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There were three more posts on this issue, including a clarification from Annette Timm. - ed. 1. Submitted by: Margarete Myers Feinstein mmyers@IUSB.EDU Many thanks to Annette Timm for clarifying the situation concerning Lebensborn. My M.A. thesis at Columbia University focused on Lebensborn and its role in Nazi eugenics policies. As happened to Dr. Timm, the assertions of the AP article left me momentarily uncertain about my own knowledge. An exhaustive search of the captured Lebensborn documents on microfilm at the U.S. National Archives revealed no evidence to substantiate the rumored "breeding farm" function of Lebensborn. Indeed, materials surfaced that demonstrated that Himmler encouraged unwed S.S. men to marry the mothers of their children and that Lebensborn operated on the presumption that "Aryan" children were best raised by both of their biological parents. If the parents' marriage was not possible (e.g., the father was already married to someone else), Lebensborn would assist the unwed mother and encourage her to keep the child. The propaganda campaign to increase public acceptance of illegitimacy was designed to make it easier for these mothers to keep their children without undue social stigma. However, attempts to make illegitimacy socially acceptable are a far cry from breeding programs. Indeed, in one letter I read, Himmler firmly rejected the request from a woman that Lebensborn help her find a suitable marriage partner. I, too, remain puzzled by the longevity of these rumors. Perhaps the idea of stud farms titillates some. Others may find it easy to believe the rumors given the incredible crimes of which the Nazis were in fact guilty ("If they can build death camps, why not breeding farms?"). Most likely, it is a misunderstanding of the Nazis' efforts to promote racially-pure births and their acceptance of illegitimacy. Margarete Myers Feinstein Assistant Professor of History Indiana University South Bend 2. Submitted by: Annette Timm annette.timm@BERLIN.DE Lebensborn - retraction I have been informed by observant H-German list readers, who read Franz Seidler's web site more carefully than I (and who know of his reputation - I did not), that one must be very circumspect about the information he provides. A more careful browse through the site than I first undertook reveals definite revisionist tendencies and radical right-wing viewpoints. My sincere apologies for not reading more carefully myself. I guess, though, that it only proves my point about how easy it is to misread or misinterpret information on these subjects. The quick information that the Internet provides can easily lead to hasty conclusions, especially when one is under the pressure of paying far more for online time than one is used to. (Thank you Deutsche Telekom!) Lutz Sauerteig wrote me that he had a vague memory of a Spiegel article on Franz Seidler not too long ago. He also provided me with another citation, which I should have mentioned: Lilienthal, Georg: Der "Lebensborn e.V." : ein Instrument nationalsozialistischer Rassenpolitik / Georg Lilienthal. - Ueberarb. und erw. Ausg.. - Frankfurt am Main : Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verl., 1993. - 271 S. : Kt.; (dt.) ([Fischer-Taschenbuecher] ; 11061 : Geschichte Fischer) My point about the false stories about Lebensborn, however, still stands. It is extremely unfortunate that Internet searches on such subjects so easily point the browser to revisionist sites. It would be far preferable if institutions dedicated to educating the public about the Holocaust (like the Simon Wiesenthal Center) would be the ones providing accurate information. This is, I think, something that we will all have to become increasingly aware of, especially as students start using the Internet more and more as a research tool. I will certainly be more careful in future! Sincerely and somewhat sheepishly, Annette Timm 3. Submitted by: Christel Krause Converse DocConv@AOL.COM It might be well to look at the Berlin Document Center materials to find additional information about Lebensborn. During the past several years I have run across many references to Lebensborn in the German Captured Records (Record Group 242) at the National Archives. In T-175 Finding Aids (Guides 32, 33, and 39) I found many references to Lebensborn but did not have the time to follow up on that subject although I became rather curious. I have also noticed that within the biographic files of SS Officers can be found notations such as: Ahnennachweis (proof of ancestry): Lebensborn (in Walther Darre's record SSOA roll 136, frames 1207-1370). I have run across similar notations in other files but do not have those references. I wondered at the time about the precise connection between SS men and Lebensborn. I assumed it concerned the "popular" connection between SS of the RuSHA (Rasse-und Siedlungshauptamt) and Lebensborn. What was the meaning of Ahnennachweis in this context? In other words, isn't it possible that the Lebensborn maternity homes were only part of the Lebensborn program? Christel Krause Converse College Park, Maryland