Breeding Hate: The Story of the Norwegian Lebensborn Children



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This study explores the Nazis’ Lebensborn program as it was implemented in Norway and to trace the post-war consequences for the unwitting children it produced. In so doing, this thesis will particularly concentrate on the roles played by international theories of race “science” and Social Darwinism and the unique characteristics of the Nazi occupation of Norway, and the life stories of the Norwegian Lebensborn children. This study thus situates the Lebensborn program within the context of 19th and 20th century eugenic and racial theory, as well as illustrates its novel characteristics and Himmler’s radical intentions for it. In addition, this thesis presents the first in-depth examination of the Lebensborn program’s wartime ministrations in Norway written in English. Finally, my study adds important new voices of Norwegian Lebensborn children to the historiography of this under-researched topic, deepening our understanding of the challenges they have faced – and continue to face – as a direct result of their half-German wartime parentage.



World War II, Norway, Eugenics, Lebensborn, Women, Children, Germany, Post-war