The Fountain of Life movement was introduced into Nazi Germany by Heinrich Himmler. The Fountain of Life (Lebensborn) movement was all part of Himmler’s desire to create a Master Race through selective breeding. German women were bombarded with propaganda messages that it was their duty to produce racially pure children and whether they were born in a marriage was of minor concern to Himmler. To him the end result was the most important factor. Girls still at school were taught that it was their duty to produce racially pure children and the Fountain of Life movement was all part of this. Girls were told that men in the SS were acceptable potential fathers because of their ‘purity’. If a young girl became pregnant she received the very best medical treatment. There were 12 centres throughout Nazi Germany that looked after young girls once they had given birth.


If the above was not unpleasant enough, there was a sinister side to the Fountain of Life movement. Children in Occupied Eastern Europe were kidnapped and handed over to vetted parents in Nazi Germany to be brought up as good Germans. The theory behind this was that with a sound upbringing with a ‘good’ German family the child would lose its Eastern European characteristics and develop into a good Nazi who as an adult would start to produce children. It is known that children were kidnapped from occupied Poland, France, Yugoslavia, Norway and Czechoslovakia. Himmler ordered that the selection process had to be very thorough before the children were even brought o Germany. Once in Nazi Germany they were sent to indoctrination centres before being sent to “racially trustworthy” families.


No one is quite sure how many children were involved in the Fountain of Life movement but the figure of “several hundred thousand” children (Louis Snyder) is generally accepted as being near the mark.


October 2012