Lebensborn - what was actually its aim

Discussions on the role played by and situation of women in the Third Reich not covered in the other sections. Hosted by Vikki.
Warlord
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Lebensborn - what was actually its aim

Post by Warlord » 28 Sep 2002 14:19

I have read many articles dedicated on Lebensborn. Some say it was just an orphanage for the kids of ss-men and and killed members of the resistance, others that it was a copulation centre.I have even read that there born Hitler's children by taking some sperm from his testicles,which is quite stupid actually.
See: "Hauptamt Personlicher Stab",Paul Baumert

Ljunggren
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Lebensborn

Post by Ljunggren » 28 Sep 2002 14:35

“Himmler’s baby factories,” “SS bordellos,” and “breeding farms for the master race”—these were just a few of the provocative terms invented by pornographers and anti-German propagandists which have been used to describe Lebensborn e.V. (e.V. stands for “registered association,” or in German, eingetragener Verein).

Actually this SS affiliate was nothing so titillating or sinister. It was in fact nothing more than a system of lying-in hospitals for pregnant women. But multitudes at the time leapt at the chance to believe the worst whenever Germans were concerned—and, sadly, that is still the case today.

Predictably enough, the U.S. Military Tribunal rose to the occasion after the war and opened, on October 10, 1947, formal proceedings against the surviving leaders of this organization. The prosecution brought three principal counts against them.

Count 1 charged a crime against humanity based on the abduction of foreign children for the purpose of Germanization or extermination.

Count 2 charged plunder of public and private property in Germany and the occupied territories.

Count 3 charged membership in a criminal organization.

The trial lasted five months. According to the verdict delivered on March 10, 1948, the three chief SS officers in command of Lebensborn e.V. —Max Sollman, Gregor Ebner and Günther Tesch — were acquitted on the first two counts and convicted only on the third one, as of course the SS itself had been declared a “criminal organization” in the prior Nuremberg kangaroo court.

The head nurse, Inge Viermetz, was acquitted on all counts.

This should have put an end to all the propaganda nonsense, but needless to say, it did no such thing. Lebensborn (the word means, literally, “wellspring of life”) lives to this day in the popular imagination as an SS sex park.

Revisionist historian Erich Kern later summarized the facts about Lebensborn in these terms:

“Lebensborn e.V. was among the most exemplary charitable organizations of its time. Founded in 1936, it grew to include a total of 18 lying-in hospitals. These also served as temporary homes for orphans. More than 11,000 children first saw the light of day in them. Unwed mothers, it is true, were also accepted by these hospitals, but in such cases every effort was made to arrange subsequent marriages with the biological fathers, and the organization offered further care to the extent needed.

“This often included help in securing living quarters. In special cases adoptions were arranged. The facilities, admittedly, were not available to all German women. There were in fact racial requirements, and proof of Aryan ancestry including all four grandparents had to be provided. Women with obvious genetic defects were also excluded.

“But the facilities, though financed entirely from monthly contributions by SS members, were not restricted to SS use alone. During the war years, up to 90 percent of the women giving birth there were wives of soldiers and officers of the army, navy and air force.”

As to the charge that Lebensborn participated in a program for the Germanization of children abducted from the conquered territories, the U.S. Military Tribunal found no substantiating evidence whatsoever. On the contrary, it found Lebensborn policy was to make every effort to bring orphaned children together with their surviving next of kin.

Children transferred to Lebensborn orphanage facilities by other organizations always received the best possible care. No instances of cruelty or sexual abuse of any sort were ever adduced.

These factual and judicial findings, however, proved no barrier to the myth makers. Early in the 1950s, the German illustrated magazine Revue ran a sensationalistic series purporting to show Lebensborn as a “breeding farm for the master race.”

The nonsense reached its apogee in a late 1950s German film, by Arthur Brauner, entitled simply Lebensborn e.V. In Brauner’s cinematic fantasy these lying-in hospitals underwent a transmogrification into sex parks. This film was an instant hit and was circulated throughout the globe.

All attempts to block this defamation of German men and women failed in the court system. As a result, to this day, the term “Lebensborn” often arouses even in literate people a vision of beautiful, scantily clad young women offering themselves to SS officers. It is a complete fiction. Yet, when was truth ever a bar to popular misconceptions about the Third Reich?

source:http://www.barnesreview.org/lebensborn.htm

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Post by Davey Boy » 28 Sep 2002 18:58

There are many people in Poland still alive who returned from Germany after being kidnapped by the Nazis. In many cases, their parents were members of the Polish intelligentsia who were shot by the SS or shipped off to concentration camps. There are two women in my home town who went through such an ordeal. Their father was hanged by the Gestapo for refusing to cooperate. Since both of the girls were perfect Nordic specimens, the Gestapo sent them to Germany to be adopted out to a family there. They returned to Poland in 1946 or 47.

How do you explain stories like that?

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 28 Sep 2002 19:16

Hetman,

Of course there were such cases, and I hope you don't regard http://www.barnesreview.org as a reliable source?

/Marcus

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Post by Ovidius » 28 Sep 2002 21:27

HETMAN wrote:There are many people in Poland still alive who returned from Germany after being kidnapped by the Nazis. In many cases, their parents were members of the Polish intelligentsia who were shot by the SS or shipped off to concentration camps.


In "many" cases, the Germanized Poles refused to return :mrgreen:

~Ovidius

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Post by Dan » 29 Sep 2002 00:28

We all cherish our myths of martyrdom. There isn't an Afrikaner family around that doesn't have a favorite atrocity story. The problem is human memory. And a tendency to embellish.

Not to say that bad things didn't occure.

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Post by Davey Boy » 29 Sep 2002 09:38

Ovidius wrote:
HETMAN wrote:There are many people in Poland still alive who returned from Germany after being kidnapped by the Nazis. In many cases, their parents were members of the Polish intelligentsia who were shot by the SS or shipped off to concentration camps.


In "many" cases, the Germanized Poles refused to return :mrgreen:

~Ovidius



Maybe I would too if I was brainwashed. And some of them didn't have anything to return to, because the Nazis had slaughtered their families. They now had new families in Germany and new lives.

What's your point exactly?

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Post by Ovidius » 29 Sep 2002 14:06

Dan wrote:We all cherish our myths of martyrdom. There isn't an Afrikaner family around that doesn't have a favorite atrocity story.


An who exactly listens to them? I bet $50 the Brits don't :mrgreen:

~Ovidius

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Post by Dan » 29 Sep 2002 14:21

No, the Brits are Holocaust deniers of the very worst sort. Some time ago a delegation of Afrikaners tried to get a small amount of compensation for the one third of the races' babies that the Brits murdered, but were laughed at.

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Post by Ovidius » 29 Sep 2002 22:05

Dan wrote:No, the Brits are Holocaust deniers of the very worst sort. Some time ago a delegation of Afrikaners tried to get a small amount of compensation for the one third of the races' babies that the Brits murdered, but were laughed at.


That happens to those who weren't wise enough to sponsor an Elie Wiesel and train a Steven Spielberg :mrgreen:

~Ovidius

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Post by Ogorek » 29 Sep 2002 22:48

While everynation cherishes its' "myths" those of "Nordic" Polish children being kidnapped to be raised as Germans is true...

This happened in the Silesian, Poznan, and Pomorze (West Prussia) territories annexed to the Reich, frequently after the true parents were eliminated, and in te Zamosc region after the Aktion there.

And Yes Ovidius, there were many who refused to return, thoos e say two years old in 1941, and in 1947 refused to leave the "parents" they had known for most of their lives, and not because of "politcal" or cultural considerations.

During the early 70s on the eduational/public television there was a European produced documentary that was about Lebensborn, but focused on the Polish children. They focused on one case, from Zamosc, where they interviewed such a mother and daughter. The daughter refused t have anything to do with the old woman who, losing her husband to the Germans and daughter kidnapped, begging her, "Sie sind meine tochter" to no avail. It was heartbreaking..... for those who do not realize it, there IS such a thing as maternal instinct.

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Post by michael mills » 01 Oct 2002 15:14

Hetman wrote:
There are many people in Poland still alive who returned from Germany after being kidnapped by the Nazis. In many cases, their parents were members of the Polish intelligentsia who were shot by the SS or shipped off to concentration camps. There are two women in my home town who went through such an ordeal. Their father was hanged by the Gestapo for refusing to cooperate. Since both of the girls were perfect Nordic specimens, the Gestapo sent them to Germany to be adopted out to a family there. They returned to Poland in 1946 or 47.

How do you explain stories like that?


The above is irrelevant to this topic, which is the function of the Lenensborn centres.

It is true that selected Polish children were taken from their parents to be raised as Germans. That was a policy specifically followed by Himmler. The stated justification for it was that many persons of German "blood" had been "lost" through assimilation to the Polish ethnic group during preceding centuries, and that the taking of the children was simply the "reclamation" of the lost German "blood". Large-scale assimilation of ethnic Germans into the Polish nation, particularly of German Catholics, is something that did happen during the 19th century in border areas such as Silesia, West Prussia and the Posen Province, so Himmler was not entirely talking through his hat.

But the point is that the Lebensborn centres did not play a role in the transfer of the Polish children to German foster parents. Despite our honoured webmaster's dismissal of the "Barnes Review", whatever that may be, the description of the Lebensborn centres quoted from that source is essentially correct, if worded rather prissily. They were primarily maternity homes for the wives of SS-men, one of the means by which Himmler hoped to encourage his men, who were by definition "racially valuable", to have many children and thereby increase the size of the German people.

By Himmler's decree, the Lebensborn centres were also open to unmarried German women, and women of kindred races, who were assessed as "racially valuable", and who had become pregnant by men likewise assessed as "racially valuable". One group of women in this category consisted of Norwegian women who had fallen pregnant to their German soldier lovers.

If one disregards the racial aspect, Himmler's refusal to discriminate against unmarried mothers strikes a rather modern note. However, the main group for which the Lebensborn centres were intended, the wives of SS-men, were not so charitable, and disliked being thrown together with unmarried mothers, whom they regarded as "immoral". After all, official Nazi ideology was very moralistic and priggish in regard to sexual matters, Himmler being the exception.

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Post by Scott Smith » 02 Oct 2002 06:08

michael mills wrote:After all, official Nazi ideology was very moralistic and priggish in regard to sexual matters, Himmler being the exception.

Good post. But Himmler was also very prudish regarding sexual matters, or at least morality that reflected badly upon his beloved Schwarze Korps.

In any case, pronatalist government policies are nothing new. Many regimes have wanted a high birthrate to promote national strength, but who has ever worried about increasing the birthrate from the very soldiers inevitably lost during the war?
:)

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Post by Davey Boy » 02 Oct 2002 07:52

It is true that selected Polish children were taken from their parents to be raised as Germans. That was a policy specifically followed by Himmler. The stated justification for it was that many persons of German "blood" had been "lost" through assimilation to the Polish ethnic group during preceding centuries, and that the taking of the children was simply the "reclamation" of the lost German "blood". Large-scale assimilation of ethnic Germans into the Polish nation, particularly of German Catholics, is something that did happen during the 19th century in border areas such as Silesia, West Prussia and the Posen Province, so Himmler was not entirely talking through his hat.


Yeah, he was talking through his hat.

This is a fine example of clutching at ridiculously long straws if ever there was one. Some kid happened to be blond and so on, so they shipped him off to the Reich. Nevermind that he can't speak a word of German, he's never had any German relatives since the Middle Ages (or, in fact, since the Germanic tribes broke away from the Slavs somewhere in West Asia in ancient times), and he doesn't even know where Germany is on the friggin map. Pfff.

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Roberto
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Post by Roberto » 02 Oct 2002 09:44

HETMAN wrote:
It is true that selected Polish children were taken from their parents to be raised as Germans. That was a policy specifically followed by Himmler. The stated justification for it was that many persons of German "blood" had been "lost" through assimilation to the Polish ethnic group during preceding centuries, and that the taking of the children was simply the "reclamation" of the lost German "blood". Large-scale assimilation of ethnic Germans into the Polish nation, particularly of German Catholics, is something that did happen during the 19th century in border areas such as Silesia, West Prussia and the Posen Province, so Himmler was not entirely talking through his hat.


Yeah, he was talking through his hat.


Assuming he was not, would that justify tearing children away from their parents and out of their known environment to "reclaim" lost "blood"?

Quite apart from the fact that it takes a race-obsessed moron to see such "blood" considerations as a valid reason for any state measure at all.

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