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Hitler's Forgotten Children: The Shocking True Story of the Nazi Kidnapping Conspiracy by [Von Oelhafen, Ingrid, Tate, Tim]
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Hitler's Forgotten Children: The Shocking True Story of the Nazi Kidnapping Conspiracy Kindle Edition

4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Review

"An emotional read… engagingly written… by experiencing the distance and loneliness of von Oelhafen's youth with her, it's much easier to empathise with the tragic situation of hundreds of children during Hitler's reign." -- All About History magazine

"Every person I have told about this book has immediately gone to buy it and I encourage everyone else to do so as it is a story that needs to be told, much like the Holocaust needed to be told." -- CountryWives.co.uk

" Eminently readable, a perfect mixture of personal discovery and a historical backdrop that both fascinates and horrifies" -- BeingAnne.com

"Heartbreaking … a compelling and addictive read" -- thequietknitterer.wordpress.com

"Sobering … I learned much about the history of post-war Germany along with the complicated process of missing identity. The story flows well and Ingrid is a fascinating raconteur; her resolute determination to find out the truth is a credit to both her strength of purpose and utter resilience … inspirational" -- jaffareadstoo.blogspot.co.uk

"In an age when it takes a lot to shock Western audiences, there is still shock to be found in true stories. And Ingrid's story is a true one. Hitler's Forgotten Children … will stay in your head for a long time once you close the final pages." -- MadamJMo, blogger

"Shocking… I had to take some quiet time after reading it just to process what I had learned. This is a hugely important book which anyone with an interest in the Third Reich, or who cares about the damaging impact of supremacist politics, must read." -- Louise Hector, LouiseReviews

"A really interesting book on a little known subject ... we have to admire Ingrid for telling her story" -- Callmemadam, blogger

"A very readable look at an incredibly personal tale - the openness featured here is remarkable, as is the clarity of the writing, as the narrative goes from official history to personal ... The fact that so many Lebensborn sufferers have gone on to work for the care of others shows the Nazi idea behind it died a death a long time ago, even if the legacy still remains. The fact this book exists is a further success against the Nazi idea too, and as a result is worth the read." -- John Lloyd, The Bookbag

"Every once in a while you think you have heard the most grotesque and bizarre extremes of Hitler's National Socialist madness and then another revelation comes along. Reading Ingrid von Oelhafen's book was just such a moment. ... Two of the most remarkable features of this book are its human warmth and its absence of rancour. The author has every right to bitterness and self-pity after the treatment she received, but she yields to neither. Towards the end of the book she writes 'I knew I had to learn not just to understand but to forgive'. It is my belief that she has done both." -- Richard Littledale, blogger

"As someone who reads non-fiction books such as this one quite often, I was pleased overall with the narrative voice of Ingrid, and readers will really feel for her personal struggles to get answers to questions no one wants to answer. Her determination is admirable, and her positivity is outstanding, considering some of the hardships she has faced. ... I feel we owe it to her to at least try and understand what she alone has had to go through over the years, simply to find out what the rest of us take for granted: our true identity." --Jade Cranwell, Reviewing Central

About the Author

Ingrid von Oelhafen is a former physical therapist living in Osnabruck, Germany. For more than 20 years she has been investigating her own extraordinary story and that of Lebensborn. She is in contact with other Lebensborn survivors and has been invited to give talks in schools about the programme and its effects on those who were part of it.

Tim Tate is a multi-award-winning documentary filmmaker and author. In 2013 he produced and directed Lebensborn: Children of the Master Race, which was broadcast on Channel 5. He is the author of twelve books, including the best-selling Slave Girl (John Blake, 2009).

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 5483 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Publisher: Elliott & Thompson (14 May 2015)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00XGXAJ90
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #44,861 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Ingrid Von Oelhafen always knew there was something strange in her life story but her mother's refusal to answer any questions or tell her anything left Ingrid in ignorance until she retired and finally decided to look into her past. The story she uncovered is deeply shocking and life changing.
The denazification of Germany after the war, though vital to the nation's emergence from its corporate hell, led to countless families simply burying their history and re-inventing themselves. Children and grandchildren are only now, in many cases beginning to discover what mummy or daddy really did during the war. Ingrid's mother went to her grave without revealing her secret or being able to talk about her feelings about the direction her life took. Ingrid will never know to what extent her mother chose to take two children into her life who were not her own and whose parents had them stolen from them, and to what extent she may have been coerced or brainwashed into doing so.

These secrets prevented mother and daughter ever becoming friends and her mother's ambivalence towards her is harrowing to read.
Yet Ingrid hangs on to the discovery that her mother acted with considerable courage and singlemindedness to smuggle both her illicit children out of East Germany to safety in the west. She remembered this journey and finds a crumb of comfort in a positive comment her mother made about her in a thinly filled diary or notebook.

It's C21 but the cataclysmic wars and political upheavals of C20 will continue to echo and reverberate through this century casting a long shadow. We have a duty and responsibility to our children and grandchildren to do our best to bring into the light dark things that have been hidden. Only then can the evil legacy they carry be destroyed.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There seems to have been two aspects to the Lebensborn program. One, the tragic kidnapping of "Germanic" children from their Slavic parents; and two, birth-houses for the care of unwed mothers. While the first is notably horrible, the second seems rather noble. I suppose when you consider that many of the babies born in these houses were children of high-up SS officers, there is something somewhat uneasy about it, but technically, there wasn't anything really sinister about it. It is hardly "one of the most terrible of all Nazi experiments," as the back of the book suggests.

Ingrid von Oelhafen's story focuses on the first of the Lebensborn programs just mentioned. Clearly, this was a horrible tragedy, one of the many atrocities committed by the Nazis, but Oelhafen reveals a bit of moral ambiguity here. After returning to Slovakia and seeking out her family, she realizes, that in a sense, her life has been far richer and more fufilling than what she would have expected had she grown up in Yugoslavia. But she was taken as a baby. She has no recollection of her time there. The tragedy is really for the family who lost a baby, not for her. Hers is that she was placed in a home where the parents were less than ideal. And in this her story is really no different that any story of a foster child, placed in a home where they are less than wanted, and who one day discovers the truth. Von Oelhafen's story is really the story of the discovery of her roots, one that originated in tragedy, no doubt, but nonetheless, is the similar path that many foster and adopted children make. It has little to do with the Lebensborn program, I think.

For most of these children, the problem is not like von Oelhafen's.
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I had never heard of the Lebensbon programme before I bought this book, but I learned a lot from reading it. It works well both as a historical document and as a very personal account of the author's search for her true identity. Definitely worth reading for the light it sheds on another crazy and evil side of the Nazi regime.
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From an academic, historical perspective, this could have been better, more complete. But it wasn't written by an historian - it was written by a survivor and in her confusion, grief, guilt and bitterness she has rendered an account made more compelling by its "amateur" quality. Quietly and with surprising dignity, it pours scorn on the Nazis absurd racial beliefs with no less impact than any number of bloodcurdling holocaust memoirs. Worth the read.
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Wow what a book. A true story. Very sad. Set in wartime, Hitler creating. A super race. Kidnapping babies and children from countries they have occupied to be brought up as German. The fight for the author to find her real family. Very courageous lady. I don't read many true stories, but this is worth a read.
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An interesting piece of additional History which I was unaware of formerly; I was a child during the War I was 2 when War was Declared and while as I grew up I absorbed more of the facts of the conflict as I matured this area never came out. It must have been absolutely terrible for those children involved, not just Germans but children of other nationalities being inculcated with Nazi ideals.
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Excellent and great credit must go to the author for facing up to her past, for her persistence and for being prepared to tell her story to the world.
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