Work in Weimar Germany


Work in the Weimar Germany is well characterized in three key primary articles. The Manifesto for International Women’s Day showcases how the labor aspect is characterized in the society. Elisa Herman’s text ‘This is the New Woman’ points out the changes which have happened in the society thereby forcing the modern woman into being different as compared to the traditional woman. The text also denounces the old notion of traditional gender roles which limited woman to household chores. The text ‘Textile Workers – My Workday, My Weekend addresses the concern on how the women struggle with household roles and also need to attend work in factories which are tiring. The three primary texts effectively characterize how work was showcased in Weimar Germany. It mostly shows how the women are characterized by the society and the struggles they undergo as compared to their male counterparts.

In Die Kommunistin ‘Manifesto for International Women’s Day’, the argument contained is ironical and sarcastic. It’s because the women’s day being addressed arguably appears on paper and not at the grass root level. The text showcases how the distant billionaires and millionaires don’t pity women against men when it comes to labor and thus suppresses their wages. Working is integral part in keeping a family and it gets harder for women as they are expected to work and also tend to the family. The capitalists during Weimar Germany were exploitative. [1]Houses are transformed by the manipulative capitalist economy from being a home to a treadmill which crushes one’s body and soul. One’s spirit is alienated from the society which is workaholic and exploitative in nature. The manifesto says [2]“you and yours are ground down by toil and drudgery, you and yours starve and suffer”. Women hereby suffered more in the hands of the capitalist economy which didn’t bother to differentiate them with men and acknowledge that they had more roles to attend to in the society. Their lives is turned into being a mockery of fate as they are ground by the toil. The capitalists in this situation profit more from worker’s labor and thus tend to reap from where they didn’t sow. The Weimar Germany arguably characterized women as being inferior as compared to men and didn’t bother to treat them differently even in the manual workplaces.

The Weimar Republic talked about political equality of female sex and the democracy of new Germany which will end injustice. However, the equality of women which was discussed and being advocated was political and only appeared on paper. The working women such as teachers and civil servants were condemned to celibacy if they didn’t choose to lose their positions in the workplace. Arguably, it was a form of blackmail as the women would fear being celibate and lose their respect in society. It also shows how the Weimar society treated women in relation to their gender roles and work. Women weren’t welcomed to the workplaces. [3]The international women’s day in this context is used to push women towards protesting against capitalism and enhancing communism. The text says “people many of whom have never lifted a finger in productive work, harvest where you and yours have plowed and sowed”. The demands put across by working women in Germany is the same as all other countries and hence the international call up was a form of resisting the treatment which women were undergoing. The Weimar Republic treated women unfairly as those who worked in civil service were prejudiced. It showcases that the society was then lingered to the traditional gender roles which reduced the women into the household setting. Capitalism further made it hard for women to work and survive under tough conditions in factories as it was during the industrial revolution.

Elsa Herrmann talks about the modern women who is new and distinct from the previous generation. The way women are showcased to perceive life and themselves in the present day is quite different from the way they viewed life in past times. The woman of yesterday was mostly geared towards the future as she did household work and lay a foundation for future prosperity. She helped her husband and managed to balance household work with professional work. The yesterday woman made a number of sacrifices to keep her family and relationship. The role and purpose of the woman was then seen when the children’s existence had been secured. The yesterday woman was intent of the future and thus worked towards securing a better future. She sacrificed more often and honored the good old days.[4] The yesterday woman in the feminist perspective can be showed to have been reduced to attaining the traditional gender roles. However, the yesterday woman strived and worked towards a better future.[5] Herrmann says “the woman of yesterday lived exclusively for and geared her actions toward the future”. The Weimar Germany still reduced the working woman into achieving the desired roles at home and at the workplace and thus made women into becoming racehorses trying to make a better for the family.

The modem woman is a stark contrast to the woman of yesterday as she is oriented towards the present. The yesterday woman is showcased to be lingered towards the future. [6]The modern woman refuses to be categorized and regarded as being physically weaker and thus lives according to her own means. She doesn’t live by means from elsewhere be it parents or a spouse. She can be characterized to be an independent woman. She supports herself by gainful employment. In the text, Herrmann says, the modern woman sets her goal to prove through work and deeds that the female sex is not second class people who are dependent but women who can satisfy her demands in life. The people of yesterday can easily characterize the modern woman as being unfeminine as she is no longer reduced to kitchen work and household setting. The war and post war period made women to rise and be stronger and thus they became responsible of their own fate. The modern woman has been shaped by the past cultural and economic developments and asks for equal rights for women in all spheres of life. She is advocating for achieving legitimacy in having rights to be respected and protected.

The nature of work during Weimar Germany is well described in the text ‘Textile Workers’ which showcases workday and weekend of a female factory worker. The woman will have to wake up at a quarter to 5 AM to set up everything for the day. She leaves for the factory at 5:30 and carries her lunch food. The factory work is done for nine and half hours while standing. There is a 30 minutes break in the morning for breakfast and a one hour break for lunch time. However, the breaks don’t necessarily work for the working woman as he extend her household work to the workplace. During the break, she mends and repairs socks and other items. She leaves the job tired at 5 in the evening and she starts preparing lunch for the next day after which she will wash and cook dinner. The work is repetitive as it goes on throughout the weekdays. [7]Based on the schedule, the woman in the Weimar republic doesn’t have time for rest as she works at home and at the factory. The text says “I would be happy if I could properly provide for my household and children”. The struggles the women underwent are seen through the many activities which they need to accomplish within the day as compared to male counterparts.

The life of a woman working in a factory is cyclical and she cannot even be calm at night. The woman strives so as to provide for the children as well as her household. The working woman hardly has a weekend as the day is full of chores which need to be completed and she has to attend work for few hours. The struggles showcased are arguably showcased to be those of the yesterday woman. [8]The yesterday woman is the one who would be concerned and struggle for securing a better future for her household. The modern woman would not struggle hard as compared to the yesterday woman. The modern one is arguably more calculated and knows how to navigate through life to achieve her dreams and goals without necessarily bothering anyone. The work pattern showcased is also a practical example of how the Weimar Germany operated. The revolution led to mechanization of human beings. More hands were needed in factories and thus women joined the work even though it was chaotic and tiring for a woman. The Weimar Germany didn’t address the main concerns of women nor did they act to their grievances concerning the nature of work in the society.


Work in Weimar Germany is showcased to have negatively impacted women as it didn’t consider their rights. The grievances aired were not addressed. The rise of the new woman can be seen in the modern woman who has simplified her life and thus became independent in the society. The manifesto for international women’s day advocates for women’s rights and equality which need to be addressed. The workday of textile workers shows how it’s hard for a working woman to get enough time to tend to her children and household chores. Life for the working woman is very unequal as the need to tend to the workplace and home setting too. However, the rise of the new woman can be seen though the modern woman who is conscious of her goals and yearns for protection, respect and equality in the society.