Devised in 1935, the Lebensborn scheme operated on different levels to provide 'Aryan' children for Hitler's mad schemes of eugenics.As well as the stealing of blond children from families in occupied areas, another part of the scheme involved special 'breeding clinics' where pure German SS officers were told to mate with suitable German women.
As the Nazis wreaked mayhem across Europe, these 'Aryan' babies were born into a life of privilege and power.
Lebensborn: A 'school for brides' in Berlin They were baptised in a unique SS ceremony.
Cradled beneath a symbolic SS dagger, oaths were muttered on their behalf pledging lifelong allegiance to Nazi ideology.
With blond hair and striking blue eyes, the toddler attracted admiring glances from other mothers growing up in the Crimea.
But Folker Heinecke's looks also proved a curse: they brought him to the attention of Heinrich Himmler, the psychopathic head of the German SS and architect of a plan to populate the world with the Aryan master race.
Obsessed with his experiments to breed 'pure white' chickens while running a poultry farm before World War II, Himmler was intent on doing the same with humans after rising to the very top of the Nazi hierarchy.Little boy lost: Folker Heinecke - or Aleksander Litau?He was captivated by Folker, who had been brought to Germany after being seized by SS officers scouring occupied lands for blond, blue-eyed children.Folker, then just four, did not know it, but he had been chosen to be part of the new 'breed' of supposedly genetically-superior German beings, who would replace millions of the 'impure' - Jews, gipsies, homosexuals, blacks - after they had been exterminated in Hitler's death camps.Having being ripped from the arms of his parents when German tanks rolled into the Crimea in 1942, Folker was first taken by SS officers to a German medical institute, where doctors measured every part of his body, checking for any 'Jewish aspects' - for example, dark hair, pointed noses, circumcision - before he was declared suitable.He had been selected to be a member of the 'Lebensborn' - The Fount of Life - Himmler's breeding programme to safeguard the future of the Thousand-Year Reich by providing 'pure' future generations to replace those lost by war.