Published online by Cambridge University Press: 28 June 2019
This chapter examines the home leave granted to soldiers during the Second World War as a fundamental dimension of private life for millions of Germans in wartime. It explores the topic from a number of different perspectives. It outlines the regime’s policies and propaganda regarding home leave as a privilege, focusing on the regime’s goals and its conflicting impulses both to control the time men spent away from their military duties and to allow some degree of undisturbed privacy. The chapter then examines personal letters between home and front in order to explore the expectations and experiences relating to home leave on the part of the men on leave and their wives or girlfriends and families. Finally, it uses cases from military and civil courts to show instances of marital conflict and domestic violence associated with home leave.