My Enemy's Cradle by Sara Young
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My Enemy's Cradle

My Enemy's Cradle

Mining a lost piece of history, Sara Young takes us deep into the lives of women living in the worst of times. Part love story and part elegy for the terrible choices we must often make to survive, My Enemy's Cradle keens for what we lose in war and sings for the hope we sometimes find.

The Nazi's Lebensborn program urged women of "pure Aryan blood" to bear children in pursuit of a 'master race." In many cases, the fathers were high ranking officers in the SS, both married and unmarried that obeyed the SS leader Heinrich Himmler directive to procreate with carefully screened women. Lebensborn was another component of Nazi racial policy which killed 6 million Jews, sterilized countless other people viewed as defective, while encouraging the birth of children to populate the expanded Germany.

Over 20,000 children were born in Germany and Norway alone as part of the Lebensborn master race breeding program, initially formed in 1935 by Himmler. In addition to the 23 Lebensborn maternity clinics in Germany, Austria and Norway, other facilities operated in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland and Luxembourg during World War II.


About The Book

About The Book

Cyrla's neighbors have begun to whisper. Her cousin, Anneke, is pregnant and has passed the rigorous exams for admission to the Lebensborn, a maternity home for girls carrying German babies. But Anneke's soldier has disappeared, and Lebensborn babies are only ever released to their father's custody or taken away. A note is left under the mat. The neighbors know that Cyrla, sent from Poland for safekeeping with her Dutch relatives, is Jewish. The Nazis are imposing more and more restrictions; she won't be safe there for long.

And then in the space of an afternoon, life falls apart. Cyrla must choose between certain discovery in her cousin's home and taking Anneke's place in the Lebensborn - Cyrla and Anneke are nearly identical. If she takes refuge in the enemy's lair, can Cyrla fool the doctors, nurses, guards, and other mothers-to-be? Can she escape before they discover she is not who she claims?


About The Author

About The Author

Sara Young When I first heard about the Lebensborn Program of Nazi Germany, my reaction was disbelief. If such a large program had existed, affecting so many women and children in so many countries, why didn't anyone seem to know about it? As I began to research, I only became more surprised by this. And upset. And compelled to learn more. I had been writing children's books for several years already, so I knew what this meant: I was going to write a story about the Lebensborn experience - in this case a novel, my first for adults.

Under the name Sara Pennypacker, she has written seven books for children, including the acclaimed Stuart series (Stuart's Cape) and the Clementine series. She lives on Cape Cod. She has written more than a dozen books for children under the name Sara Pennypacker including the New York Time's bestselling Clementine series, the highly acclaimed Stuart series (Stuart's Cape), and Sparrow Girl.