The leap to Europe
The idea quickly spread - especially among manufacturers and distributors of flowers, chocolates and greeting cards. In the early 1920s, the Salvation Army brought the idea across the pond to Europe. In Germany, too, the commercial potential was quickly recognized: For example, the flower industry distributed free bouquets and shortly thereafter entrusted the "Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Volksgesundung" with marketing. In 1926, the Association of German Florists read: "This working group will hopefully attract large numbers of people to it, to win the church and school, and to make the government celebrate Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May as an official holiday set. "
Mother's Day in the Third Reich
With the support of the government, Mother's Day was celebrated properly from 1933 - and its original idea was subordinated to the National Socialist ideal of a woman's image. On Mother's Day in 1939, especially the women of childbearing were paid homage and awarded the "Cross of Honor of the German Mother".
After the war...
In the post-war years, women's energy and strength were needed to clean up the rubble. In the 1950s, unemployment rose and women were forced to return to old values - children and the home. They were soothed by sumptuous flower gifts for their holiday and by "Women's Gold - the wise gift for Mother's Day" - a cardiovascular tonic with an alcohol content of 16.5 percent by volume. In the GDR, on the other hand, Mother's Day was abolished and instead the "International Women's Day", which had been in existence since 1911, was celebrated on 8 March.
Today Mother's Day is part of our festival calendar - for most people it is ideological and non-political. It is not only the mothers, who have many gifts, who benefit from the holiday, but especially the florists, perfume manufacturers, confectionery and jewelery industry. Already Anna Jarvis saw this development in the 20s and tried - with numerous lawsuits against the flower industry - to save Mother's Day from becoming a day of presents instead of a memorial day. For this conviction and her public protests she even went to jail - as we know today, commerce has survived her.