Women’s College of Social Welfare
The Swabian Women’s Association, which maintains the Stuttgart Women’s College of Social Work, unanimously votes to adapt the association’s statutes to the National Socialist ideology. The then chairwoman, Emma Lautenschlager, resigns her post as a result. The new chairwoman, Else Koetzle, promises to manage the association “as intended by our ‘Führer’ and for the benefit of our youth”. 1934 also saw the Women’s College of Social Work renamed as the “Women’s College of Social Welfare” (Frauenschule für Volkspflege).
Unlike other schools for “Social Welfare”, the Stuttgart “Women’s College of Social Welfare” is not part of the National Socialist welfare organisation “Nationalsozialistische Volkspflege” (NSV), but remains the responsibility of the Women’s Association. The content of its teaching is getting closer and closer to that of the National Socialist women’s organisations. Finally, in 1938, the members decide to integrate the association into the NS Frauenwerk (women’s organisation affiliated to the National Socialist Party). From then on, the association is known as: “Deutsches Frauenwerk, Gau Württemberg-Hohenzollern Schwäb. Frauenverein e.V.”.
From 1938, Dr. Margarete Junk takes over the management of the school. In 1940, the book “Mädelberufe in vorderster Front (Occupations for girls on the front line)” is published by the Union Deutsche Verlagsgesellschaft Stuttgart. This book is designed for promotional purposes and is aimed at girls of school-leaving age and their parents. The girls are to be encouraged to train to become a “National Socialist Social Welfare Nurse (Volkspflegerin)”.
By using the term “Volkspflege” the author, Dr. Margarete Junk, performs a paradigm shift in the National Socialist era from welfare work, social work and care as had been developed during the democratically constituted Weimar Republic (1919-1933) to the National Socialist “Volkspflege”, and has this to say on the issue: “The care we provide shall serve only the healthy, the competent and the people of value in our nation (...)”. This paradigm shift affects the teaching as well as the examination content of the training. Dr. Margarete Junk manages the school until 1945.
In September 1945, she is dismissed because of her membership of the National Socialist Women’s League (NS Frauenschaft), the National Socialist Party (NSDAP) and the National Socialist Association of Legal Professionals (NS Rechtswahrerbund). The Women’s College continues under temporary management.
The history of the “Frauenschule für Volkspflege”, as the Women’s College of Social Work is called from 1934 to 1945, is reviewed. Information known to date points to a close involvement with National Socialist ideology. (The Faculty of Social Work, Health Care and Nursing Sciences at Esslingen University of Applied Sciences is committed to reconstructing this history.)