Hitler’s Forgotten Children: My Life Inside the Lebensborn by Ingrid Von Oelhafen
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Overview: ‘More than 70 years ago I was a "gift" for Adolf Hitler. I was stolen as a baby to be part of one of the most terrible of all Nazi experiments: Lebensborn."
The Lebensborn programme was the brainchild of Himmler: an extraordinary plan to create an Aryan master race, leaving behind thousands of displaced victims in the wake of the Nazi regime.
In 1942 Erika, a baby girl from Sauerbrunn in Yugoslavia, was taken for a ‘medical’ examination by the Nazi occupiers. Declared an ‘Aryan’, she was removed from her mother and held in a children’s home; her true identity erased, she became Ingrid von Oelhafen.
Later, as Ingrid began to uncover her true identity, the full scale of the Lebensborn scheme and the Nazi obsession with bloodlines became clear – including the kidnapping of up to half a million babies like her, and the deliberate murder of children born into the programme who were deemed ‘substandard’.
Written with insight and compassion, this is a powerful meditation on the personal legacy of Hitler’s vision, of Germany’s brutal past and of a divided Europe that for many years struggled to come to terms with its own history.
Genre: Non-Fiction, Biography