Fuhrer, Adolf Hitler, began breeding and culling programmes to create a
embarked on a programme to
cleanse their homeland of undesirables, using concentration camps as the
means of disposal. They also endorsed a regime where
The German concept of Lebensraum comprises policies and practices of settler colonialism which proliferated in Germany from the 1890s to the 1940s.
Britain and France had been doing the same with colonies in the Americas,
Africa and Australia. Germany was a late starter, reliant on technological
superiority and organizational skills, to defeat opponents.
Hitler believed Germany could never achieve their destiny without Lebensraum (“living space”) to support a vastly increased German population and form the basis for world power.
This is called
the concept was not invented by Adolf
Hitler. It was an international movement, very strong in the USA (as the
American way), Europe and the UK.
Nazi authorities created the Lebensborn program to increase Germany’s population. Pregnant German women deemed “racially valuable” were encouraged to give birth to their children at Lebensborn homes. During
World War II, the program became complicit in the kidnapping of foreign children with physical features considered “Aryan” by the Nazis.
It was originally intended to provide pregnant “Aryan” women with financial assistance, adoption services, and a series of private maternity homes where they could give birth.
By the end of World War II, Lebensborn became involved in the Nazi regime’s systematic kidnapping of thousands of “biologically valuable” foreign children to be raised in German homes.
The Lebensborn program was created by the SS in late 1935 in order to promote the growth of Germany’s healthy “Aryan” population. The term Lebensborn itself means “Fount of Life.” The program was designed to be the wellspring of future generations descended from those whom Nazi authorities deemed “racially valuable.”
The SS screened individuals' personal medical histories as well as their family records. Applicants could be denied on the basis of their alleged racial “impurity” or health issues. They could also be denied if they had a family history of physical, mental, or psychiatric disabilities. Nazi theories of eugenics advanced the idea that personal character traits like loyalty and bravery were inheritable and could be promoted through the process of selective breeding.
The Lebensborn program focused on attracting unmarried, pregnant “Aryan” women. At the time, there were strong pressures against single motherhood in German society.
In this way, Himmler hoped to discourage abortions. The Nazi regime strengthened existing German laws that prohibited most abortions. At the same time, though, the regime was operating “hereditary health” courts that ordered abortions and sterilizations for those whom Nazi authorities decided were not of “good racial stock.”
Lebensborn became radicalized in the context of World War II. The perceived need for the program grew as Himmler became worried that the inevitable German casualties would cost the nation thousands of its most “racially valuable” soldiers. The war also provided new opportunities that the program began to exploit. For instance, several new Lebensborn homes were established in German-occupied territories.
The legacy of the Lebensborn program includes broken homes and devastated parents. It also left a generation of children forced to contend with identity crises as well as the social disapproval that often accompanied their association with a Nazi program.
cloud has a silver lining. From the atrocities committed by Nazi
Germany, we now have an international court for crimes against
humanity, giving every natural person guaranteed fundamental rights and
freedoms. But that does not mean that the signatories to such United
Nations convention, by way of a Universal
Declaration on Human Rights, is adhered to.
- Z OF NAZI GERMANY
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