Updated: Mar 9, 2019
A German, Gunther was an infant when his father had been killed during World War II. Because his mother would always get coy and evasive when the child asked about the father he never knew, Gunther as an adult finally did a little digging and found out that he, Gunther, had been a Lebensborn baby.
“Lebensborn” means “Spring of Life,” and describes the Nazi plan to breed a master Aryan race. The Nazis had picked out the most Aryan looking and racially pure stock of men and women and bred them in special clinics, where these racially “pure” children would be born and raised in good Aryan homes.
His dad hadn’t been killed in battle as he had been told all his life. Instead, his father had been a Major General in the SS and had another family, three kids, when he got Gunther’s mother pregnant. She went to one of the Lebensborn clinics where Gunther had been born. His father, meanwhile, had to flee to Argentina, where he died in 1970, a wanted war criminal.
Worse, Gunther also found out that, “Heinrich Himmler was my godfather!”
In one sense, we’re all like Gunther in that we didn’t pick out parents, our heritage, our inheritance. And like him, too, we’re all born by sinners who passed on their “sinful” genes to us, who got them from their parents and on and on back to the beginning.
That’s why Jesus said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). And with a new birth, before God, it doesn’t matter who our parents are. We are now, indeed, truly children of God, with all the hope and promises that birthright gives to us.