- The Oxford Handbook of European History, 1914–1945
- List of contributors
- Introduction: Europe’s Age of Catastrophe in Context
- Belle Époque: Europe before 1914
- Societies at War, 1914–1918
- Total War: Family, Community, and Identity during the First World War
- The Left and the Revolutions
- The Economics of Total War and Reconstruction, 1914–1922
- The New Diplomacy and the New Europe, 1916–1922
- Nation States, Minorities, and Refugees, 1914–1923
- Remaking Europe after the First World War
- The Great Depression in Europe
- ‘A Low Dishonest Decade’?: War and Peace in the 1930s
- Interwar Crises and Europe’s Unfinished Empires
- Rural Society in Crisis
- Interwar Democracy and the League of Nations
- The Political ‘Left’ in the Interwar Period, 1924–1939
- Fascism and the Right in Interwar Europe: Interaction, Entanglement, Hybridity
- Social Policy, Welfare, and Social Identities, 1900–1950
- Discipline, Terror, and the State
- The Nationalization of the Masses
- Political Violence and Mass Society: A European Civil War?
- European Sexualities in the Age of Total War
- ‘America’ and Europe, 1914–1945
- European Integration, Human Rights, and Romantic Internationalism
- Wartime Economies, 1939–1945: Large and Small European States at War
- Axis Imperialism in the Second World War
- Everyday Life in Wartime Europe
- The Holocaust in European History
- Europe’s Civil Wars, 1941–1949
- Nation-Building and Moving People
- Europe, the War, and the Colonial World
- Power Relations during the Transition from Nazi to Post-Nazi Rule
- The Memory of Europe’s Age of Catastrophe, 1914–2014
Abstract and Keywords
This chapter explores transformations in European sexual mores and practices in the era of the two world wars. It pays particular attention to the contradictory dynamics of the interwar era: on the one hand, a considerable loosening of sexual customs, especially for females; on the other, an unprecedented effort on the part of national and local governments to intervene in their citizens’ private lives. The phenomenon of increased state intervention in the intimate sphere—that of relationships, bedrooms, and bodies—would be true both for those nations that turned to fascism and those that remained democratic. But no changes would be as convulsive and consequential as those wrought by the slaughter unleashed in the Second World War, as sexuality also exploded out of the familial framework—a fact that explains a great deal about the renewed turns to conservatism and domesticity which would follow in that war’s wake.
Dagmar Herzog, The Graduate Center, CUNY.
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