History 06/02/20 Project “Lebensborn”: how the Nazis converted the Soviet children “Aryans”
In Nazi Germany were the organization “Lebensborn”, which after the war was called “the baby factory Himmler”. The main purpose of “Lebensborn” with the motto: “Give the Fuhrer a child” was the growth and nurturing of a “racially pure” boys who in the future will take part in the conquest and colonization of new lands to the German Empire. After Hitler’s attack on the Soviet Union for the Aryan re-education from Russia, Ukraine, Belarus have taken tens of thousands of children, who after winning at Home has not returned.
Factory for babies
In the early 30-ies of XX century due to social instability and economic crisis in Germany began a sharp decline in fertility associated with a huge number of abortions. To solve the problem in 1935 on the orders of SS chief Heinrich Himmler established the organization “Lebensborn”, which translates as “Source of life”. Some of the women participated in the program for ideological reasons. They voluntarily settled in comfortable shelters where pregnant by the members of the SS and have children under full custody of the Reich. Particularly active were attracted by Norway, which the Nazis considered “true origami”.
Women who gave birth to four or more children were awarded a mother’s cross and a silver candlestick engraved. If the fetus were observed deviations, it was made mandatory abortion. A few weeks after birth, the child was taken away for further transmission to a foster family. By 1938, in Himmler’s Germany, was born in 8000, and in Norway 12 thousand children. The program was adopted babies born outside of marriage, but the parents have to submit information on racial purity, the absence of genetic diseases and a criminal record.
Since 1940, the program began to connect the conquered territory. Shelters were opened in Denmark, France, Luxembourg and other European countries. According to research by Polish historian Tadeusz Malicki, 1941 Reich began the Germanization of the children of the Slavic peoples. Kids with blue eyes and blond hair had withdrawn from Poland, the Czech Republic, Yugoslavia, often these were the children of partisans, whose parents, the Nazis had previously killed.
interrogation at Nuremberg, the head of the organization, standartenfuhrer SS Max Zollman claimed that 50 thousand kids were taken away for re-education of the USSR. According to the research of Professor Heinz Virsta from the Dresden University only in August-September Russia exported more than 10 thousand children. Most “racially loyal” raising were recruited from Pskov, Novgorod, Bryansk, Smolensk, and especially the Crimea. Took the children of partisans, orphaned or just caught on the streets.
From the Slavs to the Germans
For Slavic children staying at shelters “Lebensborn”, re-education began with the ritual of getting a new German name. Surrounded by torches, swastikas and portraits of Hitler child took at the hands of an SS officer, who was sworn in and named the baby the old Germanic name Siegfried, Adelhof, Ethelwulf and others. Data of birth of children changed and they were recorded as orphans whose parents died in the battle for the Fuhrer and the great Germany.
for Example, thousands of children of Russian children from Polotsk, which was brought to the shelter near the Polish city of Lodz, is recorded as born in Breslau. Babies after the registration passed to the families of SS officers, and the older children taught the German language and were treated by Nazi propaganda. Czech historian františek Colin found that after a 3-4-month course of Germanization of the child was passed to German families. The terms of the content of the future “Aryans” were regularly checked by the supervisors and doctors of the structure “Lebensborn”. Most Russian children were in Berlin, Dresden and Poznan.
the fate of the children
in the Winter of 1945, the shelters began to move to the West and after the war, most of the Slavic children was in the American zone of occupation. The American scholar, Lynn Nicholas, in her book “Children of Europe in the Nazi web” wrote that in 1947, investigators of the U.S. army, communicating with children, concluded that: “Some kids who have forgotten their language, considered themselves Germans and were afraid to leave, getting used to the foster parents. Others were intimidated by the “Germanization,” “Lebensborn” hammered into their head that in this world it is better to be an Aryan. The youngest didn’t remember his past”.
In the search were 13 517 children from the USSR and Poland, but this figure is based on only 10% have fallen into the possession of the investigation files “Lebensborn”. Lynn Nicholas believed that such children in Europe hundreds of thousands. Professor Heinz Virst believes that he had no more than 3% of stolen children.
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