Bloody Hell !!

Impressions while reading Ingrid von Oelhafen's and Tim Tate's Hitler's Forgotten Children, A True Story of the Lebensborn Program and One Woman's Search for Her Real Identity (Berkley Caliber, New York 2016)

Ingrid was taken from her family in the former Yugoslavia because of her “Aryan” characteristics and was placed in a Lebensborn facility where such children were prepared for Germanization, to be then placed into trusted homes and be raised as German children, never to know their birth-parents again.  The idea was to rescue the Aryan blood that had been mingled among other peoples and nations and bring it all back to Germany to support the war’s effort to save the master race from being totally swirled into the melting pot outside the Reich. 

Another book I read at the same time was How Mankind Committed the Ultimate Infamy at AUSCHWITZ, A New History by Laurence Rees (MJF Books, New York, 2005), Rees explains the theft of children with promising racial features, referring to Poland in particular, on his page 17, in the context of a written policy on the education of Poland’s children authored by Himmler:

          The non-German population of the Eastern territories must not receive any education higher than that of an elementary school. ... The objective of this elementary school must simply be to teach: simple arithmetic up to 500 at the most, how to write one’s name, and to teach that it is God’s commandment to be obedient to Germans and to be honest, hard-working and well behaved.  I consider it unnecessary to teach reading.

In this context it is telling that among the earliest inhabitants of Auschwitz were Polish professors and university students.  This was a multi-pronged and concerted effort to assure an obedient populace without leadership knowledge or skills, either taught or inherited, and it is interesting to me how religion [God’s commandment is to obey the Germans] was brought into this plan.

What we learn from Von Oelhafen and Tate is that these stolen children ranged in age from infancy to late teen years [in Yugoslavia where she lived, now Slovenia] and came through Lebensborn homes, and were well taken care of although very strictly handled.  Food plenty, love not so much.  Some pregnant women, selected for their Aryan looks and characteristics, who were impregnated by certified Aryan men and were not in a position to have their babies at home, came to these homes to give birth.  These women included unwed mothers-to-be from both Germany and conquered lands.  The whole idea was to save Aryan blood mixed in with impure blood from these lands, and bolster the German population after the “Germanization” of these stolen children

Ingrid’s story is gripping and grippingly told by someone with obvious cinema writing experience: an introduction like a movie trailer, gives you a quick insight into what you will read, and then the main book peels the onion that is Ingrid’s quest to learn of her original identity layer by layer, exposing both personal revelations and the dark secrets of the Nazi obsession with “blood.”

Tainted blood was blood from inferior races, pure blood was Aryan blood, and the totally unscientific theory was that by studying and measuring Aryan characteristics in a child one could determine its "race value" and whether it would grow up to be an exemplary Aryan, or not.  It was not enough to encourage those with the requisite characteristics to produce offspring for the Führer, married or not, but there also had to be an attempt to “rescue” Aryan blood from the melting pot (cesspool of inferior blood) that constituted their birth families, hence the examinations and the forced removal of high quality Aryan children from their homes to be brought up in Germany.  Blood, blood, blood, in the cause of purifying Aryan blood the Nazis created an actual “bloody hell!”

It wasn’t a bloody hell for everyone of course, properly vetted and racially pure men and women were encouraged to copulate, to reproduce, regardless of marital status, and especially if they were shipping out for combat. On their page 113 Von Oelhafen and Tate cite documents to show that the furtherance of the good-blood strategy contained an order to essentially practice “free love” and not worry about the mothers and babies because they would be taken care of, through Lebensborn.

I really liked the way the authors both emphasized, explained, and then passed judgment on this “pure blood” mania.  For example, on page 88 after discussing the problem of a falling birthrate and the new laws banning contraceptives advertising and making abortion illegal: “Abortions were criminalized as ‘acts of sabotage against Germany’s racial future.’” Racial future?  Yes, it was all about blood and its purity, an obsession for Himmler, the chief of the SS:


The Lebensborn homes that became part of Von Oelhafen’s personal history were a part of this Aryan-blood rescue operation.  Von Oelhafen and Tate quote Himmler on page 158 saying to his inner circle (Himmler quotes are italicized):

And how was that good blood detected?  Measurements!  On the same page they quote a boy who said:

Von Oelhafen was originally from a Slavic country, hence this lengthy quote from Himmler was especially meaningful for her (page 173):

Good blood.  Save it, or destroy it if you can’t have it.  Why destroy it if you can’t have it?  It was imperative to detect good blood in conquered lands and separate it out and bring it to Germany.  To bolster the German good blood population, but also to deprive these nations of their natural-leader-class as already explained in a quote from Rees' book above, the people of good Aryan blood were natural born leaders!  Von Oelhafen and Tate also have a nice Himmler quote saying that explicitly on their page 171:

I have tried not to tell the very gripping and very personal life story of Ingrid Matko-von-Oelhafen in citing from this biographical book.  I did not want to discourage anyone’s reading it for themselves.  But I will cite her coming to this realization based on her life experience (p. 266): “Blood is not important.” 

She suggests this reality dispersed the Nazi fog of unrealistic and cruel beliefs about the human condition and their own superiority:  . . . "in that realization lies the ultimate defeat of the Nazis’ ideology.”  Amen!!!

But this is all about the Nazis and their atrocities, and no one believes in this superior and inferior blood business anymore, right?  Von Oelhafen and Tate’s last chapter says alas this is not so (p. 269):


I go a few steps beyond that and accuse modern religions of maintaining such beliefs and teaching them explicitly or implicitly by holding up the Bible as the Word of God, inerrantly so.  That book is all about a chosen race and people, even in parts of the New Testament where it is made clear that God was addressing his chosen people first, then the rest of humanity.  What self-serving balderdash.  And the Old Testament, in the Law of Moses, makes a great distinction between how Israeli slaves may be treated in contrast with slaves captured from neighboring peoples.  Israeli slaves had to be set free every seventh year, not so foreign slaves.  Israeli slaves could not be mistreated severely, no such prohibition for the treatment of foreign slaves.  If you steal a foreign woman and use her sexually and she ceases to please you, you can send her home.  Really?  Danes horribly mistreated the women who had had German boyfriends during the war, and it was a civilized country, so what are you sending them back to?  Death by what means?

But even this whole bloodline of 'royalty' that even God honors and sends his purported Son into the world through is something that has been used by royals and nobles and similar self-deluded charlatans throughout Christian history, making them owners of lands and peoples and superior to the lower classes and especially foreigners.  But this is nothing special for the Christian world, it also pervaded completely non-Christian cultures in which a class of nobles was recognized and their rights defended at the expense of the lives and health of the lower classes when it came to war and surviving famine or even the black plague.  An infamous prayer by a Church functionary thanks God for continuing to save him from this scourge visited upon the lower class sinners.  This was before it was realized that sanitation and staying away from victims was the cause of upper class survival, not being chosen by God.

There is a cottage industry, however, in writing books about and providing tours of sites (in southern France mostly, but also the UK) important to the notion that Christs’ blood survived in the form of a child or children.  It is marvelous storytelling, and it could very well be true!  But even then it is totally beside the point: there is nothing in bloodlines that consistently passes on holiness or nobility of character.  As was observed in one of von Oelhafen’s reunions with other children stolen by the Nazis, these persons selected because they were racially valuable, and thus supposedly had large fractions of pure Aryan blood, suffered the same ailments and health-failures as the general population.

I have opined on this topic before and will repeat some examples here:


On this page I mention my reading of Margaret Starbird’s book “The Woman with The Alabaster Jar,” subtitled “Mary Magdalene and the Holy Grail.”  It is about a heresy concerning the blood of Christ having been carried in the form, not of a physical blood-sample in a chalice or cup, but of a young girl, the daughter of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.  I approved of this interpretation at that time because it made Jesus more readily and obviously human, and even a romantic, like the rest of us.  I also liked the Gospel of Thomas’ depiction of Jesus and Mary, saying Jesus loved her more than the other apostles and kissed her often on the mouth (see The Expected One - the same topic but a book I am much more critical of than Starbird’s because it tells a tale and pretends it to be factual, not fictional)

The Religious Roots of the Holocaust

From Eric Zuesse’s book (a citation also used in part by von Oelhafen and Tate), used by Zuesse to show that Hitler was motivated by an idiosyncratic reading and interpolation of the Bible:

Hitler’s literalist, fundamentalist Christian theology retrojected or read-back into the ancient Jewish Old Testament account of Man’s Fall, the distinctively New Testament equation of snake=Satan=Jew, thus implicitly (Page 62) explaining why it was that in the Old Testament the Jews repeatedly disappointed God. According to Hitler’s theological interpretation, there was a constitutional defect in the Jewish people, which came to a climax in the Deicide, as reflected in passages such as John 8:44, Matthew 23:33 and 27:25, and Luke 19:27, which Hitler seems to have understood as Godly authorization for the Holocaust, as a new-dispensation version of such Old Testament instructions or commands from God as Deuteronomy 7:1-3 and 20:16-8 (only now, “God’s People” were Christians, not Jews).

Hitler would “atone” for his own “curse” of his personal “original sin” --of his “blood poisoning” from a Jewish ancestor.  He passionately meant it when he said in Mein Kampf that he would heed God’s(Deut.7:1–3) . . .

Diseases such as Hitler complained of were, in his view, the consequence of such a “race poisoning”—from the worst of all sources, “the people of the devil.”  The Holocaust was Hitler’s “atonement” for his own “original sin.” The leeches and doctors had failed, so Hitler relied upon the Bible for designing his cure.


1.   I do not believe in any nobility, divine or otherwise, being passed on genetically: blood is blood, there is nothing intrinsically holy or even superior or inferior about it. People of all walks of life may be holy, in the secular sense of being very good persons who act with a great degree of compassion and love in all they do. That may reflect upbringing, and some genetic predisposition, but it has little to do with the pedigree of ones longer term genealogy.

2.   Why this attitude? My own peasant roots: I am a peasant and do not feel in the least inferior to anyone else in the world because of their family connections or genealogical pedigree. I feel inferior in intellect to many, and stand in awe of the accomplishments of many. But that has little to do with ‘blood.’

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