Male and female Domains

  

Tellerkappe fĂĽr Armeeschwestern vom Roten Kreuz, 1915-1918, Nesselstoff, Leder, Stoff, Hahnenfedern, Salzburg Museum, Inv.-Nr. WA 4036
Tellerkappe für Armeeschwestern vom Roten Kreuz, 1915-1918, Nesselstoff, Leder, Stoff, Hahnenfedern, Salzburg Museum, Inv.-Nr. WA 4036Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern
"Der Abschied des Reservisten" (Infanterie oder Landwehr) 1. Weltkrieg, Karl Feiertag (1874 – 1944), 1914, Papier, Druck nach Gouache, Salzburg Museum, Inv.-Nr. F 22162
"Der Abschied des Reservisten" (Infanterie oder Landwehr) 1. Weltkrieg, Karl Feiertag (1874 – 1944), 1914, Papier, Druck nach Gouache, Salzburg Museum, Inv.-Nr. F 22162Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Kriegsverwundeter Soldat, von Rot-Kreuz-Schwester versorgt, vor Festung Hohensalzburg, Rotes Kreuz-Logo, 1. Weltkrieg, Franz Kulstrunk (1861 – 1944), 1914 - 1915, Papier, Druck nach Grafik, Salzburg Museum, Inv.-Nr. F 22914
Kriegsverwundeter Soldat, von Rot-Kreuz-Schwester versorgt, vor Festung Hohensalzburg, Rotes Kreuz-Logo, 1. Weltkrieg, Franz Kulstrunk (1861 – 1944), 1914 - 1915, Papier, Druck nach Grafik, Salzburg Museum, Inv.-Nr. F 22914Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Propagandapostkarte: Vaters Abschied beim Auszug ins Feld, 1914, Privatbesitz, Salzburg
Propagandapostkarte: Vaters Abschied beim Auszug ins Feld, 1914, Privatbesitz, SalzburgKlicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Hella Lechner gemeinsam mit ihrer Freundin Käthe Pühringer während des Ersten Weltkriegs, Dr. Robert Hoffmann, Salzburg
Hella Lechner gemeinsam mit ihrer Freundin Käthe Pühringer während des Ersten Weltkriegs, Dr. Robert Hoffmann, SalzburgKlicken um Bild zu vergrößern
Korrespondenzkarte "Jungmänner mit Assentierungs-Strauß am Hut", UNBEKANNT, 1900-1910, Papier, SW-Foto, Salzburg Museum, Inv.-Nr. 5057-2006
Korrespondenzkarte "Jungmänner mit Assentierungs-Strauß am Hut", UNBEKANNT, 1900-1910, Papier, SW-Foto, Salzburg Museum, Inv.-Nr. 5057-2006Klicken um Bild zu vergrößern

Women Soldiers at the Home Front
Just as men did compulsory service as soldiers, women had to perform their part at the home front and thus contribute to victory. Women were moved into the focus of propaganda. They were expected to support their “war heroes” as wives and mothers, to place their capabilities and work power in the service of the war as female patriots, and to endure hunger and distress with patience.

  
Changes in Gender Roles
During the course of the war there were changes in the roles hitherto assigned to the genders. Women had to ensure that their families survived, be fully responsible for running business operations, and take over the work of men fighting at the front line. In addition, they had to bear the grief of losing relatives who had fallen. The more intolerable the circumstances of life became, the more the female population rebelled. At the same time cracks appeared in the image of the “proud hero” – those who came back to their wives were more often than not broken men.

  
“Saints” …
The hospital nurse – the “angel in white” – was held up to be the quintessence of the patriotic woman. Nursing was at first a change from everyday routine, especially for middle-class and aristocratic women. However, this “sick-bay romanticism” had little to do with the working conditions of army nurses at the front; many women on duty there suffered from traumatisation.

  
… and “Sinners”
Prostitution and women’s work that was more or less voluntary make up the neglected, if not suppressed, chapters in the story. Some Salzburg women put aside their shame and prostituted themselves to enable their families to survive in times of need – and risked heavy penalties in doing so. On the other hand, it was taken for granted that soldiers on the front had sexual relations with women – for these, however, the borders between free will and force were blurred.

  
Women in the Army
In 1917, the estimated voluntary female auxiliary corps of the imperial-royal army numbered 33,000 to 50,000 women, working as kitchen assistants, waitresses, tailoresses, cobblers, agricultural workers, technical assistants, switchboard operators, nurses and also military auxiliary forces on duty at the front.

  
Victoria Savs
Some women had the ambition to take part in armed conflict, like Victoria Savs (b. 1899 in Bad Reichenhall, d. 1979 in Salzburg). Brought up with military discipline and taught to handle weapons by her father, in 1915 she was authorised with the consent of Archduke Eugen to enlist as an auxiliary in the imperial-royal landsturm infantry battalion no. II in which her father served. In 1917 after a severe injury she had to have her leg amputated. Savs had great difficulty adapting to civil life after 1918 and, like innumerable men, eventually turned to the NSDAP (National Socialist German Workers’ Party), hoping for recognition of her services to the army.

  
Manliness
Soldierly manliness defined the ideal image of a man in the pre-1914 Habsburg Monarchy and particularly after the outbreak of the war. The image of the action hero cropped up most notably in war propaganda, with adolescents as its particular target. Extravagant propaganda and pride were invested in presenting youthful soldiers, most of whom enlisted along with their fathers. Yet we learn little about their fate afterwards.

  
Homosexuality
The more manly the soldiers in the imperial-royal army were expected to be, the more strongly homosexuality was suppressed and opposed. The border between camaraderie and homosexual relations was sometimes blurred. On the one hand, homosexual soldiers are known to have been subject to assaults; on the other hand, it was welcomed on the front when men cross-dressed as women and took part in stage shows.

  
Young People in the First World War
… thus we are robbed of the most wonderful years of our lives and made unhappy … I have no idea what for …?, Josef Altendorfer wrote in a letter from the front dated 28 August 1917. Children and young people were put in the service of war. As part of the civilian population, they were not only affected by death, hunger and deprivation, but also mobilised and exploited for the war economy. “Lint-plucking” and “Liebesgaben” – charitable donations and gifts – dominated the years at school; foraging trips and hours of queuing for food were part of their everyday routine.

Between Distraction and Deadly Earnest
While social life in Salzburg continued for a while, offering distraction with dances and other events, young army recruits were sooner or later confronted with the bitter facts of life in the trenches. Many were wounded or died of their injuries in military hospitals. They sent their news to those at home in letters from the front. By the end of the war, an entire generation of young men and women were disillusioned and traumatised.

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