Mad Nazi dream of racial purity revealed
POZNAN, Poland -- On a sunny April morning in 1944, 6-year-old Alodia Witaszek was combed and scrubbed, sitting in the children's home that had primed her for membership in Hitler's master race....
Only years later would she discover the full truth: that she was among some 250 children seized from their families as part of a Nazi attempt to improve the Aryan gene pool in pursuit of a mad dream of racial purity.
Her adoptive mother, Luise Dahl, would later say she too had no idea. In a letter written after World War II she said that she knew nothing about snatching children for racial purposes; all she had wanted was to adopt a war orphan. An illness had left her barren, and her husband, a German army officer, was stationed hundreds of miles away, in Paris. She was desperately lonely.
More than 60 years later, the story emerges in part from a rare collection of documents held by the International Tracing Service, or ITS, a unit of the International Committee of the Red Cross, in the small German resort town of Bad Arolsen.
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