History of Lebensborn e.V.

 

The Lebensborn e.V. was an association, which was founded on December 12, 1935 by Heinrich Himmler and the SS. The Lebensborn homes and maternity wards were part of their Population & Race Policy. The central concern was, that the birth rate of "Aryan" children should be increased. So they gave mothers the opportunity to give birth to their children anonymously, in so far as they fulfilled the NS conditions. About 8,000-10,000 children were born in the Lebensborn maternity homes. At Lebensborn children's homes, children of various ages lived together until they were brought to foster homes or back to their mothers. However, the Lebensborn had nothing to do with pure breeding establishments, as was occasionally spread in the media. Nevertheless, starting in 1942, the deportation and so-called "Germanization" of mostly children originating from Norway, Poland, Ukraine, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia began. Whereby there are no exact numbers how many were abducted, since numerous files and birth certificates were destroyed or falsified. In the course of the "Germanization" the children in the Lebensbornheimen were educated partly with compulsion to "good" Germans, in the sense of the national socialists. Alone in the area of today's Germany there were nine maternity homes and two children's homes, which were financed by members of the SS. The Lebensborn phenomenon is characterized by an extraordinary ambivalence. The institutions of the Lebensborn guaranteed many mothers seeking help protection from social exclusion and offered shelter to many "unwanted" children. On the other hand, the homes were also educational institutions for uprooted children who followed racial selection (euthanasia) and the brutal spirit of Nazi racial politics.

 

Lebensborn locations

History of Lebensborn "Sonnenwiese"