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News Brief

November 6, 2006
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The children of the Nazi Lebensborn program gathered publicly to deal with their past. Reuters reported that 35 products of the project, which involved homes started by Heinrich Himmler to create children modeled on Aryan ideals, met publicly Saturday in Germany. Matthias Meissner, managing director of Lebensspuren, the group representing the progeny, said the purpose was to dispel some myths surrounding the project. “The aim was to take the children out into the open, to encourage those affected to find out their origins — but also to show the outside world that the cliche of the stud farm with blond-haired, blue-eyed parents is not correct,” Reuters quoted him as saying. The centers were started around 1936 to boost the birthrate of SS members and care for illegitimate Aryan children, often offspring that German soldiers had with local women in occupied lands. Those who entered were screened for good health and German lineage, but the homes were not the breeding farms previously thought. Most estimates suggest that some 8,000 Lebensborn children were born in Germany, and up to 12,000 in Norway.

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