Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Paul Bookbinder

Second Advisor

Spencer Di Scala

Third Advisor

Conevery Bolton Valencius


The case study of Melita Maschmann shows that despite the deep manipulation and gender discrimination she was subject to in her youth by National Socialism Maschmann made her own free choices as an adult and chose to zealously absorb its political ideology. The general assumption is that National Socialism, and fascism, were male dominated political ideologies in which women played a passive role, such as that professed by Gertrude Scholtz-Klink. However, many women found National Socialism appealing and became active supporters of its ideals. The purpose of this paper is to explore that appeal and analyze why certain women such as Maschmann became such strong supporters of this political ideology.