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Norway’s Dark Secret, The Lebensborn, ABBA

 
 
Chumly
 
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 04:41 am
Children of Shame - Norway's Dark Secret
Quote:
After years of keeping a lid on one of its most scandalous secrets, the Norwegian government now faces a whopping compensation lawsuit running into millions and charges of human right violation.

Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad ,one of the singers of the former pop cult band ABBA is probably one of the most famous Lebensborn-children. Born to a German nazi officer and a Norwegian mother during the German occupation of Norway, Anni-Frid belonged to the "children of shame" - unwanted after the Germans lost the war.

Being an illegitimate child of a Nazi, her grandmother took her to Sweden to escape mistreatment - children of enemies were ostracized in post-war Norway.

Blue eyes and blond hair preferred

"Lebensborn" was a special Aryan breeding Programm established in 1935, the brainchild of Heinrich Himmler, head of the SS. He wanted to breed what he considered racially "superior children".

Himmler regarded the Norwegians with their blue eyes and blond hair as especially aryan and pure.

The aim of the programme was to entrust leadership of Norway to these "Aryans" after the war, or to have them and their mothers move to Germany to bring more Nordic blood into the German Reich.

Incentives for bearing Aryan children


Bildunterschrift: Großansicht des Bildes mit der Bildunterschrift:
Every pregnant Norwegian woman who could prove her child's Aryan ancestry was entitled to financial support or a privileged treatment in maternity homes. They could also leave their children in special homes called "Lebensborn", where the children received special nutrition and an education which reflected the Nazi way of thinking.

The program was also set up in other German occupied countries such as Belgium, France and Luxembourg. Altogether, Himmler established more than 20 Lebensborn institutions.

The majority of these homes were in Norway. Around 350,000 German soldiers occupied Norway during World War II and coupled, favored by Heinrich Himmler, with Norwegian women. A relationship with consequences: about 10,000 to 12,000 children between 1940 and 1945 were fathered by Germans. About 6,000 of them were born in Lebensborn institutions. From 1941 onwards, these "superior" children were automatically considered as being German.


Ostracized and mistreated- a marred childhood

But the fate of the children resulting from the special breeding program was at times cruel. Their mothers could not stand the shame of having been engaged to German soldiers. A Norwegian commission after the war decided that the children should remain in Norway.

By now the children were looked upon as outcasts. They were put in orphanages, some of them were send to lunatic asylums. There, the children were mistreated and abused. Some of the former "Lebensborn" children say, they were tied to their beds for hours.

Breaking silence and baring secrets

Most of the "Lebensborn" children are today in their 50s or 60s and are slowly coming out with their stories of mistreatment and abuse.

One of them was Paul Hansen, now 58 . Today he's a broken man. "I was transferred from the Lebensborn home Goodhaab into an asylum, together with some others. We were locked up together with mentally ill people. And we had to eat and to go to the toilet in the same room", he says with bitterness.

Paul Hansen broke his silence and changed his anonymous Lebensborn identity. Many of the Lebensborn children still feel ashamed to talk about their abuse and mistreatment. A register number is all that remains of their Lebensborn childhood.

Tor Brandacher of the Norwegian war children Association brought together about 170 "Lebensborn" children four years ago and is determined that they are compensated by the Norwegian government.

The son of a Norwegian mother and an Austrian ranger was lucky, Brandacher says he had a normal relationship to his family, but says that hundreds of others like him did not. Many have reported raping and mistreatment in the institutions, like Paul Hansen.

"These children were looked upon as rubbish in Norwegian post-war society. It is the biggest shame for Norway", he says.

Brandacher and others now demand financial and ethical compensation from the Norwegian state.

Justice at last?

October 29, 2001 was a date most of the Lebensborn children might never forget. It was the first day of a trial in which the Lebensborn children are suing the Norwegian government. The verdict: A violation against human rights. The case attracted much attention by the media, a signal for Tor Brandacher and his companions. He hoped that the court trial would reveal the dark history of Norwegian state ruling. The prosecutors demanded up to two million Kronen (253.000 Euro) for each case - the prize for a lost childhood.

But after the case was rejected in November on grounds of invalidity, The former Lebensborn children will put forth their case to the European Commission of Human Rights in Strassbourg.
The Lebensborn
Quote:
Lebensborn means "spring of life". The "Lebensborn" project was one of most secret and terrifying Nazi projects. Heinrich Himmler created The "Lebensborn" on December 12th, 1935. The goal of this society ("Registered Society Lebensborn - Lebensborn Eingetragener Verein") was to offer to young girls "racially pure" the possibility to give birth to a child in secret. The child was then given to the SS organization which took in charge his "education" and adoption.

In the beginning, the "Lebensborn" were SS nurseries. But in order to create a "super-race", the SS transformed these nurseries in "meeting places" for "racially pure" German women who wanted to meet and make children with SS officers. The children born in the Lebensborn were taken in charge by the SS and it is important to know that most of them were also victims of this race policy....

From 1939, one of the most horrible side of the Lebensborn policy was the kidnapping of children "racially goods" in the eastern occupied countries. These kidnappings were organized by the SS in order to take by force children who matched the Nazi's racial criteria (blond hair, blue eyes, etc....). Thousands of children were transferred to the "Lebensborn" centers in order to be "Germanized". In these centers, everything was done to force the children to reject and forget their birth parents. As an example, the SS nurses tried to persuade the children that they were deliberately abandoned by their parents. The children who refused the Nazi education were often beaten. Most of them were finally transferred to concentration camps (most of the time Kalish in Poland) and exterminated. The others were adopted by SS families.

In 1942, in reprisals of the assassination of the SS governor Heydrich in Prague, a SS unit exterminated the entire male population of a small village called Lidice. During this "operation", some SS made a selection of the children. 91 of them were considered as good enough to be "Germanized" and sent to Germany. The others were sent to special children camps (i.e. Dzierzazna & Litzmannstadti) and later to the extermination canters.

It is nearly impossible to know how much children were kidnapped in the eastern occupied countries. In 1946, it was estimated that more than 250,000 were kidnapped and sent by force to Germany. Only 25,000 were retrieved after the war and sent back to their family. It is known that several German families refused to give back the children they had received from the Lebensborn centers. In some cases, the children themselves refused to come back in their original family: they were victims of the Nazi propaganda and believed that they were pure Germans. It is also known that thousand of children not "good enough" to be Germanized were simply exterminated.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 0 • Views: 19,065 • Replies: 68
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detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 06:17 am
Power corrupts.
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Nothing proves it more than the Nazi era. To prove that germanic blood is superior, these madmen invented the 'blue-eyed blond' super race.
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The irony of it is that neither Hitler nor Himmler looked even remotely like their imaginary heroes. Both were pale imitations of Charlie Chaplin playing the 'Great Dictator'.
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I feel sorry for the innocent children. It is understandable that the Norwegians were ashamed of them. That did not give them the right to mistreat them.
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In post-war Germany thousands of rape children were aborted or killed after birth. The mothers could not stand the shame of the Soviet troops behaviour, raping nearly all women in Eastern Germany.
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0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 06:31 am
I saw a show on the tube about it and it prompted me to post. The band ABBA reference also surprised me. The TV show went into some detail about how the SS were the men most often to 'seed' the selected women. The TV show also went into detail about the intent and structure of the special Aryan breeding program. These kids were to be the new masters!
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 07:22 am
Rape and forced impregnation have always been one of the most disgusting aspects of ethnic dominance.

I'm not surprised that the Germans did this, but it is weird that they weren't the preferred race after all.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 07:50 am
Right, they idealized the Nordic.

Something that always give me pause is that if the Japanese had not bombed Pearl Harbor, the US would not have gone to war in a timely fashion, and the Germans could have had time to build the A bomb.

Couple that to the possibility that the Germans could have delayed or avoided invading Russia (the two front war) and the Nazis could ended up as the "Master Race".

As it was they came chillingly close to realizing their demented dreams and had it not been for some rather chance events, and a bit of bad planning, they could have pulled it off, at least for Western Europe!
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 08:39 am
Lash wrote:
I'm not surprised that the Germans did this, but it is weird that they weren't the preferred race after all.


a) not all Germans did this, but a minority (even if it was a registered association it was a secret one: their houses looked like normal houses for mother-child care.

b) in Germany, about 7 to 8.000 children were born in such Lebensborn houses over the whole period (from 1935 onwrds); in Norway more than 12,000 between 1940 and 1945.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 08:45 am
Good points Walter.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 08:45 am
Walter-- The Germans did it--meaning the Germans united behind Hitler. I'm talking about the plan, not the individual rapes.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 08:51 am
Lash wrote:
but it is weird that they weren't the preferred race after all.


Walter Hinteler wrote:
a) not all Germans did this, but a minority (even if it was a registered association it was a secret one: their houses looked like normal houses for mother-child care.


Seldom a "secret" can be kept for a longer period, espially not such as 'Lebensborn'.

One answer to your question, Lash, certainly has to do with religiously affected morality: "you don't do that".

Additionally, in October 1939 Himmler gave an order to SS to father children.
The SS at that time was mainly engaged outsite Germany. And since, indeed, the Norwegion and other 'Nordic' girls were much closer to what they thaught was an 'ideal' female ...
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 08:56 am
I didn't have a question.

I just think it's sort of crazy that the German war/holocaust machine felt so superior, but still felt the need to mix with Nordic people. That's all.

It's the ultimate hypocrisy. "We're so superior to these people, we'll wipe them from existence, but those people are so much better than us, we need to mix with them..."

It's maddening.
0 Replies
 
detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 09:05 am
Chumly said:
As it was they came chillingly close to realizing their demented dreams and had it not been for some rather chance events, and a bit of bad planning, they could have pulled it off, at least for Western Europe!
.
That's what happens when a populist captivates his people. The Germans are known to be good followers, hard workers and team players. Without realizing the evil hidden behind the man, they marched with him and found out too late that he was corrupt.
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Imagine what he achieved in such a short time. Three years after he took power, the Germans won more gold medals in the 1936 Olympics than any other country. That's how dedicated they were.
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Luckily this mad man decided to attack Russia. That was the end of the Nazi era.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 09:14 am
Lash wrote:
I just think it's sort of crazy that the German war/holocaust machine felt so superior, but still felt the need to mix with Nordic people. That's all.


That idea was born (no pun intended) as an act from necessity: they needed males:
- so German females should undertake an abortion to keep the 'Herrenrasse' (master race) as the major male population in the Reich
- and in 1939 they thaught, the war might perhaps have victims among the male population which had to be 'refilled'.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 Apr, 2006 09:24 am
Btw: in 1999, some journalists discovered many of the Lebensborn (secret) files in Federal archive in Berlin.

Shortly afterwrds, two Norwegian Lebensborn organizations were founded.

Newsweek copy from a 2000 report: Hitler's Children

Daily Telegraph 25/02/2001: Norwegian government sued over children Nazis left behind

The League Lebensborn of Norwegian Children's of War


Children of the hated: Norway's Lebensborn children (this site includes a link to a 30 min documentary!!!)

And via this BBC link you get access to some web-exclusive audio files.
0 Replies
 
Kratos
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2006 12:38 am
What's ironic is that there's nothing genetically superior about having blond hair and blue eyes. Lack of pigmentation is actually a weakness in most cases.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2006 02:14 am
Thanks for the links Walter.
0 Replies
 
detano inipo
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2006 06:19 am
When some people want to behave badly and save face, they need support. Religious fanatics have God on their side. They can blow up innocent civilians, God gave them permission. They can invade countries and destroy them, God told them to do it.
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The Nazis had their teutonic dream that excused all atrocities. They were convinced that their racial superiority was enough to whitewash all crimes.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2006 06:27 am
Fatherland shows a world where Nazi Germany won the Second World War after repulsing the Allied invasion at Normandy. Now, in the 1960's, Germany continues to fight a bitter guerilla war with the Soviet Union and desperately needs an alliance with the United States in order to finally beat Stalin's war machine. However, when local SS-homicide detective Xavier March begins investigating the mysterious death of a Nazi Party Official, a coverup is revealed involving the Jewish Holocaust of World War II. With the assistance of an American journalist, March probes deeper and discovers the full truth about what happened to the Jews; a truth that could destroy the peace process with America and a truth that Nazi and SS leaders will stop at nothing to keep hidden.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2006 06:35 am
Just adding that Fatherland is based on the sci-fi thriller by Robert Harris with the same name [HarperTorch; Reprint edition (May 15, 1993)]

Fatherland ('Vaterland' in German, in Latin 'Patria') just means the nation of one's "fathers" or the "forefathers".
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2006 06:38 am
Lash wrote:
Rape and forced impregnation have always been one of the most disgusting aspects of ethnic dominance.

I'm not surprised that the Germans did this, but it is weird that they weren't the preferred race after all.


About ten years ago, i decided that i would read a series of survey histories of European nations, to keep up my memory--and i went to the excellent Carnegie library in Columbus, Ohio.

I chose histories of specific nations, and would take them off the shelf, and look through the introduction before checking them out.

Histories of both Norway and Sweden written before 1939 that i looked at both had, in the introductions, or the first chapter, allegations by the authors that their specific nation was true origin of the "pure" Aryan tribes. This is at variance with the linguistic evidence, and the term Aryan was originally just a convenient term devised by 19th century linguists. Because of the negative connotations, a switch was made to the use of the term Indo-European.

The rage to believe in a "pure" white race, an Aryan race, was a very powerful notion in 19th century Europe--not soley in Germany, either.
0 Replies
 
Chumly
 
  1  
Reply Mon 10 Apr, 2006 06:48 am
Hi Walter,

Thanks for the link, I did not know it was based on a book. Harris' bio is certainly varied!
Quote:
Robert J. Harris was born and raised in Scotland. He studied Greek and Latin at university and has had a varied career as a bartender, salesman, nurse, actor, game designer, and writer. He designed the best-selling fantasy board game Talisman and is the author of numerous short stories, as well as two historical fiction novels with Jane Yolen: Queen's Own Fool and Girl in a Cage. He lives in St. Andrews, Scotland, with his wife, fantasy author Deborah Turner Harris, and their three sons.
0 Replies
 
 

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