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Torment of the Abba star with a Nazi father
The Observer International ^ | Sunday June 30, 2002 | Kate Connolly

Posted on 07/03/2002 11:26:32 PM PDT by gd124

Anni-Frid was persecuted as a child of the 'master race', reports Kate Connolly. Now people like her want justice

Sunday June 30, 2002 The Observer

When Abba sang 'Knowing Me, Knowing You', there was one member of the cult Swedish pop group for whom it had a special meaning. The brunette Anni-Frid Lyngstad is one of thousands of people who grew up in Scandinavia shunned, persecuted and parentless. It is alleged that some were even used as guinea pigs in drugs trials.

Known as the Tyskerbarnas or German children, they were the offspring of Norwegian mothers and German soldier fathers, the result of a Nazi plan to 'enrich' the Aryan gene pool.

Now the group of up to 12,000, of whom many are now in their sixties, plans to fight for compensation in the European Court of Human Rights.

Anni-Frid Lyngstad's story is typical of the suffering of thousands. After her birth in November 1945 - the result of a liaison between her mother, Synni, and a German sergeant, Alfred Haase - the infant's mother and grandmother were branded as traitors and ostracised in their village in northern Norway. They were forced to emigrate to Sweden, where Anni-Frid's mother died of kidney failure before her daughter was two.

The child found her father by chance three decades later. They met for an emotional reunion in her Swedish villa, instigated by Benny Anderson, an Abba founder and Anni-Frid's then husband.

Afterwards, the singer said of the meeting and her father: 'It's difficult... it would have been different if I'd been a teenager or a child. I can't really connect to him and love him the way I would have if he'd been around when I grew up.'

The depression she subsequently suffered was attributed by friends to the delayed encounter with her long-lost father, a retired pastry cook.

The somewhat morose Anni-Frid, who withdrew for years in Greta Garbo style, is nevertheless viewed as something of a role model by her fellow Tyskerbarnas still living in Norway.

'She's achieved amazing things in Sweden, something she would never have been able to do had she stayed in Norway, where she would have been branded a freak,' says Tor Brandacher, 63, spokesman for the organisation representing the children. Founded in 1999, the group, Krigsbarnforbundet Lebensborn, or Source of Life, takes its name from the scheme run by Heinrich Himmler, the leader of Hitler's feared SS, to create a master race.

It has been pursuing its claims for compensation for abuse and discrimination through the domestic courts. The case, involving 122 people, argues that the wartime Norwegian government - led by the notorious Quisling - was complicit in the Nazi scheme to breed with blonde, blue-eyed Norse women. The government asserts that if crimes were committed, they happened too long ago to be dealt with now.

The case is now going to the country's Supreme Court, but the victims and their families are preparing to take it to the European Court of Human Rights. 'Having been rejected by Norway so far, we have little choice but to take our case further afield,' says Brandacher.

'We see Norway as a rundown gas station in comparison to the gleaming motorway service station that is the ECHR in Strasbourg,' says a hopeful Brandacher, himself the son of an Austrian elite Gebirgsjäger soldier. He says the Norwegian government is likely to face huge embarrassment once the case receives full international attention.

Most of the Lebensborn children who stayed in Norway are social misfits. Few have received proper education or been employed. 'It's typical that they've suffered from depression and low self-esteem,' says their lawyer, Randi Hagen Spydevold.

'Most have had problems forming relationships or being able to relate to the real world, which is hardly surprising when you've spent your formative years being called a German idiot, a no-good bastard who doesn't deserve to be alive.'

Had Germany won the war, they would almost certainly have been heroes. But Germany lost, and soon afterwards the Norwegian mothers lost their status, and their children were classified as 'rats' by government officials.

The postwar hatred towards the offspring of German soldiers was so great that government psychologists commissioned to report on the children and their mothers concluded that women who had fraternised with Germans were 'of limited talent and asocial psychopaths, some of them seriously backward'.

The verdict 'father was a German' was indictment enough to send children to mental hospitals, where many were tortured and raped. They were deemed to be dangerous because of their 'Nazi genes' and capable of forming a fascist fifth column.

Quisling's government was desperate to be rid of the problem and attempted to send the Tyskerbarnas as far afield as Brazil and Australia. Sweden was praised for taking several hundred and thus relieving Norway of an embarrassing 'problem'. Around 250 were sent 'back' to Germany.

Many thousands of their mothers - labelled 'German whores' - were sent to Norwegian 'concentration camps', where they were virtually slave labourers.

Of those children who ended up scattered around 128 Norwegian children's homes, many were released from their virtual prisons as bewildered adults only in the early Sixties into a world of which they had little or no experience.

When her case comes before the supreme court, Spydevold has as one of her witnesses a highly-experienced judge who will testify that a high percentage of the criminals he has seen have been the result of the Lebensborn experiment. 'He will testify that through the Norwegian government's neglect of them, many turned to crime,' Spydevold told The Observer .

But in many ways the most shocking aspect of the whole story is what happened to the children in the homes. In a separate case, Spydevold is attempting to bring the Norwegian government to task over documented evidence of drugs trials carried out on both children and mothers.

Witnesses and documents say experiments with LSD, mescaline and other substances were initiated by the Norwegian military, Oslo University and the CIA.

For Harriet von Nickel, born in March 1942, the road to justice is long but worthwhile. 'As a two-year-old living with foster parents, I was chained up with the dog in the yard,' she says in German Child, her best-selling autobiography.

'As a six-year-old I was thrown in the river by a man from my village, who said he wanted to see if "the witch will drown or float",' she writes.

At the age of nine or 10, she says, drunken villagers from Bursr, near Trondheim, branded her forehead with a swastika made of bent nails, and threatened to rape her. 'A woman saved me, and I rubbed sandpaper on my skin to get rid of the swastika.'

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: abba; nazi; norway; sweden

1 posted on 07/03/2002 11:26:32 PM PDT by gd124
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To: gd124
Another lesson in the deep humanism of the wonderful Socialist paradises of Scandanavia, which, in time, we can hope to emmulate here in the USA.
2 posted on 07/04/2002 11:24:52 AM PDT by Jack Black
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To: Jack Black
I expect the reason that the kids were treated so terribly was that the Norwegians were attempted to transfer their misplaced guilt over their collaboration onto these innocent children, just like many Frenchmen became head shaving, vengeful 'Resistance' members after they had been liberated, rather than the Petain supporters they had generally been since 1940.
3 posted on 07/04/2002 8:22:07 PM PDT by gd124
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To: gd124
A very interesting article...I am not greatly familiar with the Lebensborn movement...I knew of it, only in the context of German Aryan women, volunteering to become pregnant by soldiers, who were deemed suitable by the German Govt..then these women went to specially designated homes, to have their babies, and just leave them at the home, to be raised in group homes, where the German Govt hoped to brainwash them all into good little Nazis from the cradle, so to speak....

If a baby born from these unions, was not deemed suitable, either because it did not 'look' Aryan, or because there was something wrong with it, the baby was shipped off elsewhere, and inevitably died, and most of their death certificates showed cause of death as being pneumonia...when in fact, they were most likely brutally killed, as the Nazis, would not admit that a child born from such a union could be anything but perfect...

I once saw confiscated German movies, of these babies...a nurse moved though the home, collecting the babies born, and just piling one baby upon another on top of each other...supposedly they were going to all be sent to special schools, where they would be trained and brainwashed...they were thought to be the suitable ones, and the unsuitable ones were most likely killed..

These children were isolated, knew little love, and grew up in desperate situations, even tho the Nazis claimed they were to be the cream of the crop of a new generation of Germans...when the Germans lost the war, Allied Forces found many such little schools, and after the war, many of these children were given a chance to be adopted out, to either German families, or whoever would take them...

But my understanding is, that few German families were willing to take these childen, and for many of them, their lives were sad and lonely, and they grew up into very sad, disturbed individuals...

But I was totally unaware of the involvement of Norway is this movement...thanks the information...
4 posted on 07/04/2002 8:39:16 PM PDT by andysandmikesmom
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To: andysandmikesmom
It's no wonder that Anni-Frid Lyngstad is so depressed and lonely.
5 posted on 07/04/2002 8:43:20 PM PDT by gd124
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To: gd124
I am not aware of any big studies done on the children born as a result of the Lebensborn movement, but what little I am aware of, indicates, that most of these children grew up into maladjusted adults...and one can see why...

The German women and German soldiers, consented to a sexual union, solely with the intent of creating and bearing a child, as a duty to Hitler, and the Third Reich...

Mother and father of the child went their separate soon as the mothers had their babies, they left the home where they were living, and left the baby to be cared for by the authorities...neither mother nor father, made any attempts to see their child, saying it did not belong to them but to the Third Reich...

Anyone who has a baby, knows that babies that are not constantly nourished and loved, and held and rocked, well that baby does not thrive...these poor dear babies, withdrew into themselves, and never knew grevious, what was done to these babies and children...

Can one imagine anything more terrible, to know that you were created solely for the purpose of sacrifice to the state, to never know parental love...

As you say, it is no wonder that Anni-Frid Lyngstad and so many others like her, have become so depressed and lonely...

Of all the things that happened because of Nazi Germany, it has always been my belief, that the Lebensborn Movement, is one of the least known events that occurred...

If you would ask most Americans if they knew what the Lebensborn movement was, and how horrid it was, I believe that most would not even know what the Lebensborn Movement was...which is sad...
6 posted on 07/04/2002 9:02:02 PM PDT by andysandmikesmom
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To: andysandmikesmom
I think the Lebensborn was not just an orphanage type thing, but also supported single mothers whose fathers were German soldiers. In the case of Anni-Frid Lyngstad, she remained with her mother and was not put in an orphanage.
7 posted on 07/04/2002 10:06:23 PM PDT by gd124
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To: gd124
Sweden comes too cleanly out of this. There was a big hoo-ha over eugenics practiced by the government in post-war Sweden. Still, as much as we would like to think that if our countries were occupied by the Naziswe would all have resisted, there would most likely not have been any differences with those that were actually occupied.


8 posted on 07/05/2002 2:59:49 AM PDT by Voronin
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To: gd124

Glenn Beck was talking about this on his radio show today. He even mentioned Free Republic.

9 posted on 08/17/2010 6:26:00 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( - Thanks JimRob! The flags are back! - 8/17/2010.)
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To: smokingfrog

I was always a fan of ABBA and hearing this story for the first time on the Glenn Beck radio program - I’m even more impressed with the group that helped this young woman achieve greatness. If anyone in this world deserved a happy ending, she did.

10 posted on 08/18/2010 6:39:56 AM PDT by Ronbo1948
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To: Jack Black

Yes, it proves once again that “democratic” socialists are the scum of earth and just as bad as the Nazis.

11 posted on 08/18/2010 6:42:13 AM PDT by Ronbo1948
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To: gd124

12 posted on 08/18/2010 6:46:30 AM PDT by Ronbo1948
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