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Stolen Children – a Touching Life Story

On September 11, 2018 Dorothee Schmitz-Köster will read from her new book "Raubkind" at the ITS. It tells the story of a man who was abducted from his family as a child by the National Socialists. It was not until more than 70 years later that he learnt about his true identity.

In Poland his grandfather had tried in vain to hide his little blond grandson from the National Socialist raid. The boy was discovered, abducted and taken to an asylum of the Nazi organisation "Lebensborn" for "Germanization" and later to a Nazi foster family loyal to the party line. Tens of thousands of children from Central and Eastern Europe suffered the same fate. Many of them still do not know that they were abducted by the Nazi regime.

By chance, freelance journalist Dorothee Schmitz-Köster discovered this crime. She investigated her suspicion, submitted a request to the ITS with the consent of the person concerned and her suspicion was confirmed: "A document from the archive mentions both his Polish name and the new German name after the abduction from Poland. Thus, this concealment typical of “Lebensborn” fates could be unmasked. As a child, he had been told by his foster parents that he had been born in Dresden, that both parents had died and that all his documents had been burnt during the bomb attack on February 13, 1945.

The ITS was also able to assist with the search for the Polish family who had always tried to find the stolen child. At the age of 76, the man learnt that he had half siblings. They reported that they had buried a picture of him, the missing son, in his mother's grave.

Dorothee Schmitz-Köster conducted extensive research and accompanied the family reunification. As a result of her initiative, this man was given back his true identity and family. However, in her book "Raubkind" she also relates that the late discovery of his origins was an existential turning point in the man's life and difficult for him to cope with. He agreed to the book, but he doesn't want to be named.