Exactly 80 years ago, in 1935, Lebensborn was founded by the Nazi SS for the purpose for getting more Aryan babies born. Like racists everywhere, the Nazis were very concerned that the “lesser races” were breeding too much. Walk around California and you will hear people say the same thing about Latinos. Of course, there is something to this. Immigrants tend to be the people who are scapegoated. Immigrants tend to be younger. Younger people tend to have babies. It’s the perfect situation for racists.
Anyway, what I think is interesting about Lebensborn is that it is based on a kind of thinking that is very common among middle class white liberals. It is the idea that what we really need to do to help the poor is to stop them from having babies. I’m pretty old and I’ve never had any children. So I don’t think it is necessary to have children to have a fulfilling life. But that was my choice. I don’t think that’s true of most people.
But we have this attitude that unless someone has money, they shouldn’t be able to be parents. Why do we do that?! Why is it that as liberals, we think the poor have a right to food and housing, but not parenthood? I think it is mostly because we’ve never thought about it. We are still operating with conservative notions — very much linked to racism and eugenics. And we need to stop doing this. It is one thing to make birth control easy to get. It is great to help people avoid pregnancies that they don’t want. But let’s not get confused and try to stop the poor from having children because we might think that it is a good idea.