Children during the World War Two in Nazi Germany and elsewhere.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Nazi Children, Descendants of Nazi Leaders, Hitler Youth: Hitlerjugend, Lebensborn - Nazi Master Race, Hitler Youth.
Heart-rending WWII diaries of Soviet children published in English
A book of 35 diaries written by Soviet children in 1941-1945, the years of the Great Patriotic War, has been translated into English. It contains written testimonies of the horrors of fighting with Nazis documented with a child`s sincerity. Featuring memories and impressions of youngsters who lived through some of the most traumatic episodes in world`s history, the book, titled, "Children of War," includes diaries written by children during the 1941-44 siege of Leningrad, in Nazi concentration camps, as well as those written while living in occupied territories and on the frontline.
Conflict-Series: A highly rated strategy game series for Android
If you love classic PC war games and legendary strategy board games make sure to check out the highly rated Conflict-series for Android. Some of the WWII Campaigns include D-Day 1944, Operation Barbarossa, Invasion of Poland 1939, France 1940, Kursk 1943, Market Garden, Iwo Jima, Okinawa, Rommel's North African campaign, the Battle of Bulge, and the Battle of Berlin 1945. In addition there are American Civil War, First World War and American Revolutionary War scenarios available.
(available on Google Play & Amazon App Store)
New exhibition tells of the foreign children torn from their families and turned them into perfect Aryans
The Nazis stole Halina Bukowiecka in 1941 when she was just seven. After her mother died and her father had gone to fight for the Resistance, Halina had lived with her grandmother in the Polish city of Lodz. One day, Halina was ordered to attend the Youth Office for a `health check`. Soon her grandmother was told that Halina was being `temporarily` transferred to an orphanage. The `health check` was, in fact, a `racial examination` and Halina had been deemed `racially suitable` to be taken from her Poland to be `Germanised`. What followed were years of hell, from which she would never recover. At the orphanage she was forced to speak only German. Worse, the distraught little girl was given a new, Germanic name - Helene Buchenauer.
Nazi Summer Camps Revealed in 1930s America
In the 1930s, before World War Two had begun, a series of Nazi summer camps were set up across the United States. The Nazi-themed camps were set up by locals – not the Third Reich in Germany – and showed that support for right-leaning views was on the increase around the world, not just in Germany. Scarily, the camps were very similar to the Hitler Youth camps that were used to propagate the Nazis` policies and gain support from the younger generation. In total 16 camps were set up across the U.S. At the camps, parents would give Hitler`s right-arm salute, and children would wear uniforms with the Nazi swastika emblem - showing how much of a following fascism garnered during the 1930s internationally.
Adolf Eichmann`s daughter-in-law defends him in Argentina, quits mayoral bid
A daughter-in-law of Adolf Eichmann, the late Nazi war criminal who masterminded the near-annihilation of Hungarian Jewry, withdrew her mayoral candidacy in Argentina after defending his actions on TV. Carmen Bretin Lindemann announced that she was bowing out of the mayoral race of the northeastern village of Garupa after receiving intense criticism for what she said about Eichmann during a TV interview. `The history that you know is not the real one, the TV that you know from movies and books is written by the Jews, and all the world accepts that history. He wasn`t a bad person, he obeyed orders and did not personally kill anyone,` she said, calling Eichmann `grandpa.`
Study: Nazi propaganda left life-long mark on German kids
Nazi propaganda had a life-long effect on German children schooled in the Third Reich, leaving them far more likely to harbor negative views of Jews than those born earlier and later, according to a study published Monday. The researchers found that those born in the 1930s held the most extreme anti-Semitic opinions — even fifty years after the end of Nazi rule. `It`s not just that Nazi schooling worked, that if you subject people to a totalitarian regime during their formative years it will influence the way their mind works,` said Hans-Joachim Voth of the University of Zurich, one of the study`s authors. `The striking thing is that it doesn`t go away afterward.`
400,000 children fathered by occupying Allies shunned in post-war Germany and Austria
When Christa Wais was born in September 1946, her Austrian mother had already lost contact with her father, a major in the Red Army. Christa is one of 30,000 children thought to have been fathered by Allied soldiers in Austria in the decade after World War Two. Meanwhile it is estimated that about 400,000 children in Germany were fathered by the occupying soldiers, who came from United States, Britain, France and the Soviet Union.
Wolfskinder - Lost and forgotten: German wolf children in Lithuania
When Alfreda Pipiraite turned 18, she believed she`d made it. "But no, they said to me, `You German pig! You Hitlerist! Fascist!` And so on. It was particularly painful whenever a member of my family called me that." After all, Alfreda was really Luise, a German born in 1940 in the town of Schwesternhof in East Prussia. At the age of four she was adopted by a Lithuanian family as a so-called "Wolfskind," or wolf child. During the chaotic final stages of the war, 5,000 children, according to historian Roth Leiserowitz, fled from East Prussia to Lithuania. Such children were robbed by WWII of everything: their parents, their home, their language. The children stumbled away through forests, some of them without shoes. Their bellies were bloated, their arms no more than twigs, their teeth beginning to rot. Sometimes they ate grass, at other times frogs - and often, simply nothing.
Blitz Kids: The Children`s War Against Hitler. by Sean Longden by Sean Longden
A generation grew up during the Second World War but, beyond the far-from-universal experience of evacuation, what was wartime really like for those not yet old enough to take up arms? What Sean Longden uncovers in Blitz Kids is a complex picture of a generation for whom the death and destruction of the Blitz became the norm. For the large numbers of young people who saw active service despite being under-aged, the experience was perhaps even more shocking. Longden allows his many interviewees to tell their own stories while supplying enough context to knit their accounts into a compelling narrative.
Two documentary films explore "Brown Babies" - The offspring of white German women and African American soldiers
Two documentary films - "Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story" and "Brown Babies: Germany`s Lost Children" - reveal the virtually unknown stories of the offspring of white German women and African American soldiers in the years following World War II. These children, who were called "mischlingskinder," a derogatory term for biracial children, were often adopted by African American families after their parents were forcibly separated. Both documentaries follow their stories, as they search for their roots.
Research connects WWII babies from South Pacific to their GI fathers - US laws prevented marrying anyone from Asia
New research from Otago University is shedding light on the 2000 illegitimate children fathered by American soldiers in the South Pacific during the Second World War. Many of the children grew up not knowing their fathers because the American GIs were not allowed to marry or take their children home. "The Americans in those days classified Pacific Island people as Asiatics and there were so many laws in the US and each of the states forbidding marriage between Asian people and Americans," explains Judy Bennett.
Millions of British kids were evacuated during WWII: Some hated the experience, others didn`t want to go home again
It was codenamed Operation Pied Piper. Over the 6 years of the war, 2 million British children were evacuated from cities. Some hated living away from their families, others didn`t want to go home again. A new book - "When the Children Came Home: Stories of Wartime Evacuees" by Julie Summers - includes several touching tales, below is one of them.
For Don Bayley the evacuation was life-changing. His foster mother Mrs Coles gave him something his own mother could never have done: a love of books and learning.
"She was proper middle class while we were clearly working class. I learned how to talk to people and to address them properly and with confidence... Mrs Coles changed me completely and she loved me – I`m ashamed to admit it – more than my mother ever did."
When Bayley went back to West Bromwich after the war, he was demoralised by his mother`s reaction to his new found interest in books and education. She cursed him for being "a bloody big `ead" and was constantly nagging him to "shift yer bloody books".
John Rischbieth toured the Third Reich, seeing Bund Deutscher Madchen, Hitler Jugend, SS officers, and brownshirts
17 years old Australian student John Rischbieth was amazed when members of the Hitler Jugend (Hitler Youth) and the Bund Deutscher Madchen (League of German Girls) showed him the new Nazi Germany. He saw the SS officers with daggers and revolvers and the brownshirts with rifles marching on the streets with the banners, the flags, and the Nazi insignia. He felt a sick feeling develop within as he photographed it all.
WWII Dutch famine babies` brains aging faster - because their mothers lived on 400-800 calories a day
People who were developing in the womb at the time of severe WWII food shortages do worse than others at mental tests now. Scientists, studying 300 adults who had been foetuses at the time, said the 1944 Dutch famine may have accelerated brain ageing. The Hongerwinter was a 6-month period during which the Nazis restricted food deliveries to the northern Netherlands. By April 1945, 20,000 people had perished as a result of hunger, and expectant mothers lived on 400-800 calories a day. However, the fact that this famine struck a well-nourished population created an unique opportunity to study the effects of malnutrition.
Over 4,000 Japanese children were left in China after Japan`s defeat
For Gao Fengqin, the worst WWII horror took place in the last days: "I still remember the day my mother took me to a small restaurant to meet my new Chinese mother. I had noodles and when I finished, she stood up to leave. I gripped her leg, crying for her not to go." By the end of 1945, 1.66 million Japanese troops and civilians had moved in northeast China to colonize it. On Aug. 9, 1945, the Soviet Red Army marched into the region to end of the war and Japan`s Kwantung Army was soon defeated. Amid the chaos Japanese refugees swarmed into the train stations to flee to the coast, hoping to catch a boat back to Japan.
French children of Wehrmacht soldiers seek German nationality
Their mothers were French, their fathers were Wehrmacht soldiers in Nazi-occupied France - and now some of the 200,000 children have begun applying for German citizenship. Historian Fabrice Vergili - author of "Naitre ennemi" (Born an Enemy) - also says that 20,000 French women were forcibly given short haircuts after being accused of "horizontal collaboration" with the Nazis. The surge to shrugg off shame began after a broadcast on French tv in 2003. Many war children then contacted Virgili and set up groups like the National Friendship Association for War Children to trace their family history.
200,000 children fathered by German soldiers occupying France shed shame, find roots
Ugly words on the playground were his first clue - and a glance at a medical record heightened Jean-Jacques Delorme`s doubts about who he was. Throughout adulthood, he found relics of his hidden legacy. He was the product of an affair between his French mother and a Wehrmacht officer occupying France - one of a 200,000 such children, many of whom grew up their identities confused. Now they are offered dual German and French citizenship in a belated effort by both countries to come to terms with the past. Also France feels a need to atone: After the liberation suspected collaborators were killed and women accused of "horizontal collaboration" had their heads shaven.
The children who fought Hitler: How British expats became part of the French Resistance against the Third Reich
May 10, 1940 German Panzer divisions swept into Belgium, sending the British Expeditonary Force fleeing for the coast. As France and Belgium burned, the War Graves Commission ordered the gardeners and their families back to Britain. So 250 persons from the British Settlement gathered in the playground with commandeered bicycles, cars and buses, and began a grim journey to Calais. Then 17yo Elaine Madden recalls: "Finally a group of us were taken aboard a British lorry... One of the soldiers said: `we cannot take civilians, so put these helmets on, put your hair up and put on these greatcoats.`" Stephen Grady wasn`t so lucky, ending up with the French resistance.
First French war baby - Son of a Boche - gets German citizenship
World War Two ended in 1945, but for Daniel Rouxel, the battle went on much longer. Born to a French mother and a German soldier in Nazi occupied France, he has finally been given German citizenship, 66 years after his birth. He was the first person to sign up for a new German plan to recognise war children born in France. After years of humiliation, the "son of a Boche" - a derogatory French term for a German soldier - feels he can enjoy life as a legitimate citizen. He suffered years of harassment at the hands of local youths, officials and his own grandmother, who forced him to sleep in a henhouse.
Tens of thousands of kids, fathered by American GIs across Europe and the Pacific, seek their dads
For most of her life Beth Guyver thought her father was a British pilot, who died in 1945. The truth about her family history emerged in 1990. Her mother looked at one of Guyver`s sons, and said: He looked just like an American GI she had known in 1944 ... just like Guyver`s father. This changed Guyver`s life: Since then she has been searching for her father, David Greene. She is one of the children across Europe and the Pacific fathered by American GIs. The GI children have joined groups such as Transatlantic Childrens` Enterprise (TRACE) (www.tracepw.org), or GI Trace (www.gitrace.org).
Finnish war children do not want to fade into oblivion
The military history of Finland during World War II includes 3 wars: the Winter War (Nov. 1939-March 1940) and the Continuation War (June 1941-Sept. 1944) against the Soviet Union, and the Lapland War (Sept. 1944 to April 1945) against Nazi Germany. The Winter War between the Soviet Union and Finland ended on March 13th, 1940, leaving Finns deeply scarred. 70,000-80,000 kids were sent from Finland to Sweden and Denmark to avoid the fighting and the Soviet bombing, and 40,000-70,000 children lost one or both parents. Recently 7 war children gathered together to discuss their WW2 experiences.
Germany offers citizenship to tens of thousands of Franco-German war children
Thousands of children fathered in France by occupying German soldiers during World War 2 will be entitled to apply for citizenship. The move ends decades of unfair treatment for 200,000 kids who are now in their 60s. Called "bastards of the boche," a wartime French term for Wehrmacht soldiers, many were humiliated and shunned while their mothers faced public abuse for sleeping with the enemy. In Germany, too, very little was done to recognize this war legacy. Each of the offspring have to apply for German citizenship individually, and French nationals will be able to keep their French passports.
The tale of 12,000 blue-eyed blond kids taken by the SS to create an Aryan super-race
Heinrich Himmler wanted to breed `pure white` chickens while running a farm. After becoming the leader of the SS, he wanted to do the same with humans. SS men searched occupied lands for blond kids for the Lebensborn program, and SS officers were told to mate with suitable German girls and to father children with Scandinavian women. These Aryan babies were born into a life of privilege. They were baptised in a unique SS ceremony: Cradled beneath a SS dagger, oaths were said on their behalf promising lifelong loyalty to Nazi ideology. After the war they were hated: chained up with a dog in the yard, or thrown into the river to "see if the witch would drown or float".
Richard and David Attenborough: Sisters who escaped Hitler became part of family
They looked thin and frightened. One had sores and the other had a facial tick. Earlier that afternoon in August 1939, Helga and Irene (10yo, 12yo) had been picked up at a train station in London to start the last part of their 3-day journey from Berlin. Their Jewish father was facing internment and would later be killed at Auschwitz - and their mother had already died of consumption. The plan was for the girls to stay with a family in the UK before continuing their journey to US, but the girls ended up living with the Attenboroughs for 7 years. "They were also nervous wrecks. Their house in Germany had been smashed by Nazis with guns and their father taken away."
Kindertransport - Evacuating the children on the eve of World War II
Rolf Penzias is one of 10,000 child refugees who were sent without their parents out of Austria, Germany, Poland and Czechoslovakia to foster families and hostels in Britain during the operation Kindertransport. "I was born in Munich and I was 16 when I left with my brother who was 14. When we crossed the border into Holland the Dutch people came to meet us. The Dutch women had big hats, and they threw sweets, and drinks and food onto the train... When we got into Harwich in England we were taken to a holiday camp at Dovercourt Bay. It was in the winter and there was no heating in the huts."
Sculptor Frank Meisler recalls Kindertransporte - Transporting kids from Nazi Germany to UK
Frank Meisler was 10 when he fled the Nazis in 1939. After the war he became an architect and sculptor and is bringing his art, dedicated to war-time children, back to Germany. The "Kindertransporte" (child transports) to England started in late 1938 after "Kristallnacht." Frightened by the abrupt savage turn of events, huge numbers of Jews looked for a country to move to, only to find that entry doors had been closed. United States only granted entry visas to those who had enough income or wealth. Britain was an exception, as far as Jewish kids were concerned, as 10,000 youngsters made it in England via the "Kindertransporte" from Berlin.
American Gold Star children: those who lost fathers in World War II
As the last WWII combatants perish, their children are attempting to keep the war`s stories alive. But some of those children never heard the last chapters first-hand, as their fathers fell in the war. The children have gotten only glimpses from records, keepsakes and comrades` memories. The 405,000 fallen left behind 183,000 dependent children, according to the American World War II Orphans Network. For decades, said Pearl Morton, who lost her soldier father at age 2, "I didn’t know anybody else like me." For Memorial Day, 3 of the war`s Gold Star children described the price that their families paid.
London remembers 800 children sent to Australia during World War II
They were young, scared and sent to the other side of the world. Clutching suitcases and with name tags pinned to clothes, 800 children from Britain were shipped off to Australia to avoid Luftwaffe bombing raids. They were among 3.5 million children aged 5-15 who were evacuated voluntarily by their parents. Plans are now afoot to mark their story by setting up a bronze memorial sculpture in the grounds of St Paul`s Cathedral, London. The Evacuees Reunion Association (ERA) is organising a campaign to collect STG1 million to build a statue of 10 evacuees linked hand in hand carrying their suitcases.
French orphans of Nazi conscripts sue Germany
Hundreds of French orphans whose fathers died after being conscripted by Nazi Germany have filed a case against the German government. Nazi Germany merged the eastern French regions of Alsace and Lorraine into the territory of the Third Reich and from 1942 over 130,000 French were forced to fight for the Wehrmacht. In 1981, Germany paid 250 million marks to compensate 86,500 former conscripts. Last year, the German parliament decided that this payment marked the end of Berlin`s responsibility in the case - angering descendants of the 40,000 Frenchmen who perished fighting under the German flag.
Lost Red Army Children - "being made pregnant by force"
More than 60 years after the end of World War II, the children of Red Army soldiers, "Russian children," born in eastern Germany during the Soviet occupation are now searching for their fathers. 61yo Jan Gregor can still remember "every word my mother said on the day she decided to tell me the truth." He knew what she meant when she talked about "being made pregnant by force" - violated by 4 Red Army soldiers during the final days of WWII. For decades this was a taboo subject in eastern Germany; initially the Soviet Occupation Zone. For 40 years in the GDR posters sang the praises of the "Soviet-German Friendship" and violation of women did not fit the image of the heroic Soviet army.
Hiding Children during World War II: The Psychological Aftermath
Jewish children were hidden in the Netherlands from 1942-1945 to save them from Nazi deportation. After the war surviving parents began the search for their children. Often the hidden children had had to change addresses, leading them to "turn off their emotions" so as not to be overwhelmed by grief. After WWII many of them could not "turn on" their feelings. Many parents had undergone "anticipated mourning" out of expectations that they or their children would be killed before they could reunite, mading it difficult for them to receive the returned children. Sometimes the natural parents also could not "forgive" the hiding-parents for caring for their children.
WWII house of hope: Children waiting parents to return from Germany
In the waning days of World War II, as Jews began to emerge from hiding, the French government established "houses of hope" to care for Jewish children until their parents could be located. "Nina`s Home" dramatizes a year in the life of one such house. What does it mean to be a Jew when you`re 9 and your people have been reduced to ash? The film opens in September 1944, when most of the children hold out hope their parents will return from Nazi Germany, where they have been sent "to work." "The Krauts did plenty worse to us," reasons one boy, to which Nina soberly replies, "Do you want to be like them?"
Carefully preserved paintings by children in WWII-era Richmond
Checking a rumor, Joe Fischer was poking around the basement of the Richmond Museum of History and uncovered a long-forgotten "gold mine." Hidden in a metal cabinet were 4,000 children`s paintings and collages. But instead of children`s typical renderings of rainbows or make-believe worlds, there were menacing portraits of Adolf Hitler, burning airplanes nose-diving into the ocean, a sad-looking girl with long black braids next to a Star of David and dozens of detailed battleships - some with guns blazing, others sinking. The paintings tell the story of World War II with the simplicity and poignancy of a child`s perspective.
French war hero seeks his death camp child (Article no longer available from the original source)
World War 2 can still throw up extraordinary stories of love, tragedy terror, and separation. This is the story of two Frenchmen called Robert Nant. The younger Robert Nant was born in Buchenwald camp in March 1945 shortly before his mother`s death. He was most likely conceived in a fleeting moment of passion between two French resistance agents on the run from the Nazis in June 1944. The older Robert Nant is a decorated Resistance hero. He remembers a night spent with "Paulette" or "Georgette", a Resistance courier with long blonde hair, in Villefranche-sur-Saone in 1944.
Children of the Enemy - German mothers and Allied soldier fathers
In the decade after World War 2, more than 100,000 babies were born to unwed German mothers and Allied soldier fathers. Most of the men left without ever meeting their children. Now, many "occupation babies" are scrambling to find their fathers before it`s too late. According to the Federal Statistics Office, at least 66,700 children were born to Allied soldiers and West German women in the decade after WWII. In the former East Germany, at least that number are thought to have been fathered by Red Army soldiers. The true figures are probably much greater. Faced with illegitimacy and "fraternizing with the enemy," many hid their children`s paternity.
Utopian WWII experiment: Q Camp anti-social youth community
In the middle of World War 2 UK authorities had a problem: what to do with children who had been evacuated but who were too disturbed for the average family to handle. So when a group of young conscientious objectors offered to take them off to rural Essex and "cure" their antisocial tendencies, nobody asked too many questions. Q Camp was a utopian experiment which tried to get troubled boys to operate a community. Not much was known about it until Jolyon Jenkins uncovered newly released files. "We was allowed to do virtually what we liked. We didn`t have to bother with school or nothing," Daniel O`Keefe said.
Young WWII evacuees remember
It is more than 60 years since London children were sent like little parcels to the safety of the country during World War II. More than 100 who now live in New Zealand will get together to remember their unusual childhoods. As the capital was bombarded, Aline Gee was whisked to the west country in 1939. She came back to London three and a half years later to sit exams - in a bomb shelter - with extra time for each paper, since they were allowed extra time for the minutes they had to duck under their desks when a doodlebug came too close.
The Forgotten WWII Children of German-Occupied France
Some 200,000 children of French mothers and occupying German soldiers are still a taboo topic. Josiane Kruger has broken the silence with her new book. While growing up Josiane Kruger always felt a bit different. Finally she was told the truth: her father had been a German soldier. He was transferred from France to the Russian front and had not been heard from since. After the war ended, anger grew in France over the occupation. Collaborators became targets of revenge, including those French women who had had relationships with Germans. They were bullied, their hair was shorn, they were driven naked through villages and forced to turn their children over to orphanages.
"Diary of Anne Frank" of The horrors of Stalinism
For nearly five years, Nina Lugovskaya poured out her thoughts — until one day in 1937, when there was a knock at the door. The diary was seized by Joseph Stalin`s secret police (NKVD) and used to convict the girl of treason. She spent 5 years in a labor camp and then 5 years of exile in Siberia. What caught the eye of the NKVD was her musings about suicide, a serious offense against the socialist order, and her anger at Stalin over her father`s persecution: "For several days, I dreamt for hours about how I would kill him." During her interrogation she confessed, apparently under torture, to plotting Stalin`s assassination.
Kindertransport - Refugee effort that rescued 10,000 children
At 16, Alfred Batzdorff was the oldest male in Breslau apartment when Nazi storm troopers knocked on Nov. 10, 1938. It was the second night of the Nazi pogrom Kristallnacht (night of broken glass), when Nazis torched 267 synagogues, killed 100 people and took 30,000 into custody. Driven at gunpoint he narrowly avoided a train bound for the Buchenwald, where Gestapo sent hundreds of other captives. Instead, he hid among WWI veterans who were spared that trip. Warned upon release to flee the country, he in December 1938 became one of the first to escape Germany through the Kindertransport, a British refugee effort that rescued 10,000 children by train.
Germany`s war children scramble to find their American GI fathers
They were offspring of the occupation era, born to German women who had flings with American GIs -- sometimes for love, sometimes for a moment`s passion, and sometimes, in the hardest days immediately after WWII, for a few packs of cigarettes or a pair of nylon stockings. Johnny went marching home, often leaving no forwarding address or even a full name. Perhaps unaware of the pregnancy. His lover was left to face disapproving parents and neighbors. Or a German soldier-husband returning from the front.
Horrors of post-war German foster homes are exposed
A shameful chapter of Germany`s post-war past has surfaced in a new book exposing the plight of thousands of children who were locked up, beaten, and treated as slave labour in church-run foster homes during the 1950s and 1960s. Beaten in God`s Name, by the journalist Peter Wensierski, is a 300-page account of the ordeal suffered by an estimated half a million young people in West Germany`s 3,000 Catholic and Protestant church-run children`s homes shortly after the Second World War.
Mother of Mine delivers vivid child`s view of WWII
Finland`s evacuation of more than 70,000 children to Sweden, Denmark and Norway during World War II, the world`s largest such undertaking, receives affecting treatment in "Mother of Mine," the official Finnish submission to the Academy Awards.
A treasure from the toughest Christmas: WWII`s The Happiness Box
The days leading up to Christmas in 1942 were particularly difficult for wartime Australians, especially for the prisoners of war locked up in Singapore jails. To try to boost morale, some Australian POWs decided to make some presents for the imprisoned women and children. The little illustrated book, The Happiness Box, didn`t make it to the children in Changi that Christmas. It was buried in a secret place by inmates after the Japanese General suspected it contained coded messages. But the book survived the war, and today it`s still put under Christmas trees for children around the world.