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Publisher's Summary

Hitler’s Forgotten Children is both a harrowing personal memoir and a devastating investigation into the awful crimes and monstrous scope of the Lebensborn program in World War 2.

Created by Heinrich Himmler, the Lebensborn program abducted as many as half a million children from across Europe. Through a process called Germanization, they were to become the next generation of the Aryan master race in the second phase of the Final Solution.

In the summer of 1942, parents across Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia were required to submit their children to medical checks designed to assess racial purity. One such child, Erika Matko, was nine months old when Nazi doctors declared her fit to be a “Child of Hitler”. Taken to Germany and placed with politically vetted foster parents, Erika was renamed Ingrid von Oelhafen. Many years later, Ingrid began to uncover the truth of her identity.

Though the Nazis destroyed many Lebensborn records, Ingrid unearthed rare documents, including Nuremberg trial testimony about her own abduction. Following the evidence back to her place of birth, Ingrid discovered an even more shocking secret: A woman named Erika Matko, who as an infant had been given to Ingrid’s mother as a replacement child.

©2016 Ingrid von Oelhafen and Tim Tate (P)2016 Penguin Audio

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What listeners say about Hitler's Forgotten Children

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Wonderfully written and wonderfully performed

Davina very eloquently reads a story that will hook you in from the first sentence to the last!

3 people found this helpful

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Interesting story.

If you could sum up Hitler's Forgotten Children in three words, what would they be?

Interesting, tragic and compelling.

What did you like best about this story?

That these amazing people survived and flourished.

What does Davina Porter bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She can pronounce a lot of the German and foreign words!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It made me mad.

Any additional comments?

Good story, somewhat slow at times but very compelling. You truly feel for these amazing survivors.

4 people found this helpful

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Finally a new angle!

Much has been written about and by the soldiers of the war and survivors of the holocaust. This book is a brief glimpse into the unheard story of the children caught up in the madness and the attempt of governmental intervention to make life "normal" again. My heart goes out to those parents and children who bear the burden of not knowing what became of their loved ones. I. am shocked at how long it has taken to start opening the records. I would love to have just a bit more information about the lives of other Lebensborn children.

1 person found this helpful

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A lesser know Nazi atrocity

I would highly recommend this book to anyone studying WW2. It is yet another crime the Nazi’s committed against humanity

1 person found this helpful

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educational approach & excellent personal memoir

for over 2 yrs now, I have delved deep into the WW II era from various vantage points – American & German homefronts, European resistance, displaced person sagas, art poaching, Communism/Socialism, & German Nazi atrocities; through this, I recently learned of the Lebensborn program & was pleased to find this educational approach to the subject overall, with an in depth description of the program, explanation of relevant geography/politics/world events, before/during/after WWII, as well as a highly personal account of one womans journey to discover her roots; the narrator does a superb job, such that you forget you are not listening to the author herself speaking; she seems to be "telling" instead of "reading"

1 person found this helpful

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A different prospective of World War II

A story that deserves to be told, as heart breaking as it is. There are so many painful stories from World War II, this was a prospective I hadn't considered previously. Davina Porter is one of my favorite narrators, I discovered this book by looking up what else she had done.

1 person found this helpful

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An interesting story

An interesting story about how eugenics and racial prejudice driven by an evolutionary worldview did gave way to great abuse and atrocities perpetrated by Hitler's regime.

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Compelling

An incredible story not just about this woman’s life but the lives of so many others also. Heartbreaking and thought provoking. So very well written.