The Nazi's initiated a program in 1935 through 1945, the duration of WWII called Lebensborn program. Heinrich Himmler set up a program where Germany encouraged women to have a lot of children, racially pure children. The propaganda of the day stated it was a woman's purpose. Himmler under the direction of Adolf Hitler was attempting to create a pure Aryan race. The program started in Germany and spread to other surrounding nations with Germanic people. It was in part to counteract the falling birth rate in Germany. When the women had four or more children they were given awards 'The Mother of Cross Honor" They received money and preferential treatment, like good housing, food and clothing.
The Lebensborn program attracted unmarried, pregnant “Aryan” women. It was set up initially for the girlfriends and wives of SS soldiers, removing the stigma of giving birth to illegitimate and war children. Abortions at the time were prohibited unless you were of lower racial quality. Women of questionable race or of Jewish ethnicity had their babies aborted and they were sterilized. The homes were pleasant and the women lived in comfort. They had prenatal care, delivered their babies and recovered. The staff mantained patient anonymity and confidentiality.
As the war raged on, and German soldiers died in battle, the program became exploited. Soldiers impregnated women in occupied territories. German children living abroad were kidnapped and repatriated for the reich. The children kidnapped had German ancestry or simply looked the part of an Aryan citizen. The program was held in secret, so even though abortions were punishable by imprisonment or death, 100,000 babies were illegally aborted during this period. While only 8,000 to 12,000 babies were born in Norway. Many more were kidnapped and brought to Germany to replenish the diminishing population.
The program moved into Norway in 1942. These children were called "Children of Shame". One of the most famous of these children grew up to be Anni-Frid "Frida" Lyngstad of the band ABBA. There was much shame in being the girlfriend, fiancee or wife a German SS soldier. Their children were see as outcasts. They ended up in ophanages, some went to lunatic asylums where they were further mistreated, and abused being tied to their beds for hours. The Norweigan goverment tried to expel the children to Germany citing, the children had bad genes, they were 'retarded', and belong in special institutions. It was stated, "To believe these children will become decent citizens is to believe rats in the cellar will become house pets." (Sharp, 2008) One of the children Paul Hansen, said when his mother gave birth to him, she left him at the home. The doctor there adopted 20 of the children. He worked also for a mental institution where they went to live. His statement was they were war children, and therefore must be "retarded" due to their parentage. No one tried find other family members to take in the orphans. Paul Hansen spent his first twenty years in institutions until he could sign himself out. He was last working as a janitor at the University at Oslo, living with his girlfriend. All of these children were traumatized and undereducated. Most Norweigan people believed they were retarded, or had mental illness, no one advocated for them. The Norwegian governement failed them.
On October 29, 2001 the trial began, and when the verdict came down it was "A Violation against human rights". It was a media event in Europe and each child was awarded 2 million Krones ($253,000 Euro), it was the price for the childhood trauma.....The verdict was thrown out of court as being too long ago. The Norweigan government offered them each $8,000 pounds.
Preskar, Peter, (2021), The lebensborn program: the nazi monstrous initiative to increase German population, www.medium.com, https://medium.com/lessons-from-history/lebensborn-3ceac4608d1a#:~:text=The%20newborn%20Lebensborn%20children%20were%20baptized%20by%20the,well-fed%20and%20received%20enough%20sunlight%20and%20fresh%20air.
Sharp, Rob, (2008), The chosen ones: The war children born to nazi fathers in a sinister eugenics scheme speak out, www.independent.co.uk, https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/the-chosen-ones-the-war-children-born-to-nazi-fathers-in-a-sinister-eugenics-scheme-speak-out-771017.html
Staff, (2020), United States Holocaust Museum: lebensborn program, encyclopedia.ushmm.org, https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/lebensborn-program
Tabeling, Petra, (2001), Children of shame: Norway's dark secret, www.dw.com, https://www.dw.com/en/children-of-shame-norways-dark-secret/a-336916