Family Court Injustice has been documenting events and real life stories of children stolen from their families by unjust courts or through government and judicial abuses of power. This article about the Lebensborn Program (1935-1945), Nazi Occupied Europe gives a glimpse into the Nazi eugenics program to create a “master race” that also included kidnapping and murder in it’s policies. Equally horrendous is the persecution of women participating in Lebensborn, and their innocent children, after the War ended.
A dark chapter from history is the Lebensborn Program or Registered Society Lebensborn (1935-1945), Nazi Occupied Europe. Under the Lebensborn program, women (mostly unmarried) who were approved by the Nazi party to be racially pure were encouraged to get pregnant with SS officers, and high ranking Nazi officials in order to breed a “master race”. While some of the women chose to keep their children, a majority gave their children over to state care.
Equally horrific is the treatment of Lebensborn children in Norway, after WWII ended. The Norwegian government sponsored discrimination against Lebensborn children as well as torture, rape, abuse and forcible imprisonment because the child had a Nazi father and thus were considered “inferior” or a posed a danger as future traitors. Mothers were often imprisoned or sent to slave labor camps for their participation in the Lebensborn program. Many were forced to give up their children. Children as young as 4 years old were held in mental institutions by the Norwegian government because it was thought something must be mentally wrong for a mother to have a child with a Nazi, so the children must also be mentally deficient. In essence, innocent children were being punished for Nazi atrocities.
Another aspect of the Lebensborn Program is the Nazi kidnapping of Polish children. The children selected had fair complexion, blonde hair and blue or green eyes and notable Aryan features. Polish children were forcibly taken from their families and shipped by cattle car into Germany. The children were given new names, forbidden to speak their language and taught propaganda so they would reject their families, and reject their Polish heritage. The children were kept in state homes, foster home or adopted. Children who resisted were beaten, or sent to concentration camps, and killed. Children who were deemed “inferior” were also killed. After WWII ended some of these Polish children returned to their families but a majority did not — they either were so brainwashed that the children no longer identified as Polish, or had disappeared.
Polish children seized by the Nazis. Photo not dated. Source: Historical Boys Clothing. http://histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/leb/leb-occpol.html
Read below for more details…
What is Lebensborn? Lebenborn means “wellspring of life” or “fountain of life”. Lebensborn was a secret Nazi genetic engineering project whose intention was to re-populate the planet with a superior race of Aryans. As an extension of the SS Marriage Order of 1932, the 1936 Lebensborn ordinance mandated that every SS member should father four children, in or out of wedlock. The stated mission of Lebensborn was to create “racially, biologically, and hereditary valuable families”. The program was largely kept secret due to the stigma against illegitimate births, though the Nazi leaders planned to disclose these births to the public at an appointed time (it did not happen) when the “master race” would be revealed to society.
In 1935, Nazis began to actively target the Jews, banning intermarriage and enforcing the Nuremburg Laws…then began the ghettos, death camps, and mass murders of the Holocaust. The plan was to eliminate the “inferior” race with the “Final Solution” and promote the “superior Aryan race”.
Heinrich Himmler founded Lebensborn on December 12, 1935 (Himmler also oversaw the “Final Solution” or genocide of the Jews). Lebensborn was in part of the Schutzstaffel (SS) responsible for certain family welfare programs, and also a society for Nazi leaders. At the time, Germany’s birth rate was decreasing; in part due to a high rate of abortions. To grow the population and promote the “Aryan” bloodline, Himmler created the Lebensborn program to encourage SS and Wermacht officers to have children with “Aryan” women. Himmler also thought Lebensborn children would create future Nazi armies. Young women were enticed, and told it was their duty, to get pregnant with SS and Wermacht officers. Both mother and father were tested for racial purity; desired traits being blond hair with green or blue eyes, and a family line that could be traced back at least 3 generations. Candidates had to swear allegiance to the Nazi state.
The need for children was so great that marriage was not a requirement, it was also allowed for a married officer to have an affair for the purpose of procreation in the Lebensborn program. A majority of mothers who entered the program were unmarried, about 60%. At the time it was a social stigma to have a child out of wedlock. Women who had children out of wedlock often faced losing jobs, housing and being publicly ostracized. Lebensborn offered a safe, secret way to bear children without public shame, and then offered alternatives to provide for the baby after birth. Wives of high ranking party members chose Lebensborn for maternity care.
The first Lebensborn home opened in 1936, in the tiny village of Steinhoering (near Munich), an estimated 2,800 children were born here. The home was furnished with goods stolen from Jewish families, who were then sent to the death camp Dachau. Many of the Lebensborn facilities were residences, nursing homes or other buildings stolen from Jewish families and business owners. Lebensborn quickly grew with 14 homes in Germany and Austria, 9 in Norway, and one home in each Belgium, Denmark, France, Luxemburg and Holland. Lebensborn homes offered an opportunity for SS officers to meet women for the purpose of procreation. The homes also offered a safe, comfortable place for the pregnant women to convalesce before birth. The women were given the best medical care and told it was their duty to produce children for the Nazi state.
After birth, the baby was thoroughly inspected and given a medical exam. Any child that was disabled or deemed unfit was killed or sent to concentration camps. If the baby was approved, the baby was baptized in an occult SS ceremony that involved a SS dagger raised over the baby while oaths were said, pledging lifelong loyalty to Nazi ideology.
The government took care of the child’s education and upbringing (either fostered, adopted or raised at the Lebensborn center). Other women chose to raise their children as single mothers, most mothers who did so told children that the father had died in the war and refused to talk about Lebensborn program. When adults, some of these children stumbled upon the secrets surrounding their birth.
When Lebensborn did not increase the birth rate the way Hitler hoped, in 1942 the program was expanded to include “racially pure” women of other Nazi occupied nations, who may not be of pure German blood. Women approved as racially pure were offered sexual relations with SS and Wermacht officers, and allowed to stay at Lebensborn homes during the pregnancy, and offered complete secrecy to bear children who would later be signed over to state care. The ten years of the Lebensborn program produced at least 7,500 children born in Germany and another 10,000 born in Norway.
— Emily Court, 2/14/2015
For More Info:
(Video) A Child for Hitler: Nazi Lebensborn Program. The 1992 documentary follows the journey of Renate Jackeln, born in a Lebensborn home and reunited with her mother after the War. Renate searches for answers about her birth, and her SS father—struggling to come to terms with the horrors of the past, and her conflicted feelings over her parentage. A powerful story of resolution, forgiveness and forging your distinct identity (not holding onto the past, or claiming the actions of others): http://youtu.be/eDiOYLbiyp8
Eight People, Products of the Lebensborn Program to Propagate Aryan Traits, Met to Exchange their Stories. By Mark Lander, 11/7/2006 (The New York Times): http://isurvived.org/InTheNews/Children_of_Lebensborn.html
“Germany’s Forgotten Children” by Pascal Pfitzenmaier (DW): http://www.dw.de/germanys-forgotten-children/a-1504125
Lebensborn (Wikipedia): http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensborn
(Video) Mama Mia: ABBA Star’s Nazi Father. ABBA singer Frida thought her father was dead, in her 30’s Frida learns her father was an SS officer, and she was born as part of the Lebensborn program: http://youtu.be/KhAIgwTC6kM
The Nazi Party: The ‘Lebenborn’ Program. The Jewish Virtual Library: http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/Holocaust/Lebensborn.html
“The nurses behind the Nazi ‘Super Race’ children: Inside the Aryan breeding wards where boys and girls were given UV treatment if their hair turned brown” by Daily Mail Reporter, 1/17/2013: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2261601/Nazi-nurses-helped-breed-Super-Race-Children.html
Various News Articles and Information on Norweigan Children born into the Lebensborn Program (Red Ice Creations): http://www.redicecreations.com/article.php?id=16206
“Stolen by the Nazis: The tragic tale of 12,000 blue-eyed blond children taken by SS to create a superior Aryan race” by Andrew Malone (Daily Mail), 1/9/2009: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1111170/Stolen-Nazis-The-tragic-tale-12-000-blue-eyed-blond-children-taken-SS-create-Aryan-super-race.html
“Super Race Babies” by Ron Laytner (Edit International): http://www.editinternational.com/read.php?id=47a882fcb2a23
(video) Tribute to Polish Children, Victims of the Lebensborn Project, WWII: http://youtu.be/wpiNjHD3BUg?list=PLMku0EtkAczkvevfMdCCN7E47_6Go17tU