Midwifery and Racial Segregation in Occupied Western Poland, 1939-1945

TitleMidwifery and Racial Segregation in Occupied Western Poland, 1939-1945
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2017
AuthorsLisner, Wiebke
JournalGerman History
Date Published06/2017

Based upon the biographies of three midwives, one German, one Polish and one Jewish, this article takes a closer look at the female space of pregnancy, child birth and early parenthood as a key starting point for biopolitics and Germanization policy. It thus sheds light on gender-specific realizations of occupation policy and its consequences for everyday life. Both Germanization and motherhood mattered to Nazi policy in the annexed Polish territories, and so examining how the roles of German, Polish and Jewish midwives were transformed opens a window onto how racial classifications were enacted within the ‘private sphere’ of pregnancy and birth.

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