Note 044
by Joachim C. Fest

Himmler's letter of 13th September 1936, on the foundation of the Lebensborn e.V., had not yet disclosed these purposes but had assigned the institution a fourfold task:

(1) aid for racially and biologically-hereditarily valuable families;
(2) the accommodation of racially and biologically-hereditarily valuable mothers in appropriate homes, etc.;
(3) care of the children of such families, as well as
(4) care of the mothers. In the letter it was at the same time made incumbent on all 'full-time leaders' as a 'duty of honour' to become members of the association; see IMT, XXXI, 2825-PS.

But Himmler more candidly assured Felix Kersten, his doctor and masseur:

'My first aim in setting up the Lebensborn was to meet a crying need and to give unmarried women who were racially pure the chance to have their children free of cost. Privately I let it be known that any unmarried woman who was alone in the world but longed for a child might turn to the Lebensborn with perfect confidence. The Reichsfuhrung of the SS would sponsor the child and provide for its education. I was well aware that this was a revolutionary step . . '

Himmler declared that from now on only 'valuable and racially pure men' would be recommended as so-called 'conception assistants' (Kersten, Memoirs).

In 1939 the Lebensborn e.V. had homes in Steinhoring, Polzin, Klosterheide (Mark), Hohehorst and in the Vienna woods. Later more hospitals, children's homes, etc., were added from former Jewish properties. So-called 'field offices', or directing offices, were set up in Bromberg as well as in Belgium and Holland; see IMT, XXX, 2284-PS; also 4705-NO.

From Chapter 21, German Wife and Mother , Part 3 of The Face Of The Third Reich by J.C. Fest -- See further Notes

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