Reich: The Schutzstaffel-Ahnenerbe
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The Ahnenerbe Forschungs und Lehrgemeinschaft
The Ancestral Heritage Division (Reichs-SS Amt. 11) is, in many ways, the least understood department of the Reichs-SS. In fact, its detractors have been known to comment (very quietly) that the main purpose for its existence is for the amusement of the Reichsführer-SS, although while this might be true of certain areas of it, it certainly isn’t true of the whole. It receives most of its funding from the SS coffers and therefore counts as a full department of the Reichs-SS. Its has several branches, including the Ancient Mysteries section, whose main purpose is to define the Reich’s place in the historical scheme of things, often funding archaeological or exploratory expeditions, as well as pursuing studies of an anthropological, magical or occult nature; administration and operation of the Lebensborn Eingetragener Verein; operation of the Race and Settlement Office; and overseeing such areas as the SS medical and eugenics programmes. It is the only department of the Reichs-SS which has always been commanded by a woman.
Maria von Braun, Head of the Ahnenerbe, KSS (S)
After the events of Summer Solstice, RY154, when her father was killed, Marin Adler resigned as commanding officer of the Ahnenerbe to take up her new rank as Graffin von Leipzig, to be replaced by Maria von Braun. Maria was born in May RY063, and was the youngest child of the former Grossherzog von Prague, Erwin, who died in RY107. She studied magic at Berlin Mage College, before doing voluntary State Service with the Reichs-SS. She interned with a number of departments, before settling on the Ahnenerbe as her department of choice. She worked on a number of archaeological digs, and quickly proved to have a flair at deciphering the purpose of unusual technologies, as well has having a strong interest in racial theory. She also furthered her magical studies at the SS-Schule Haus, and gained a doctorate with a speciality in investigative magic in RY100. She moved from being a field agent in RY130, and has been based at Ahnenerbe headquarters since, working closely with first Silke von Halle and later with Marin Adler. She became a Companion of the Order of the Knights of the SS in RY132.
Due to the importance of the Wewelsburg to the SS, and also the Ahnenerbe, she is aware that she needs to forge close ties with the castle’s new Kommandant, Standartenführer Sigmund Jakob, KSS (Summer Circle), who was given the position after his predecessor, Sophia Lange, died in the terrorist incident on the Summer Solstice RY154.
The Lebensborn Eingetragener Verein
The Lebensborn Eingetragener Verein is run under the auspices of the SS Ahnenerbe division. The Society also acts as an orphanage system for children of Citizens who have lost their parents, and it has been known for Citizen couples to give children into the Society’s care, so that they can have a proper upbringing and get the advantages that being brought up within the Society can offer. This includes a comprehensive academic education, as well as a strong emphasis on the military and military procedures and discipline, plus team sports and martial pursuits such as riding, hunting, fencing and shooting.
It was founded to give young, female, unmarried, patriotic Reich Citizens the chance to serve their country in a more unusual way: by bearing a child for the Fatherland, without it having the stigma of illegitimacy, or the woman having to have the responsibility of bringing the child up beyond its second year. Such children are born within special enclaves and are either brought up by their mothers within those for the first two years, or the mothers are allowed in assigned housing outside them.
On the child’s second birthday, the mother is given the choice of staying within the enclave, possibly to bear more children if she wishes, or surrendering her child and then being able to go back to her previous life, but with the additional privileges which having served the Reich in this way grants her, including a substantial pension. The children are then brought up within the care of the Society, which is in charge of their education and development until such time as they leave its auspices: either by reaching their majority or, less commonly (about 30%), by being adopted by suitable Citizen families.
There is also a significant element of political education, with the unsurprising result that Lebensborn children are often the most outspoken adherents of the Reich system as they enter adulthood, and over half of them end up being recruited into the SS or the Waffen-SS. There are exceptions, of course, but in general, Lebensborn children have better opportunities and slightly more freedom to serve the Reich as they choose. In addition, their upbringing within the Society also confers legitimacy upon them, thus if a Lebensborn child can later prove his or her parentage, he or she could enter into noble succession. Very detailed records are maintained of the lineage of children who have passed through the Lebensborn system, and the Society’s Keeper of the Lineage, Brigadeführer Adam Cornelius , is himself a child of the Society.
Hon. Brigadeführer Adam Cornelius, Keeper of the Lineage, KSS (S)