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Open Access Anti-Nazism and the Fear of Pronatalism in the American Popular Front

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Women in the American Communist Party believed the rise of fascism in Europe was a direct threat to women's rights. Hitler's rise to power and what Communists read as a push to 'nationalize' German women's maternity compelled Communist women to argue that fascism was a threat to women's rights and perpetuated false ideals of 'natural' gender roles. Communist women dutifully followed the party's anti-fascist line; however, they expanded it by arguing that gender inequality was on the rise in fascist nations and women's rights had to move to the forefront of Popular Front struggles. Communists emphasized the rights of mothers and workers in an effort to better secure the rights of women. This article argues that party women rejected Nazi pronatalism, advanced women's rights within the party's 'United Front' and pushed their agenda within the American Communist Party.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2016

More about this publication?
  • The Radical Americas Journal explores the historical, political and social contexts that have underpinned radicalism in the Americas, engaging fully with the cross-currents of activism which connect North, Central and South America along with the Caribbean. The interconnected histories of power and protest are rarely contained within national boundaries, and a full understanding of radicalism in the Americas, therefore, requires hemispheric scholarly approaches.

    The journal’s definition of radicalism is broad: taking inspiration from the words of José Martí, radicalism is here presented as any action or interpretation which ‘goes to the roots’. All scholarship which takes a radical approach is welcomed, even if it is not concerned with the study of radical activism per se, and any work which provides a truly systemic critique of existing structures of power, or challenges conventional interpretations of the past, will find a home at the Radical Americas Journal.

    This is an Open Access journal, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution license (CC BY). This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. For more information see: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

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