Family Court Injustice has been documenting historical events and real life stories of children stolen from their families by unjust courts or through government and judicial policies and/or 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.
“Lebensborn” meaning “fount of life” was a secret program implemented by the Nazis (1935-1945) with the goal of engineering a “master race”. Another part of Lebensborn included ridding the population of those considered “unwanted” or “subhuman” to further the Aryan race. The official purpose of Lebensborn was the “preservation and promotion of racially valuable Germanic hereditary property”.
Part I of the Lebensborn series includes information on women selected as “racially pure” who were chosen to bear children with SS officers and other Nazi officials. Most of the women (85%) participating in the Lebensborn program were single, the women were able to conceive in secrecy, and give up their babies for adoption without ridicule or public shame (which was the common response of that era). The children were pledged to the Nazi state, and the SS took charge of their education and adoption (small numbers of women did chose to raise their children). Lebenborn homes were also set up to become maternity homes and birthing centers for wives of Nazi officers. Read Part I here: https://familycourtinjustice.wordpress.com/2015/02/15/lebensborn-pt-i-nazi-program-breed-master-race/
Part II of the Lebensborn series is about the secret Nazi plan to kidnap children in order to “Germanize” them, creating future generations of soldiers and loyal servants to the Third Reich. In Poland alone, from 1940-1945, an estimated 200,000 Polish children living on the German occupied territory in Poland were forcibly taken from their families. An estimated 400,000 children were kidnapped from other parts of Europe including Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Czechoslovakia, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Slovenia and Yugoslavia.
Kidnapped children were “Germanized”, meaning they were given a German name, forced to speak German, indoctrinated with Nazi ideology and forced to cut all ties with their family and former life. The children were given a new birth certificate, a fake genealogy, and adopted or fostered into German homes. Other children lived in institutions, state boarding schools or military camps. Younger children (ages birth to age 6) were cared for at Lebensborn homes until they could be adopted.
Children found to be “unwanted” or children who resisted “Germanization” were sent to slave labor camps or concentration camps, targeted for medical experimentation, or murdered. These medical experiments became the basis for the later MK Ultra and Operation Artichoke programs implemented by the US government, who had imported Nazi scientists after the war.
CHILDREN KIDNAPPED BY THE NAZIS:
The Nazi kidnapping of children was kept highly secret, and operated through 6 Nazi programs, all under the leadership of the SS.
When the Nazi could not breed enough “super race” children, the Nazis sought “racially valuable” children of non-German populations, meaning those with “Aryan” traits such as blond hair and blue or green eyes. Kidnapped children were taken by force, and by gunpoint. Force includes hunting children down in schools, parks and markets. Police came to homes with guns drawn to seize children. Some parents were told their children were being sent to work, and would return. Other children were just taken with no information given to parents. Some families hid children or smuggled them to safe places, to avoid the Nazis.
Once seized by the Nazis, children were sent to “children education camps” or Kindererziehungslager, which were used to test “racial values”. Children were given thorough medical exams, with their skulls measured, birthmarks meticulously analyzed, the color of hair or eyes considered, to determine eligibility.
The process to “Germanize” the children was brutal. Children were told their parents were dead or did not want them to get the children to reject their families. Children were told to forget their home, their country of origin and brainwashed into Nazi ideology. Children were given new German names; the names were often closely related to their real name, or German variations of their real name. The thought was a similar name would help the children feel more connected, and be able to better integrate.
“Germanized” children were given a new name, new birth certificate, falsified genealogy and shipped into Germany to live in institutions or be adopted into German families. Younger children (ages 2-6) were sent to Lebensborn homes. German families were not told about the true origin of the children they adopted, and often accepted these children with love, and considered them their own. Other German families considered it their duty to raise children who were loyal to the Nazi state, and enforced Nazi ideology. Other children were held in boarding schools or institutions, and military camps, treatment of the children in these settings varied, many children reported abuse from caretakers.
The Nazis also took children from parents who were considered dissidents, resistance or enemies of the state. The parents were often murdered or sent to prisons or concentration camps. If the children were viewed as desirable, they were selected for “Germanization”. If not, the children were sent to concentration camps, slave labor camps or killed. For example, on July 25, 1942, Himmler ordered children from Slovenia to be seized and sent to Germany. Their fathers had been shot for resistance activities, and their mothers had been sent to concentration camps.
Children who resisted “Germanization” were beaten, drugged, deprived of food and if they did not comply, killed or sent to concentration camps. An untold number of children disappeared. Project InPosterum has preserved stories of the children kidnapped by the Nazis, including stories of children who resisted “Germanization” and a few that managed to run away: http://www.projectinposterum.org/docs/lucas3.htm
The Nazis began destroying records of Lebensborn and the kidnapping programs in 1945. Much of the information known was gathered by the UN Tracing agents who interviewed families and older children. About 25,000 Polish children out of the 200,000 reported missing were returned home and, entirely through the efforts of individual UN Tracing teams. Researchers have found it nearly impossible to determine just how many children were taken, and how many survived.
— Emily Court/M21
Nazi Lebensborn Program: Occupied Countries: http://histclo.com/essay/war/ww2/leb/leb-occ.html
“Revealed: Nazi scheme to kidnap ‘Aryan’ children from occupied countries”. By Alan Hall, The Daily Mail, October 11, 2007: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-486964/Revealed-Nazi-scheme-kidnap-Aryan-children-occupied-countries.html
Wikipedia: Kidnapping of Children by Nazi Germany: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnapping_of_children_by_Nazi_Germany