Nazi Women
a web project for UCSB Hist 33D, Dec. 2003
(author information at bottom)

Professor's note, April 2004: In January 2004 a visitor of this site noted that the selection of Nazi women and the titles of the biographies had strong similarity with a book based on a recent German TV documentary series, namely Guido Knopp's Hitler's Women (New York: Routledge, 2003) [translated by Angus McGeoch. UCSB Main Library: Women's Studies DD247.H5 K57813 2003].
Since that book is not cited as a source for this project, I at first thought that this might be a case of plagiarism (my apologies to the site authors), but upon comparison with the book it became clear to me that although 6 of the 9 women on this site are exactly the six women in the TV series (Bothe, Koch and Grese are unique here), and although the book's chapter titles are similar in structure (the Wagner and Riefenstahl titles are identical or nearly identical), the book itself was clearly NOT used as a source for this site. However, the Australian "Special Broadcasting Service" (a grant-funded institution that broadcast the series in Nov-Dec. 2002) maintains a website with information about the TV series (, which is cited in this project's bibliography (link) as one of the sources for the Wagner and Goebbels pages. Although the information on the Australian site is sparse, it is not hard to see how the selection there might have influenced this project's authors. This would NOT be a case of plagiarism, since the content here is quite different, and the Australian website is cited as a source when specific information was drawn from it.
This remains one of the best projects submitted for my Fall 2003 Hist 33D course, and I appreciate the authors' willingness to accommodate this discussion of proper citation and plagiarism on their project main page.            --H. Marcuse

Winifred Wagner: The Muse
Full Name: Winifred Williams Klindworth Wagner
Birth Date: 1897 - Hastings, England
Death Date: 1980 - location unknown
Eva Braun: The One Who Loved Him
Birth Date: February 6, 1912 - Munich, Germany
Death Date: April 30, 1945 - suicide; Berlin, Germany

Magda Goebbels: The First Lady of Germany
Birth Date: November 11, 1901 - Berlin, Germany
Death Date: May 1, 1945 - Berlin, Germany

Leni Riefenstahl: The Director
Birth Date: August 22, 1902 - Berlin, Germany
Death Date: September 8, 2003 - natural causes; Poecking, Germany

Larry Levi also did his paper on Leni: "Leni Riefenstahl: Actress, Filmmaker Contributor to Nazi Mayhem" (link)

Zarah Leander: The Diva of the Third Reich
Birth Name: Zarah Hedberg
Birth Date: March 15, 1907 - Karlstad, Varmland, Sweden
Death Date: June 23, 1981 - Stockholm, Sweden
Marlene Dietrich: The German with an American Heart
Birth Name: Maria Magdalena Dietrich
Birth Date: December 27, 1901 - Schoneberg, Germany
Death Date: May 6, 1992 - kidney failure; Paris, France
Herta Bothe: The Sadist at Bergen-Belsen
Birth Date: cannot be found
Death Date: cannot be found
Ilse Koch: The Bitch of Buchenwald
Birth Date: 1906 - Dresden, Germany
Death Date: September 1, 1967 - Bavarian Prison
Irma Grese: The Angel of Death
Birth Date: October 7, 1923
Death Date: December 13, 1945 - Hamelin Jail; Westfalia


This website is intended to shed some light on the women who were closely involved with Adolf Hitler or linked to the Holocaust. We wanted to learn more about the ways in which women close to Nazi leaders were affected before and after the fall of the Nazi Regime.
This website also gives examples of the impact that Nazi ideologies had on what would have been the "average woman," but who instead became head 'oberaufseherin' and ruthless torturers. By Hitler's standards, a woman should be submissive and quiet. Hitler's ideology for Aryan Women:
-avoid population decline
-maintain national unity
-make the people's state a pleasant place for all
-improve public school education
-maintain Germanic traditions and high health standards
-feel one's self to be a German citizen
Overall, the Nazis strove to make motherhood more attractive in order to increase the ideal Aryan race. These guidelines for the perfect woman as well as anti-Semetic rhetoric influenced these women and invariably altered their lives. Hitler's ideologies shaped who these women became under the Nazi Regime and forever influenced their lives in the years after WWII. All of these woman had started life as any other unassuming and innocent child and were transformed by Hitler and the Nazi Regime, until they either met their death because of Nazism or forever bore the stigma of having been connected to a time of atrocity.

UCSB Hist 33D course homepage

Hist 33D web projects index page

Hitler's Women homepage
Angela Mesna
Brittney Smith
Jessica Evans

Nazi Relatives:
Eva Braun
Magda Goebbels
Winifred Wagner
Leni Riefenstahl
Zarah Leander
Marlene Dietrich
Concentration Camp Guards:
Ilse Koch
Irma Grese
Herta Bothe
Images and Bibliography pages

Content by: Angela Mesna, Brittney Smith, and Jessica Evans
Web Design: Brittney Smith
Date created: December 8, 2003, modified 12/21/03 hm, comments added 1/20/04, 4/14/04, 4/23/04