August 12, 1938 : Hitler institutes the Mother’s Cross

Introduction

On this day in 1938, Adolf Hitler institutes the Mother’s Cross, to encourage German women to have more children, to be awarded each year on August 12, Hitler’s mother’s birthday.

The German Reich needed a robust and growing population and encouraged couples to have large families. It started such encouragement early. Once members of the distaff wing of the Hitler Youth movement, the League of German Girls, turned 18, they became eligible for a branch called Faith and Beauty, which trained these girls in the art of becoming ideal mothers. One component of that ideal was fecundity. And so each year, in honor of his beloved mother, Klara, and in memory of her birthday, a gold medal was awarded to women with seven children, a silver to women with six, and a bronze to women with five.

Article Details:

August 12, 1938 : Hitler institutes the Mother’s Cross

  • Author

    History.com Staff

  • Website Name

    History.com

  • Year Published

    2009

  • Title

    August 12, 1938 : Hitler institutes the Mother’s Cross

  • URL

    http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history/hitler-institutes-the-mothers-cross

  • Access Date

    November 23, 2017

  • Publisher

    A+E Networks