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5) BA, NSD 42/102, Brochure Lebensborn e.V., Berlin 1938.

Father an SS officer, mother a Lebensborn secretary: family therapist Gisela Heidenreich.

Lebensborn – Wellspring of Life

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  • However, the programme did aim to promote the growth of Aryan populations, through encouraging relationships between German soldiers and "Nordic" women in occupied countries, and access to Lebensborn was restricted in line with the eugenic and racial policies of , which could be referred to as supervised selective breeding. Recently discovered records and ongoing testimony of Lebensborn children—and some of their parents—shows that some SS men did sire children in Himmler's Lebensborn program. This was, indeed, widely rumored within Germany at the time.

    Lives of deception
    Heinicke’s parents told him when he was a teenager that he was adopted but did not reveal the full truth about his background. Later in life, he started exploring irregularities in his birth certificate that led him to other questions, eventually uncovering that he had passed through a Lebensborn home. He discovered his true identity but has yet to find any of his relatives.

  • Of the estimated 5,000 to 8,000 born into Lebensborn homes in Germany, some were raised by their birth mothers, but many were given over to families of high-ranking SS officers to be raised according to Nazi doctrine.

    "The prosecution has failed to prove with the requisite certainty the participation of Lebensborn, and the defendants connected therewith in the kidnapping programme conducted by the Nazis. While the evidence has disclosed that thousands upon thousands of children were unquestionably kidnapped by other agencies or organisations and brought into Germany, the evidence has further disclosed that only a small percentage of the total number ever found their way into Lebensborn. And of this number only in isolated instances did Lebensborn take children who had a living parent. The majority of those children in any way connected with Lebensborn were of ethnic Germans. Upon the evidence submitted, the defendant Sollmann is found not guilty on counts one and two of the indictment."

    Gift Package for Children of the Lebensborn (Item LEB 1-3)

    DESCRIPTION: This is a Christmas (Julfest) gift envelope from the Bad Polzin -Lebensborn Home in Pomerania. This particular Lebensbornheim was located in an ancient medieval castle. The bag is 5 x 7 inches in size and was filled with some little gift and presented to children. What gift? We will never know. They were for children whose mothers were living at the facility at Christmastime. The SS referred to the holiday as Julfest. This home was opened in May 1938. The bag says at its top Gau Kinderheim Bad Polzin and Lebensborn zum Julfest. Yes, it is very rare, but Germania always likes to pass rarities along for collectors at the minimum cost. The only other one of these items we have ever seen offered was featured on the web site named “Olive Drab” and it offered one for $455.00. We offer ours for $175.00.

  • The christening of a Lebensborn child.
    Note the sleeve patch of the officiating officer.

    Lebensborn home in Bavaria

    Prinz Eugen soldiers used the Odal rune on their collars.

    After Germany's surrender, the press reported on the unusually good weight and health of the "". They spent time outdoors in sunlight and received two baths a day. Everything that contacted the babies was sterilized first. Nurses ensured that they ate everything given to them. Until the last days of the war, the mothers and the children at maternity homes got the best treatment available, including food, even though many others in the area were starving. Once the war ended local communities often took revenge on the women, beating them, cutting off their hair, and running them out of the community. Many Lebensborn children were born to unwed mothers. After the , Lebensborn survivors suffered ostracism.

SS officer visiting Lebensborn.

Nazis and high-ranking SS officers fathered children through the Lebensborn program, and this led to a generation of alienated children without family ties; unwitting participants in a Nazi experiment. Many children involved in the program also suffered trauma from growing up and realizing that their fathers were war criminals. In Norway, Nazis were encouraged to father children with women who had “Viking blood.” Some individuals were put in mental asylums as they struggled to accept their origins, unable to deal with the shame of having German fathers.