To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
Hegemonic masculinity in Nazi Germany, as well as in many militarized societies around the globe, meant physical, emotional, and moral “hardness.” The ideal man, embodied by the soldier, was tough and aggressive, in control of his body, mind, and psyche. He did not hesitate to sacrifice life and limb on behalf of the Fatherland, or to subordinate his individuality under the command of a conformist group of comrades. Whereas many scholars have already stressed these features of hegemonic masculinity, this article argues that the act of soldiering provided men with a male identity that was ultimately not defined by the repudiation, but rather integration, of what was (and is) often coded as feminine. In the social practice of male interaction, diversity and flexibility were needed, thus allowing for the display of femininely coded behavior like affection, tenderness, empathy, caring, and tolerance toward emotional breakdowns and moments of weakness in their midst. Thanks to its inclusive nature, such “protean” masculinity enabled different types of soldier-men to establish male identities; it also allowed them to switch among different emotional and moral states without losing their manliness. Yet, this was true only if the predominance of hardness was respected. Eventually, protean masculinity integrated diverse men and diverse emotional and moral conditions into a fighting unit, and, in the case of the Third Reich, into a genocidal society.
In their 1991 monograph on Nazi Germany, The Racial State, Michael Burleigh and Wolfgang Wippermann asked why it was “acceptable to use anthropological categories in the case of youth or women, and apparently unacceptable to employ them in the case of men?” The expansive historiography of Nazism, they complained, offered nothing “beyond an isolated venture into the realm of male fantasies, or a few studies of homosexuals.” The answer, in fact, had a lot more to do with scholarly motivation than acceptability. Put starkly, there was no intellectual frisson in recovering the history of “men” as a social category in Nazi Germany. Influential as The Racial State proved to be in driving the research agenda for historians of National Socialism, the authors’ ensuing chapter, “Men in the Third Reich,” merely confirmed as much. It presented a dry, empirical overview of Nazi racial and economic policies, excised of those specifically directed at women and children. The terms gender, masculine, or masculinity do not appear once in thirty-six dense pages of text. To be sure, this reflected the wider state of knowledge in the academy. Now, almost three decades later, historians can draw on a sociology of gender relations that was still in its infancy when Burleigh and Wippermann were writing. They study “men” to decode historical configurations of power. They no longer conceive of women, children, and men as discrete actor groups, but as protagonists in systems of gender relations. A sophisticated interdisciplinary literature has rendered men legible as gendered subjects, rather than as an unmarked norm. This scholarship stresses the plurality of masculine identities. It advises that a racial state, like all known states, will be a patriarchal institution, and that the gendering of oppressed ethnic minorities plays a key role in the construction of majority femininities and masculinities. By pondering the relationship between racial and social identities in Nazi Germany, Burleigh and Wippermann nevertheless raised questions with which historians continue to grapple. Each of the contributors to this special issue of Central European History focuses productively on the intersection of gender, ethnicity, and power in the “racial state.”
In the 1930s and 1940s, nearly ninety thousand German-speaking Jews found refuge in the British Mandate of Palestine. While scholars have stressed the so-called Yekkes’ intellectual and cultural contribution to the making of the Jewish nation, their social and gendered lifeworlds still need to be explored. This article, which is centered on the generation of those born between 1910 and 1925, explores an ongoing interest in German-Jewish multiple masculinities. It is based on personal narratives, including some 150 oral history interviews conducted in the early 1990s with German-speaking men and women in Israel. By focusing on gender and masculinities, it sheds new light on social, generational, and racial issues in Mandatory Palestine and Israel. The article presents an investigation of the lives, experiences, and gendered identities of young emigrants from Nazi Europe who had partly been socialized in Europe, and were then forced to adjust to a different sociey and culture after migration. This involved adopting new forms of sociability, learning new body postures and gestures, as well as incorporating new habits—which, together, formed a cultural repertoire for how to behave as a “New Hebrew.”
This article examines the impact of Nazi persecution on the gender identity of German-Jewish veterans of World War I. National Socialism threatened to erase everything these Jewish men had achieved and sacrificed. It sought to destroy the identity they had constructed as soldiers in the service of the Fatherland, as well as the high status they had earned as Frontkämpfer (front-line fighters) in the Great War, upon which their sense of masculinity identity rested. Although diminished and disempowered by Nazi terror, Jewish veterans were able to orient themselves toward hegemonic ideals of martial masculinity, which elevated military values as the highest expression of manhood, giving them a space to assert themselves and defy the Nazi classification Jew. For the Jewish men who fought in World War I, the Nazi years became a battle to reclaim their status and masculine honor. They believed that the manner in which they handled themselves under the Nazis was a reflection of their character: as men who had been tried and tested in the trenches, their responses to persecution communicated their identity as soldiers, as Jews, and as Germans.
This article looks at the experiences and perspectives of homosexual men in Nazi Germany—in particular, at homosexual veterans of World War I. How did homosexual men perceive “hegemonic masculinity” and ideals of comradeship during the Third Reich? The central argument is that the Nazi regime's emphasis on heterosexuality as an essential masculine trait was contested by homosexual veterans, who attempted to exert agency by actively defining notions of “masculinity,” the nature of their homosexuality, as well as their status in the Volksgemeinschaft (people's community). The ways in which homosexual men perceived homosexuality in relation to hegemonic masculine norms were diverse: whereas some tried to argue for the compatibility of homosexuality and martial masculinity, those who were arrested often distanced themselves from their homosexual identity. The testimonies of veterans, available in Gestapo police interrogation records, suggest how subjective constructions of sexual identity both undermined and reinforced hegemonic masculine ideals.
This article analyzes the social realities that Austrian and German heterosexual men, all in their reproductive age, confronted in the aftermath of World War II; the kind of sexual and gendered configurations produced under Nazism and during the postwar period; and the ways in which these social and emotional realities were publically and privately dealt with after the war. It draws on reports in, and letters-to-the-editor of, the journal Liebe und Ehe from 1949 to 1951, as well as on a sample of fourteen private letters written by an Austrian policeman in 1951 about his love relationship with a nurse. Such early postwar narratives not only point at issues and conflicts between the sexes, but also suggest the rehabilitation of traditional gender roles in West Germany and Austria. Men struggled to conform to new guidelines of heterosexual domesticity, a development that hints not only at traumatic war experiences, but also at the ideological residuals of Nazism.
During the Third Reich, alcohol served as both a literal and metaphorical lubricant for acts of violence and atrocity by the men of the Sturmabteilung (SA), the Schutzstaffel (SS), and the police. Scholars have extensively documented its use and abuse on the part of the perpetrators. For the SA, the SS, and the police, the consumption of alcohol was part of a ritual that not only bound the perpetrators together, but also became a facilitator of acts of “performative masculinity”—a type of masculinity expressly linked to physical or sexual violence. In many respects, the relationship among alcohol, masculinity, sex, and violence permeated all aspects of the Nazi killing process in the camps, the ghettos, and the killing fields. After the outbreak of war in September 1939, such practices were increasingly radicalized, with drinking and celebratory rituals becoming key elements for these closed male communities of perpetrators, who used them to prepare for acts of mass killing and, ultimately, genocide.
An outbreak of respiratory diphtheria occurred in two health districts in the province of KwaZulu-Natal in South Africa in 2015. A multidisciplinary outbreak response team was involved in the investigation and management of the outbreak. Fifteen cases of diphtheria were identified, with ages ranging from 4 to 41 years. Of the 12 cases that were under the age of 18 years, 9 (75%) were not fully immunized for diphtheria. The case fatality was 27%. Ninety-three household contacts, 981 school or work contacts and 595 healthcare worker contacts were identified and given prophylaxis against Corynebacterium diphtheriae infection. A targeted vaccination campaign for children aged 6–15 years was carried out at schools in the two districts. The outbreak highlighted the need to improve diphtheria vaccination coverage in the province and to investigate the feasibility of offering diphtheria vaccines to healthcare workers.