Significant Women in Nazi Germany (1933-1945)

Nazi wives, concentration camp guards, film makers and actresses are part of the bleak narrative of the Third Reich (1933-1945). Students of Nazi Germany have struggled to understand the motivations for blind devotion of so many German women to Hitler and Nazism. The mysterious death of his niece Geli in 1931 focused attention on bizarre details of Hitler's private life. Magda Goebbels poisoned her 6 children in 1945 and committed suicide herself rather than face a future without the Fuhrer or Nazism. The White Rose Resistance Movement was led by a very young Sophie Scholl, executed by guillotine in 1943, for working to overthrow the Nazi regime.


  • Face-to-Face


  • Wives of the Nazi powerbroker elite including Emmy Goering, Magda Goebbels, Margarete Weber, Gerda Bormann and Margarete Boden
  • Sophie Scholl, leader of the White Rose Resistance Movement
  • Concentration Camp guards including Ilsa Koch (Buchenwald and Majdanek), Irma Grese (Belsen) and Herta Bothe (Ravensbruck)
  • Hitler's niece Geli Raubal, his mistress/wife Eva Braun and his pilot Hannah Reitsch
  • Film Maker and Nazi Propagandist Leni Riefenstahl and actress Lida Baarova
  • Mothers producing Aryan babies in the SS "baby farms"


*By the end of this course, students should be able to:

  1. Gain an appreciation of the roles played by high profile Nazi women in the regime over 12 years.
  2. Discuss the various factors underlying the motivations of the high profile Nazi women, including factors influencing their blind devotion to Hitler and Nazism.
  3. Evaluate how the Nazi women and those who opposed the Nazis have been portrayed by historians and film makers over the last 80 years.

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