to death by virtue of being (potential) mothers, and the visions of motherhood developed by the strong German Jewish feminist movement before 1933, at a time when it constituted a pillar of the moderate German women's movement. Jewish feminists had often pointed to the parallels between women's emancipation and Jewish emancipation, and had claimed the right to be different both as women and as Jews. One of their crucial concerns, similar to that of other contemporary women's movements, was the value of motherhood; this was perceived as one form of female 'difference' which had not been sufficiently protected and empowered and which had not yet had a chance to develop its own cultural forms. Like all the other Western women's movements of that period, the German Jewish one had searched for a desirable relation between the recognition of women's equality and that of women's difference. 46

National Socialism put an end to such efforts, a fact which suggests that modern racism and modern sexism have a parallel structure (even though Nazi sexism was largely traditional, whereas Nazi racism was both novel and deadly). Both deduce, from selected 'differences' among human beings, their 'inequality' in the sense of a hierarchy of values; and both measure 'inferiority' against the cultural norms of an allegedly 'superior' group. They deny the actually or allegedly different group not only the right to be 'equal', but also the right to be different without being punished for it: to live 'differently' in physical, emotional, mental--in short, in cultural-- respects. As long as equality is understood as 'sameness' and difference as 'inferiority'--in terms of gender as well as of race-- there is no space for human plurality, for the right and liberty to be different.


Notes
1.
H. Arendt, The Jew as Pariah: Jewish Identity and Politics in the Modern Age, ed. R. H. Feldman ( New York: Grover Press, 1978), 160. She emphasized the importance of the fact that for National Socialism, anti-Semitism and racism were not only social but eminently political issues; see H. Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism ( New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, 1966).
2.
For references to this view see K. Offen, "'Defining Feminism: A Comparative Historical Approach'", Signs, 14 ( 1988), 154.
3.
D. Schoenbaum, Hitler's Social Revolution: Class and Status in Nazi Germany, 1933-1939 ( Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1967), 191-2.
4.
L. J. Ruppl, Mobilizing Women for War: German and American Propaganda, 1939-1945 ( Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1978), esp. chs. 2, 3.
5.
C. Huerkamp, "'Jüdische Akademikerinnen in Deutschland 1900-1938'", forthcoming in Geschichte und Gesellschaft ( 1993). For women's employment see

-287-

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