Reconstructing the Family in Reconstruction Germany: Women and Social Policy in the Federal Republic, 1949-1955

by Robert G. Moeller
Reconstructing the Family in Reconstruction Germany: Women and Social Policy in the Federal Republic, 1949-1955
Robert G. Moeller
Feminist Studies
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The rebuilding of West Germany after the Second World War in- cluded the political reconstruction of the family. In debates over social policies, concerns over relations between women and men, the future of the family, and women's social and political status were at center stage; these debates provide insights into the ways in which West Germans sought to reconstitute the social order after the shock and trauma of National Socialism and defeat in war. It was most explicitly in this arena-borrowing from Joan Wallach Scott -that "politics construct[ed] gender and gender con- struct[ed] politics."' An analysis of social policy can illuminate the extent to which postwar West Germans viewed a careful evalua- tion of gender relations and a distinct break with the ideology of Kinder, Kiiche, Kirche as essential parts of a general commitment to change in the aftermath of fascism. Tim Mason, writing of Nazi policies toward women, argues that these were "in fact policies towards the family, policies towards the whole population."z In this essay, I will turn this formulation around to argue that in the late forties and fifties, policies that ostensibly protected the family were in fact policies that defined the social and political status of women.

The study of state policies affecting women and the family in the

past can provide a useful perspective on the problems of defining a

feminist social policy in the present. The interpretation of the

West German experience offered here is a reminder that the wel-

fare state can be both "friend and foe" for women.3 Measures in

tended to "protect" women are often responses to genuine social

Feminist Studies 15, no. 1 (Spring 1989). 1989 by Feminist Studies, Inc. 137

needs, but once in place, they may limit the ways certain prob- lems are perceived and the areas where solutions are sought and obscure alternative perceptions and other potential solutions.4 In the case of post-World War I1 West Germany, laws aimed at pro- tecting the family ultimately protected and preserved much else- patriarchal authority; women's economic dependence on men; the ideological elevation of motherhood; pronatalist sentiments; and the normative conception of the "family as an ahistorical social unit transcending class divisions. The historical study of family policy and the state's attempts to construct definitions of gender difference can thus alert us to the ways in which the identification of women's needs can all too easily lead to the ideological limita- tion of women's rights.

This essay examines one part of a larger post-1945 West German policy discussion that extended to the reform of family law, the nature of paternal authority over wives and children, the eco- nomic value of women's unpaid labor, protective legislation for working women, comparable worth, "latchkey children" and "working mothers," and ways for women to manage the double burden. It focuses on the introduction of Kindergeld, literally "children-money," the West German system of family allowances that was initiated in 1954.

Although historians of West Germany have paid scant attention to

the ways in which post-World War I1 reconstruction involved

gender relations, the salience of gender as a political concern was

not lost on contemporaries.5 Writing in 1946, Agnes von Zahn-

Harnack summarized the obvious.

Hardly any other question will be so important for the future shaping of inter- nal German life, for German culture and morals, and for [Germany's] reintegration into world culture as the question of the relation of the sexes to each other. [This question] will be raised in the arena of politics as well as economics, and in the specifically sexual arena as well. Every war and postwar period brings serious devastation and crisis, but defeated peoples are doubly endangered. They must fear the internal dissolution of many bonds that the victor can maintain more easily. The defeated party runs the risk of self-hate that allows it to throw away even that which might be maintained.6

Zahn-Harnack's credentials as the last president of the League of German Women's Associations (Bund deutscher Frauenvereine) , the national umbrella organization that brought together various strands of the bourgeois women's movement before its dissolution in 1933, doubtless qualified her as a keen observer of sexual politics. But it did not take such credentials to realize that a reassessment of gender relations would be a crucial part of rebuilding Germany after 1945.

On the most basic level, Germany was a society with far more adult women than men. Over 3 million men who had left to fight the war never returned. Even in 1950, when many men had come back from prisoner-of-war camps, there were 1,400 women for every 1,000 men in the age group twenty-five to thirty-nine. When fathers and sons did return, they were often physically or psychologically scarred, unwilling or unable to work, or disqualified from some jobs because of their National Socialist loyal- ties. Within families, the severe shortages of the postwar years meant that conflicts were often of the most fundamental sort-over who would have enough to eat.7 The strains on mar- riages caused by long separations and difficult reunions registered in a divorce rate that continued to climb until the early fifties. Together with war widows and the growing number of unmarried mothers, this development resulted in a huge increase in the number of households headed by women. Indeed, in 1950 after most prisoners of war had returned, nearly one-third of the slight- ly more than 15 million German households were headed by di- vorced women or widows. The problems of women who had fled westward ahead of the Soviet forces of occupation in the last years of the war, and in even greater numbers after 1945, were even more serious as these women attempted to establish themselves in new surroundings under extremely adverse circumstances.8

The distinction between economic and sociopsychological re- construction became blurred in a language that described an "over- supply of women" (Fraueniiberschuss)and a "scarcity of men" (Man-nemzangel).There were no obvious ways to regulate this abnormal market situation. As the Western Allied forces of occupation quickly learned, their plans to mobilize the "silent reserve" of women into the wage labor force to compensate for the shortage of adult males met with resistance; women knew that a paycheck bought little on the black market, which flourished until currency reform in 1948. In the immediate postwar period, it was women's unpaid labor -as scroungers and black marketers; as negotiators with Allied and German officials over ration cards, medical care, and access to housing; as "fraternizers," able to win favors from soldiers of the occupying forces; as psychological providers for returning men- that was more important than their wage work.9

Women's status and the future of the family-issues placed firm- ly on the political agenda by the particular circumstances of the immediate postwar period -remained important domestic politi- cal concerns in the late forties and early fifties. Conflicting visions of women's needs and social status -drawn from the social reality of the postwar period-were locked into place, not reconciled by the West German Basic Law (Grundgesetz), adopted in 1949 by the Parliamentary Council of the French, United States, and British zones of occupation. On the one hand, this constitutional basis for a new democratic state acknowledged that women's equality with men had been proven by their ability to replace absent men in many jobs during the war and by their contributions to postwar reconstruction; on the other hand, the drafters of the Grundgesetz underscored the need to "protect" women and to restore the family as the realm where women might best exercise their equality.

The Grundgesetz explicitly guaranteed that "men and women have the same rights," language that represented an important step beyond the Weimar constitution's promise that equality was "fun- damentallf' guaranteed. In the 1920s, this loophole had left room for restricting equality by ascribing specific obligations and capacities to one sex or the other. Thus, the promise of equal rights in the Grundgesetz was a victory, won against Christian Democratic (CDU) and Christian Social (CSU) opposition by the Social Demo- cratic (SPD) legal expert, Elisabeth Selbert, and by the intense pressure from socialist and middle-class women's organizations. It represented a clear reaction against women's political exclusion under the Nazis and a recognition of women's experience during the war and after 1945. As Frau D. Groener-Geyer, an outspoken petitioner to the Parliamentary Council put it:

After Stalingrad, there is no aspect of life in which the actions of German men have protected German women from want, misery, and poverty. After our men fell victim to the obsession of a man and followed him from Berlin via Paris to Stalingrad and then back again, and did not have the energy to contain the delusions of power of that obsessed individual, thus gambling away the sovereignty of our state, leaving our cities in ruins, destroying our homes, and leaving millions homeless and with no basis for their existence, the equality of women has been accomplished de facto. Nothing human or inhuman is foreign to her any longer; she has been spared no terror.1°

Although the members of the Parliamentary Council did not en- dorse this particular formulation or accept its logic, they did draw the same conclusions-it was essential to create the legal founda- tions for women's equality in the postwar world.ll

The Grundgesetz's promise that marriage and the family required special protection was another reflection of the desire to bring legislative prescription into line with perceptions of social reality. Unanswered was the question of how best to reconcile the eleva- tion of the family as the fundamental social unit with the guarantee of individual equality and rights to personal fulfillment. Could women achieve equality within families as well as civil equality before the law and in the workplace? Any response re- quired a thoroughgoing revision of the 1900 civil code (Biirgerliches Gesetzbuch), which had explicitly underwritten a patriarchal fami- ly form. Although it acknowledged that this task lay ahead, the Parliamentary Council postponed any final action until 1953. Ultimately, the major overhaul of the family law was not com- pleted until 1957.12

Women's social status and the family's structure were also cen- tral to the reformulation of social policy in a new Germany. Perhaps even more clearly than in the abstract, legalistic debates around the revised civil code and court battles over the meaning of equality, social policy discussions served as an excellent vehicle for identifying salient conceptions of relations between women and men and the boundaries of women's proper place. What sort of family needed protection? What were women's responsibilities as wives and mothers, and how should they shape women's perceptions of the possibilities for individual fulfillment? These were central political questions in the fifties; the agenda outlined by Zahn-Harnack in 1946 was still being hotly debated a decade later.

The Grundgesetz had placed the family under the state's particular protection, but it had not specified which family was to be pro- tected nor what form that protection should take. These open questions were addressed explicitly in the debates around "money for children." There were precedents for supplementary payments to families in Nazi social legislation. The artillery in the National Socialist "battle for births" consisted of a wide range of family policies, including marriage loans and direct supplements to families with four children or more. Women's reproductive labors could pay off the marriage loans; each birth reduced the principal by one-fourth.13 The Allies had suspended these measures at the end of the war as part of a Nazi past in which the prime objective was population expansion according to racialist criteria.14

Domestic political pressure for the reintroduction of state-financed payments to families intensified in 1948 when currency stabilization ended the postwar inflation. Rising price levels brought demands from trade unionists to consider the needs of families with inadequate earnings and incomes that left them with less money than families on welfare. Trade unionists rejected any notion that wage supplements be left to the discretion of individual employers, because this might lead to discriminatory hir- ing and disadvantages for "fathers of families." Instead, they sought a state-financed and state-administered system that would entitle all parents with incomes below a certain level to receive payments according to family size.15

A commission appointed by the Federal Council (Bundesrat)and including representatives from business, the trade unions, social welfare agencies, ad the academic community began discussing specific measures in 1949. A draft proposal prepared by Gerhard van Heukelum, head of the Office of Labor and Welfare in Bremen, called for immediate action and the introduction of state- administered supplements. Heukelum linked family assistance to economic recovery and argued: "it is high time that we give careful consideration to the importance of people as factors of production." To ignore the significance of the "individual as the agent of work was to risk a "danger of dismantling' a site of pro- duction -the family -that would be less easily replaced than the factories dismantled by the Allies. The problems of large families could not be addressed adequately through existing welfare measures. Far better precedents could be found in National Socialist policies; devoid of their racialist content, they offered a model that had much in common with family allowance schemes introduced in many other advanced industrial countries.16

However, Heukelum's hope that his recommendations would initiate immediate action by the newly-elected West German parliament (Bundestag)faltered as it became obvious that a widely held commitment to assisting the family did not unambiguously translate into practical measures. In parliamentary discussions, there was consensus on a number of issues. Across the political spectrum, all agreed that the war had placed particularly great strains on the family and that "more than any other societal institu- tion, the family had fallen into the whirlpool created by the col- lapse." This made the "family the central problem of the postwar era."17 Unanimity broke down quickly, however, over very basic questions-just what constituted a family, and what system could best meet its needs?

For the conservative CDUlCSU coalition, the "family did not in- clude the large numbers of single women-whether, never mar- ried, widowed, or divorced -who headed households and carried responsibility for children or dependent adults. The coalition em- phasized the threats to the family posed by a mother's decision to enter wage work, implying that in a family, there was also a wage- earning father. Support for families was essential in order to achieve a "higher ethical estimation in particular of the mother and child."ls However, this goal would not be achieved by a system of across-the-board payments to all children, because a male "wage [determined by] achievement" in the marketplace, the Leistungslohn, should support at least a non-wage-earning wife and two children. In fact, it was a fundamental right of the male "provider" to found a family, and basic wage levels should guarantee that right. Men, not women, "founded families," and it was the male Leistungslohn that should be the basis for this construction. Even those who considered the particular needs of single mothers iden- tified these "fatherless," "half," or "incomplete" families as deviations from the norm of a male breadwinner and a wife who stayed at home with at least two children. This position was forcefully seconded by officials within the Finance Ministry, who added that the fledgling republic's fiscal condition would permit no scheme providing payments for all children, particularly at a time when the government was confronting the potentially massive costs of rearmament.

According to CDUlCSU proposals, determination of the kistungslohn was the business of the "social partners" -capital and labor. For larger families this wage might not suffice, and supplementary pay- ments to the male wage would insure that mothers of large farnilies-those with more than two children-would not be forced out to work. The state should not be allowed to regulate this system of family allowances; moves in this direction represented a return to the institutional forms of National Socialism and a dangerous ex- pansion of the state's authority over private relations. Rather, self- regulation by the private sector was the only acceptable ad- ministrative solution. Proposed was a system of employer con- tributions that would be redistributed to families with more than two children through the existing framework of occupational in- surance providers. These principles embodied the CDUICSU com- mitment to the "social market economy" (soziale Markhvirtschaft) proclaimed by Ludwig Erhard, economics minister in Konrad Adenauer's first postwar government. Although it must not lose its social conscience, the German economy must be reconstructed ac- cording to the competitive laws of the market with as little state in- tervention as possible; "what we need," Erhard emphasized, "is not more government, but rather less."20

Doubtful that capitalism and less government would guarantee just solutions, critics from within the ranks of the opposition SPD argued that although wages should support a family, they might well not. In addition, excluding those with only one or two children from benefits would particularly disadvantage widows and divorced women whose needs were the same as those of the low-income family father. A policy of equal payments to all children and the elimination of the highly regressive system of tax deductions for dependents-a Nazi legacy-would permit all mothers to stay at home and would not limit the "higher ethical estimation . . . of the mother and child to certain groups. Fears that the costs of this alternative would be prohibitive were met with claims that increased wages would translate immediately in- to increased consumption. The SPD proposed a system of state ad- ministration, financed through a tax on the gross income of all wage earners, and argued for the elimination of all other deduc- tions for minor dependents.21 This alternative won approval as well from some middle-class women's organizations, which also emphasized that payments should be made directly to mothers, not as a supplement to the male wage.22

By mid-1953, these conflicting views were still unresolved. A leading expert from within the Labor Ministry temporized that "a law that is so complicated and that has implications for so many other established legal measures cannot be rushed; rather it re- quires the most careful plan11ing."~3 In the interim, the continued debate around family allowances created an opportunity for aca- demic sociologists and social theorists to leave the ivory tower and to set the political discussion of family allowances in an explicitly theoretical framework. Their writings were particularly important because their views were incorporated into the political discussion of policy alternatives and because their theoretical formulations made explicit key elements underlying the parliamentary debates over family policy.

Helmut Schelsky, who in 1948 had become the director of the newly founded Academy for Communal Economics in Hamburg, played an important role in reshaping German sociology after 1945. He was a leading exponent of an empirical sociological method that claimed to be more concerned with problem solving than with grandiose theories.24 The author of a major study of families who had fled to West Germany from the east after the war, Schelsky argued forcefully that the family's stability in the face of a general societal collapse justified its elevation to the cen- tral focus of social policy. The postwar years had created an extra- ordinary situation in which the "family association" had borne many of the social pressures normally assumed by the state welfare system. In the fifties, the question for policymakers was whether they could build on these developments to make the family the focus of state welfare policy.

According to Schelsky, social policy had been tied to a "strata or class-bound perspective for too long. Outdated measures had aimed at increasing the chances for social mobility by encouraging the collective advancement of the working class. These policies had achieved the upward mobility of some members of the work- ing class. In postwar West Germany, however, the downward mo- bility of many other Germans, caused by the crisis of the war and postwar years, had significantly reduced the distance between social classes. All West Germans were now part of a "levelled-out petit-bourgeois mittelstandish society" (nivellierte hleinburgerlich- mittelstandische Gesell~chaft).~~Schelskfs use of the category, Mittelstand, the nineteenth-century term for describing shop- keepers, independent craftsmen, and small-scale entrepreneurs, and the "new Mittelstand" of white-collar workers, invoked an im- age of a society in which class differences were less extreme. In- deed, according to Schelsky's analysis, in postwar West Germany class lines were blurred or totally dissolved. Under these altered circumstances, the family, not social class, became the agent of upward social mobility and the appropriate object of state social policy. It was not the famiy that should be forced to adjust to the demands of advanced industrial society; rather, society should capitalize on its most important asset and make every effort to sup- port and maintain the family.

In Schelsky's analysis, it was the "motherly care for the life of future generations" that had contributed significantly to holding families together after the war. Precisely because they had proved their indispensability in the postwar years, women's authority within families was greatly enhanced. Their expanded respon- sibilities should not, however, be confused with the individualist equality championed by the bourgeois women's movement in the Kaiserreich and Weimar. The emancipation of women in the war and the postwar years was an "emancipation out of necessity." Equality of rights in industrial societies was a dubious gain when it resulted in burdens like compulsory work in wars. The involve- ment of women in work outside the home threatened to pull them into the contradictions between "primary and abstract social rela- tionships" that already dominated men's lives.26 "How many work- ing women," Schelsky asked rhetorically in 1952, "would resign their jobs, if they could pursue their wishes; for them work does not mean acquisition of property and personal economic independence, but rather an uncertain income, competition, monotonous labor in order to insure the most basic provision for themselves and for those others for whom they must care." Self- proclaimed emancipatory movements-whether the bourgeois women's movement or the Frankfurt School- had always attacked patriarchal authority; but their efforts promoted not liberation but greater subordination to the "rule of bureaucratic power and abstract authority."27 For Schelsky, this negative example could be found across West Germany's eastern border, where the protec- tion of mothers served not the interests of families but those of-the state.

The family was thus society's bedrock, but if left without ade- quate support, it could not properly perform its essential func- tions. This was also the theme of those who defended family allowances with the scientific elaboration of fears about the declining birthrate -the dwindling supply of human factors of pro- duction. Friedrich Burgdorfer, a demographer whose pronatalist past dated from the 1920s and whose credentials included loyal service to the National Socialists, found that he could still find work as an expert on questions of family allowances. In a lengthy analysis commissioned by the Bavarian Free Democratic party, Burgdorfer warned that at present, "We are on the way to a two-child system" that threatened not only "population growth but also . . . the maintenance of the vely bases of the population." He rejected as out- dated the argument popular in Free Democratic circles that the state should in no way interfere in the private sphere of marriage. It was the state's responsibility to insure the preconditions for growth and prosperity, which included policies to "surmount the socio-biological climate that was inimical to families and the new generation." Burgdorfer pointed approvingly to the renewed in- crease in the birthrate in the years 1930 through 1940 "that delivered irrefutable evidence that our people (Volk) was biologically healthy and . . . was prepared to respond to population policies." At issue was the preservation of "that living human capital, that works for our economy and that is certainly no less important for our national income than money capital." Supplementary payments should not be restricted to low-income groups, because this would contribute to a "negative selection" that was already under ~ay.2~

Reformulating the description of a "classless" society and fears of population decline in the context of a general postwar social policy, Gerhard Mackenroth addressed the Association for Social Reform (Verein fiir Sozialpolitk) in 1952. His proposals represented a major addition to the theoretical debate around the reformula- tion of social policy in the 1950s. Mackenroth, who had spe- cialized in questions of social policy and demographic theory as a professor for national economy in Kiel from 1934 to 1941, took over the chair for sociology, social science, and statistics in Kiel in 1948.29 With Schelsky, Mackenroth argued that the collapse of German social policy after 1945 had cleared the ground for the construction of something new. The "classical conception" of a working class no longer had meaning, and the differences among working people were as important as those characteristics unify- ing them. The family should replace class as the object of social policy. In the wake of industrialization, the family's functions had changed. Children no longer contributed to family income, nor were they a guarantee of old-age security; social security was now a function of the state. This did not make children any less impor- tant. They were the future labor force of a prosperous economy, and they would pay into social insurance funds from which pen- sioners lived. However, although children's economic contributions were now redistributed through collective institutions, the costs of raising children were still borne by individual families. This ine- quitable situation resulted in social divisions not along the class lines separating "poor and rich but between those "pooi' and "rich in children" (kinderarm and kindeweich). According to Mackenroth, a policy of "distributing the burdens of families" (Familienlastenaus- gleich) was essential, and redistribution should take place, not among income groups, but within income groups among families.30

In yet another important variant of this general disucssion, Fer- dinand Oeter located the debate around family allowances within the context of a theory of economic growth. Oeter had served as an expert witness for the parliamentary subcommittee that de- bated legislative proposals for Kindergeld, and he had been par- ticularly influential in one draft of thoroughgoing tax reform ac- cording to principles of family size. Only the family, he argued, could deliver the "human material" that would fuel economic growth and guarantee the future social security of an aging Ger- man population. However, Oeter pointed out, in a modern in- dustrial economy, "the family . . . was no longer in a position to harvest the fruits of its labor itself." Declining birthrates were a clear reaction against the expenses of raising the next season's crop. A married couple's cost of living increased by 12 to 15 percent with each child, Oeter reckoned. Increased accumulation among those who did not bear these additional expenses would skew economic demand in favor of luxury goods and away from basic necessities. The long-term consequences in a market economy were a dwindling labor supply, a crippled social security system, and an economy capable of producing televisions and motorcycles but not a decent loaf of bread. Capital should be understood as accumulated labor. 'Why," asked Oeter rhetorically, "should this capital be treated better than the human capital represented in the labor of families? A system of income redistribution to help families would mean that economically "the capitalized value of human labor power would also have the same rank as capital more narrowly understood."31 The family was the "Cinderella" of a competitive market economy. By strengthening it, the state would permit it to do its job. This was far wiser than strengthening the collective-"the way . . . that leads directly to the east.Iq2

Although this brief survey in no way exhausts the sociological treatment of family policy in the early fifties, it does identify cer- tain of its central themes. The discussion acknowledged that the work of reproduction was clearly on a par with the work of pro- duction, once human capital accumulation was equated with other forms of created value. Indeed, the emphasis on the family as the vehicle for upward social mobility suggested that women's work in the home had intensified since the war. According to so- ciological investigations of women's unpaid labor, what time wom- en gained from advances in the rationalization of housework and the transfer of some services from the home to the economy was now spent checking over children's school assignments and caring for their psychological as well as their physical needs. Mothers were also accountable for children's proper moral education and for preparing children to enter society as responsible individuals. The home was no "haven in a heartless world"; it was the site of important work, essential to economic prosperity and the founda- tion for any future system of social security.

Social theorists agreed that women who toiled for wages outside the home were working a double shift. In the long-term, the results would be either human factory rejects or, even worse, reproduction slowdowns-a declining birthrate. Family allow- ances could not compensate women fully for their work, nor should they; love was work, but at the same time, women's care for their families was motivated by instincts that could not be measured in money terms alone. As commentators from left to right agreed, the home "should not be a hotel in miniature," and the "warmth of the nest," not the furnace's hot blast, was the at- mosphere that the mother should achieve in her domestic work- shop.33 Still' at least supplementary benefits could create the possibility for mothers to reject wage work, and the literature unanimously assumed that given the option, mothers would choose to stay at home. Family policy should help to achieve this goal in contrast to the measures introduced in East Germany, the "Soviet Zone of Occupation." There the state sought to drive women into wage labor at the expense of their health, their reproductive capacities, and family life. "Money for children" represented society's acknowledgment of the importance of wom- en's work in the home and the need to elevate the value of this nonwage labor. However, this acknowledgment was to take the form of a supplement to a male wage.

By late 1953when a newly elected Bundestag resumed discussions of family allowance proposals, the initial emphasis on the postwar recovery of disadvantaged groups had given way to a focus on the reproductive work of the family in an expanding economy. As Chancellor Adenauer stated in his opening remarks to the new parliament, technological advance might slow down the corrosive effects of a declining birthrate, but it could not completely reverse a process that threatened to "destroy our entire population in the course of a few generations." A constant birthrate, not machines, was the best guarantee of prosperity and future social security. "Only one thing can help: strengthening the family and thereby strengthening the will for children [Willenzum Kind]."34

A further indication that questions of family policy would re- main of interest to the ruling coalition was the creation of a new post in Adenauer's second cabinet. The Ministry for Family Ques- tions made clear the importance of this aspect of social policy for the Bonn government, and the man named to head it, Franz-Josef Wuermeling, quickly distinguished himself as the outspoken pro- ponent of a conservative Catholic worldview. Wuermeling lauded the family's "natural," sacramental quality and invoked the Scrip- tures to justify women's permanent relegation to the domestic sphere and subordination to men. His staff was small and his ministry had little power to initiate legislation; it was intended as an advocate for the family's concerns with other cabinet offices that held responsibility for shaping and guiding legislation through the parliamentary process. But the ministry's existence guaranteed that Wuermeling would be heard on every important social policy issue affecting women and the family, and it lent his reactionary views a cabinet-level legitimacy. With the strong backing of ex- tremely conservative religiously affiliated family organizations and

with close ties to leading church officials, he proudly declared himself to be the "Protective Patron of the Farnily."35

The CDUICSU wasted no time in initiating renewed discussions of "money for children"; Kindergeld would help to strengthen the Willen zum Kind. The debate resumed under decidedly altered political circumstances, and Adenauer had returned to power with an overwhelming mandate that registered a noticeable shift in the parliamentary balance of power. The CDUICSU coalition had en- joyed only an eight-vote edge over the SPD after the 1949 election. In the second Bundestag, its margin soared to ninety-two; with 243 representatives, it controlled as many votes as all other political parties combined. Assured the forty-eight votes of the Free Democratic party on most questions of family policy, the Adenauer government was in a strong position.

The SPD continued to propose state-administered payments to all children and contended that the "normal family" of two adults and two children living from a male wage did not fully capture the social reality of postwar Germany in which female-headed house- holds were anything but abnormal. But it was this "normal family" that remained at the core of proposals drafted by the Labor Ministry and backed by the CDU/CSU coalition. The plight of never-married, widowed, or divorced mothers, and other low- income families was dismissed as a legacy of the war that would pass. "Incomplete" or "half families" -those without fathers -were extraordinary developments of extraordinary times, which would cease to be a problem with continued economic growth and the disappearance of the "surplus of women."36 The ruling coalition also continued to reject state-administered schemes as attempts to make the family a "pensioner of the collectivity," the recipient of "alms from the state." Wuermeling emphasized that family allowances represented not a "welfare measure for needy families, but a matter of state policy to achieve social justice for all large families." Not state subsidies but the male wage should be the farni- ly's foundation; supplements to the large family should be supple- ments to that wage paid through funds collected by the private sec- tor and redistributed by individual employers.37 Proposals that payments go directly to mothers were not even discussed.

From its powerful position in parliament, the CDUICSU coali- tion could insure that controversy would not lead to stalemate as it had two years earlier. Fearing that further delays would create the space for the more forceful presentation of SPD alternatives, the coalition railroaded through a law in 1954 that provided monthly payments of 25 marks to wage earners with three or more chil- dren. The amount did not cover the estimated cost of feeding and clothing an infant and represented less than one-half of what was needed to support a school-aged child.38 Although, in theory, single women in wage work were eligible for these payments, few had three or more children, and the normative conception under- lying the law was of a male breadwinner and a non-wage-earning wife. In cases where both parents worked, payments went to the husband. Excluded were all those not in wage work-the unemployed, those on welfare and pensions-and all those with only one or two children.39

Family allowances helped few people. A year after the passage of the initial legislation, benefits were extended to the unemployed and to recipients of welfare assistance, but the restriction of pay- ments to families with at least three children guaranteed the ex- clusion of most Germans. A 1957 survey recorded that 57.7 per- cent of all married couples with children had only one or two. On- ly 20.3 percent had more than three. Sixty-nine percent of di- vorced and widowed mothers had too few children to qualify for Kindergeld, and only 13 percent could receive more than 25 marks monthly. It was these female heads of "incomplete families" who remained overrepresented among those living below the poverty level. Moreover, there were many indications that family size in- creased with income; thus, those likely to be entitled to Kindergeld were in higher income groups and received substantial benefits from tax deductions for dependents as well. There was certainly no evidence that the system of family allowances had triggered a baby boom. On the contrary, statistics for the late fifties suggested that the pattern within the working class was to limit family size according to income, and this practice was in no way altered by family allowances. There were indications that many women ceased full-time work outside the home once children arrived, but this reflected the adequacy of income from other sources andlor the lack of alternatives more than options created by the nominal payments provided by the 1954 legi~lation.~~

Once the basic outlines of the system were in place, there were few efforts to change its dimensions. Social Democrats and trade unionists concentrated on increasing benefits within the existing framework; they fully accepted and endorsed the argument that mothers of preschool and school-aged children should not have to work outside the home. Outspoken in their claims that "socialism protects the family," they rejected the attacks of CDUICSU critics, who invoked the "Marxist spectef to charge that the SPD sought to destroy, not defend, the nuclear family. With intensifying volume, Social Democrats emphasized that "state and society must protect, strengthen, and promote the family." For women, this meant guaranteeing them the right "to be housewife and mother, [which] is not only a woman's natural obligation but of great social sig- nifi~ance."~l

Nor were they any less critical than the ruling coali- tion of family policy in the "Soviet Zone of Occupation," which, charged Gleichheit, the SPD women's monthly, was intended only to "increase the human reserve, which can be economically ex- pl0ited."~2 Social democratic demands for increased benefits con- fronted the continued resistance of the Finance and Economics ministries, which opposed any impediments to the competitive wage structure, but left socialists agreeing with Wuermeling and ultraconservative family 0rganizations.~3 Champions of the family on the Right and Left insisted that increased benefits would achieve a vital objective -allowing all mothers to stay at home. For children, the mother was irreplaceable and indispensable. The fight for a male Leistungslohn that was adequate to support a family and the battle for extending the coverage of family allowances were two related means to achieve the same objective. Both strate- gies left no doubt about women's proper place.

The legislation regulating Kindergeld centered on a nuclear family headed by a male wage earner. From a historical perspective, we know that "normal families" seldom existed in the Kaiserreich or Weimar; few families could be economically supported by a single wage, and households headed by single women were no unique product of the post-1945 years. At least for the working class, the "normal family" of family policy in the 1950s could not be reestablished, because it had never existed.44 However, this was of little concern to policymakers who invoked a past that, ac- cording to their accounts, had withstood the invasion of National Socialism and the postwar crisis to prove itself as the basis for a new social order. The advocates of family allowances consistently

argued that women's most important work was raising children. Women's work outside the home might be necessary at certain stages of their lives, but their contributions to the family were far more essential to the future of economic growth and social securi- ty. The mother of two children was best protected by a male wage. The "normal family" did not need state support. Families that deviated from this norm by overfulfilling their responsibilities to accumulate human capital deserved social recognition. They had earned extra compensation because of their special contribution to the welfare of society.

Perhaps the emphasis of social policy on women's dependent status within nuclear families deserves no lengthy explanation. After 1945, it was not only West Germans who were involved in what Juliet Mitchell has called the "political reconstruction of the family."45 To be sure, German social policy in the 1950s addressed this agenda, which was prevalent throughout Europe after the Se- cond World War. However, a closer look at the debates over "money for children" indicates that West Germans pursued restoration along a peculiarly German path. Of course, how peculiar the Germans were is a question that ultimately will re- quire systematic comparative analysis. The thoughts that follow are offered as a basis for such a comparative discussion. They also serve as a vehicle to bring us from the details of family policy debates back to the larger dimensions of post-1945 West German history.

In the Federal Republic's first decade, it is difficult to discover anyone criticizing the idea of the "normal family." Conservatives encouraged it to produce more than two children; socialists argued that only increases in male wages could support it properly. But no one examined it as an arena of conflict and power relations be- tween genders and generations, and no one questioned its fun- damental stability. To be sure, in the immediate postwar years there were proposals for "Mother Families" and alternatives to marriage for women confronted by the "scarcity of men.''46 But by the early fifties, the particular problems of single women-with or without children -did not count as the problems of families.

Alternative conceptual bases for social policy were not entirely lacking in other western European countries. For example, in the Swedish discussion of family allowances that intensified in the 1930s, the needs of children without fathers and of single mothers had been at the center of policy formulation from the beginning, not pushed to the margins or treated as anomalous. Not the "fami- ly," but the "citizen," was the focus of social policy. From this start- ing point, it was possible to develop programs of income mainte- nance based on the assumption that all adults would work outside the home and that single women with children needed particular assistance so that their children's standard of living would not fall below that of families with two incomes.47

Like the Swedish discussion, the move toward a comprehensive family policy in Germany had also been advanced in the 1930s by fears of population decline, although, obviously, Nazi policies were based on very different conceptions of "family" and "citizen- ship." Although the National Socialist desire for an expanding birthrate had justified a tolerance for unmarried motherhood, this was still an exception to the rule of legal marriage. Zahn-Harnack observed that solutions to certain problems in the postwar world were more difficult for defeated nations. This was doubtless true, but in the case of defining the needs of single women responsible for the care of children and adult dependents, defeat, the massive loss of adult male life, and the consequent "surplus of women" made it easier to label these as "incomplete," or "half families" that had been created by the war and would disappear as normal times made possible "normal families." Once deemed to be exceptional, the problems of these groups required only short-term solutions; the needs of "normal families," in contrast, were there to stay, con- stants in an advanced industrial society.

The demographic legacy of the war also gave new life to intense fears of a reduced birthrate. Socidsts, liberals, and the conser- vative CDUICSU coalition shared conceptions of economic growth that were predicated on an expanding German population. They feared that declining family size would set limits to eco- nomic recovery, despite the fact that West German gains from postwar immigration from the east had more than canceled out war losses. Indeed, between 1939 and 1950 the population of those areas constituting the Federal Republic grew in population by over 7,600,000, an increase of 18.2percent.48 Nonetheless, Ger- mans remained obsessed by the specter of population decline, and these fears translated unambiguously into pronatalist sentiments. To be sure, it was no longer the Fuhrer and the Reich that de- manded population growth, but the needs of the economy and the social security system delivered new justifications for familiar rhetoric. Although Wuermeling- and with him those who warned that Germany would soon die out-insisted that family policy should not be confused with National Socialist or communist population policy, he typicallly protested far too much.49

In West Germany, an emphasis on pronatalism and motherhood did not register in a dramatically rising birthrate, nor did it prompt women to stay at home. The demands of an expanding economy meant that by the mid-fifties, employers were once again eager to mobilize the "silent reserve." The levels of female labor force parti- cipation increased more rapidly than those of men, and the num- ber of married women in wage work rose as well, from one in four in 1950 to one in three a decade later.s0 Still, despite clear evidence that for many women wage work was a lifelong economic necessi- ty, not a stage, social policy continued to focus on ways for women to manage the double burden, or even better, to eliminate it altogether by staying at home. There was little serious discussion of programs that would allow women to be mothers and wage earners -for example, in the form of expanded daycare services or tax credits for childcare.51 Instead, policies focused on the male wage; the possibilities for expanding part-time work for women; and by the late fifties, the availability of foreign workers to fill the demands of continued eonomic growth.

The Nazis' war had thus created a Frauenuberschuss and gen- erated the problems of "incomplete" families. It had also dimin- ished the possibilities for any post-1945 critique of the complete "normal" family by driving into exile those most accomplished at delivering a critical perspective on the family in the 1920s. Ideas by themselves cannot restructure human relations, but theoretical frameworks can provide categories for the analysis of needs and ways of meeting them. The Institute of Social Research, including Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, and Erich Fromm, left Frankfurt in 1934, first for Geneva, then New York. The institute's major collective project of the thirties, Studien iiber Autontat und Familie (Studies of authority and the family), was a massive in- vestigation of the political consequences of familial socialization; it appeared in 1936 not in Berlin or Frankfurt, but in Paris. The sociological analyses that most influenced the discussion of the family in the fifties were the optimistic accounts of Schelsky and Oeter, not the neo-Marxist approach offered by the Frankfurt

AS for other critical perspectives from the Left, when Engels's Origins of the Family was quoted in the discussion of fami- ly policy in the 1950s, it was by Wuermeling as a negative exam- ple, not by Social Democrats for whom it was an inheritance that they did not acknowledge.53

Potential criticism of the assumptions underlying the "normal family" was further diluted by the differences that continued to divide middle-class women's organizations, the heirs to the bour- geois feminist tradition, from women in the SPD and the trade union movement. The critique that emerged-and behind which bourgeois and socialist women could join forces-focused on the reform of marriage and family law and the achievement of wives' formal equality with husbands. It left untouched the concept of the "normal family" and its implications for specific measures like Kindergeld. In part, these priorities reflected the discussion of gender difference, which had taken place among German bour- geois feminists since the late nineteenth century. In the fifties, women activists of all political stripes reaffirmed their insistence that equality should not violate, but rather should reinforce and allow the emergence of, "natural" distinctions, and they endorsed motherhood as the epitome of w0manhood.5~

In addition, although women in the SPD and the trade union movement placed greater emphasis on the economic needs moti- vating women to work outside the home, they would not be out- done in their assertion that "socially just wages" for men would in- sure that "no mother of preschool or school-aged children should be forced to work out of economic necessity."55 Women in the SPD also subscribed completely to the belief in the essential bond be- tween mother and child and prescribed the "Vitamin of Mother's Love" for the physical and psychological well-being of children.56 This was a medication best administered in the home.

The split among women's organizations along confessional lines further complicated possibilities for any consistent or unified feminist critique. Catholic women's organizations, often directly tied to the church, were not willing to accept all clerical prescrip- tions for a scripturally based female subordination, but they were certainly far from questioning the sanctity of the family. The clear "gender gap" in favor of the CDUICSU throughout the fifties in- dicated, moreover, that women preferred political parties that could boast Christian, not Social or Free Democratic credential^.^'

Finally, the emphasis on the "normal family" in social theory captured a central experience of Germans in the war's aftermath. In an insigthful essay, Lutz Niethammer describes how the family promised protection, security, organized self-help, and survival in the face of the collapse of other sources of constituted authority. For women, in Niethammeis words, the family became "an obligation, a phantom, and a project." This vision of the family- what Niethammer rightly describes as the "product of fan- tasy" and a "concrete utopiau- was for Schelsky and others an un- questioned reality that justified making the family the foundation of a comprehensive social policy.58 They advocated reinforcing that reality, not facilitating the formulation of other "concrete utopias." The absence of alternative conceptual frameworks great- ly restricted the possibilities for women to imagine structuring their lives in other ways. Sociological studies of the career objec- tives of young women in the fifties concluded that although they recognized the importance of occupational training, they ultimate- ly sought work as wives and mothers. Studies of working mothers stressed that most women would prefer to leave wage work.59 To describe women's lives in terms of choice and preference, however, was to posit options where few existed.

The categories that did emerge to describe gender relations and women's proper place indicate important characteristics of post- war West German society. Unlike the psychoanalytic terms that were so central to British postwar approaches to the problems of women and children, the German discussion was unselfconsciously sociological and economistic.60 The language of social policy in the West German context was appropriate to a nation that found itself in the throes of economic reconstruction ac- cording to a capitalist blueprint and that was seeking to overcome its historical ambivalence toward capitalism. The division bet- ween production and reproduction was not always clear when families became agents of human capital accumulation. These categories emphasized the family's indispensability; they also did nothing to mystify its economic functions or the work of women within it. Indeed, in terms reminiscent of the debate among feminists in the early seventies over the value of women's unpaid labor in the home, sociologists and economists in the fifties calculated women's nonwage contribution to economic develop- ment to the last pfennig. Of course, for them women's unpaid work was in the service of the "nation," the "family," and the Volk, not capitalism or patriarchy.61

At the same time that women's reproductive work was praised as essential to the smooth functioning of the "market economy," it was also women's responsibility to raise children to resist the con- sumer temptations offered by the "economic miracle" (Wirtschaflswunder) of postwar recovery. Inculcating children with the right values was clearly among a mother's tasks. The family, women's proper place, was in the market economy but not of it. Mothers preserved and transmitted to their children values that would abate the worst excesses of unbridled competition and would pre- vent West Germany from becoming a materialistic nation. Women also needed to police themselves. Those who worked out- side the home constantly threatened to cross that boundary sep- arating need from desire. Men had to go out to work; women chose to go out to work. For mothers, the choice meant turning their backs on their primary responsibilities; their motivations were under particular scrutiny.62

Family policy also became an important vehicle in the ideologi- cal move to a classless postwar society. This was most clearly ex- pressed in Mackenroth's distinction between "kinderam" and "hinderreich,"and in Schelsky's description of the "levelled-out petit bourgeois-mittelstandisch society." It was apparent as well in analyses that acknowledged the value of women's unpaid domes- tic labor and concluded that all women worked, while trium- phantly pronouncing that a working class no longer existed.

The reconstitution of a private family sphere was vital to reaching the "end to ideology" in the fifties. It also embodied a critique of the ideological alternatives presented by Germany's recent past and by a communist East Germany in the present. In the confused cate- gories of totalitarian theory, it was possible to reject both at the same time; the family could serve as a vehicle for anti-Nazi and anticommunist rhetoric. The emphasis on the family as an intimate, in- violable sphere reflected the widely held perception that National Socialists had attempted to subordinate the individual to the nation directly by weakening the link -the family -that should hold the two together while preserving the individual's privacy. Particularly in the formulations of the ruling CDUICSU coalition, it was com- munists who continued to attempt what National Socialists had not accomplished-to rob parents of authority over their children, to transform youth into charges of the state, and to reduce the family to the site "where children are brought into the world; but children, so says the state, belong to it."63 Cornrnunists and Nazis alike sought to transform private spheres into public places.

In Wuermeling's words, both the "inhuman National Socialist rule of force" and the "Soviet terror that reduces the value of humanity to a soulless machine" attempted to transform in- dividuals into "slaves of the collective." In the arena of family policy, Nazi and communist intentions became immediately ap- parent.64 By undermining the family, both regimes most directly threqtened the status of women. Although both acknowledged women's contributions to the social order, they sought to make women into servants of the state. In a democratic Germany, this equation would be reversed; the state would serve the needs of women and the family, securing women's status and supporting her vital domestic labors as wife and mother. Social policymakers in a new Germany sought to secure the family as society's most essential building block, safe from state intervention. Strengthen- ing the family insured women the true equality that they could achieve only within the private sphere. In contrast, for both Na- tional Socialists and communists, women's "forced emancipation" brought them only the right to work alongside men in Nazi war industries or in East German uranium mines.'j5

West Germans also renounced a past in which the Nazis had sought political stability in Lebensraum (literally, "living space") in a conquered Eastern Europe; they replaced it with a search for security in the Lebensraum of the family in which a "free" West Germany would grow and in which a new generation would be socialized.66 The "communist-ruled peoples of the eastu-a geo- graphic designation that could be conveniently extended from the border with East Germany to Shanghai-produced many more children than the West Germans who threatened to "die out." The "free civilization" of the west and the sanctity of the family's Lebensraum were challenged by the "natural dynamic of expan- sion" apparent in the east. The advocates of "money for children" in the Federal Republic argued that Nazis and communists alike pur- sued population policy, not policies to strengthen healthy families. Whether for women in the SPD or Wuermeling, the implication was the same: communism threatened the family, and an effective family policy was a bulwark against communism.67

The particular form of the "political reconstruction of the family" in post-1945 West Germany guaranteed that the Wirtschaftswunder would not be so miraculous for women. Biology had defied women's status under the Nazis; it remained women's destiny in a democratic republic. The "collapse" of 1945-that convenient description that made it unnecessary to go too far in ascribing agency and responsibility-did not leave Germans at the Stunde Null (zero hour).68 The Federal Republic was neither Weirnar nor the Third Reich, but it did embody certain elements that linked it to its own most recent history. In the language of pronatalism, motherhood, the sanctity of family relations, and in the state's at- tempts to shape these private relationships, there were striking continuities across the divide of 1945.69 The new German con- stitution had guaranteed individuals the right to self-fulfillment, but the message of family policy in the 1950s was that for women, self-fulfillment was to be found in the home.

The debates around the protection of the family did identify ge- nuine needs. As in almost all other societies, German women in the fifties carried extraordinary burdens of biological motherhood and socially constructed burdens of housework and childcare. However, by locating women in "normal families" with male "pro- viders," policymakers guaranteed that these needs would be ad- dressed only in certain ways. In their categories, women's place was reasserted and reified, not redefined.


Research for this article was funded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the German Academic Exchange Service (Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst), and a summer stipend from the National Endowment for the Humanities. An earlier version was presented to a conference on Gender and German History, held at Rutgers University in April 1986. My appreciation to the members of the New York German Women's History Study Group, who organized the conference, and to all other discussants, particularly Ute Frevert. Thanks go also to Jane Caplan, Geoff Field, Tem- ma Kaplan, Susan Pedersen, Rosalind Petchesky, Ioannis Sinanoglou, Carroll-Smith- Rosenberg, Marilyn Young, Linda Zerilli, and especially Lynn Mally, who commented on additional drafts and did much to help me clarify my argument. I have attempted to keep references to a minimum.

Joan Wallach Scott, "Women in History: The Modern Period," Past and Present, no. 101 (1983): 156.

Tim Mason, "Women in Germany, 1925-1940: Family, Welfare, and Work, pt. 1, History Workshop Journal, no. 1 (1976): 87.

Jane Jenson, "Both Friend and Foe: Women and State Welfare," in Becoming Visible: Women in European History, 2d ed., ed. Renate Bridenthal, Claudia Koonz, and Susan Stuard (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1987), 535-56.

This point eludes Sylvia Ann Hewlett in her invocation of West European examples to highlight her critique of the inadequacy of state support for families in the United States. See Hewlett's A Lesser Life: The Myth of Women's Liberation in America (New York: Warner Books, 1986).

For recent attempts to rectify this situation, see in particular, Lutz Niethammer, ed.,

"Hinterher merkt man, dass es richtig war, dass es schiefgegangen ist": Nachkriegs- Erfahrungen im Ruhrgebiet (Bonn: J.H.W. Dietz Nachf., 1983); Doris Schubert, Frauen in der deutschen Nachkriegszeit (vol. 1: Frauenarbeit, 1945-1949, Quellen und Materialien] (Dusseldorf: Schwann, 1984); Annette Kuhn, ed., Frauen in der deutschen Nachkriegszeit (vol. 2: Frauenpolitik, 1945-1949, Quellen und Materialien) (Dusseldorf: Schwann, 1986); Anna-Elisabeth Freier and Annette Kuhn, eds., "Das Schicksal Deutschlands liegt in der Hand seiner Frauent'-Frauen in der deutschen Nachkriegsgeschichte (Dusseldorf: Schwann, 1984); Sibylle Meyer and Eva Schulze, Wie wir das alles geschafft haben:Allein- stehende Frauen berichten iiber ihr Leben nach 1945 (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1985); Meyer and Schulze, Von Liebe sprach damals keiner: Familienalltag in der Nachkriegszeit (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1985).

Agnes von Zahn-Harnack, "Um die Ehe (1946)," in Agnes von Zahn-Harnack: Schriften und Reden, 1914 bis 1950, ed. Marga Anders and Ilse Reiche (Tubingen: Hopfer Verlag, 1964), 49.

Vivid descriptions are provided in Meyer and Schulze's Von Liebe.

These are figures on war losses for all parts of occupied Germany. See Adelheid zu Castell, "Die demographischen Konsequenzen des Ersten und Zweiten Weltkriegs fur das Deutsche Reich, die Deutsche Demokratische Republik und die Bundesrepublik Deutschland," in Zweiter Weltkrieg und sozialer Wandel, ed. Waclaw Dtugoborski (Got- tingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1981), 119-21.

See Schubert, 32-70.

D. Groener-Geyer to Parliamentary Council, 2 Jan. 1949, Bundesarchiv, Koblenz (hereafter cited as BA), Z51111.

Anna Spath, "Vielfaltige Forderungen nach Gleichberechtigung und 'nu? ein Ergeb- nis: Artikel 3 Absatz 2 GG," in "Das Schicksal Deutschlands," 112-69; and Ines Reich- Hilweg, Manner und Frauen sind gleichberechtigt (Frankfurt: Europaische Verlagsanstalt, 1979).

Christoph Sachsse and Florian Tennstedt, "Familienpolitik durch Gesetzgebung: Die juristische Regulierung der Familie," in Staatliche Sozialpolitik und Familie, ed. Franz-Xaver Kaufmann (Munich: R. Oldenbourg, 1982), 87-100.

See Mason, 95-103; and most recently, Claudia Koonz, Mothers in the Fatherland: Women, the Family, and Nazi Politics (New York: St. Martin's Press, 19871, 185-89.

Jutta Akrami-Gohren, "Die Familienpolitik im Rahmen der Sozialpolitik mit besonderer Berucksichtigung der Vorstellungen und der praktischen Tatigkeit der CDU (Ph.D. diss., Bonn University, 1974), 260.

Memo of 29 June 1946 from Ministerialrat Goldschmidt, Labor Ministry, BA, B1531733.

"Niederschrift uber die vom Unterausschuss Kinderbeihilfen des Ausschusses fiir Arbeit und Sozialpolitik des Bundesrates einberufene Konferenz am 21.12.49," Nord- rhein-Westfalisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, NW421547.

The quotations are from Bernhard Winkelheide, Verhandlungen des deutschen Bundestags (Bonn: Universitats-Buchdruckerei Gebr. Scheur, 1950) (hereafter cited as

VdBq, [I.] Deutscher Bundestag, 162. Sitzung, 13 Sept. 1951, 6569; and Winkelheide, "Warum Familienausgleichskassen? Soziale Arbeit 1 (December 1951): 100. For a sum- mary of the SPD position, see Louise Schroeder, "Kinderbeihilfe," Soziale Arbeit 1 (December 1951): 97-100.

Winkelheide, VdBT, [I.] Deutscher Bundestag, 1949, 60. Sitzung, 28 Apr. 1950, 2202.

See the discussions in VdBT, [I.] Deutscher Bundestag, 1949, 60. Sitzung, 28 Apr. 1950, 2197-2206; also ibid., 162. Sitzung, 13 Sept. 1951, 6569-78.

Ludwig Erhard, quoted in Dritter Parteitag der Christlich-Demohratischen Union Deutschlands, Berlin, 17. -1 9. Ohtober 1952 (Cologne: Kolnische Verlagsdruckerei, n.d.),


See the comments of SPD representatives in "Kurzprotokoll der 148. Sitzung des Ausschusses fur Sozialpolitik [of the Bundestag] am Freitag, den 12. September 1952," 16-20 (copy in Parlamentsarchiv [hereafter cited as PA], Bonn).

Edith Hinze, "Was denken die Frauen uber Familienausgleichskassen? Bundesarbeitsblatt (1952): 263-65.

Wilhelm Herschel of the Labor Ministry, as reported in a memo from Jungst, 29 June 1953, BA, B1531738.

M. Rainer Lepsius, "Die Entwicklung der Soziologie nach dem zweiten Weltkrieg," in Deutsche Soziologie seit 1945: Entwichlungsrichtungen und Praxisbezug, ed. Gunther Luschen (Cologne: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1979), 38.

Helmut Schelsky, "Die Wandlungen der deutschen Familie in der Gegenwart und ihr Einfluss auf die Grundanschauungen der Sozialpolitik," Sozialer Fortschritt 1 (December 1952): 284, 287.

Helmut Schelsky, "Die gegenwartige Problemlage der Familiensoziologie," in Soziologische Forschung in unserer Zeit, ed. Karl Gustav Specht (Cologne: Westdeutscher Verlag, 1951), 293-94. In his Wandlungen der deutschen Familie in der Gegenwart, 4th ed. (Stuttgart: Ferdinand Enke Verlag, 1960), probably the most influential sociological analysis of the family in this period, Schelsky fully develops his position. Schelsky was part of a "scientific advisory board," which counseled the Ministry of Family Affairs on social policies affecting the family.

Schelsky, "Die Gleichberechtigung der Frau und die Gesellschaftsordnung," Sozialer Fortschritt 1 (June 1952): 131.

A typescript of Friedrich Burgdorfer's remarks is in Archiv der liberalen Demo- kratie, Gummersbach (Niedersessmar), DAl1161 (= Nachlass Dehler); on Burgdorfer's career under the Nazis, see Mason, 85-86.

Lepsius, 33.

Gerhard Mackenroth, "Die Reform der Sozialpolitik durch einen deutschen Sozial- plan," in Schriften des Vereins fiir Sozialpolitik, n.s., 4 (1952): 39-75.

Ferdinand Oeter, cited in "Protokoll uber die 149. Sitzung des Ausschusses fur Sozialpolitik [of the Bundestag] am Freitag, den 19. September 1952," 8-10 (copy in PA). Oeter was also brought into a "scientific advisory board" that counseled the Ministry of Family Affairs.

Ferdinand Oeter, "Ausgleich der Familienlasten-Eine notwendige Klarung," Bundesarbeitsblatt (1952): 308.

Marta Gieselmann, "Gedanken uber die Haubarbeit," Gleichheit 15, no. 8 (1952): 244-45. See the theoretical discussion by Gisela Bock and Barbara Duden, "Arbeit aus Liebe-Liebe als Arbeit: Zur Entstehung der Hausarbeit im Kapitalismus," in Frauen und Wissenschaft: Beitrage zur Berliner Sommeruniuersitat fiir Frauen, July 1976 (Berlin: Courage, 1977), 118-99.

VdBT, 2. Deutscher Bundestag, 3. Sitzung, 20 Oct. 1953, 18.

"Des Papstes Garde," Der Spiegel 8, no. 38 (1954): 8-15; and Akrami-Gohren, 89-91.

VdBT, 2. Deutscher Bundestag, 21. Sitzung, 4 Apr. 1954, 735-37.

See Wuermeling's comments, VdBT, 2. Deutscher Bundestag, 44. Sitzung, 23. Sept. 1954, 2118-19.

CDUICSU-Fraktion des Deutschen Bundestages, "Kurzprotokoll uber die Sitzung des Unterausschusses Familienausgleichkassen [sic] vom 4.3.1954," Archiv fur christ- lich-demokratische Politik, Sankt Augustin bei Bonn (hereafter cited as ACDP), VIII-005-05912; and Arnd Jessen, "Der Aufwand fur Kinder in der Bundesrepublik im Jahre 1954," in Familie und Sozialreform (=Jahresversammlung der Gesellschaft fur Sozialen Fortschritt e.V.) (Berlin: Duncker &Humblot, 19551, 107-11.

Payments were increased to 30 marks monthly in 1957 and to 40 marks monthly in 1959. In 1961, payments were introduced for the second child in low-income families. By 1963, the CDUICSU coalition finally dropped its objections to a system financed out of tax revenues and administered by a state agency, arguing that Kindergeld was the responsibility of the entire society, not just employers and employees. See Akrami- Gohren, 151-53, 277-90.

"Kinder und Jugendliche in Familien," Wirtschaft und Statistik, n.s., 12 (1960): 215; Statistisches Bundesamt, Be~~olkerung und Kultur, Reihe 2: Natiirliche Bevolkerungs- bewegung, Sonderbeitrag: Kinderzahl der Ehen, Oktober 1962 (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 19661, 19-21.

The quotations are from Herta Gotthelf in Protokoll der Verhandlungen des Parteitages der Sozialdernokratischen Partei Deutschlands vom 20. bis 24. Juli 1954 in Berlin (Berlin-Grunewald: Graphische Gesellschaft Grunewald, n.d.1, 235; the Fundamental Program (Grundsatzprogramrn), proclaimed in 1959, Protokoll der Verhandlungen des ausserordentlichen Parteitages der Sozialdemokratischen Partei Deutschlands vorn 13.-15. November 1959 in Bad Godesberg (Hannover: Neuer Vorwarts-Verlag, Nau &Co., n.d.1, 23, 257-58; and "SPD-Frauenprogramm," Gleichheit 20, no. 8 (1957): 293.

"Objekt Frau," Gleichheit 14, no. 4 (1951): 110.

See "Der Familienlastenausgleich: Erwagungen zur gesetzgeberischen Verwirklichung-Eine Denkschrift des Bundesministers fur Familienfrage," November 1955, PA, 111201 A; "Kurzprotokoll der 66. Siztung des Ausschusses fur Sozialpolitik [of the Bundestag] am Freitag, den 18. November 1955" (copy in PA); and VdBT, 2. Deutscher Bundestag, 120. Sitzung, 15 Dec. 1955, 6378-6403.

See the survey in Heidi Rosenbaum, Formen der Familie: Untersuchungen zum Zusammenhang von Familienverhaltnissen, Sozialstruktur und sozialem Wandel in der deutschen Gesellschaft des 19. Jahrhunderts (Frankfurt: Surkhamp, 1982).

Juliet Mitchell, Psychoanalysis and Feminism (New York: Vintage, 19741, 231.

Angela Seeler, "Ehe, Familie und andere Lebensformen in den Nachkriegsjahren im Spiegel der Frauenzeitschriften," in "Das Schicksal Deutschlands," 90-111.

Rita Liljestrom, "Sweden," in Family Policy: Government and Families in Fourteen Countries, ed. Sheila B. Kamerman and Alfred J. Kahn (New York: Columbia University Press, 19781, 19-48; and Mary Ruggie, The State and Working Women: A Comparative Study of Britain and Sweden (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1984).

Castell, 130.

See Wuermeling, "Der Sinn der Familienpolitik," Bulletin des Presse- und Information- samtes der Bundesregierung, no. 211 (1954): 1911-12.

Angelika Willms, "Segregation auf Dauer? Zur Entwicklung des Verhaltnisses von Frauenarbeit und Mannerarbeit in Deutschland, 1882-1980," in Struktunvandel der Frauenarbeit 1880-1980, ed. Walter Muller, Angelika Willms, and Johann Hand1 (Frankfurt: Campus, 19831, 132, 135. The phrase, "stille Reserve," was often used in discussions of women's labor force parhcipation in the fifties. See, for example ,Erna Hamann, "Die Frau auf dem Arbeitsmarkt," Arbeitsblatt 11949): 423.

On the totally inadequate nature of daycare provision by the early sixties, see

"Bericht der Bundesregierung uber die Situation der Frauen in Beruf, Familie und Gesellschaft," prepared by Bundesminister fur Arbeit und Sozialordnung, Deutscher Bundestag, VdBT, 5. Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache VI909, 28-31, 337.

See Max Horkheimer, ed., Studien iiber Autoriat und Familie (Paris: Librairie Felix Alcan, 1936); and Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination: A History of the Frankfurt School and the Institute of Social Research 1923-1950 (Boston: Little, Brown &Co., 1973), 124-33.

Wuermeling, "Keine Bevolkerungspolitik, sondern Familienpolitik!" Bulletin des Presse- und Informationsamtes der Bundesregierung, no. 231 (1955): 1967-68.

For example, see Ann Taylor Allen, "Mothers of the New Generation: Adele Schreiber, Helene Stocker, and the Evolution of a German Idea of Motherhood, 1900-1914," Signs 10 (Spring 1985): 418-38.

See, for example, "Zentrale Frauenkonferenz in Koln vom 29. bis 31. Mai 1953," Gleichheit 16, no. 7 (1953): 221. This demand was repeated by socialist women and women trade unionists throughout the fifties.

A. Grossmann, "Vitamin Mutterliebe," Gleichheit 15, no. 11 (1952): 355-56.

In general, see Gabriele Bremme, Die politische Rolle der Frau in Deutschland: Eine Untersuchung iiber den Einfluss der Frauen bei Wahlen und ihre Teilnahme in Partei und Parlament (Gottingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1956).

Lutz Niethammer, "Privat-Wirtschaft: Erinnerungsfragmente einer anderen Um- erziehung," in "Hinterher merkt man," 48, 54.

See in particular, Elisabeth Pfeil, Die Berufstatigkeit von Miittern (Tiibingen: J.C.B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck], 1961); and Edith Hinze (with the assistance of Elisabeth Knospe), Lage und Leistung enuerbstatiger Mutter: Ergebnisse einer Untersuchung in Westberlin (Cologne: Carl Heymanns Verlag, 1960).

On the English discussion, see Denise Riley, War in the Nursey: Theories of the Child and Mother (London: Virago, 1983).

See, for example, Jessen, esp. 141-49. For the discussion among socialist feminists in the 1970s, see the summary in Michele Barrett, Women's Oppression Today: Problems in Marxist Feminist Analysis (London: Verso, 1980), 172-86

These priorities were underwritten by the marriage law as well. Even after its reform in 1957, the marriage law dictated that women's wage work outside the home must not impede fulfillment of "marital and family obligations." These provisions were not altered until 1977. See the summary in Harry G. Shaffner, Women in the Two Ger- manies: A Comparative Study of a Socialist and a Non-Socialist Society (New York: Pergamon Press, 1981), 28-29.

Hans Kohler, a professor at the Free University in Berlin, at Dritter Parteitag der Christlich-Demokratischen Union, Berlin, 17.-19. Oktober 1952 (Cologne: Kolnische Verlagsdruckerei, n.d.1, 52.

See Wuermeling's comments in Bundesgeschaftsstelle der Christlich-Demokratischen Union Deutschlands, ed., Deutschland, sozialer Rechtsstaat im geeinten Europa /= 4. Bundesparteitag, 18.-22. April 1953, Hamburg] (Hamburg: Sator Werbe Verlag, n.d.1, 67-68.

See Wuermeling, VdBT, 2. Deutscher Bundestag, 15. Sitzung, 12 Feb. 1954, 493; and Ingrid Langer, "In letzter Konsequenz. ..Uranbergwerk! Die Gleichberechtigung in Grundgesetz und Biirgerlichem Gesetzbuch," in Perlonzeit: Wie die Frauen ihr Wirt- schaftswunder erlebten, ed. Angela Delille and Andrea Grohn (Berlin: Elefanten Press, 1985), 72-81.

Wuermeling, "Ein machtvolles Bekenntnis zum katholischen Glauben," Frhnkische Nachrichten, 21 June 1954 (copy in ACDP, 1-221-005); and a speech delivered on 15 Sept. 1956, "Familie und Staat," in which he refers to "Freiheitsraum Familie" (typescript in ACDP, 1-221-017). An SDP observer, Kurt Fiebig, although less virulent in his tone,

reached the same conclusion. See his "Ostzonale Bevolkerungspolitik," Gleichheit 14, no. 10 (1951): 304-5. On the gender-specific understandings of Lebensraum under Na- tional Socialism, see Koonz, 13-14.

Wuermeling, transcript of speech in Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk, 10 Nov. 1953, ACDP, 1-221-017; "Fiir den Schutz der Familie," Union in Deutschland, no. 86, 4 Nov. 1953 [copy in ACDP, 1-221-004). And, for similar sentiments from the SPD, see, e.g., Louise Schroeder, "Sozialpolitik in der Sowjetzone," Gleichheit 16, no. 7 (1953): 228-29.

See the reflections in Inge Stolten, Das alltagliche Exil: Leben zwischen Hakenkreuz und Wahrungsreform [Bonn: J.H.W. Dietz Nachf., 1982), 130. A comprehensive survey of women in the Weimar years and under the Nazi regime is provided in Renate Briden- thal, Atina Grossmann, and Marion Kaplan, eds., When Biologv Became Destiny: Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany [New York: Monthly Review, 1984); and Koonz.

See the parallels in James M. Diehl, "Change and Continuity in the Treatment of German Kriegsopfer,"Central European History 18 [June 1985): 170-87.

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