Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Pregnant Women And Forced Labor Camps

Women from Eastern Europe who were or got pregnant during forced labor camps  were under immense pressure.Pregnant women generally should not be deported to Germay from Poland for forced labor but because it was the aim to get the most profit of these  women deported to Germany,the  authorities did not want to care for pregnant women and their new born babies.

German authorities installed laws and guidelines in the end of 1942. Female forced laborers from Eastern Germany who got pregnant in Germany, had to return to their homeland.The number of pregnancies among this group of laborers rose, never the less  to have a child, was also a  way to escape force labor, although an illegitimate child was consdered shameful. Thus came the end of 1942 a new regulation was in forced, female forced laborers from Eastern Europe were no longer under the protection of maternity.Most women worked hard until the last days of the pregnancy and had to  return to work quickly after giving birth.

Births took place in specially equipped departments of hospitals or in separate barracks in the camps,the  hygienic cirumstances were on a very low level. March 1943 a new decree was once again put into action, now formulated bt the Reichs Health Ministry: " The racially inferior offspring of women workers and Polish women should not be born " Therefore abortion on order was now allowed.Principles and guards were now able to point out women who should  get an abortion. In the meantime German women who interrupted pregnancies were punished harshly. " Abortion by own desire" which was often written on medical files of  forced laborers was a farce . In addition premature births after 6 months were initiated, it is estimated that a quater of pregnant women from Eastern Europe were forced to interrupt their pregnancy. The children that were born and needed special care were put in barracks where women who were not fit for work  were housed called  "Auslanderkinder-Pflegesstatten", known as alien child care center which resulted in a high mortality  rate. Furthermore, from June 1943 the authorities were called to find those children of Eastern Europe forced laborers  who were " Good racial stock "  The children were selected and raised and educated as German children.

The high mortality started in 1943 and there were efforts to get the hygene on a higher level and better care for the women and children. The photo is of my brother who died as a baby in the camp, he is now an angle of God.  I  yearn  to know what happened to my mother's first born in 1942, a girl , nothing was ever said, but that I had a sister.


  1. Fascinating information, Monica. Where did you find out about all this?

  2. Hello Monica, Your piece stirs a lot of emotion in me. I know when my mother was in forced labor in the different camps in Germany, I learned that many of the women were raped by the Germans and were shamed of the consequences. Many illegitimate children were born during that time line.