The Nazi "New man"

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Ann Arbor, MI
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embodying masculinity and regulating sexuality in the SA and SS, 1930-1939
This dissertation argues that constructions of masculinity and male sexuality played a central role in shaping the conduct of men in the SA and SS, as well as the identities of those institutions more broadly. I pursue two main lines of inquiry throughout. First, I explore the ways in which these constructions shifted at different points in Nazism's development and within the diverse institutional cultures. My aim here is to map the importance of masculinity and male sexuality on to the history of the Nazi state's consolidation and evolution of institutional identities. Second, I analyze the complex types of power relationship that constructions of masculinity and male sexuality nourished and sustained. I contend that these were predominantly regulative and disciplinary in nature, geared towards producing and shaping individual behaviors that were profoundly linked to the Nazi state's formation and goals. On the one hand, I am concerned with a diversity in the meanings attached to gender and sexuality in the Third Reich, as well as the contradictions and conflicts between them. On the other, I examine how this field of meanings as a whole bolstered a more generalized form of disciplinary power that possessed a definite consistency and uniformity. I explore how visions of masculinity and male sexuality functioned within and shifted across several temporal contexts that were critical in the development of National Socialism. The project begins by considering how the mediation of SA men as aggressive but vulnerable helped mobilize them as violent during the late Weimar period. It then examines how the mediation of the SA leadership as homosexual figured into the consolidation of the Nazi state during the SA purge of June 1934. Next, I analyze shifting visions of masculinity in the SS and SA between 1934 and 1939, tracing out their connections to Nazi racism and the state repressive apparatus. The final chapters also focus on the years between 1934 and 1939, examining the regulation of marriage within the SS, persecution of male homosexuals in Nazi institutions, and the state's attempts to punish “ordinary” Germans who gossiped about Hitler's sexuality.
Mikrofilmdigitalisat einer Dissertation
Textdatei ausschließlich in den Räumlichkeiten des Instituts für Zeitgeschichte zugänglich.