A poignant and painful reunion has taken place in Germany for some lesser-known victims of the Nazi regime. The children of a Nazi programme aimed at creating an “Aryan elite” have met publicly for the first time in an effort to banish the spectre that has haunted many of them since their birth.
The “Lebensborn” or “font of life” project was set up by the SS to provide the stock to help run a Nazi empire. It is thought some 20 homes were established in Germany and occupied areas where thousands of children were raised. The meeting took place in one such home in eastern Germany. Many were ostracised after the war and have lived with the stigma ever since.
Others never knew of their origins until years later. One man spoke of how former East German authorities prevented him from contacting his aged mother after he finally tracked her down. He did manage to meet her before she died. Most estimates suggest that roughly 8,000 Lebensborn children were born in Germany, with up to 12,000 in Norway.