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Thread: The Germanization Process in Eastern Europe

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    Thumbs Up The Germanization Process in Eastern Europe

    This is a subject I find very interesting. That is, the kidnapping of racially desirable
    children from occupied territories of Eastern Europe and the plan to "Germanize" them.
    Like all things written about NS Germany, one can't be sure of the accuracy of this

    Children kidnapped from Eastern Europe for "re-Germanization" in Germany await
    transport out of their temporary home at Auschwitz, July 1944

    A key elment in the Germanization of the east was finding Germans to populate it with. An important part of this process was to "reclaim" Aryan stock from the occupied territories and turning them into Germans. This process was termed Eindeutschung. The SS section responsible for Eindeutschung was Rasse und Siedlungshauptamt--RuSHA (Race and Settlement Head Office). Here the SS's authority also overlapped with Alfred Rosenberg's Ostministerium (Ministry for the Occupied East). While there were differences within the SS, there was agreement that the most of the population of the occupied East was not suitable for Eindeutschung and would have to be expelled to Siberia. The differences withinthe SS was the extent to which force should be used to bring about the emmigration to Siberia. [Padfield, p. 363.]

    We have tranlated Eindeutschung as "Germinization" a short convenient term. An accurate term is much more complicated. Eindeutschung as program implemented by the Nazis. The Nazis saw Eindeutschung as the reappropriaton of stolen genetic material. The Nazi Eindeutschung program involved several different steps. First, suitable individuals had to be identified. Second, if the individuals are children, they have to be transferred to the approriate Eindeutschung authorities. Third, the children have to be culturally socialized to become Germans.

    The Occupied East
    The Nazi program for Lebensraum in the East was not just to acquire territory. The plans for that territory were monsterous beyond belief. The plan was to evacate Poles and Russians from these territories. Some would remain to serve as slave laborers. Millions would be expelled or "evacuated" with the understanding that large numbers would die in the process. The goal was to make the east German. Here Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler had the responsibility for persuing this effort. He appears to have assigned his deputy Reinhard Heydrich to coordinate this effort and essentially the SS's entire eastern operation. Heydrich ordered the Sicherheitsdienst (SD) (SS Security Service) in 1941 to begin the necessary planning. There were differences of opinion within the SS and between the SS and Alfred Rosenberg's Ostministerium (Ministry for the Occupied East) over how to claim the East. There was agreement that large numbers of Slavs had to be removed to Siberia. There were differences as to the extent to which forcible evictions should take place.

    Covert Operation
    Eindeutschung was one of several Nazi racial and eugenics programs that were conducted covertly. There were the T4 euthenasia program and 14f13 concentration camp euthensia killings. Both of these preceeded the mass killings in the Holocaust. Eindeutschung was also conducted covertly and officials discouraged the use of the term to describe the children involved. This was because it might make the program more difficult to execute if it was widely known what the Nazis were doing. In addition some Germans at home would object if details of the program were publicized. It would also make it more difficult to place children if adoptive parents were told that the children were Polish or Russian and not German orphans. There was also concern that the children would be stigmatized. The children were described as German orphans from the reconqered East. [Padfield, p. 365.]

    Population Assessments
    While there were differences with the SS and Ostministerium on policies and progams in the occupied territories in the East. A conference was held between the SS and Ostministerium on February 4, 1942 to resolve some of these differences. The conference was chaird by Dr. Bruno Kleist, Chief of Department I 2 (Ostland). There was general agreement that the population of the occupied territories should be assessed racially to identify individuals suitable for Eindeutschung. Itwas decided that such an assessment should be disguied as a health inquiry

    Himmler in October 1940 had suggested that Polish school children in the Protectorate (I think that meant the Goverment General) could best be asessed through a form purporting to be for health purposes. Thee were medical questions such as illnesses and state of the teeth and vision as well as informatin like height and weight. The important questions for the NAZIs, however, eye and hair color. There were three categories of eye color: 1) blue, grey, and green; 2) brown and dak brown; and 3) black. There were two categories of hair color: 1) blond and 2) brown, dark brown, and black. He also wanted full facial and frontal photographs, presumably to detect Slavic features like noticeable high cheek bones. [Padfield, p. 364.]

    I wonder why their chins weren't measured for Aryan character?

    Eindeutschung was first persued in Poland after the Nazi invasion launching World War II (September 1939). Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 and defeated the Polish Army in a few weeks, introducing the world to Blitzkrieg warfare. They divided Poland with the Soviet Union, which after the German success invaded from the east. The SS conducted kidnappings taking children children who matched Nazi racial criteria. The occupation of Poland was one of the most brutal in European history. Occupation authorities, especially the SS, were under no legal or moral constraints as regards their conduct and the execultion of occupation policies. Poles had no recourse. The Nazis set out to eliminate the Polish intelligencia and reduce the rest of the country to a vast population of slave labor. It is estimated that a quarter of the population of Poland perished during the occupation. Thousands of Polish children were transferred to special Lebensborn centers in order to be "Germanized". Most sources estimate over 0.2 million Polish children were kidnapped.

    Padfield, Peter. Himmler: Reichsführer-SS (Henry Holt: New York, 1991), 656p.


    Nazi Eindeutschung / Lebensborn Program: Occupied Countries--Poland

    Thousands of Polish children were transferred to special Lebensborn centers in order to be "Germanized". Most sources estimate over 0.2 million Polish children were kidnapped. They were subjected to an "arische" racial classification using the Arier tables. The most important criterion was the distance between forehead and back of the head. The result determined the child's fate. Himmler reasoned that the education process would be relatively easy because the German ideals "would reverberate in the sprit of the children who resemble us racially". With the younger children, the education process was relatively easy. They were sent to Lebensborn homes. The SS nurses there reportedly persuade the children that their parents had abandoned them. The children 6-12 years of age were sent to boarding schools. The older children were more of a problem. The older children who rejected the Nazi education program were often beaten. These children were not returned home. When it was determined that they would not accept Germinization, they were usually transferred to concentration camps. Other children who upon closer examination were not sufficently Aryan were also sent to concentration camps. The children that proved more receptive were adopted by SS and other German families. The non-SS familes were often not aware of where the children had come from and the circustances under which they had been obtained. As with the German Lebensborn children, the SS normally falsified the child's birth and other documents.

    Racial Assessments
    Local RuSHA officials conducted preliminary racial assessments of the children. Local health officials were to assess them medically. The children that were assessed suitable were then sent to the Gau children's home at Brockau for a 6-week assessment. Further racial assessments were made. I'm not sure precisely which assessments were made by the RuSHA and which were made at Brockau. There were measurements of the skull, limbs and bodies. Girls had measurements taken of their pelvis. Boys had measurements taken of their penis. Based on these assessments the children were classified as "valuable", "acceptable", or "not desired" for Eindeutschung. [Henry and Hillel, pp. 153 ff.] Frau Professor Dr. Hildegard Hetzer at the home assessed the children psycologically. The director of the home assessed their character. The final selection for Eindeutschung based on these assessments was made by the Gau Reichsstatthalter. The children were told that their parents were dead. They were also told false stories designed to make the children reject them. They were given German names and made to speak German. [Padfield, pp. 365-366.]

    The processing of the children selected for Eindeutschung varied, depending on their age. The authorities were instructed to avoid using the term "Eindeutschung-capable Polish child" in public lest the children be stigmatized. They were described to adoptive parents as "German orphans from the reconquered east." [Padfield, p. 365.]
    Lebensborn homes: Children aged 2-6 years were sent to Lebensborn homes in Germany. There were no Lebensborn homes in Poland. The SS did try to establish one, but met objections from Reichsgesundheitsführers Dr. Conti (the German Health Minister). The homes' responsibility was to find families to adopt the children. Priority was given to SS families. The children that scored highest on "arische" examinations went to the SS families.
    Boarding schools: Children aged 6-12 years of age were sent to state boarding schools in Germany.

    Abe, R. "Lebensborn e.V." website, (retrieved May 3, 2002).

    Albrecht, Jörg. "Rohstoff für Übermenschen", Artikel in Zeit-Punkte 3/2001 zum Thema Biomedizin, S. 16-18.

    Bleuel, H. P. Das saubere Reich. Theorie und Praxis des sittlichen Lebens im Dritten Reich, Bern u.a. 1972, S. 192.

    Clay, Catrine and Michael Leapman. "Herrenmenschen", Das Lebensborn-Experiment der Nazis, Heyne-TB (1997, vergriffen).

    Henry, Clarissa and Marc Hillel. Lebensborn: Children of the SS (Hutchinson: London, 1976).

    Hillel, Marc and Clarissa Henry. "Of Pure Blood" (1976).

    Lilienthal, Georg. "Der Lebensborn e. V.", Fischer Verlag (1993, vergriffen).

    Padfield, Peter. Himmler: Reichsführer-SS (Henry Holt: New York, 1991), 656p.

    Schmitz-Köster, Dorothee. "Deutsche Mutter bist du bereit", Alltag im Lebensborn, Aufbau-Verlag (1997, vergriffen).

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    I don't the veracity of these stories, but let's assume there's some truth to it all.

    Why does this interest you?

    Hmmm...I wouldn't mind knowing the exact criteria, it's all very vague.

    Anyway, it was a time before genetic testing; phenotype alone can be deceiving.

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