When the First World War ended, Germany experienced an unprecedented period of political revolution, economic turmoil, and social upheaval. Among the myriad problems facing the nation was one concern that cut across party lines and prompted attention at both the national and local levels. Lawmakers, doctors, clergy, and ordinary Germans across the political spectrum agreed that the breakdown of the family had weakened the nation, contributed to military defeat, worsened economic misery, and exacerbated societal conflict. High divorce and illegitimacy rates together with an alarmingly low birth rate created a picture of families in crisis. The belief was widespread that only by creating policies that strengthened families would Germany stand a chance of regaining its historical strength. Because both Weimar and National Socialist policymakers saw the family as essential to rejuvenating the battered nation, the interwar era witnessed a wide variety of family-directed policies. Social welfare, unemployment benefits, health insurance, and maternity benefits were just the beginning of a series of programs designed to strengthen Germany and support families. While state programs targeted many different groups within society, children stood out as especially worthy recipients. Policymakers in both the Weimar and National Socialist eras recognized that children, the most vulnerable members of society and the nation's future, required special attention.