What Happened to the Children Bred for the Hitler Regime?
The Lebensborn program's goal was to produce a stock of children suitable for Hitler's vision for the future of Germany. But what happened to these children? Hear the whole story in Giles Milton's Unknown History podcast.
Hildegard Trutz had been a loyal supporter of the Nazis ever since Hitler came to power. She had joined the Bund Deutscher Mädel (the female equivalent of the Hitler Youth) in 1933 and loved attending its weekly meetings. ‘I was mad about Adolf Hitler and our new better Germany,’ she later admitted. ‘I learned how tremendously valuable we young people were to Germany.’
Trutz quickly became a figurehead of her local organization, in part because of her Germanic blonde hair and blue eyes. ‘I was pointed out as the perfect example of the Nordic woman,’ she said, ‘for besides my long legs and my long trunk, I had the broad hips and pelvis built for child-bearing.’
In 1936, when she was eighteen, Trutz finished her schooling and was at a loss as to what to do next. She chatted with a BDM leader who made a suggestion that was to change Trutz’s life forever. ‘If you don’t know what to do,’ said the leader, ‘why not give the Führer a child? What Germany needs more than anything is racially valuable stock.’
Trutz was unaware of the state-sponsored programme known as Lebensborn. Its aim was to raise the birth rate of blond-haired, blue-eyed ‘Aryan’ children through interbreeding. Racially ‘pure’ women were chosen to sleep with SS officers in the hope that they would become pregnant.
The BDM leader explained to her exactly how Lebensborn worked. She would be given a series of medical tests, along with a thorough investigation of her background. It was essential that she had no Jewish blood. Once given the all-clear, she would be able to select a breeding partner from a group of SS officers.
To hear the rest of the story, listen to the full episode of our podcast, Unknown History, in the top right hand player of this page or on iTunes, Stitcher, and Spotify. Plus, connect with Giles on Twitter and Facebook.
This post is roughly excerpted from When Churchill Slaughtered Sheep and Stalin Robbed a Bank. You can preorder a copy of the book, due out in November 2016, on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indiebound, Books-a-Million, and Apple.