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Thesis on Lebensborn in Austria

Corinna Fürstaller, a history student at Karl Franzens University in Graz, Austria, spent several days in late April at the International Tracing Service (ITS) in Bad Arolsen doing research for her thesis on Lebensborn homes in Austria. “I was impressed by the number of documents the ITS has on the topic of Lebensborn,” said Fürstaller.

The Lebensborn Society was run by the SS for the sole purpose of increasing the birthrate of “Aryan” children. It had two homes in Austria: a maternity home in Wienerwald and a children´s home in Oberweiss, near Gmunden. “I examined the ITS´s entire collection of Lebensborn documents and wrote down important information or ordered copies,” reported the student.

The 27 year-old explains that she chose this particular topic because Lebensborn homes in Austria have not been researched as thoroughly as those in Germany. “I looked at ITS records on the health histories of children and the hiring of doctors and midwives, as well as documents on lectures and training on Nazi ideology.”

The Austrian is pleased that she has been able to make so much progress by using the ITS´s extensive collection of Lebensborn documents. “I´m considering writing my dissertation after I graduate. If I do, I will definitely come back to the ITS to do further research.”