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Kayak8's avatar

Were any babies BORN in Nazi concentration camps?

Asked by Kayak8 (16447points) April 21st, 2011

This would include the offspring of women who came to a camp pregnant and were healthy enough to work or of women who became pregnant as a result of sexual congress in the camps.

I have been watching a lot of movies about the concentration camps (including the 6 part PBS Auschwitz series) and this question entered my head. I know of babies and young children being killed in the camps (through various means), but was not sure if any babies had actually been born in the camps.

I ask this question with awareness that the SS may have not allowed these infants to live for long, but I wondered if they allowed them to be born at all.

I also ask with the full understanding that it certainly could have happened and we might never know. I am interested in learning if there are any facts about situations wherein it is a certainty that a baby was born in one of the camps.

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18 Answers

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bobbinhood's avatar

Not only were some babies allowed to be born, but a few of them even survived. When Kaufering I was liberated, there were seven surviving infants. The women worked together to keep these infants alive. When the mothers had to work, other women would care for their babies.

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bobbinhood's avatar

You might be interested in this documentary. Anka managed to become pregnant twice in Terezin and gave birth to both babies. The first child died, but not at the hands of the Nazis. He suffered pneumonia when he was two months old. The second child survived and appears in the documentary.

In Ravensbrück, women were sometimes forced to have abortions, but it sounds like most women gave birth and then their babies were immediately taken and killed. Towards the end of the war, newborns were allowed to live, but they rarely survived the conditions of the camp. (This information is in the second to last paragraph on the page I linked.)

bobbinhood's avatar

@noelleptc Your link doesn’t work. Is this the page you were going for?

Kayak8's avatar

@bobbinhood That is exactly the kind of information I was looking for. I know that we are few years from losing the last survivors and figured babies born in the camps, logically, would be the youngest now alive (if any made it). I was trying to get a sense of how long we have before the last survivor might no longer be available to stand in the face of those who deny the Holocaust.

Kayak8's avatar

Thank you all so much! It looks like I have a good bit more reading to do and videos to watch. If you are aware of any other sources, please feel free to share . . .

LostInParadise's avatar

I just heard about this today on the radio.

bkcunningham's avatar

Do you know the story of Irena Sendler? She was a Roman Catholic who started a network of helpers who saved people (including countless children) from the Warsaw Ghetto. She is a hero.

jca's avatar

I had heard (although i have no link) that experiments were done on pregnant women, including holding their legs together when they were ready to deliver, until the baby died in utero. anybody who has ever delivered a baby would agree that the thought of the pain of having your legs held together so the baby can’t come out is unimaginable.

sakura's avatar

I was just about to google the Anka story… I watched the documentry on it yesterday…how bizzare that you should ask that question! If you do get chance to watch you will be inspired it makes very interesting viewing…I true miracle story!

cazzie's avatar

The Nazis looked to Norway for ‘breeding stock’ and forced several men to Germany. They were told… breed or die. They all chose to die. (A family friend was among them…. someone should make a movie about that, but it would be so terribly sad.)

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mattbrowne's avatar

Practically every student in Germany before finishing high school takes part in a school trip and visits a Nazi concentration camp. For most in Southern Germany it’s Dachau (near Munich). This is were I went, but later I visited others as well. Here’s a very recent article about pregnancy and birth in Dachau and an exhibition:

“This week is the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Dachau. To mark the occasion the KZ Gedenkstätte Dachau is opening of an extraordinary exhibition about an extraordinary event. Between December 1944 and February 1945, seven Jewish women brought children into the world amidst the terror of Kaufering I, one of Dachau’s eleven satellite camps.”

(@bobbinhood mentioned the reunion of six of the seven)

Adagio's avatar

Many years ago I watched a wonderful interview with an elderly, Jewish woman doctor, she said delivering Jewish babies was her way of answering the Holocaust atrocities.

Donna15's avatar

My mother was born in a munich ammunition camp 2 nd December 1943 she was hidden in the camp hospital cupboard until the war was over and now lives in Australia.she was delivered by a Russian midwife named Valentyna who was in my nanna’s room in the middle of the night 3 mths the morning they wrapped nanna in a blanket with mum on her belly and took her to the camp hospital where they both stayed until the war was over. The woman who ran the hospital was able to keep nanna as help and get my pop from the mens camp to come to fix things so he could see his wife and baby.

cazzie's avatar

@Donna15 That is amazing. What an amazing story. :O

Historicus's avatar

At concentration camp Freiberg there were more than 10 pregnancies within the 1000 female prisoners. Several babies were born in Freiberg, on evacuation and at Mauthausen camp and survived.
In most women camps of concentration camp Flossenbuerg there are cases of pregnant women documented. Some died, some lost their childs or had misscarriages, some were deported back to (Auschwitz), Ravensbrück or Bergen-Belsen, and gave birth there.

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