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Re-educating German Women

The work of the Women’s Affairs Section of British Military Government 1946–1951


Denise Wheeler

This book examines the influence British women exercised on German women after the Second World War, as officers in the Women’s Affairs Section of the British Military Government and as Visiting Experts in women’s affairs invited by the British Foreign Office. The British saw that women were the majority of the German workforce and electorate, whose active citizenship and labour was necessary for reestablishing the German economy and introducing democracy. A special Women’s Affairs Section was established with the task to educate German women accordingly. The ‘re-education’ of German women centred more on the fulfillment of civic duties than on the extension of women’s civic or social rights.
Contents: Formation, work and status of Women’s Affairs Section within the Control Commission – Exchange Programmes and Adoption Schemes between British and German women’s organisations – British attitude towards different women’s organisations such as Demokratischer Frauenbund Deutschlands, pacifist organisations, women’s groups in Berlin, and Deutscher Frauenring – British employment policy with regard to German women.