10 Interesting Details About the Nazi Lebensborn Program

Nazi SS Leader Heinrich Himmler developed the Lebensborn (meaning Wellspring of Life) Program for the Third Reich. The program, which began in December 1935 and continued until the end of the Second World War, persuaded women of so-called pure blood, to mate with single and married SS Officers and ultimately give birth to blonde, blue-eyed children.

Himmler oversaw the Lebensborn Program throughout its tenure and frequently visited Lebensborn homes. He was arrested as a war criminal when the Second World War ended and killed himself by swallowing a cyanide capsule on May 23, 1945 while he was imprisoned.

10. The Goal of the Program

Beginning in the early 1900s, Germany’s birthrate was in decline.  Due to tough economic times, and a shortage of marriage-age men, particularly after Germany’s defeat on November 11, 1918 in the First World War, the use of birth control and women seeking abortions became common practices. By 1933, the birthrate per thousand was only 14.7%.

The Lebensborn Program was a method for the Nazi’s to reverse the birthrate decline and at the same time create a superior Aryan master race, which would dominate Europe as part of German Fuehrer Adolph Hitler’s Third Reich, or Thousand Year Reich.  Hitler’s plan was to complete the last third of a trio that included the First Reich (the Holy Roman Empire), and the Second Reich (the Hohenzollern Dynasty), both of which lasted about a thousand years each. As it turned out, the Third Reich only lasted 11 years.

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