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Domestic Help in Jewish Households after the Nuremberg Laws

The Problem of Domestic Help
Appeal of the Womens League

To the Jewish Housewife and Mother

The Jewish Womens' League distributed its appeal by placing leaflets on womens' seats in the synagogues of Berlin and other communities in the Reich. They are also available in all the information offices for women.

Jewish women are burdened with new anxieties and a variety of problems.

The management of the household and the education of the children seem to be endangered. It is our task to ward off these dangers.

We should calmly and serenely identify all these dangers, and regard them as new tasks requiring the highest performance by each individual woman and a general mobilization of Jewish women as a body.

The Jewish Womens' League will use all its resources to find new ways to enable women to accomplish their new assignments. The Jewish woman can obtain guidance and training possibilities in the local branches and housewives' committees. Special emphasis is placed on finding ways of mutual aid.

The seriousness of present times outlines the bearing of the Jewish woman: the responsibility for the younger generation bestows her with confidence.

The Jewish woman will engage her force and pride for the preservation of her home and children and for the honor of the Jewish community.

Vocational Training for Men As Well.

…There is a letter describing the fate of a forty-year-old Jewish man. The shop he had owned went bankrupt. His attempts to work as a commercial salesman failed. He took the courageous step of changing professions and doing hard work he was not used to in the harbor and in a mill. Then unemployment, social aid….Then the sun was shining again for three months. He could work for the city, performing hard physical labor… Every Friday was a day of joy—we would receive our pay of 22 Marks. Then again the gray monotony of unemployment, social aid and the search for a job of any kind, physical or other. While reading this letter, one cannot help but ask if one should take all the men who can find no work in their profession, who want so much to work and are willing to retrain, and retrain them for employment in households.

The bachelors whose households are now managed by housekeepers who will probably leave them in a few months, would feel just as comfortable with a trained male housekeeper. The Housewife who now loses two domestic employees will be happy to take a Jewish couple if both the husband and the wife are willing and able to do housework. All over the world one can find men employed as cooks, waiters, and tailors, and they perform excellently. There is no reason why one could not turn clever and able people, within several months of systematic training, into skilled household employees.

All Jewish organizations are united in the effort to persuade our young girls to work in households. Whoever sees the situation clearly and knows that the demand for domestic help will not be covered in the future, should plan for household training courses for Jewish men. This would also save many families from unemployment. It would then be the task of the Jewish Labor Agency to allocate the work in such a way that available girls would be directed to positions in households where employment of female workers would be advisable, and send the men to those homes where there are several employees or where the engagement of a trained Jewish male would be sufficient and appropriate.

Source: CV Zeitung , 3 October 1935.

Yad Vashem