Variety of Articles

Once Upon a Time in the Land of the Nazis . . .

There was a romantic fairy tale being spun in Europe before and during World War II.

Only honey blondes, reddish blondes, or young women with light chestnut hair were hearing this enchanting tale told by members of the SS and the Gestapo.

Shush!  It was a secret, factual, able to be proven, but still few people heard the tale then or now.

It was told in the time of war and economic stress which made it so alluring.  The story was about luxurious places in remote and sequestered places: hotels, ski resorts, palatial villas.

Those had been restructured and furnished with the most elaborate and often choice period antiques.

The food was plentiful, all you could want.  You’d feel safe, away from the war, tucked behind ornate, curving and beautiful driveways that led to a beautiful building behind lovely guarded wrought-iron fences.

All you had to agree to do was to have a baby for Hitler’s Master Race.  You could go away and enjoy the months before the birth at the home with its planned activities and could stay on for three more months.  You could take the parcel or not.  It was your decision.

Of course, you were one of the very special women who had passed the rigid rules for being allowed to stay once you arrived.  Only forty percent passed for their Aryan purity.  The father’s paperwork specified his paternity, his physical fitness so good, he had not even a dental filling, and heritage verified back several generations as pure Aryan, no other nationality to gum up the process.

You willingly signed the agreement to give the baby to a solid and upstanding childless German couple or to one of the father’s grandparents. That was the rule.

There were excellent jobs waiting for your reentry to the world, too.  It would give you warm, fuzzy feelings to hear that your child would be a leader in their new and pure Master Race.

No one knew it at the time you were giving the baby away, that the Third Reich wouldn’t continue its magnificent march to conquer the world.

Before the war started, Himmler thought ahead and planned how women in the conquered nations would take part.  He sent men called talent scouts to Aryan-like nations, yes, even to the United States and to Canada, to take photos of prospects to put in the big black books with the SS logos embellished on the cover, the ones that matched the books with each page  registering the birth of a Lebensborn child.  When anyone referred to the conquest plan, Britain’s women for example were called: Blueberry.  The Nazis would take over a country and their prized women, too.

Births were registered with the SS only, not the local government.  The big books were guarded, kept secret.  The address on the document for the father was usually that of an SS club.

Then things took a turn.  The Allies were coming.  The order came down from Hitler to close the homes and destroy all the books and records.  The Lebensborn homes in other countries such as Norway, however, did not destroy the birth registries. Those still exist and those children have formed a support group and try to help one another locate their “true” parents, the mother sworn to secrecy under a Nazi dagger.

After the war the children of the Lebensborn homes became an embarrassment to their mothers, or to the foster parents who tried keeping their birth a secret.  The children had to ask why the names they were being called felt so terrible and why no one liked them.

To survive, a Lebensborn child often had little if any education, parent and community help.  All they knew was that their life was one of torment, shunning and that they were often physically abused.

It is terrible, but it is true, and is being told in courtrooms around the world                          as children born in the Lebensborn homes seek compensation for their tragic, conflicted lives, ones which started so magically.



Two New Books Have Local Area Settings


With their western settings, Jo Ann Bender’s new works, Rusty Springs and Story Cookbook are getting favorable reviews.


The first two editions of her cookbook entitled, Favorites from the Lazy Bee, have become part of many area residents’ libraries.  She called the third edition Story Cookbook because, “It should be just as much fun to read a story about a food or a recipe as it is to make it.” The third edition, with 128 recipes and stories, is a finalist in the Readers Favorite 2012 Awards and is available to a larger audience on Amazon Kristi, who reviewed the book for Readers Favorite, gave it five stars:


It is filled with so many recipes – recipes that I have never heard of and others that are more familiar – but it has a few little twists to them.  What makes this unique and more than “just another cookbook” is the personal stories that area included as an introduction to each recipe.  It is evident from this book that Bender enjoys life and sharing her enjoyment through food, visiting with others and hosting people at her ranch.


Rachael who reviewed the book for ForeWord Clarion gave it four stars, called it “folksy,” done in a breezy, conversational style:


Bender’s Iowa roots are evident in a wealth of recipes that feature country cooking.  There are the sorts of recipes often found in community cookbooks: crowd-pleasers that lack fancy ingredients or complicated cooking techniques.  They run the gamut from everyday meals to special occasion treats, and Bender even shares a few heirloom recipes from her family and friends to make the collection unique.


An affectionate sense of place comes through in Rusty Springs,” says reviewer Shiela for Foreword Clarion.


When Bender describes the mountain life, with the pleasure of picking huckleberries for pie competing with the danger of cougars lurking in the forest, Bender’s strength is her knowledge of mountain life and her ability draw the reader into a world of pig races, general stores, and paranoid, gun-toting neighbors.


For Readers Favorite, Alice D said:


It is a well-written story of a young woman, Kitty Klepacki, and her attempts to escape a stalker and meanwhile to settle down with someone she really likes.  Kitty’s character is highly believable and totally real as she joins in a pig chase, tells slightly off-color jokes, speaks her mind and works a gambling table quite well.  Anthony Castellano and all other characters are also well-created and play their parts nicely as the story develops.

The plot flows well towards the conclusion and the stalker’s eventual capture, although the story ends rather abruptly.  Still, RustySprings belongs on reading lists everywhere, sex scenes and all.


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