Children of the Nazi era

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(Redirected from Nazi children)


Note: For the Nazi Lebensborn programme of selective human breeding, please see that article for details. This article is about the children of Nazi party members and the children of German soldiers in occupied territories.

The "Nazi children" are children of the members of Nazi or Fascist parties established before or during World War II.


Children of Nazi party members

Although innocent of any war crime committed by their parents' generation, these children have felt themselves condemned by the crimes uncovered in the subsequent prosecution of their parents' generation after the end of World War II. As they grew to adolescence and adulthood in the 1960s, many of them harbored the feelings of guilt and shame which their parents rejected.

They lived with their identity in an inner exile until the late 1980s when some of them managed to present themselves officially. Drte von Westernhagen, the German daughter of an SS officer, wrote about the Nazi children in the book "Die Kinder der Tter" in 1987. The same year the Norwegian NS child Bente Blehr refused anonymity when an interview with her was published in "Born Guilty", a collection of 12 interviews with NS children. The first autobiography by a Nazi child, dedicated to all of them, was also issued in Norway: "The Boy from Gimle" (1993) by Eystein Eggen.

See also:

Children of German soldiers in Norway

In Norway the term Lebensborn is most commonly used to describe children of Norwegian mothers and German fathers, after the name of the Nazi human breeding programme intended to breed "racially pure" members of the "Aryan race" (see the article Lebensborn for more details). This appears to be a misnomer, as no documented Lebensborn breeding home existed in Norway, but around the country, 15 nursery centers called Lebensborn homes took care of the babies and their Norwegian unmarried mothers. Hitler considered the Norwegians to be even more "pure Aryans" than the Germans themselves, and therefore encouraged soldiers to pursue relationships with Norwegian women. In other occupied territories, such relationships were forbidden.

At the end of the Second World War, they were abandoned and most of them were said to have been subjected to crimes such as torture, violations, and physical and psychological violence at the hands of Norwegians. They were shunned by children and adults alike. Due to the philosophy that these children were genetically wrong, many were put in homes for people with severe mental disabilities, where they experienced similar abuse. In many homes they were addressed by numbers instead of their names.

The new government and psychiatrists encouraged this type of behaviour and assured the people that they should not compare the treatment of these children to the German treatment of the Jews, since there had to be something "wrong with people that wanted to be in a family with, and of German soldiers". The Norwegian government tried to deport the children to Germany, approximately 9000 total, but they were refused to do so by the allies.

Some of these children are now trying to obtain official recognition for their past mistreatment, which some claim equates to an attempt at genocide. Although court rulings found these claims to be out-dated, recently the government has admitted the mistreatment. Among parts of the population, it has been considered acceptable and justified to harass the Lebensborn children. However in recent times, the injustice is more and more recognised. The horrendous treatment of these children is often called "Norway's nazi secret", because it has been hushed down and hidden from the world.

"The Organization of Norwegian NS Children" was established in 1991 as the first self-help group exclusively organized by Nazi children.

See also:

See also


  • Denn Du trgst meinen Namen. Das schwere Erbe der prominenten Nazi-Kinder Norbert und Stephan Lebert (2000) ISBN 3896671057
  • The Lebensborn Experiment in Germany C. Clay and M. Leapman (1995) ISBN 0430589787

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