141. Miss Raebe

By Peter Fraenkel

“Grandmother Sophie hated her,” said my mother.


“I suspect because grandfather liked her too much.”

 “Are you telling me he had an affair with this Miss Raabe?”
 “I’m not certain,” she replied, “She was his secretary. A good looking woman – and intelligent too. I did once find his office locked and eventually an embarrassed-looking Miss Raabe opened the door. When Opa died she was very upset. I think she loved him but the fates were against her – twice over. He was married already. And two, Nazi laws would have made such a relationship a criminal offence:  – Rassenschande a disgrace to the race, as they called it.”
“What happened to Miss Raabe afterwards?”
“She never married, but she did have a child. Only one, I think.Have you ever heard of the Nazi’s  Lebensborn system? They wanted more children – Cannonfodder, I suppose.  And it did not bother them whether such children were born in or out of wedlock – provided they were blnd and well formed physically. They built Lebensborn maternity homes where pregnant girls were looked after .. [provided they and their lovers were Germanic looking: blond and tall and all that. Longer term relationships were not required. Selected SS-men were given special leave to father such children – especially before they were posted to the Eastern front. There was  financial support, too, for the mothers and large flats for large families and medals for mothers who produced five children or more.  They were determined to outbreed the French. They also brought in babies from Scandinavia.  They even kidnapped children from nations the Nazis considered inferior – ;like Poles or Russians, provided they looked “Aryan”.
    On the other hand children with mental or physical handicaps were murdered. Grandmother had a good friend – a Frau Dr Mittelhaus – a headmistress – who  had a handicapped son.  She loved that child but was invited to send him to the mountains for a holiday.It was in the early days of the Nazi regime and shem suspected no,evil. The child never came back.Such children, as she discovered later,–were immediately given lethal injections.  When news of this murder industry leaked out, a few courageous Catholic priests denounced it from their pulpits.They disappeared into concentration camps.”