The Modernized Gretchen
Transformations of the New Woman in the late Weimar Republic

in: German History, Volume 33 (2015), issue 1, pp. 52-79

Abstract: The ‘New Woman’ was an important part of the culture and society of Weimar Germany, both as a discursive figure and as social reality. However, the interdependencies between these two aspects – the ‘New Woman’ as a media phenomenon and as a lived reality – have not yet been investigated in depth. Using the example of the tabloid newspaper Tempo (1928-1933) and its interaction with its readership, this article sheds light on the ways in which Germans reconciled the ‘New Woman’ ideal with their own experiences at the end of the Weimar Republic. Most importantly, it shows the struggle of many readers to accommodate new ideas about ‘modern’ relationships between men and women with persisting traditional morals and the rapidly deteriorating economic climate.

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