Thursday, 7 May 2015


Though the comparison is surely disparaging, like the taint that clings to the Autobahnen, Volkswagen and Hugo Boss by dint of association, but the dispositioning of the Norwegian child welfare agency makes me think of the Nazi-era policy and programme called Lebensborn, the fount of life.

Authorities promoted rampant breeding among the racial elite though coercion, assault, violence and sometimes kidnapping to ensure that the future generation would be afforded all the best of both nature and nurture, sometimes removed from parents deemed incapable of indoctrinating their children with Nazi ideology. The Norwegian practise does not have any openly xenophobic overtones, of course, and the way its characterised in the media may not be accurate, but the intent is essentially the same. Government agencies monitor immigrant families and if the children’s cultural, assimilated development is found to be lagging, the children are placed in foster-care. Even if everything is going swimmingly, the children are treated to a mandatory retreat monthly with a native Norwegian family to instruct them on proper and becoming Norwegian mannerisms. Maybe it is obtuse to take this contrast any further but it does strike me as ironic that outside of Germany, most Lebensborn children grew up in Norway and have become (to a degree) a generation of stigmatised war-babies (Krigsbarn med norsk mor og tysk far). This method of integration and screening is probably a very civic-minded and ultimately helpful—if assessed without the confounding historicity that bespeaks maybe a little arrogance. Other places have a longer history of immigration but also generational isolation and ghettoization. What do you think? Is Norway’s model a good one for furthering harmony?