Plan to make master race

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The Independent Online
Children born during the Nazi occupation of the Channel Islands narrowly escaped being transported to Germany as part of a programme to produce a master race, a historian has claimed, writes Jojo Moyes and Elizabeth Wine.

Joe Miere, former curator of Jersey's German Underground Hospital, says that documents from sources across Europe show that a unit from an elite SS squad visited the island shortly before D-Day to assess the `racial suitability' of 80 children born illegitimately to Jersey mothers.

The visit was part of the Lebensborn programme initiated by Heinrich Himmler, which produced some 7,500 children. Officers were ordered to father `perfect Aryans' in special Lebensborn homes, while in occupied countries suitable children were stolen to improve future blood stocks.

Documents dated 24 May 1944 addressed to the RuSHA (racial unit) headquarters in Berlin state: `Since the occupation of the Channel Islands by German forces, 80 children have been born whose fathers are unquestionably members of the German occupying forces ... The situation of these unmarried mothers is very bad indeed.'

Mr Miere, who has studied the occupation for more than 50 years, said many mothers did in fact move to Germany.

Michael Leapman, co-author of the book Master Race, about the Lebensborn programme, said that the new documents showed that even at the late stage of the war, the Nazis were still being selective. `Because Himmler admired British stock the Germans were looking to increase their population by taking illegitimate children fathered by German soldiers. Whether these children had a lucky escape or not I don't know.'