discussion groups, classes, and opportunities to seek advice from certified therapists. [55] These programs were especially appealing to patients, because the majority of administrators, doctors, therapists, and counselors were themselves women.

To qualify for a cure, a mother was first required to obtain a physician's diagnosis certifying that she required a convalescence. A candidate then applied to one of the Werk's representatives, such as the Protestant and Catholic Churches, the German Red Cross, or the Public Relief Office for Workers, which filed health insurance claims on the mother's behalf. Once these criteria were met, the Genesungswerk notified the applicant when and where her convalescence would occur.

Although the cure homes were open to all social classes, they were geared especially toward mothers in "bitter economic situations." These women came from the "shamed poor" and were frequently unable to afford the clothing, suitcases, and travel expenses that a convalescence entailed. [56] The average four-week cure--minus travel expenses--cost approximately 305 DM, an amount close to the average lower-class monthly wage. [57] While many families reported that they could pay for daily necessities, they had no savings to finance prolonged health care.

Financial factors, though, were just the first hurdle in convincing mothers to apply for cures. Many considered a convalescence an impossibility, because their families would be incapable of functioning during their absences. Women ran the household and contributed too much to the family income, which led many to believe that they "simply could not afford to be sick." [59]

Even in the early 1950s, the Werk questioned the social conventions pressuring mothers to remain home at all costs. Hinting that husbands and children should help ease mothers' burdens, the Werk insisted that families would have to adapt "in the meantime." [59] If this argument failed, then a frequently repeated scare tactic was used instead: "Those mothers who fear that their families will bitterly miss them during their vacation weeks should think about what will happen when they are no longer there to do the work at all." [60]

Irrespective of which approach worked, 26,000 mothers received treatment during the Muttergenesungswerk's first year of operation. [61] Between 1950 and 1953, over 124,000 women visited the convalescent homes. [62] During these three years, the majority of cure patients were mothers who suffered from some form of physical or mental debilitation caused by the war and reconstruction. As one pamphlet stated: "The results of two wars, unemployment, inflation, the loss of home required almost inhuman capabilities from women." [63]

After peace was declared, these women continued to grapple with the war's aftershocks. "Countless families remained fatherless," and an "excess" of seven million war widows, divorcees, and single women existed in West Germany. As a result, the mother was alone responsible for providing for the family." [64] During the first half of the 1950s, close to three million working-class families were without male breadwinners, and one out of every three households was supported solely by a woman. [65] Even when men did return from the war, they were often either unable to rejoin the labor force or earn enough to support their families. Having a father "at the head" of a family was no guarantee that a wife would be able to remain home. [66]

Despite this reliance on women's paychecks for financial survival, a working mother's situation was perceived as temporary, "a selfless sacrifice or an extension of [women's] 'natural' housewifely or motherly duties." [67] It was understood that women who worked during the early 1950s would no longer do so once gender disparities disappeared. Although women themselves were eager to return to "the domestic roles they would subsequently enjoy," the "housewife marriage" was an ideal many would never reach. [68]

Convalescent home patients reflected this social reality. Between 1950 and 1953, almost 75% provided for their families on their own and had one or more children under fourteen years old to support. [69] Many of these women were "shamelessly exploited for their labor," with wages barely above the poverty level. [70] Countless patients felt so overwhelmed by their financial responsibilities that they suffered from both mental and physical exhaustion. [71] It was no small wonder, then, that the Werk's Hessen wing reported in 1951 that social upheaval and material deprivation had resulted in what it described as a proliferation of "nervous disorders" among patients. [72]

Even though such statistics pointed to widespread health problems among women, they failed to convey how urgently they needed cures. Numbers and percentages were too remote and rendered patients anonymous. Nopitsch and her colleagues therefore turned to patient profiles, a publicity tool they designed to provide moving examples of how adversely the postwar years had affected the health of the nation's mothers.

These profiles became one of the Muttergenesungswerk's most important vehicles for winning public support, and they were used continuously throughout the 1950s. While world peace may have garnered headlines, "Frau Mittelma[beta]," or "Mrs. Average," received "no publicity." [73] Unfortunately, the average woman remained "totally anonymous" and "almost unnoticed." Anonymous sketches resolved this dilemma by drawing attention to ill mothers while simultaneously transcending stereotypes to portray them as individuals who had real needs, problems, and desires. Profiles referred to the various patients as the nextdoor neighbor, the woman down the street, the beloved mother, the exhausted wife, the friend, or sister. Anonymous patients became real people to women considering cures, politicians voting on federal funding, and potential donors.

In profiles from the early 1950s, widows and wives of the disabled comprised the first group that received treatment in cure programs, and they accounted for one-third of all Werk patients. "Frau M.L.'s" husband, for example, died in a prisoner-of-war camp, and she supported her three children with a monthly pension of 212 Marks. The family lived in a small room that was part of a former military base. "Frau M.L." wanted to work, but the barracks were too far from employment opportunities. "Frau A.M.'s" husband had been missing since 1942. She had three children, one of whom was physically handicapped and required constant care. This patient suffered from circulatory and pulmonary problems precipitated "by severe stress." [74]

Learning how to care for a family on one's own was difficult enough, but the Werk noted that "if husbands returned from the war, wives had to help them find a new existence." [75] Frequently, these men were physically or mentally disabled and unable to rejoin the workforce. [76] "Frau L.," for example, provided for a husband who was "100% disabled during the war." "Taking care of him and having had two difficult pregnancies ... completely exhausted her strength." "Frau K." had three children and an unemployed husband. The entire family lived in two rooms that were "cold, damp, and narrow." "Frau K." had four children and a husband who returned home from the war with "severe head wounds." His medical condition made it impossible for him to work. The family of six lived in one room, and the "entire burden" of supporting the family rested with "Frau K.," who had become "pale and very underweight." [77]

Refugee women forced to build new lives for themselves and their children represented the second major patient group. Between six and seven million women and children fled the Soviet army at the end of the war, and their situations assumed catastrophic proportions. [78] Unwelcome in the western zones, these women frequently resorted to stealing and begging for food and lived in "temporary" refugee camps for years. [79] Even in the early 1950s, thousands of women "still lived in temporary shelters." [80]

With its headquarters in Stein bei Nurnberg, the Muttergenesungswerk was in a particularly advantageous position for helping displaced women. Because Bavaria was often the closest point geographically west after the Soviet zone, the majority of refugees flocked to the Bavarian countryside. [81] For this reason, Werk administrators were able to view first hand the challenges facing the refugee population.

"Frau H.," for example, had fled eastern Europe following her husband's death. She lived in a camp and attempted "to create a home for her children, ranging in ages from eight to sixteen years old." [82] "Frau J." lived with her unemployed husband and their five children in one room. She sewed by night "to hold the family above water." [83] "Frau Z.'s" situation was even worse. She had six children and lived in a refugee camp. "Herr Z." was himself sick and attempted to receive welfare. "Frau Z." would have "gladly worked," but no work opportunities existed near the camp during winter. Every six weeks, she travelled to the nearest city to donate blood for thirty Marks. [84]

Women who lived on farms accounted for the third most prominent group seeking treatment. Whether widowed or married, they ran approximately 250,000 of the Federal Republic's farms, thousands of which had been damaged in the war. Little if any machinery lightened agricultural work, which meant "unbearable work burdens" for farming women. [85] "Frau S." was married to a farmer who was no longer able to perform any physical labor. She had to "work the land alone" and be "the farmer, the mother, and the nurse." By 1953, "Frau S." began to suffer a nervous breakdown. "Frau L.," a forty-seven year old farmer's wife, was in a similar situation. She commented: "There is a beautiful apple tree at home on my farm, but I haven't really looked at it anymore for six years because of all our problems and drudgery." [86]

Even though profiles illustrated that the previous decade's events continued to impact women's health, by the mid 1950s, the debilitating effects of war could longer provide exclusive reasons for mothers to take extended time away from their children, husbands, and employment. In response, the Genesungswerk began to charge that mothers suffered from health conditions caused less by severe deprivation and reconstruction and more by "modem social problems." How administrators approached these problems influenced the Muttergenesungswerk's development during the second half of the 1950s. Even more importantly, it affected how the Werk began to revise its perceptions about women's roles in society.

1954-1960: "Today it is different."

By the middle of the 1950s, the Muttergenesungswerk argued that even though West German families "appeared strong from the outside, they were nevertheless threatened from within." [87] At the time, such a statement seemed alarmist. The Federal Republic's economic recovery was underway, and society had already begun to enjoy the benefits of incipient prosperity. Compared with the late 1940s and early 1950s, life should have improved significantly for most West Germans. Yet the increasing numbers of mothers seeking cures indicated otherwise. In 1953 alone, over 52,000 women had participated in convalescent programs, and applications for 1954 showed no signs of abating.

Additionally, the Genesungswerk claimed that "nervous system disorders" and "total exhaustion" had emerged as the "constant diagnosis" of private physicians evaluating women for cures. In 1950 only 30% of patients had suffered from such conditions. [88] By the mid 1950s, this number had risen to 73%. [89] Doctors also tended to diagnose applicants with at least two illnesses. Medical certificates cited pulmonary disease, intestinal problems, rheumatism, lung disease, and cancer as the most frequent maladies accompanying "spiritual exhaustion, depression, and vegetation of the nervous system." [90]

Certainly, the increase in "nervous system disorders" was difficult to substantiate and pointed more to vague systems associated with stress, depression, and a mother's desire to convince a doctor that she needed time away from work and family. Even convalescent home publicity materials acknowledged that much of women's illnesses "had to do with the mind." [91] This observation, however, did not negate the importance of cures, and the Werk argued that unless some sort of intervention occurred, negative mental states would exacerbate existing physical conditions, making recovery almost impossible.

Pamphlets further responded: "The need has changed since 1950. At that time, [the creation of the homes] resulted from the war, hunger, cold, homelessness, doubt. Today, it is different." [92] Problems raising children, difficult marriages, and above all, the double burdens associated with employment lay behind women's poor health. [93] Cures therefore had to be "for mothers only," because "these women were completely spent ... in the Economic Miracle, in raising and caring for their children and families--no wonder that they are exhausted." [94]

The Muttergenesungswerk's retooled emphasis on "modern" challenges marked an important shift in how cure home administrators began to treat the issue of working mothers and their role in the economy. Although the war and reconstruction continued to affect women's health adversely for decades, by the mid 1950s these events had lost their immediacy and no longer provided Bundestag members with convincing reasons to continue government financing. Contributions from the Postwar Fund were limited to renewable annual grants of two million Deutschmarks, which the Finance Ministry considered a strain on the federal budget. Even though government aid accounted for only a small percentage of all Werk funding, the loss of federal support could potentially influence insurance companies and donors to reconsider their support of the convalescent homes as well as to suggest to the public that mothers' cures were no longer necessary. [95]

The Genesungswerk's decision to concentrate on working mothers and their particular needs thus fed shrewdly into current social and political debates. While the percentage of women employed in the 1950s was comparable to what it had been during the Third Reich at 36-37%, the number of working mothers grew by 52% between 1950 and 1955, with those in factories increasing by 49%. [96] Over six million of these women were employed in jobs upon which their children depended. [97] By the middle of the decade, working mothers had become a permanent fixture in the economy, and West Germany's impressive reconstruction would not have been possible without them. [98]

The higher visibility of mothers in the workforce, however, did not change the dominant attitude toward their employment. [99] Women were supposed to serve others, and the public viewed their employment as a selfish "choice." [100] The press criticized the "irresponsibility" of "unnatural" women, who abandoned their children and housework "for material benefits." [101] Even women themselves understood that their employment would be tolerated so long as it did not interfere with their "primary responsibilities" as mothers and wives. [102]

Politicians were especially concerned with the impact that mothers' employment might have on the nation's children, and they considered it imperative to shield the family from the "corrupting influences" of women's work. [103] Officials lamented that the mother of approximately every fourth West German child worked outside the home. [104] Physicians deepened these concerns by asserting that working mothers endangered their children's health and well-being, while conservative propaganda claimed that as many as six million Schlusselkinder (latch-key children) suffered from maternal neglect. [105]

Employment also "endangered" women's well-being, not through "direct, physical manifestations," but by compromising fertility and pregnancies. The majority of mothers supposedly worked "until the last possible moment" before giving birth to their first child. The physical demands of heavy lifting, constant standing, or working outside coupled with caring for households made it difficult for women to complete full-term pregnancies. [106] The Federal Republic's birth rate, which lagged behind France, the U.S., and Canada, seemed to confirm this theory. [107] Miscarriage and premature birth rates proved equally disturbing. [108]

Political concern with working mothers coincided with the imperative to reassert that "the Muttergenesungswerk's work lay without doubt in the state's interests." [109] For this reason, Antonie Nopitsch pointedly reminded officials such as Family Minister Wuermeling that government grants would help "above all employed mothers." [110] By enabling working mothers to take much needed cures, "federal means" would give "our Volk what they need the most: vital energy." [111]

Statistics underscored that working mothers accounted for a large percentage of cure patients. Between 1950 and 1956, 300,000 women received treatment in convalescent homes, with over half coming from the lower or lower-middle classes. Almost 40% were solely financially responsible for their families. [112] The majority worked in factories and reported that they were unable to support their families adequately. Many often worked between ten and thirteen hours a day to compensate for wage differentials. [113] They also spent up to an additional eight hours commuting, grocery shopping, preparing dinner, doing housework, and caring for children. [114] Nearly 80% used weekends and vacations as opportunities to do housework. [115] These women were widowed, divorced, or had husbands who were missing, in prison, or severely injured. [116]

With women facing such difficult situations, cure home materials lamented that the Federal Republic's "growing material security" had brought "only a few women a chance to catch their breath." [117] Despite peace and economic affluence, too many mothers were "resigned to lives that were still very difficult." [118] "Most people ... only want[ed] to know about the good side of our 'Economic Miracle;'" they did not want "to hear about the insomnia, stress, circulatory and pulmonary illnesses, and all the other peculiar ailments" that affected the nation's mothers. [119]

Such observations aside, administrators claimed that they struggled even harder to convince both prospective patients and their families that cures were still necessary. As one Werk representative asked: "One person always suffers the most, the person who stands in the middle of the [West German] Volk--our mothers--why is this so?" The response seemed deeply rooted in society. Too many women used excuses such as "I can't leave my children! I may not leave my husband in need--he needs me in the business! And besides, what would people say?" [120] Husbands were not much better, dismissing their wives as "overly anxious" when they became ill. [121]

Women were also reluctant to take time off to go to doctors and health insurance offices. Working mothers hesitated to lose their usual wages, even if employers did grant leave-of-absences. At most, they received 50% of their take-home-pay, which influenced many to continue working regardless of exhaustion or serious illnesses. [122] Even more startling, 80% of patients claimed that husbands and employers "permitted" them to participate in cures only when they were no longer able to work. [123]

As in the first half of the 1950s, the Genesungswerk relied on anonymous patient profiles to convince both politicians and the public that cures had not lost their urgency. "Frau H.," for example, was a forty-five-year-old divorcee with two children. Her husband paid "only meager child support," and "Frau H." worked "for years on an assembly line." According to her doctor's diagnosis, this woman was "mentally and physically exhausted" and "desperately" in need of a cure. "Frau O.," also a factory worker, experienced marriage problems, because "Herr O." gave her "nothing of his salary" to run the household. This woman suffered from "circulatory problems and exhaustion." "Frau A." worked as an assistant cook in a factory kitchen to provide for her children's education. This woman was "completely exhausted" and diagnosed with "degenerative circulatory problems." [124] "Frau H.K.," a thirty-eight-year-old mother of four, took a position as a secretary because her husband was "supposedly no longer able to work fo r health reasons." She was "completely exhausted" but had to continue working. As "Frau H.K.'s" profile laconically observed: "She had to feed her family." [125]

These anecdotes helped explain why patients frequently arrived for cures doubting their "self worth." Mothers felt constantly criticized both for working and their inability to "do it all." Patients admitted to counselors: "I just can't carry on any longer." [126] More stated: "I don't entirely trust myself anymore." Still others believed: "Nobody wants us. Nobody will help us. [127]

Nopitsch predicted that if society continued to demand so much from women as wives, mothers, and workers, "then West Germany is going to ... liv[e] off the physical and mental capital of many mothers." [128] The nation may have had a "new economic life," but this "did little" when "the health of German mothers [had] sunk so low." [129]

This was hardly a mild censure of the much praised Wirtschaftswunder. Even though the Werk needed to secure federal funding, cure home publicists did not shy from arguing that "creating a certain standard of living [has] depleted [our] mother[s'] strength" and "demanded ... all their energy." [130] In 1957, a pamphlet posed the following question:

How does it help the world if material possessions increase at the expense of the spiritual? How does it help the German "Volk" if the standard of living constantly rises and economic conditions improve, but humanity is forgotten? [131]

Convalescent home patients echoed this criticism, saying that they had a "bad feeling" that the material security created by "our so-called Wirtschaftswunder [is] being paid for increasingly with all our physical and spiritual strength." [132]

Pamphlets also levelled that the newly-created Konsumgesellschaft (consumer society) placed too many "demands on society as consumers." [133] While "everyone" in the Federal Republic was "fascinated that every minute a new home" was being built, no one stopped to consider "the families who will live in these homes." [134] Young couples were "preoccupied during the first years [of their marriages] with earning money to furnish a home," but the cost of building and furnishing these homes placed unrealistic expectations on working mothers. [135]

"Frau M.," for example, was a twenty-nine-year-old salesclerk and mother of three who refused to limit her spending. She purchased the most expensive products, "such as bananas," even though cheaper commodities were available. This woman insisted on working evenings during the Christmas season so she could purchase her daughters "bigger and more beautiful dolls." Driven by consumerism, "Frau M." believed that "a good mother gives her children many and especially expensive things." [136] Another pamphlet described a thirty-eight-year-old "neighbor" who had a "face so small and frail like that of a little girl's." Maybe this woman had been "like a little princess once," but today she worked hard to maintain a certain standard of living. This woman was "always at the doctor." [137]

With such negative forces threatening the West Germany family, Werk administrators stressed: "In the mother homes, we don't just work to restore the health of extremely weak women; we try just as hard to awaken [their] maternal strengths and abilities." [138] Mothers who were "simply exhausted" from their double burdens would learn how to establish a sense of balance in their hectic lives and once again be able to make "homelife happy." [139] Patients left cure homes "not only with refreshed health and strength, but also with the new knowledge that they [were] finished with their problems." As a result, they were "more confident, more relaxed" and had "more patience and time for [their] children," who "soon sense[d] that something [had] changed." [140]

Classes that instructed women how to spend time with their children enabled patients to "experience the affirmation of motherhood." [141] Claiming that too many children in the first grade did not know fairy tales, rhymes, games, or bible stories, counselors advised working mothers to spend "at least an hour" with their children. "Frau D.," for example, happily stated that she learned "exciting and suspenseful children's stories" during her cure. Another former patient enthused: "I learned a lot in the Muttergenesungswerk, wonderful things about which I had no idea. You can really notice that in what I cook. I also play games with my children now, because I actually know the games." [142] Yet another proudly commented: "Now I can do everything with my children." [143]

The Muttergenesungswerk's emphasis on working mothers influenced leading Bundestag representatives to support the cure homes throughout the 1950s. Bundesprasident Heuss, himself the leader of the Free Democratic Party, praised the organization his wife had helped create by stating: "What women discover in the cure homes is not quantitatively measured but [is] rather an enriching growth in strength." [144]

The SPD's Frieda Nadig echoed this observation, noting that cure programs had already done "a considerable amount for our mothers." In her view, government aid would serve as a significant means for dealing specifically with the illnesses precipitated by mothers' employment. Frau Dr. Diemer-Nicolaus in the FDP agreed that "no organization [had] done so much good in the past as the Muttergenesungswerk." [145] It would therefore be a shame if West Germany's politicians did not exert the same effort on behalf of the country as did Elly Heuss-Knapp and "other responsible women." [146] Colleagues in both the Free and Social Democratic Parties concurred with these assessments, and the Bundestag continued to vote in favor of cure home grants for the remainder of the decade. [147]

With funding fairly secure, the Muttergenesungswerk began addressing the reality of mothers' employment in ways that departed from the traditional maternal ideology. [148] It accomplished this by calling attention to the economic inevitability of women's employment as well as to the inconsistent expectations that society placed on working mothers. With catch phrases such as "it just isn't easy being a mother today," this new approach acknowledged women's actual situations rather than dwelling upon the idealized depiction that dominated the public discourse. [149]

While cures during the early 1950s helped women resume their traditional roles, by the end of the decade they enabled the overworked mother to "gain the strength" to deal with "her marriage, her family, and her profession." [150] The Werk may have continued to believe that it was best for children if mothers remained home, but it also conceded: "The employment of our mothers cannot simply be abolished from the world. It [mothers' work] can have a reason, and above all, a necessity." [151]

By 1960, Werk representatives even commented that "the [West] German economy [had become] heavily dependent upon the employment of women for the further development of production and the living standards of our people." [152] A press release that same year reminded the public that "the economy would not be possible without them [women]." [153] Cures had therefore become even more critical, because both "the Volk and the economy" depended on healthy mothers. [154] In this regard, the Muttergenesungswerk positioned itself as a "representative of the economy," since it enabled mothers to fulfill their duties both in the home and the workplace. [155]

Despite women's contributions to the "Economic Miracle," the Werk argued that neither society nor the government had "adequately addressed" women's changing realities. [156] The past twenty years had brought far-reaching social and economic changes that were not in accordance with the "thousands of years of an old tradition--that the woman belongs in the house, that she belongs to her family." [157] "Following the war [women] had entirely new roles" and "an entirely different duty in the workplace." Most West Germans, though, "hardly realized" that "structural changes in society [had] changed women's place on the ground level." [158] These expectations placed unrealistic burdens on mothers in particular, resulting in their health problems growing "unchecked." [159]

In contrast to politicians, husbands, employers, and the general public, Werk administrators assured working women: "We know what it [working outside the home] means." Publicity materials observed: "Being a mother and housewife is so under appreciated and so much hard work ... it is easier to say what [a woman] doesn't do than to list everything that she does!" One thing that she "certainly did not" do was "take a walk to consider her own thoughts or just sit quietly." The working mother had "time for everybody else ... but unfortunately not for herself." No one considered the long hours she put in both at work or home. No one asked her if she "got enough sleep, had enough time to reflect or to read or to chat or to play." [160]

During group discussions, it became evident that the "time to relax just [did] not exist for these [working] women." [161] Patients confessed that they had relinquished time for themselves only because they were "dead tired" at the end of the day. Many admitted: "We can work really, really well, but to create some free time, at that we can't succeed." [162]

This was especially true now that so many young women went directly from secondary school "into the naked reality of the working world" so they could "earn money fast and as soon as possible." In so doing, these women had "lost their personal lives," with both "personal interests and talents" remaining "underdeveloped." [163] The "release from the everyday schedule" had therefore become even more necessary in order to "restore women as people" and to give them a chance "to become whole people." [164]

Clearly, "the growing number of working mothers" demanded the "constant reassessment and adaptation of the correctly organized cure," and Nopitsch and her colleagues responded by introducing new programs, such as "cures for factory Workers." [165] Counselors now targeted both women's "inner and outer" hardships, emphasizing that their "personal worlds" should be considered just as important as maternal responsibilities. [166] Mothers were advised that their first duty was to take care of themselves and their own needs. Directors admonished: "The woman must know for whom she works. She can take too much on herself to help those whom she loves." [167]

As the 1950s progressed, cures increasingly served as opportunities for women to take much needed breaks from their daily responsibilities. Countless exhausted mothers used their convalescence time to get away from employers and husbands in environments described as free from "stress and anxiety." [168] For this reason, a family vacation could never take the place of a cure, because mothers had to be removed "from their daily duties and concerns," which inevitably involved the "constant caring of their households, husbands, and small children." [169]

For many women, the stay in a cure home represented "the first vacation/recovery experience of their lives." [170] Sometimes, this "proper vacation" was the only one. [171] When reflecting on her cure some forty years later, "Magdalene B." said that the only time away from her children had "just [been] the one time. With the Muttergenesungswerk." [172]

"Because mothers so seldom [had] vacations," staff members therefore attempted to fulfill women's wishes, no matter how small. [173] Lawn chairs proliferated on cure home grounds, inviting patients to "be lazy." [174] Free time directors encouraged mothers to do activities that they enjoyed. Women played music, did crafts, read, went for walks, visited museums, made day trips, and went to the movies. They also spent evenings "in a nicely appointed communal room" where they often did nothing but listen to the stereo. After such an evening, one patient remarked: "I never understood what just listening [to music] was; it's something so good for you, but you have to take the time for it." [175]

Even though patients were beginning to learn to put themselves and their health before traditional duties, directors realized that women would never be able to create lasting personal time for themselves unless burdens in the outside world similarly changed. Since employment responsibilities were unlikely to ease, administrators turned their attention to the home front. This was particularly critical, because "only one out of one hundred women can say: At home, everything is wonderful." [176]

Men, both as husbands and fathers, had rarely appeared in early cure home literature. By the late 1950s, however, the Muttergenesungswerk began noting that for many women, marriages were far removed from the ideal social representation. To be sure, counselors remained dedicated to saving marriages, and they "took pride in their ability to infuse frazzled wives with the fortitude to see bad marriages 'in a positive light.'" [177] Given the political debates regarding the traditional "housewife-marriage," the decision to pursue this course was probably prudent. It was not until 1959 that a high court decision struck down legal in-equality within marriage. Until then, a woman needed a husband's permission to work, predicated on her ability to continue her household duties satisfactorily. [178] Moreover, divorce was often not a realistic option, because society viewed divorced women as "outsiders." [179]

The Werk, though, was determined that women should have a more active role in shaping their marriages than previously. Too many young brides got married "with the good intentions of fulfilling all their duties as wife and mother," but they had no idea "what type of relationship they should expect from their husbands and children." In turn, husbands too frequently viewed wives as fulfilling only three functions: "housewife, wife, mother." [180] As long as "the food is on the table," men believed everything was fine in their households. They refused to consider that marriages involved more than "the wife keeps order in the house." [181]

While "many women [said] that their husbands treat[ed] them well by working hard and earning well," they also felt deserted when it came to raising their children. [182] Patients complained that husbands returned home at the end of the day and did not even converse with them. Nor did men seem to appreciate what their wives had accomplished in the household. [183] They did, however, expect wives "to show understanding and sympathy for [their] work and suffering." [184] One woman bitterly commented: "You think that I have a nice husband, a truly nice and sweet husband, but at home with all the work, I have never once noticed." [185] Another admitted: "Now I understand how much I should have known, really should have known, before I got married." Others were still more blunt in their confessions, stating: "I just can't stand my husband anymore." [186]

Patients were also more open to describing marriage difficulties that stemmed from alcoholism, spousal abuse, and depression. "Frau W.'s" husband, for example, was an alcoholic who "refused to listen to reason." Because he committed a "serious crime," he went to prison, and the entire family was "terrified of his homecoming." "Frau W." suffered from "stress and depression." Another mother, "Frau B.," was pregnant with her fifth child. Her husband abused her and their children and refused to participate in counseling, As a result, "Frau B." was "physically and mentally exhausted." [187]

Since so many women voiced similar concerns and complaints, Werk materials encouraged husbands to take more active roles in their marriages and to "care for their wives by making certain that [they had] a connection with the outside world." [188] Pamphlets further argued that it was time for husbands to start sharing their wives' burdens, if only on a minor level. Men were informed that "it would be helpful if husbands understood that wives should not have to do every heavy labor!" Husbands could easily "lighten ... [their wives'] ... daily burden[s]" by participating in the household. [189] If the husband were to be his wife's "partner," Nopitsch stated that he "must also 'undertake family tasks.'" [190]

To what degree husbands began acting as partners in marriages remains speculative, but correspondence indicated that this message was beginning to get through, at least to some families. One husband wrote a cure home to wish his wife a pleasant convalescence admonishing her "not to give a thought about home;" he was "doing perfectly fine with the children." The husband conceded that his wife had a more difficult time managing the household than he had previously realized. After paying for monthly expenses, he "already didn't have one Pfennig left over on the first day." While the children were "very pleased" with his cooking, he hinted how difficult it was to get up every morning at 5:00 a.m. to "get the bottles ready for the little ones and prepare the food." The husband promised: "When you come home, every one of us will lend a hand." The twelve year-old daughter added: "Everything is okay with us, but we really notice that you're not here ... I now see that I have to help you [at home]." [191]

Another husband wrote to both Bundesprasident Heuss and Family Minister Wuermeling that it had been difficult to arrange for someone to help with his small children, find the money to pay for the partial costs of the cure, as well as to deal with his wife's absence. Still, this man maintained, such difficulties by no means served as excuses for ill mothers not to participate in cures. "Where there is a will," he noted, "there is a way." [192]

Most importantly, however, the health of working mothers did improve following their stays in convalescent homes. The Genesungswerk monitored patients' progress after they returned home, and health problems, particularly those of the "neurological, degenerative" kind, seemed to diminish significantly. When addressing the success of special cures for working mothers, Frau Dr. Stirn, a convalescent home physician, observed that almost all women completed their cures "feeling significantly better." Former patients reported that they no longer needed doctors and that their outlooks had improved considerably. Mothers who had formerly been so ill that they visited doctors once or twice a week now stated they seldom sought medical treatment. [193] A recent patient enthused: "I've been home for three weeks now, and I feel like I can handle things every day." [194] Another mother wrote: "I am much better, and I still feel re-energized and younger after one year." [195] Even husbands noted that their wives returned ho me a completely different person," while employers were impressed with women's new outlooks in the workplace. [196]

For most patients, though, the most important benefit was the sense of control that they had gained over their lives. When an administrator asked a patient what she enjoyed most during her cure, the mother responded: "The most beautiful part was the sense of security, of safety." [197] One woman said that she could have spared herself "ten years of tears if only" she "had known about the mothers' cures earlier." [198] Another remarked: "The best of what I learned is how to achieve a peaceful sense of existence." [199] A forty-six-year-old mother of six echoed this statement noting that "the decisive moment" during her convalescence occurred when she realized that she could "take control" over her life and her family. [200] A factory worker who had partaken in a cure for working mothers similarly stated: "I just didn't know that there was a life outside the factory and the movie theater. It's so simple, but so beautiful. You just have to know about it." [201] Still another commented: "The best thing about the convalescent home is that I can laugh again, laugh like I did when I was a girl--about everything and about nothing at all." [202]

Conclusion: "The Needs Have Changed; The Need Remains"

By the end of the decade, over half a million mothers had been cure home patients. Even though government officials praised the convalescent programs stating that the Muttergenesungswerk had "done an exceptional, important, far-reaching--and as yet not fully realized--deed for the German family and youth," many West Germans began to question the need for women's extended recuperations. [203] Some criticized that cures simply served as excuses for mothers to take month-long vacations. Pundits asked: "Don't these young people have all the trumps in their hands? They look nice, have husbands, have a child or children. They are well-dressed ... they just relax a little in a cure." [204]

The response was swift. The Werk countered that although "the needs had changed" the fundamental need for mothers' cures "still remained." [205] An organization dedicated to "mothers' recovery" concurred: "In ten years of the Muttergenesungswerk, mothers' convalescence has not lost its urgency." [206] A physician further stated that it was no longer possible to imagine the modern state without the Muttergenesungswerk: "It was more necessary than ever." [207]

What was perhaps not as clear to the public was how gradually the Muttergene-sungswerk had evolved throughout the 1950s. In the span often years, Elly Heuss-Knapp's vision for helping mothers debilitated by the war and reconstruction had become a vehicle for enabling thousands of women cope with their double burdens as mothers and workers. Prompted by the need to demonstrate that mothers still urgently needed cures, Antonie Nopitsch and convalescent home directors had successfully reshaped the postwar crisis of widows and refugees into that of the working mother.

The government's own concerns with women's employment largely influenced the course of this transformation. Although politicians had attempted to reestablish "normal" gender relations, women's roles would never return to the status quo predating World War II. For all the laws, institutions, and propaganda geared toward pressuring women into fulfilling their primary natural obligations as mothers, women were too far removed from the traditional patriarchy that had existed prior to the war. Moreover, even gender roles did not remain static throughout the 1950s. The issues that faced war widows, wives of disabled veterans, and refugees again shifted as women juggled work demands, marriages, and childrearing.

The Muttergenesungswerk responded to these changing realities by altering convalescent programs to help mothers deal with their "modern" duties. Cures no longer just treated illnesses but attempted to ease mothers' burdens so that they could restructure their lives in ways that were more compatible with professional and family demands. In this regard, the Werk functioned as an institutional advocate which mediated between the everyday world that mothers inhabited and one that would improve the quality of their lives.

By negotiating within the confines of the reigning social and political maternalism, the Genesungswerk was able to highlight the inconsistent expectations that this ideology placed upon women. Even more importantly, the insistence that mothers were individuals who had needs beyond their families and employment represented a significant reassessment of how women should approach their maternal duties and challenged ideological assumptions that motherhood should be selfless.

For all this, the Muttergenesungswerk's evolution did not drastically alter how West Germans perceived motherhood during the 1950s. Cure directors continued to see women first and foremost as mothers, and women's employment was a long way from being accepted as the norm. Even as the Genesungswerk began its second decade, pamphlets continued to encourage women to "find the courage" to stay at home if economically possible "in the awareness that the family's fate and indeed that of the entire Volk rests upon mothers." [208]

The development of the convalescent programs does, however, indicate that the Federal Republic's gender formulations were more dynamic than they have initially appeared. Politicians and the press may have struggled to keep mothers in the home, but the cure homes raised issues that brought attention to the reality of women's daily lives as few other public institutions did. Cure directors not only accepted that many mothers needed to work, they also argued that this employment necessitated an examination of what society should legitimately expect from them. Through vehicles such as special cures for working mothers, press conferences, publicity materials, and patient profiles, the Muttergenesungswerk participated in the Federal Republic's ongoing discourse on women's roles and helped gradually rebuild "the 'Frauenbild,'" or "picture of women," of the 1950s so that it ultimately became more reflective of the "modern world" in which working mothers lived. [209]

Abstract: K.M.N. Carpenter, "'For Mothers Only': Mothers' Convalescent Homes and Modernizing Maternal Ideology in 1950s West Germany"

This article examines how the Muttergenesungswerk (mothers' convalescent homes) played a role in eroding traditional gender formulations in 1950s West Germany. Initially created to treat women physically and mentally disabled by the war and its aftermath, the organization gradually recreated itself to meet the changing challenges of women's social realities. Throughout the decade, reigning social and political ideologies stressed that women were first and foremost mothers, who had maternal obligations to serve their families. By the end of the 1950s, the Muttergenesungswerk began to challenge this view by stressing that mothers had needs that went beyond maternal duties. Administrators reconstructed cures to focus on women's employment, an issue that had come to the forefront of West Germany's gender debates. By this time, the Werk had positioned itself as an organization dedicated to improving mothers' health. In this way, cure homes were able to respond to contemporary concerns and contribute to the "rebuil ding of the 'Frauenbild' (picture of women) of the day" to make it more reflective of the "modern world" in which women lived. By examining how the Werk restructured its mission, this analysis of the convalescent homes also illustrates how institutions maintain viability by responding to leading social concerns.


(1.) Bundesarchiv Koblenz. File "B 153:" Official Pamphlet of the Muttergenesungswerk. Mid 1950s. Except where indicated otherwise, the primary sources for this article are located in the above listed file, which covers 1950 through the early 1960s. Hereafter, I omit the file number.

(2.) Maria Hohn, "Frau im Haus und Girl im Spiegel: Discourse on Women in the Interregnum Period of 1945-1949 and the Question of German Identity," in Central European History (26 #1, 1993): 58.

(3.) Klaus-Jorg Ruhl, ed.: Frauen in der Nachkriegszeit: 1950-1963 (Munich, 1988) 205; Elizabeth Heinemann, What Difference Does a Husband Make? Women and Marital Status in Nazi and Postwar Germany (Berkeley, 1999) 137.

(4.) Robert G. Moeller, "Protecting Mother's Work: From Production to Reproduction in Postwar West Germany," in: Journal of Social History (Spring 1989): 415-416.

(5.) Zehn Jahre Deutsches Muttergenesungswerk. Pressematerial. Stein bei Nurnberg. 1960.

(6.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(7.) Heinemann, 159.

(8.) Informationsdienst. 1960.

(9.) Jahrestagung der katholischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Muttererholung. 1960.

(10.) See, for example, Birgit Troeckl, "Mutter zur Sonne, zur Freiheit," in: Angela deLille, ed.: Perlonzeit (Berlin, 1985) 121. Cited in Hohn, 81.

(11.) Donna Harsch, "Public Continuity and Private Change? Women's Consciousness and Activity in Frankfurt, 1945-1955," in: Journal of Social History (Fall 1993): 41.

(12.) Ibid, 32.

(13.) Heinemann, 76; Lynn Abrams and Elizabeth Harvey, "Introduction: gender and gender relations in German History," in: Abram and Harvey, eds: Gender Relations in German History: Power, Agency and Experience from the Sixteenth to the Twentieth Century (Durham, 1997) 25.

(14.) Heinemann, 147

(15.) Bulletin. (Nr. 82.) 3 May 1960.

(16.) Ute Frevert, "Mann und Weib, und Weib und Mann." Geschlechter-Differenzen in der Moderne (Munich, 1995) 52.

(17.) Harsch, 32.

(18.) Margarete Dorr, "Wer die Zeit nicht miterlebt hat ..." Frauenerfahrungen im Zweiten Weltkrieg und in den Jahren danach. Band II. Kriegsalltag (Frankfurt, 1998) 44.

(19.) Elizabeth Heinemann, "The Hour of the Woman: Memories of West Germany's 'Crisis Years' and West German National Identity," in: The American Historical Review (April 1996): 378. See also Karin Jurczyk, Frauenarbeit und Frauenrolle: Zum Zusammenhang von Familienpolitik und Frauenerwerbstatigkeit in Deutschland von 1918-1975 (Munich, 1976) 84.

(20.) Zehn Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk. 1960.

(21.) Born in 1881, Heuss-Knapp attempted to correct social inequities even as a child. In grade school, she convinced fellow students to help poorer classmates. Since her husband was unable to work during the Nazi regime for political reasons, Heuss-Knapp supported the family, mostly by writing advertising copy. Her ad campaign for Nivea is perhaps best known. She managed to keep the product free from Nazi ideology and portrayed "Nivea girls" as modern by giving them short hair and sporty suits. Dorothee von Velsen, "Elly Heuss-Knapp," Press Material Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(22.) Bayerischer Mutterdienst: Ein Zentrum der evangelischer Frauenarbeit. Circa 1961. Because social work with church sponsorship subsequently became illegal or impossible under the National Socialists, administrators could "scarcely wait for better days" to continue their work. Following the war, Nopitsch also organized the "Help to Self-Help" program in which refugee women made dolls wearing traditional German Tracht. These dolls were mostly sold in the U.S., where Nopitsch had contacts. The proceeds from the sales enabled refugee women to afford their daily necessities.

(23.) These welfare groups were the: Evangelische Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Mutter-Genesungsfursorge, Katholische Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Mutter-Erholung, Frauengruppen der Arbeiterwohlfahrt, Frauengruppen des Deutschen Rotkreuzes, and Frauengruppen des Deutschen Paritatsischen Wohlfahrtsverbandes. "Das Deutsche Muttergenesungswerk." Pamphlet. Circa 1952.

(24.) von Velsen pamphlet.

(25.) Atina Grossmann, Reforming Sex: The German Movement for Birth Control and Abortion Reform, 1920-1950 (Oxford, 1995) 191.

(26.) Renate Bridenthal, "'Professional' Housewives: Stepsisters of the Women's Movement," in: Bridenthal, Atina Grossmann, and Marion Kaplan, eds., When Biology Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany (New York, 1984) 154.

(27.) Christoph Sach[beta]e, "Social Mothers: The Bourgeois Women's Movement and the German Welfare-State Formation, 1890-1929," in: Seth Koven and Sonya Michel, eds.: Mothers of a New World: Maternalist Politics and the Origins of Welfare States (New York, 1993) 142.

(28.) Ann Taylor Allen, Feminism and Motherhood in Germany, 1800-1914 (New Brunswick, 1991) 2. For a summary on how the state, workers' unions, and bourgeois women's organizations idealized motherhood during the late nineteenth/early twentieth centuries, see Kathleen Canning's chapter "State, Social Body, and Public Sphere," in: Languages of Labor and Gender: Female Factory Work in Germany, 1850-1914 (Cornell, 1996) 126-217; See also Barbara Greven-Aschoff: Die burgerliche Frauenbewegung in Deutschland, 1894-1933 (Gottingen, 1981).

(29.) Claudia Bischoff, Frauen in der Krankenpflege. Zur Entwicklung von Frauenrolle und Frauenberufstatigkeit im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert (Frankfurt/Main, 1997) 145; Ure Frevert, Krankheit als politisches Problem 1770-1880. Soziale Unterschichten in Preu[beta]en zwischen medizinischer Polizei und staatlicher Sozialversicherung (Gottingen, 1984) 288-289.

(30.) Bischoff, 146-147.

(31.) Harsch, 44; "Das Deutsche Muttergenesungswerk." Circa 1952.

(32.) Ute Frevert, Women in German History: From Bourgeois Emancipation to Sexual Liberation (Oxford, 1988) 265.

(33.) Ruhl, 205. Family sociologist Helmut Schelsky viewed the family as the last remnant for stability following the war. This strengthened popular beliefs that the family was the only viable support system remaining after the war and conferred significant social relevance on the family. See, Ingeborg Weber-Kellermann, "The German Family between Private Life and Politics," in: A History of Private Life: Riddle of Identity in Modern Times, Antoine Prost and Gerard Vincent, eds. (Harvard, 1991) 524.

(34.) For a further discussion of the West German government's use of Mutterlichkeit, see Hohn, 59-69 and Robert Moeller, Protecting Motherhood: Women and the Family in the Politics of Postwar West Germany (Berkeley, 1993).

(35.) Irene Stoehr, "Frauenarbeit als Kriegsfall," in: Gunilla-Friederike Budde, ed.: Frauen arbeiten. Weibliche Erwerbstatigkeit in Ost-und Westdeutschland nach 1945 (Gottingen, 1997) 70.

(36.) Articles Three and Six of the Federal Republic's Grundgesetz. The perseverance of the Burgerliches Gesetzbuch (German Civil Code), which first came into effect in 1899. reinforced gender differences. Book Four dealt with marriage and the family, giving husbands complete control over household finances, childrearing, and wives' employment. Although the Bundestag was supposed to reform the Civil Code so that it was in accordance with Article Three, laws governing marriage remained in place for most of the 1950s. See Harry G. Schaffer, Women in the Two Germanies: A Comparative Study of a Socialist and Non-Socialist Country (New York, 1981) 13; Moeller, "Protecting Mother's Work," 415.

(37.) For a further discussion, see Hohn 57-90 and Ursula Erler Mutter in der BRD: Ideologie und Wirklichkeit (Starnberg, 1973) 85-87.

(38.) Jurczyk, 105. Today, the Family Ministry is Germany's Federal Ministry for Health. Weber-Kellermann, 524.

(39.) Bundesministerium fur Familienfragen. Programm der Bundesregierung fur familien-politische Ma[beta]nahmen. Top Secret. Bonn, 13 May 1954.

(40.) Pressekonferenz des Deutschen Mutter-Genesungswerkes im Kursaal Stuttgart-Bad. Arbeitsbericht der Geschaftsstelle. Dr. Antonie Nopitsch. 25 April 1960. The Red Cross's involvement with the mothers' convalescent homes allowed the Muttergenesungswerk to position itself as free from government authority. An international, independent institution first established in the 1860s, the Red Cross had long devoted itself to addressing economic, social, and health problems throughout Europe. Following World War II, Red Cross administrators worked with private foundations such the mothers' convalescent homes, as long as the Red Cross's political, economic, and religious autonomy was maintained. Dieter Riesenberger, Fur Humanitat in Krieg und Frieden. Das Internationale Rote Kreuz 1863-1977 (Gottingen, 1992) 9; 86-191.

(41.) Rechenschaftsbericht 1955. Das Deutsche Mutter-Genesungswerk. Stein bei Nurnberg. (Property of the Author.)

(42.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa late 1954.

(43.) Bundesminister des Innern to Badische Ministerium des Innern, Bayerische Staatsministerium des Innern, Senator fur Sozialwesen, Senator fur Arbeit und Wolhlfahrt, Hessiche Minister des Innern, Sozialminister des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen, Minister des Innern des Landes Rheinland-Pfalz, Minister fur Arbeit, Soziales, und Vertriebene des Landes Schleswig-Holstein, Innenministerium des Landes Wurttemberg-Baden, and Innenministerium des Landes Wurttemberg-Hohenzollern. Bonn, 24 March 1952. For this reason, the Muttergenesungswerk had a policy of not admitting "seriously [i.e. terminally] ill mothers," because these women would never return to their families "rejuvenated." Pressematerial Muttergenesungswerk. 1959.

(44.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(45.) Harsch, 41.

(46.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(47.) Nopitsch Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(48.) Harsch, 32 & 42.

(49.) Bundesministerium des Innern to Frau Bundestagsabgeordnete Dr. Helene Weber. Bonn, 1 August 1956.

(50.) Bundesminister des Innern Memo. For a full citation, see note 44.

(51.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(52.) Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk. Bonn, 18 January 1951.

(53.) "Warum nur fur die Mutter?" Presse. Muttergenesungswerk. Circa 1959.

(54.) Ruhr-Nachrichten Dortmund. 16 March 1955.

(55.) Listing of Muttergenesungswerke in West Germany. Stein bei Nurnberg, 20 February 1957.

(56.) Elly Heuss-Knapp Stiftung Deutsches Muttergenesungswerk to the Bundesministerium fur Familienfragen, Frau Dr. GroBe-Schonepauck. Stein bei Nurnberg, 14 December 1956.

(57.) The following table illustrates the breakdown in monthly costs for the average West German family of four during the mid 1950s:

Rent: DM 80,--

Groceries: DM 190,--

Heat & Lighting: DM 27,--

Clothing & Laundry: DM 80,--

Transportation: DM 8,--

Hygiene: DM 4,--

Tobacco & Cigarettes: DM 8,--

Other: DM 3,--

Total: DM 400,--

Pressematerial. MUttergenesungswerk. 1959.

(58.) Dorr, Volume III, Das Verhaltnis zum Nationalsozialismus und zum Krieg, 67.

(59.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953. For families unable to cope without a "woman in the home," grandmothers or other female relatives helped during a mother's convalescence. If this were not possible, then "day mothers," who were frequently volunteers from the local churches, offered their services. As the 1950s progressed, Kinderheime were also established, which served as camps children visited during mothers' recuperations.

(60.) "Der Weg zur Muttergenesungskur," Press Material. 1957.

(61.) Im funften Jahr der Deutschen Muttergenesungsarbeit. Elly-Heuss-Knapp Stiftung Deutsches Muttergenesungswerk. Stein bei Nurnberg, 1955. (Property of the Author.)

(62.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(63.) Zehn Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk.

(64.) Hohn, 58-59; Zehn Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk.

(65.) Heinemann, What Difference Does a Husband Make? 145

(66.) Ruhl, 206-207.

(67.) Hohn, 69.

(68.) Heinemann, What Difference Does a Husband Make? 76.

(69.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953. This percentage accounts for the majority of cure home patients. Between 1950 and 1953, the Werk's statistics were incomplete, since it was only first in 1954 that all homes reported their statistics in full to the headquarters in Stein bei Nurnberg. Elly Heuss-Knapp Stiftung Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk, Stein bei Nurnberg to Frau Oberregierungsratin Dr. Grobe Schonepauck, Family Ministry, Bonn. 20 February 1957.

(70.) Dorr, Volume III, 61.

(71.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(72.) Harsch, 41.

(73.) "Steckbrief fur Mutter," Press-Mutter-Genesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(74.) Muttergenesungswerk Reports Detailing the Problems Following the War. Circa 1958.

(75.) Zehn Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk.

(76.) Moeller, "Protecting Mother's Work," 415.

(77.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(78.) Dorr, Volume II, 448.

(79.) Ibid, Volume III, 56 & 69.

(80.) Zehn Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk.

(81.) Dorr, Volume III, 56.

(82.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(83.) "Typische Falle von Mutternot." Circa 1955.

(84.) Pressematerial. Elly Heuss-Knapp Stiftung Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk. Mid 1950s.

(85.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(86.) Pressematerial. Mid 1950s.

(87.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet Circa Late 1953.

(88.) "Was Frauen wissen wollen," Mitteilungsblatt des Frauenreferates der Freien Demokratischen Partei. Bonn, May 1960.

(89.) "Ist es zu rechtfertigen, die Arbeit des Deutschen Mutter-Genesungswerkes durch Bundeszuschusse zu fordern?" Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk, Stein bei Nurnberg. Circa 1956; Official Information Muttergenesungswerk. Circa Early 1960s.

(90.) Statistics for the Muttergenesungswerk. 1957; Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(91.) "Von muden Frauen und wie ihnen geholfen wird," Press-Mutter-Genesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(92.) Zehn Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk. 1960.

(93.) Ibid.

(94.) "Warum nur fur die Mutter?"

(95.) Deutsches Muttergenesungswerk to Schonepauck, Family Ministry. 20 December 1954; Draft Agreement to Bundestagsabgeordnete Dr. Helene Weber. Bonn, (Day Unspecified) November 1956.

(96.) Karin Hausen, "Frauenerwerbstatigkeit und erwerbstatige Frauen. Anmerkungen zu historischen Forschung," in Budde, 31; "Die Industriearbeiterin," Bundesarbeitsblatt (Nr. 13) Bonn 1957.

(97.) Statistik der Bundesanstalt fur Arbeitsvermittlung und Arbeitsversicherung. 1957.

(98.) Jurczyk, 84.

(99.) Peter H. Merkl, "The Politics of Sex: West Germany," in: Lynn B. Iglitzin, Ruth Ross, eds., Women in the World: A Comparative Study (Santa Barbara, 1976) 132.

(100.) Frevert, Women in German History, 273.

(101.) Helge Pross, Die Wirklichkeit der Hausfrau: Die erste reprasentive Untersuching uber nichterwerbstatige Ehefrauen: Wie leben sie? Wie denken sie? Wie sehen sie sich selbst? (Reinbeck bei Hamburg, 1975) 13.

(102.) Jurczyk, 92.

(103.) Programm der Bundesregierung fur familienpolitische Ma[beta]nahmen. Top Secret. Bonn, 13 May 1954.

(104.) "Die Frau im wirtschaftlichen und sozialen Leben der Bundesrepublik," Deutsches Bundesamt, Wiesbaden, August 1956.

(105.) Gunilla-Friederike Budde, "Einleitung: Zwei Welten? Frauenserwerbstatigkeit imdeutsch-deutschen Vergleich," in: Budde, ed., 12; Marilyn Rueschemeyer and Hannah Schissler, "Women in the Two Germanies," in: German Studies Review (DAAD Special Issue, 1990) 74; Ruhl, 206-207.

(106.) Ruhl, 226 & 230.

(107.) Programm der Bundesregierung fur familienpolitische MaBnahmen. 13 May 1954.

(108.) Ruhl, 227.

(109.) Antonie Nopitsch, Elly Heuss Knapp-Stiftung Deutsches Mutter-Genesungsgwerk, Stein bei Nurnberg, to Bundesministerium des Innern, Abteilung V, Sozialwesen, Soziale Angelegenheiten und Wohlfahrt, Bonn. 30 June 1956.

(110.) Antonie Nopitsch, Elly Heuss-Knapp Stiftung Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk, Stein bei Nurnberg, to Family Minister Wuermeling, Bonn. 18 September 1956.

(111.) Official Literature of the Deutsches Muttergenesungswerk. Circa Late 1957.

(112.) Zahlen uber das Deutsche Muttergenesungswerk. 1956.

(113.) Women were often excluded from jobs traditionally masculine in nature and were encouraged to seek jobs "suitable' to their gender. On average, men earned 400 DM or higher for a forty-hour work week, while women tended to 30% less. Cheaper than male counterparts, most women therefore did menial, low-paying, physically-taxing work. Hohn, 70; "Die ausserhdusliche Erwerbstdtigkeit verheirateter Frauen," A. Hedwig Hermann, Ferdinand Enke Verlag, Stuttgart. Circa Mid 1950s; Pressematerial. Muttergenesungswerk. 1959.

(114.) OfficiaL Information Muttergenesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(115.) "Die ausserhausliche Erwerbstatigkeit verheirateter Frauen."

(116.) Zahlen uber das Deutsche Muttergenesungswerk. 1956.

(117.) Zehn Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk.

(118.) Pressekonferenz des Deutschen Mutter-Genesungswerkes in Frankfurt/Main. Arbeiterbericht der Geschaftsstelle. Liselotte Nold. 29 April 1958.

(119.) "Warum nur fur die Mutter?"

(120.) Ibid.

(121.) "Wie ich es sehe. Em Mann uber das Mutter-Genesungswerk." Presse. Muttergenesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(122.) Nopitsch Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(123.) Official Information Muttergenesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(124.) Pressematerial. Elly Heuss-Knapp Stiftung Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk. Circa 1959.

(125.) Mutterschicksale. Presse-Mutter-Genesungswerk. Circa Late 1950s.

(126.) Ibid.

(127.) Nopitsch Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(128.) Ibid.

(129.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(130.) Ibid; Pressematerial. 1959.

(131.) Official Literature of the Deutsches Muttergenesungswerk. Late 1957.

(132.) "Was Frauen wissen wollen."

(133.) Zehn Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk. The idealized gender roles of male breadwinner and female "housewife-shopper" encouraged West German women to consume and strengthen the state economy. The Economics Ministry used propaganda that targeted the average housewife to consume durable goods. Katherine Pence, "Labours of consumption: gendered consumers inpost-war East and West German reconstruction," in: Abrams and Harvey, 231-232. See also, Michael Wildt, Am Beginn der 'Konsumgesellschaft:' Mangelerfahrung, Lebenshaltung, Wholstandshoffnung in Westdeutschland in den funfziger Jahren (Hamburg, 1994).

(134.) Nopitsch Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(135.) Pressekonferenz des Deutschen Mutter-Genesungswerkes. Bundesprasidentin, Frau (Wilhelmine Lubke. Stuttgart, 25 April 1960.

(136.) Ibid.

(137.) "Von muden Frauen und wie ihnen geholfen wird."

(138.) Zahlen uber das Deutsche Muttergenesungswerk. 1956.

(139.) Pressematerial Muttergenesungswerk. Circa 1957 & 1960.

(140.) "Die unheilvolle Schraube Erschopfte Mutter werden mit ihren Kindern nicht fertig," Presse-Mutter-Genesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(141.) "Mutter-Genesungskuren fur werdenden Mutter," Pressematerial. 1961.

(142.) Pressematerial Muttergenesungswerk. 1960.

(143.) "Ist es zu rechtfertigen, die Arbeit des Deutschen Mutter-Genesungswerkes durch Bundeszuschusse zu fordern?"

(144.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1954.

(145.) Deutscher Bundestag. 34th Sitzung (Protokoll). Bonn, 25 June 1958.

(146.) Memorandum to the Bundesminister des Innem, Dr. Schroder. Bonn, 27 August 1956.

(147.) For example: "Ist es zu rechtfertigen, die Arbeit des Deutschen Mutter-Genesungswerkes durch Bundeszuschusse zu fordern?" & Antrag der Fraktion der FDP betr. Zuschub fur die Ausstarrung der Heime des Muttergenesungswerkes. Bonn, 24 February 1956.

(148.) Pressematerial. 1957.

(149.) Nopitsch Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(150.) Pressematerial Muttergenesungswerk. Circa Late 1950s. (Emphasis added.) Cures still existed for war widows and refugees, but the convalescent homes added other cures to focus on illnesses that were not being dealt with adequately, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and arthritis. The necessity of these cures, however, was not depicted with the same sense of urgency as those for working mothers.

(151.) Jahrestagung der katholischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Muttererholung. 1960.

(152.) Pressekonferenz des Deutschen Mutter-Genesungswerkes. Die deutsche Wirtschaft und die berufstdtige Frau. Dr. Erdmann, Prasidialmitglied der Berufsvereinigung der Arbeiterverbande. Stuttgart, 25 April 1960.

(153.) Zehn Jahre Deursches Mutter-Genesungswerk.

(154.) Pressematerial Miirrergenesungswerk. 1959. (Emphasis added.)

(155.) Erdmann Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(156.) Official Information Muttergenesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(157.) "Warum nur fur die Matter?"

(158.) Zehn Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk; Erdmann Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(159.) Information Muttergenesungswerk. Circa 1960;

(160.) Pressemarerial Muttergenesungswerk. 1959; "Wie ich es sehe."

(161.) Lubke Press Conference. 25 April 1960; Official Information Muttergenesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(162.) Nopitsch Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(163.) Lubke Press Conference. 25 April 1960; Nold Press Conference. 29 April 1958.

(164.) "Warum nur fur die Mutter?" & Nold Press Conference. 29 April 1958. (Emphasis added.)

(165.) Jahrestagung der katholischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Muttererholung. 1960; Nopitsch Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(166.) Lubke Press Conference. Stuttgart, 25 April 1960; Official Information Muttergenesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(167.) Official Information Muttergenesungswerk. Circa 1960.

(168.) Nold Press Conference. 29 April 1958.

(169.) "Die unheilvolle Schraube."

(170.) Frau Oberregierungstatin Dr. Schonepauck, Bundesministerium fur Familienfragen to Mitgliedsstadte and Landesverbande. 17 February 1955.

(171.) "Mutter Braucht Ferien. 15 Jahren Deutsches MutterGenesungswerk." Circa 1965.

(172.) Dorr, Volume III, 142.

(173.) Nold Press Conference. 29 April 1958.

(174.) "Mutter Braucht Ferien."

(175.) Nold Press Conference. 29 April 1958.

(176.) Ibid.

(177.) Harsch, 41.

(178.) Heinemann, What Difference Does a Husband Make? 150. Until then, the nineteenth-century German Civil Code governed marriage, specifying: "The woman runs the household in her own responsibility. She is entitled to take on paid employment, as far as this can be combined with her duties in marriage and family." Quoted in Eva Kolinsky, Women in West Germany: Life, Works, and Politics (Oxford, 1989) 49.

(179.) Dorr Volume III, 36.

(180.) Lubke Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(181.) "Wie ich es sehe."

(182.) "Was Frauen wissen wollen."

(183.) "Die Note anderten sich--die Not blieb. 10 Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk," Pressematerial. Circa 1960.

(184.) "Wie ich es sehe."

(185.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(186.) Lubke Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(187.) Patients' revelations prompted the Werk to found cures especially designed for abused wives and the wives of alcoholics. "Die anerkannten Mutter-Genesungsheime im Deutschen Mutter-Genesunswerk," Pamphlet. Elly Heuss-Knapp Stiftung Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk. Stein bei Nurnberg, 1 August 1961; Zehn Jahre Deutsches Mutter-Genesungswerk.

(188.) Lubke Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(189.) Pressekonferenz des Deutschen Mutter-Genesungswerkes. Braucht die Landfrau eine Erholung. Herr Bauknecht, Vizeprasident des Deutsches Bauernverbandes. Stuttgart, 25 April 1960.

(190.) Nopitsch Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(191.) Official Muttergenesungswerk Pamphlet. Circa Late 1953.

(192.) Private Letter to the Bundesprasident and Family Minister in Bonn. 13 September 1956.

(193.) Pressematerial Mutrergenesungswerk. 1959.

(194.) Nopitsch Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(195.) Pressematerial Muttergenesungswerk. 1959.

(196.) Nopitsch Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(197.) "1st es zu rechtfertigen, die Arbeit des Deutschen Mutterr-Genesungswerkes durch Bundeszuschusse zu fordern?"

(198.) Nold Press Conference. 29 April 1958.

(199.) Pressematerial Muttergenesungswerk. 1960.

(200.) Lubke Press Conference. 25 April 1960.

(201.) Pressematerial Muttergenesungswerk. 1959.

(202.) "Mutter Braucht Ferien."

(203.) Frau Oberregierungsratin Dr. Schonepauck, Bundesministerium fur Familienfragen to Mitgliedsstadte and Landesverbande. 17 February 1955.

(204.) "Die Note anderten sich--die Not blieb."

(205.) Ibid.

(206.) Jahrestagung der katholischen Arbeitsgemeinschaft fur Muttererholung. 1960.

(207.) Pressematerial. Circa 1958.

(208.) "Die anerkannten Mutter-Genesungsheime im Deutschen Mutter-Genesungswerk."

(209.) Bulletin. (Nr. 82.) 3 May 1960.
COPYRIGHT 2001 Journal of Social History
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2001, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Carpenter, K.M.N.
Publication:Journal of Social History
Geographic Code:4EUGE
Date:Jun 22, 2001

Related Articles
The roots of the body in Toni Morrison: A Mater of "Ancient Properties".
The way to a man's heart: gender roles, domestic ideology, and cookbooks in the 1950s.
MaterCare: preferential option or mothers.
The feminism of Dorothy West's The Living Is Easy: a critique of the limitations of the female sphere through performative gender roles.
Grandparents: genetics/health.
Mothers exert more influence on timing of first intercourse among daughters than among sons. (Digests).
Maternal depression and the production of infant health.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters