Hitler’s plans for a post war breeding programme

German troops on the Eastern front, January 1944. The Nazis expected many more of them would soon make their final sacrifice.

German troops on the Eastern front, January 1944. The Nazis expected many more of them would soon make their final sacrifice.

The SS already had Lebensborn institutions which cared for the children of SS troops including many unmarried mothers, provided that they were 'racially valuable'.

The SS already had Lebensborn institutions which cared for the children of SS troops including many unmarried mothers, provided that they were ‘racially valuable’.

A child's 'baptism' ceremony/ritual; conducted by members of the SS at a "Lebensborn e.V." maternity care home in Rheinhessen somewhere between 1936-1944.

A child’s ‘baptism’ ceremony/ritual; conducted by members of the SS at a “Lebensborn e.V.” maternity care home in Rheinhessen somewhere between 1936-1944.

The superiority of ‘Aryan’ Germanic blood was never in doubt for the Nazis. So many ‘good German men’ were being lost, especially on the Eastern Front, that they had to make plans to replace it. The German home front was now being regularly combed for more men to throw into the maw.

But Hitler had no doubt about the outcome of the war, he was concerned about the lack of German blood in the long term. German women would have to have a lot more children after the war. Logic dictated that there would be a shortage of men. Therefore many more children would have to borne to unmarried women. The Nazis would create the conditions to encourage this.

Martin Borman, Hitlers loyal deputy, pictured in 1939.

Martin Borman, Hitlers loyal deputy, pictured in 1939.

Martin Borman, his Nazi party deputy, took it all very seriously and wrote the following memorandum. There seems very little doubt that, given the opportunity, they would have carried out this plan. For the moment they did not want to say anything in public, for fear of upsetting the German married men who were ‘yet to die’ for their country – whose wives would be expected to have more children with another man after the war:

Führer Headquarters, 29 January 1944

Note
Re: Safeguarding the Future of the German People

After the war our national position will be catastrophic, for our nation is experiencing the second enormous loss of blood within a thirty-year period. We shall undoubtedly win the war militarily but lose it in national terms if we do not decisively transform all our previous views and the attitudes which have resulted from them. For the loss of blood is not a one-off event but rather its effects will go on year after year into the distant future.

3. The Führer pointed out that after this war we shall have 3 to 4 million women who have no husbands or cannot get them. Think how many divisions we would be lacking in twenty to forty-five years time, said the Führer.

4. The greater the number of births in a nation, the more secure will its future be. The calculation made by many parents, namely that they have to limit the number of their children to secure the future of the ones who have been born is thus completely wrong; the opposite is true!

Thus, if they thought about it properly, all women who have one child ought to be particularly concerned to see that not only they themselves but all other women have as many children as possible, because the more children that are born the more secure their children’s future will be. That is a very sober assessment of the situation.

5. Now the women who after this tremendous war are not married to a man or do not get married cannot get their children from the Holy Ghost but only from the German men who are left.

Increased procreation by individual men is of course only desirable from a national point of view in the case of some of these men. The decent, physically and psychologically healthy men of character should increase their procreation but not those who are physically and mentally deformed.

12. [ . . . ] At first many women will accept the general principle but – a lack of logic is after all innate in women – reject it in the personal circumstances of their particular case.

13. For obvious reasons, public, i.e. general education can only begin after the war. Let me just give one reason for this. We cannot now call on the women whose husbands will probably still get killed and we cannot begin the education campaign out of consideration for our soldiers because, beforehand, we would have to get our men who are now soldiers used to these ideas: not every soldier will necessarily want his wife or fiancée to have children by another man after he has been killed.

15. Right now we must remove all undesirable barriers to our goal. In particular, we must involve our poets and writers. New novels, stories, and plays which equate ‘marriage drama’ with ‘adultery’ will no longer be permitted. Nor will poems, writings or films which treat illegitimate children as inferior.

17. The upshot of all this is: we must hope that women who after the war do not have or get a husband will have a relationship with a man similar to marriage which produces as many children as possible.

Read the whole memorandum at Documents from German History

German Pak anti tank gun on the eastern front.

German Pak anti tank gun on the eastern front.

The reality was that in many places the Wehrmacht was on the retreat.

The reality was that in many places the Wehrmacht was on the retreat.

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