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Martin Bormann’s Note on "Safeguarding the Future of the German People" (January 29, 1944)

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(i.) We must create for those mothers who have not been officially married in the traditional way a very similar comprehensive state of psychological and material security. Among other things: the children must be able to acquire their father's name without difficulty.

(ii.) In addition: on special request, men must be able to have a firm marriage relationship not only with one woman but with another one in which the women without further ado acquire the man's name and the children their father's name.

[ . . . ]

(iv.) As I mentioned above, it is necessary for us to get rid of and ban the current terms for a 'relationship' which sound more or less morally dubious. On the contrary, we must find good and friendly-sounding expressions. We must, therefore, consider what the relationship between a woman and a man to whom she has not been married in the traditional way can be called; we must consider how the children from such a bond of friendship should be termed.

The more successful we are in finding a name, the easier it will be to remove existing inhibitions. However, these inhibitions must be removed, for otherwise all the sacrifices of the last World War and this war will have been in vain because our nation will inevitably fall victim to the next storms.

In twenty or thirty years or forty or fifty years we shall lack the divisions which we shall definitely need if our nation is not to perish.

(v.) After this war childless marriages and bachelors must be taxed much more heavily than hitherto. The current bachelor taxes must be child's play compared with the tax burdens imposed on them in future. The income from these bachelor taxes must serve to support the mothers who have children, i.e. for the mutual support of our attempts to secure offspring.

Please give the whole problem careful thought and then let me have your views.

Signed M. Bormann

Source of English translation: Jeremy Noakes, ed., Nazism, 1919-1945, Vol. 4: The German Home Front in World War II. Exeter: University of Exeter Press, 1998, pp. 375-78. (A few brief additions to the translation have been made by GHI staff.) An alternative English translation is available as: Memorandum by Martin Bormann, 1944 January 29, Papers of Oron J. Hale, MSS 12800-a, Special Collections, University of Virginia Library, Charlottesville, VA.

Source of original German text: Vermerk vom 29. 1. 1944. Martin Bormann über “Sicherung der Zukunft des deutschen Volkes;” reprinted in Jochen von Lang, Der Sekretär: Martin Bormann, der Mann, der Hitler beherrschte. Stuttgart: Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, 1977, pp. 478-82.

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