When Hitler’s perfect woman came to call

A visit by the leader of the women’s wing of the Nazi party to London in 1939 was greeted with suspicion, speculation – and comments on the size of her feet. Julie Gottlieb and Matthew Stibbe report...

Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, speaking at a Nazi rally in 1936. (Photo by ullstein bild / ullstein bild via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the March 2014 issue of BBC History Magazine

On 7 March 1939, a plane touched down on the tarmac at Croydon airport to be greeted by a scrum of photographers and reporters, angling for a scoop. The propellers came to a halt, the plane’s doors opened, and out stepped Reichsfrauenführerin Gertrud Scholtz-Klink, leader of the National Socialist Women’s League (NS-Frauenschaft) and a figure dubbed by Adolf Hitler as the “perfect Nazi woman”.

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