What was Lebensborn? Lebensborn roughly translated from German means “well of life” or “spring of life”. This, a Nazi racial engineering program, was established before the war, in 1935, as a way to further the Nazi racial policy. The idea was to further the births of “Aryan” children to strengthen and raise the standard of the German population. This “spring of life” program was the flip side of the Nazi’s racial extermination project. The main aims of the Lebensborn program, as stated by the champion of the Lebensborn Hienrich Himmler:
1. to support large families that are racially and genetically valuable.
2. To look after expectant mothers who are racially and genetically valuable and who, after careful research by the Race and Settlement Home Office into their families and the child’s father’s families, they would give birth to equally valuable children.
3. To care for valuable children.
4. To care for the mothers after the child’s birth.
The words care and support were carefully chosen by the Nazi elite to create the image of a benign social welfare organization. And indeed, the program was seen by many in this era as a social welfare program aiming to protect single mothers from discrimination and provide quality care for the less fortunate mothers. However, this perception ignores the real racially motivated background of the project and it’s leading patron “Reichsfuhrer SS” Heinrich Himmler. The real goal of this organization was to increase the number of “racially pure”, healthy children without hereditary diseases. The Lebensborn children would be the pool from which the future elite would be recruited. Also, only women who could prove themselves “pure Aryan” would be admitted.