Lebensborn and the Eugenics Policy of the Reichsführer-SS

TitleLebensborn and the Eugenics Policy of the Reichsführer-SS
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1971
AuthorsThompson, Larry V.
JournalCentral European History
Volume4
Issue1
Pagination54 - 77
Date Published03/1971
Abstract

In December 1935, Reichsführer SS, Heinrich Himmler, established an SS agency designated as Lebensborn, or the "Well of Life" society, ordering it to perforn a twofold task: to administer welfare assistance to SS families having a large number of racially valuable children; and to extend maternity and child-care facilities to expectant mothers, whether they were married or not, if they could prove the biological excellence of their expected children. Lebensborn func­tioned as one unit within a comprehensive eugenics policy begun earlier in 1931 when the Reichsführer issued his famous "marriage decree" to the SS that emphasized the racial purity echoed later in the stipulations defining the mission of Lebensborn. The contribution which Lebensborn made to this eugenics program is examined with emphasis placed on the socio-biological motives that prompted Himmler's concern for childbearing and ultimately lay behind the agency's founding. [author]

URLhttp://www.jstor.org/stable/4545592
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