Background: Neues Volk was a monthly magazine published by the Nazi Party’s Racial Policy Office. This article discusses the conditions under which Hitler would become godfather to German children. Hitler was continuing the custom of the head of state taking on the role of godfather, which continues to this day in Germany. The article notes that although Hitler assumes no obligation to his godchildren, the honor will be of considerable benefit to the fortunate children as they grow older.
The article includes pictures of babies who have Hitler as godfather, as well as a copy of the application for the honor.
The source: “Führer als Ehrenpate,” Neues Volk, 3 (April 1935), pp. 36-39.
Given the great importance that the Third Reich gives to a healthy population policy, it is obvious that the Führer and Reich Chancellor, as well as his colleagues in leading positions, takes great interest in Germany's growth, and are happy to become honorary godfathers for newborns in families with many children. It is also clear that the Führer must choose the cases in which he will become an honorary godfather. Since the Führer himself is not able to investigate each case, each application is first reviewed by local government and party offices. This review is completely unbiased, as is evident from the not small number of already granted honorary godfatherships.
Certain conditions, however, must be met in every case. The family must be genetically healthy. The godfathership can be considered only at the birth of the seventh living son, or if there are not that many sons, in the case of the ninth living child. There can be no doubt as to the character of the members of the family. That does not mean, however, would be refused only because the former Prussian Prime Minister Braun had already been godfather to a previous child, as long as there are no questions about the parents’ political standpoint.
The review requires an official questionnaire. Seventeen questions must be answered. To prevent excessive applications or curiosity, there are questions about the Aryan ancestry of the parents and their genetic health. In general, it is unnecessary to provide documentary proof of Aryan descent, and if all living children in the family are healthy, that is sufficient proof of genetic health.
What is the purpose of honorary godfathership? The guidelines make clear that the godfather has no obligations, nor is he obligated to provide gifts. Nonetheless, the benefits of such a godfathership are not insignificant. In cases in which it seems appropriate, the Führer gladly gives a present in cash from the resources available to him. Moreover, the honor the godchild receives from the godfather brings particular attention. The godchild stands out from those of his age group or work mates. The government agencies that he deals with will gladly give him particular attention, since he has the Führer as godfather, which will help smooth his life’s path to a considerable degree. Through that alone, the Führer fulfills the moral duty that accompanies godfathership.
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