Elizabeth D. Heineman
Der Mythos Beate Uhse. Respektabilität, Geschichte und autobiographisches Marketing in der frühen Bundesrepublik
The »Beate Uhse Myth«, originally a marketing device for the firm, eventually became a way of understanding German history. But Uhse’s tellings of her life story changed with time. In the 1950s, Uhse presented a woman whose marriage and four children sensitized her to women’s marital problems during the »rubble years«. A decade later, Uhse appeared as a woman whose courage in the wartime Luftwaffe foreshadowed her courage in battling sexual prudery in reconstruction West Germany. This essay explores three locations where the »Beate Uhse Myth« was hammered out: marketing, the courtroom, and the media. Establishing »respectability« was always critical, but the terms of »respectability« varied according to the forum and over time. The result was a compelling narrative about West Germans’ path from Nazism through hardship and recovery to a new sexual world.