Writing and Rewriting the Reich: Women Journalists in the Nazi and Post-War Press
Published: December 2022© 2023
384 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in, 14 b&w illustrations
Ebook - ePub
Writing and Rewriting the Reich tells the complex story of women journalists as both outsiders and insiders in the German press of the National Socialist and post-war years. From 1933 onward, Nazi press authorities valued female journalists as a means to influence the public through charm and subtlety rather than intimidation or militant language. Deborah Barton reveals that despite the deep sexism inherent in the Nazi press, some women were able to capitalize on the gaps between gender rhetoric and reality to establish prominent careers in both soft and hard news.
Based on data collected on over 1,500 women journalists, Writing and Rewriting the Reich describes the professional opportunities open to women during the Nazi era, their gendered contribution to Nazi press and propaganda goals, and the ways in which their Third Reich experiences proved useful in post-war divided Germany. It draws on a range of sources including editorial proceedings, press association membership records, personal correspondence, newspapers, diaries, and memoirs. It also sheds light on both unknown journalists and famous figures including Margret Boveri, Ruth Andreas-Friedrich, and Ursula von Kardorff.
Addressing the long-term influence of women journalists, Writing and Rewriting the Reich illuminates some of the most salient issues in the nature of Nazi propaganda, the depiction of wartime violence, and historical memory.
Part One: The Prewar Years, 1933–1939
1. On the Peripheries of Power: Women Journalists in the Nazi Press
2. Normalizing Nazism and Prettying up Politics, 1933–1939
3. Traversing Borders and Questioning Boundaries: Female Foreign Correspondents
4. Writing Racial Politics: Enemies, Friends, and the Volksgemeinschaft
Part Two: The War Years, 1939–1945
5. Opportunity and Influence on the Homefront, 1939–1945
6.The Beautification of Total War and Occupation: Women Journalists in Occupied Europe
Part Three: The Aftermath
7. New Patrons, New Priorities: Women Journalists in Postwar Germany(s), 1945–1955
8. Rewriting the Reich: Female Journalists, Autobiography, and the Legacies of National Socialism
"In a richly argued and persuasive account of the multiple ways in which women journalists experienced the craft during a highly politicized – not to mention criminal – period of Germany’s history, Deborah Barton makes a strong case for women as agents of soft power, who buttressed the Nazi regime through their reportage in important and overlooked ways. This is a significant contribution to the growing literature on female perpetration."Jennifer V. Evans, Professor of History, Carleton University
"This book is a remarkable research achievement. Deborah Barton recasts the history of journalism in Nazi and post-war Germany through the lens of gender, uncovering memorable stories about a multitude of women journalists. The author analyses the varied complicity of these journalists in Nazi war and violence and highlights numerous careers that carried on after 1945, when the chance to carry on writing also meant a chance to sanitize their roles in the German past."Elizabeth Harvey, Professor of History, University of Nottingham
"Following the best recent work in fording conventional periodizations and geographic boundaries, Deborah Barton compellingly demonstrates the powerful role women journalists played in advancing the interests of the Nazi regime – and, all the more, in shaping the narrative of that regime, along with their own role, in both post-war Germanies. Writing and Rewriting the Reich is meticulously researched, beautifully written, and an absorbing read."Belinda Davis, Professor of History, Rutgers University
"This book combines the history of gender and journalism not only during the Hitler dictatorship but also in East and West Germany after 1945 in genuinely new perspectives. Though rightly critical of the self-justifications of women journalists writing for Nazi papers, Deborah Barton judiciously examines their trials and tribulations in three male-dominated societies. Highly recommended to both modern historians and students of today's mass media."V.R. Berghahn, Seth Low Emeritus Professor of History, Columbia University