13. Commencement of Widespread Child Abductions
In May of 1940, Himmler issued a circular titled “The Treatment of Racial Aliens in the East“, whose gist was to destroy Poles as an ethnicity, and reduce them to a pool of slave labor to be used up within a decade. Within 20 years, Poles were to be completely eradicated. Not all Poles, however: a select minority, children of Aryan stock, were to be salvaged, Germanized, and added to the Third Reich’s population.
The part of Himmler’s plan dealing with Polish children eliminated all but the most basic of education. Writing was deemed unnecessary for Poles, so children were to be taught only how to scribble their names, and count up to 500. Polish parents who wanted more education for their children were to apply to the SS for special permits, which were to be granted only if the children were deemed “racially valuable”. If so, they were to be taken to Germany and Germanized under the aegis of the Lebensborn program.
Additionally, an annual selection was to be made of Polish children between ages 6 and 10, to identify any who met German racial criterion. Those who did were to be taken from their families, shipped to Germany, given German names, and placed in the Lebensborn program. Once sufficiently Germanized, they were to be put up for adoption.
Hitler approved of Himmler’s child abduction directives on June 20th, 1940. Orders to implement the Polish plan, and variations thereof in other conquered territories, were sent out to the SS and German governors and occupation officials throughout Nazi occupied Europe. By 1945, over 200,000 children had been kidnapped in Poland, plus another 200,000 from the rest of Europe.