Little Bits of History

Racial Purity

Posted in History by patriciahysell on December 12, 2015
A birth house*

A Lebensborn birth house*

December 12, 1935: The Lebensborn e. V. (e.V. stands for eingetragener Verein or registered association), is formed. Lebensborn means “fount of life” in German. Birth rates had been falling in Germany and the Nazi Party needed to increase the numbers for the “racially pure and healthy” portion of their society, that is SS members. Aryan children were sought after. This subrace is part of the larger Caucasian race and includes, ideally, people who descended from the original speakers of the Indo-European languages found in Europe and Western Asia. It was initially a neutral ethno-linguistic distinction which took on overtones in the late 19th century and then was used as a basis for “scientific racism”. It reached its zenith of intense racism and supremacism in Nazi Germany and neo-Nazis today.

Lebensborn began in Munich and was to serve SS leaders with family issues. It was a welfare program for SS wives and their children. They also accepted women who were “racially pure” who were pregnant or had delivered acceptable children. Both parents had to be “racially valuable” in order for the mother/child to be accepted into the program. About 60% of the mothers in the program were unmarried. These women could give birth to their children away from home and the social stigma attached to unwed mothers was avoided. Their children would then be adopted out, but again, only to racially acceptable families. If the people involved were not members of the SS, they had to be examined by an SS physician to see if they passed muster.

Initially, the program operated solely in Germany but as time went on, it moved outside the country. The homes set up were scattered around Europe with Germany having the most sites at ten. Norway had nine outlets while Poland had six, unless differently counted up to 8. Denmark had two, and France, Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg each had one. About 8,000 children were born in German houses while Norway had between 8,000 and 12,000. Far fewer children were born in the Lebensborn in other countries. But even this wasn’t enough to increase the Aryan race sufficiently. The Nazis began to kidnap children. But they weren’t selective prior to the capture and so the children taken were then categorized as acceptable for Germany, acceptable, and unwanted. The unwanted children were sent to concentration camps or killed.

If the children were acceptable and between the ages of 2 and 6, they were placed with families in the program in order to be raised as good Aryans in foster families. If between the ages of 6 and 12, they were sent to boarding schools and inculcated with Nazi propaganda after having their names Germanized. The children were forced to “forget” their parents and all records of their prior lives were eradicated. Those who refused to submit were beaten and if they still did not comply, they were sent to concentration camps. As the war was ending, all files for kidnapped children were destroyed. Poland claims that at least 10,000 children were kidnapped from Polish lands and only 15% of them were ever returned to their biological parents. Estimates range up to 200,000 but others say it is more likely about 20,000 were kidnapped from Poland.

The organisation “Lebensborn e.V.” serves the SS leaders in the selection and adoption of qualified children. The organisation “Lebensborn e.V.” is under my personal direction, is part of the Race and Settlement Central Bureau of the SS, and has the following obligations:

Support racially, biologically and hereditarily valuable families with many children.

Place and care for racially, biologically and hereditarily valuable pregnant women, who, after thorough examination of their and the progenitor’s families by the Race and Settlement Central Bureau of the SS, can be expected to produce equally valuable children.

Care for the children.

Care for the children’s mothers. – all from Heinrich Himmler

Also on this day: Katzenjammer Kids – In 1897, the Katzenjammer Kids first saw print.
Dragon Master – In 1408, the Order of the Dragon was established.
Boom! – In 1862, the USS Cairo sunk.
Ice, Ice, Baby – In 1985, Arrow Air flight 1285 crashed shortly after takeoff.
He Ain’t Heavy – In 1917, Boy’s Town was founded.

* “Bundesarchiv Bild 146-1973-010-11, Schwester in einem Lebensbornheim” by Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1973-010-11 / CC-BY-SA 3.0. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 de via Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1973-010-11,_Schwester_in_einem_Lebensbornheim.jpg#/media/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_146-1973-010-11,_Schwester_in_einem_Lebensbornheim.jpg

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