German war babies come looking for British fathers

German war babies come looking for British fathers


5th January 2007

Some British soldiers won't even know they fathered German children in WW2

Hundreds of Germans born as a result of liaisons between British soldiers and local women in the aftermath of the Second World War are trying to trace the fathers they never knew.

A total of 150,000 British Army servicemen were stationed in Germany between 1945 and 1955.

During that time, more than 100,000 babies were born to unwed German mothers and Allied soldiers - mostly American, but also British, Belgian and French.

But many went home without ever knowing they had left a child behind.

Others were protected by the Allied military hierachy that stonewalled the mothers from finding addresses for their departed lovers.

A host of websites has sprung up offering to help trace the fathers of these so-called 'occupation babies' - many of whom were taunted by Germans who resented the post-war Allied presence.

Richard Dietmar placed an advert on a website seeking the Berlin-based English soldier who fathered him in 1950. 'I tracked him down, but he doesn't want to know,' said Mr Dietmar, who was 14 when his mother told him he was the result of a liaison with a British soldier.

'I know who he is now and where he lives in Southern England, but he is an old man and I have to respect that. I will write to him but I don't hold out much hope. It's strange, but after all these years I would like to get to know him.'

Agencies and websites with names such as Searching For You and Reunion Brings Joy are increasingly popular.

One woman is searching for a 'British military policeman named Overton or Offerton or Owerton, who fathered me in Helmstedt in Germany in 1951, who was posted to Abyssinia in 1953 and who has never acknowledged me.'

'Can anyone help?' she asks on the website.
Susanne Panter, who works for one website, said: 'There are many, many people seeking English fathers.

And we do not enjoy a high level of cooperation with the English authorities.'
A lot of mischief goes on in war and occupation. But I can see it from a local's point of view too. I wouldn't be too happy with girls who were fraternizing with occupying or invading troops. I know there are all sorts of excuses. Still I wouldn't be happy with the situation. Occupied France and Occupied Germany are two different kettles but the results were basically the same. Enemy one day, in your bed the next.
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