'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'.
Of all the crimes committed by the Nazi regime, the one the leadership was never prosecuted for was the abduction of children in the conquered territories of Eastern Europe. As if that was not odious enough, SS Reichsfuhrer Himmler and his underlings ensured that each infant’s true identity was withheld even from their German foster parents, so that they might grow up in the heart of the Reich with no chance of learning about their origins. In August 1942, Ingrid von Oelhalfen was just nine months old when she was forcibly taken from her natural parents in Yugoslavia and ‘processed’ for adoption by Nazi officials as part of the secret and insidious Lebensborn project. Her journey of discovery is a heartrending one told with admirable restraint and a dogged determination to uncover the facts. But the most moving passages are reserved for the early chapters when Ingrid pleads for her coldly indifferent ‘mother’ to collect her from a series of children’s homes to which she had committed the child in order to be free to have an affair with a new boyfriend.
'This is a hugely important book which anyone with an interest in the Third Reich, or who cares about the damaging impact of supremacist politics, must read.' - Louise Hector, LouiseReviews
Publication date: 14/05/2015
Publisher: Elliott & Thompson Limited
|Publication date:||14th May 2015|
|Author:||Ingrid von Oelhafen, Tim Tate|
|Publisher:||Elliott & Thompson Limited|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, eBook Favourites, History,|
|Categories:||Social & cultural history, Memoirs, Fascism & Nazism, Ethnic studies,|
Ingrid von Oelhafen is a former physical therapist living in Osnabruck, Germany. For more than 20 years she has been investigating her own extraordinary story and that of Lebensborn. She is in contact with other Lebensborn survivors and has been invited to give talks in schools about the programme and its effects on those who were part of it. Tim Tate is a multi-award-winning documentary filmmaker and author. In 2013 he produced and directed Lebensborn: Children of the Master Race, which was broadcast on Channel 5. He is the author of twelve books, including the best-selling Slave Girl.More About Ingrid von Oelhafen, Tim Tate