The letter above is dated 18 December 1943. However, it is in direct connection with a program that started eight years earlier. On 12 December 1935, the Lebensborn program began as a campaign to encourage so-called “racially valuable” Germans to have more children. Lebensborn initially focused on giving financial assistance to members of the SS with large families and providing pregnant “German-blooded” women with medical care in comfortable maternity houses. During World War II, the program also became involved in the kidnapping of thousands of foreign children for adoption into German families to counter Germany’s declining birthrate.
On 13 September 1936, nine months after the program had been initiated, Heinrich Himmler wrote the following to members of the SS:
“The organisation “Lebensborn e.V.” serves the SS leaders in the selection and adoption of qualified children. The organisation “Lebensborn e.V.” is under my personal direction, is part of the Race and Settlement Central Bureau of the SS, and has the following obligations:
• Support racially, biologically and hereditarily valuable families with many children.
• Placement and care of racially, biologically and hereditarily valuable pregnant women, who, after a thorough examination of their and the progenitor’s families by the Race and Settlement Central Bureau of the SS, can be expected to produce equally valuable children.
• Care for the children.
• Care for the children’s mothers.
It is the honourable duty of all leaders of the central bureau to become members of the organisation “Lebensborn e.V.” The application for admission must be filed prior to 23 September 1936.”
One of the children conceived via the Lebensborn program is Anni-Frid Synni Lyngstad from the Swedish pop band ABBA.
After her birth on 15 November 1945, the result of an encounter between her mother, Synni, and a German sergeant, Alfred Haase, Anni-Frid’s mother and grandmother were branded as traitors and ostracized in their village in Northern Norway. They were forced to emigrate to Sweden, where Anni-Frid’s mother died of kidney failure before her daughter was two.
It is estimated that 20,000 Polish children were kidnapped who passed the Germanization criteria and were integrated into the Lebensborn program.
Below is the translation of the letter above:
Lodz. 18 Dec. 1943
To Mr Karl Müller
Richrath / Langenfeld Rietherbach St. 11
R IV / I – A. E. – 023 – Hei / MHW –
Subject: placement of a child
Reference: Preceding correspondence
Condition: proof of health (2 persons)
Dear Mr Müller!
I am pleased to finally announce that I have found two boys, one of which you will most likely approve. They are Sep Piehl, born on 3 December 1935, and Eugen Bartel, born on 11 March 1937. I believe that at least one of them is of an age that is well-suited to your household. The children currently live in Oberweis (Upper Danube). Arrange to take the 6:19 train leaving Gmunden on 4 January 1944, and arrive in Oberweis at 6:37. If you need overnight accommodation, confirm with me and I will arrange it. It is necessary that you bring your identification papers with you. Please notify me no later than 22 December 1943, whether I can expect you in Oberweis on 4 January. In any event, please complete the accompanying proofs of health for yourself and your wife. The authorized departmental or SS physician will, as is standard, provide me with the completed forms. I hope that my news to you has given you special Christmas joy.
On behalf of: signed
Most people will have heard of the Wannsee conference, but only a few know about the meeting that preceded the conference. That meeting may have had greater implications than the Wannsee conference.
On the afternoon of the 12th of December 1941, Hitler ordered the leading members of the Nazi party to a meeting in his private rooms at the Reich Chancellery.
The announcement Hitler made on 12 December to the Reichsleiter and Gauleiter refers to an earlier statement he had made on 30 January 1939:
“If the world of international financial Jewry, both in and outside of Europe, should succeed in plunging the Nations into another world war, the result will not be the Bolshevization of the world and thus a victory for Judaism. The result will be the extermination of the Jewish race in Europe.”
With the United States being dragged into World War II on 7 December 1941 and the subsequent declaration of war on the US by Nazi Germany on 11 December, the war, especially regarding the above statement, had become truly a World War. Hitler announced this declaration of war on 11 December in the German Reichstag, a speech also broadcast on the radio. On 12 December 1941, he had a meeting with the most important Nazi leaders.
Attendance in this meeting was obligatory for Nazis in high party offices. No official list of the people who attended this meeting exists, but the following leaders of Nazi Germany, are known to have been there:
Adolf Hitler, Heinrich Himmler, Joseph Goebbels, Martin Bormann, Hans Frank and Philipp Bouhler. More than likely, Alfred Rosenberg; Gauleiters Arthur Greiser, Fritz Bracht, and Fritz Sauckel, Reichskommissars Hinrich Lohse and Erich Koch, and Alfred Meyer were also present. Known to have been absent from this meeting were Hermann Göring and Reinhard Heydrich.
Joseph Göbbels. noted the following in his diary on 13 December 1941.
“Regarding the Jewish question, the Fuehrer is determined to clean the table. He prophesized that should the Jews once again bring about a world war, they would be annihilated. These were no empty words. The world war has come, therefore the annihilation of the Jews has to be its inevitable consequence. The question has to be examined without any sentimentality. We are not here to pity Jews but to have pity for our own German people. If the German people have sacrificed about 160,000 dead in the battles in the east, the instigators of this bloody conflict will have to pay for it with their lives.”
What is so significant about the December 12 meeting is that Adolf Hitler himself was present and had called for the meeting. Believe it or not, but to this day there are still people who claim that Hitler had no hand in the murder of Jews, clearly, that meeting shows his full knowledge and endorsement and also that he ordered the mass murder.
On that same day, the first group of Jews was deported to Majdanek: 150 men who had been captured in a manhunt in the Lublin ghetto. By 6 January 1945, just 17 of them were still alive and were liberated from the camp by an order of the German Labor Ministry in Lublin. Between 22 February and 9 November 1942, at least 4000 Jews from Lublin were murdered in Majdanek.
Werner Galnik, a young Jewish boy in the Riga Ghetto in Latvia worded it probably the best in his diary entry of 12 December 1941.
“I figured this way: Hitler loves only the Germans, but no other people, and particularly not us Jews. Does it follow that because we are Jews we must be prisoners? Did my father perhaps steal or murder that he should be arrested? And what had my dear mother done? And what did we children do?”
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