Integral to the Nazis' aspiration to take over Europe - and beyond - was the fertility of the 'Aryan' population. Whilst doctors were legally obliged to perform abortions upon any pregnant Jewish or disabled women, politically-loyal and ethnically 'suitable' women in the Third Reich could find themselves the recipients of the 'Cross of Honour of the German Mother' - bronze for four children, silver for six, and gold for eight. And by 1935, Himmler's SS had established the Lebensborn ('Fount of Life') association with the goal of increasing the number of 'Aryan' children born throughout the Reich. Here, German and Scandinavian women would reside in a bid to fall pregnant through an encounter with an SS officer or German soldier - and babies would be chosen for adoption by SS members and their families.
Led by an expert on Third Reich history, Dr. Finn Ballard, this Conversation will examine one of Nazi Germany's most peculiar schemes. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of an often-untold chapter in Nazi history - and in women's history.
Please be aware this seminar will touch on sensitive subjects, and viewer discretion is advised.
About Your Expert
Finn grew up in Northern Ireland before moving to England to study and later teach in the department of Film and Literature at the University of Warwick. He completed his doctoral study on German folklore and popular cinema in 2012, and has published extensively in the fields of Film Studies and Gender Studies. Since 2008, he has been living and guiding in Berlin. He now works as a historical advisor for television and film productions set in Berlin, particularly during the Weimar era or Third Reich. He is a journalist for the 'Siegessauele', Europe's foremost Queer magazine, and organises events at Berlin's English-language bookstore 'Another Country'.
Not suitable for children under age 13 (sensitive content).
90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.
What a great presentation. The subject was fascinating and the present exceedingly knowledgeable and accessible.
This gentleman gives great presentations on lesser known aspects of this period of time. Very interesting!
What a fascinating talk. The ****’s determination to build up the ‘aryan’ population at whatever cost - even kidnapping - was chilling. I highly recommend this talk.
As always, Dr. Ballard’s presentations are excellently researched and expertly presented!