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9 janvier 2008 3 09 /01 /janvier /2008 03:22

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The German Red Cross helferin (helper nurse) was a vital part of the war effort in World War Two. Due to the German ideal of the three Ks "Kirche, Kindern, und Kuche" (Church, Children, and Kitchen), women in the armed forces were unthinkable. With it’s entire population mobilizing for war, Germany had to enlist all the help it could get on the home front; this meant that everyone was put into some branch of service to benefit the war effort, women included. There were a few choices for women in the Third Reich if they weren’t mothers, which exempted them from service. They were able to become farm workers and laborers, nurses, or one of a few other positions vital to the Reich such as Signalhilferin (signal helper) and administrator for the armed forces. Nursing was often seen as the most glamorous option, so it attracted many women. To keep women out of harm’s reach, field hospitals that employed female nurses were required to be at least fifteen kilometers from the front lines. Wounded soldiers knew they would be all right when they found themselves in a field hospital surrounded by nurses. As one combat veteran told me, "I was wounded five times and the pretty nurses made me heal much faster!" It was not unheard of for these field hospitals to be overrun in a fast-moving advance, so nurses were sometimes taken as prisoners, although they were generally treated with a great deal of respect for their position by the Allies.

 

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