Abstracts:

Abstracts: Friday 1 October 2010

PANEL 13

Nathan Durst (AMCHA, Israel)

Psychotherapy with child survivors of the Shoa

In this presentation, I want to make a connection between the developmental needs of children of different age groups, and the destructive reality, child survivors had to cope with during the Shoa. The longing for the lost world (parents, family), the need for belonging, the feeling of existential loneliness, are common features within this group of child survivors, who are now between 65 and 80 years old. When treating them, the therapist will be confronted with an abandoned child hidden within an aging person, whose memories of the past are according to their age then, clear, fragmented and sometimes do not exist at all. Very often these clients are not in touch with the painfull feelings of longing and mourning that are hidden within, or they are not used to show these feelings. One or two short case-presentations will be included, and a very brief overview of the activities of AMCHA (http://www.amcha.org/).

Nathan Durst, Ph.D., a child survivor, born in Germany in 1930, survived the war by hiding in Holland. In 1987 I was co-founder and until a year ago Clinical Director of AMCHA, an Israeli organization that offers psycho-social support to Holocaust Survivors and their families. At this moment in time, we see approx. 12,000 clients per week. Professionally, I am still active, giving supervision, lecturing, and teach a course at the Department of Gerontology, at the University of Haifa.

 

 

Judith Gerardi (Empire State College, State University of New York, USA)

Childhood, imagination, and war

The proposed presentation addresses the social and psychological dangers that accompany the physical ones faced by children in war. The focus will be on the inner life of children and the ways in which imagination is compromised during war, further hurting them. The presentation will consider psychological theory and research that help us understand the ways in which children’s age, fears, and family affect how they cope with this extreme situation. In contrast to adults, children are in a state of active psychological development, one that requires a nourishing environment. Being surrounded by stark, strong, constant danger affects the natural course of individual development. I will discuss the ways in which it does so and identify two critical aspects of a child’s world: exploration and imagination. Participants will hear from children in an indirect way that allows the unencumbered expression of their individual experiences and concerns. Specifically, I have gathered children’s drawings from five wars over a period of seventy years. Drawings allow less filtered expression of the child’s emotions and worries than do conversations. Allowing children to speak through their drawings removes the restrictions tied to verbal ability and replaces it with a means of communication that speaks to us all, including people who do not speak the child’s native language. Selected drawings from the Spanish Civil War to the present day will be shown and discussed at the conference. Alarming similarities in the content of the drawings give evidence to commonalities in children’s experience of war.

Dr. Judith Gerardi is a psychologist and professor in New York City. She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from New York University and licensure as a psychologist and certification as a school psychologist. Since 1991, she has taught in the College’s international locations in Prague, Athens, Nicosia, and Beirut. Her academic interests are social and cultural contexts of human development, teacher-student interactions, adult university students, and the psychosocial impact on children of living in a war zone. Her research on children and war began with examining the psychological impact of growing up in the midst of the civil war in Lebanon.

 

 

Suzanne Kaplan (Uppsala University, Sweden)

Children in genocide: Extreme traumatization and affectregulation

The presentation is based on an extensive research concerning children in genocide with a starting point in the Holocaust and in the genocide in Rwanda 1994. The purpose is to demonstrate indicators for psychological phenomena concerning the child survivors affect regulation that appeared in life histories presented in video-taped in depth interviews. The psychological phenomena have concerned experiences of persecution and ways of coming to terms with recurring memory images and affects. The interviews that have been analyzed in detail form a basis for an emerging conceptual model about trauma- and generational linking processes within each individual called the ’affect propeller’. An overall conclusion from this study is that past traumatic experiences are recovered not as memories in the usual sense of the word, but as affects invading the present. Accordingly, affects seem to tell the story of the past traumatic experiences.

Suzanne Kaplan PhD (doctoral thesis: Children in the Holocaust) and researcher in the field of children and extreme traumatization at the Programme for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (Hugo Valentin-center), Uppsala University, Sweden and as a collaborator in The Genocide Study Programme at Yale University, USA. She is a psychologist and child - and training psychoanalyst in the Swedish Psychoanalytical Society. She is the author of several papers as well as two books: Children in Genocide - Extreme Traumatization and Affect regulation, London: International Psychoanalysis Library (published in Germany: Wenn Kinder Völkermord überleben - Über extreme Traumatisierung und Affektregulierung, 2010), and co-author of the book Rache - Zur Psychodynamik einer unheimlichen Lust und ihrer Zähmung (2009).

 

Nitin Sawhney (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA)

The role of participatory mapping and media narratives among children and adolescents in conflicts settings

The role of socio‐cultural interventions and resilient coping mechanisms among children and adolescents living in conditions of armed conflict requires critical understanding. Recently, through longitudinal studies in the Balkans and Gaza, Brian Barbar demonstrated stark differences in resilience among war‐affected Bosnian vs. Palestinian youth due to factors including access to social support, recognizing a coherent rationale/narrative for the violence, and engagement in forms of resistance and activism. We examine the role of participatory interventions leveraging expressive media, narrative and spatial mapping techniques with marginalized youth, as tools to understand their perceptions and representations living under conditions of conflict and crisis. Can such approaches foster greater resilience among youth through creative empowerment and civic action in their own neighbourhoods and communities? Over the past four years, Voices Beyond Walls has conducted digital storytelling workshops in Palestinian refugee camps to support creative expression among children and adolescents (aged 10‐16). It serves as a means for them to confront and project their ongoing fears, anxieties and aspirations through digital photography, mapping and video-based narratives. While we have drawn many pedagogical lessons from these experiences, critical research is needed to probe the value of media representations created by traumatized youth and the role of artistic interventions to support resilience, expression, and pro‐social attitudes among marginalized communities. We will discuss some preliminary outcomes from ongoing fieldwork and participatory media workshops being conducted with community youth centers in the West Bank and Gaza.

Nitin Sawhney, Ph.D. is a Research Affiliate with the Program for Art, Culture and Technology (ACT) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Nitin received his Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from MIT, as well as M.S. and B.E. degrees from Georgia Tech. In 2008‐2009 he served as a Visionary Fellow with the MIT Jerusalem 2050 project, conducting research on urban renewal and social empowerment through the media arts in divided cities. Since 2006 he has co‐founded and organized Voices Beyond Walls, a participatory media initiative, to conduct digital video and storytelling workshops with youth in refugee camps in the West Bank. Full bio here: http://visualarts.mit.edu/people/affiliates/affiliate_sawhney.html


 

PANEL 14

Eleanor Andrews (University of Wolverhampton, UK)

Hide and seek: A child’s eye view of the Holocaust

Shielding children from any menacing aspects of life is something that parents do as a matter of course. In two films about the Holocaust, Life is Beautiful (dir. Roberto Benigni, 1997) and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (dir. Mark Herman, 2008), two fathers hide the horrible truth about the concentration camps from their children, but for very different reasons and in very different ways. Although the horrors of the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen are well known to us in the twenty-first century, and are commemorated by institutions and individuals, nevertheless, these atrocities, when perceived through the eyes of innocent children, take on a different guise. This paper will examine and contrast the approaches of these two films to this challenging topic to show how disturbing truths may be concealed. It will also look at Benigni and Herman’s use of space in their films, which turns the horror into a sort of game of hide and seek, where the outcome is, however, not always a positive one.

Eleanor Andrews is Senior Lecturer in Italian and Course Leader for Film Studies at the University of Wolverhampton, UK. She teaches European Cinema, in particular French Cinema from the Golden Age of the 1930s to the present. Her interest in Italian Cinema includes Neo-Realism, the Spaghetti Western and the work of the director Nanni Moretti. She has recently written chapters on Moretti and family life and Moretti and authorship which are due for publication in 2010. Her PhD thesis, also scheduled for submission in 2010, examines Moretti’s use of Space in his ten major feature films to date.

 

 

Stella Hockenhull (University of Wolverhampton, UK)

Innocent dreams and childhood fantasies: Surrealism and war in film and TV

Surrealism in painting was primarily a revolutionary activity which developed as a reaction to the First World War. Encompassing a variety of visual and literary media, its preoccupations concerned the exploration of dreams, a celebration of fantasy and a more profound understanding of the subconscious mind. These are themes that are readily translated into representations of war, and more poignantly, in films and television dramas that focus on children as key protagonists. Carrie’s War (Giedroyc, 2004) is a TV drama which recounts the story of a World War Two evacuee’s experience from a child’s perspective, evoking her imaginary fears that appear consonant with surrealist imagery. Similarly, Pan’s Labyrinth (del Toro, 2004), set in the post Civil War Spain of 1944, is the story of a young girl’s fantasy world, created as an escape from the hardships of her strict stepfather and his fascist beliefs. Director Benigni creates a fantasy world for his son in Life is Beautiful (1999), thus separating him from the realities of the Holocaust. Surrealist expressions of war from a childhood perspective are not confined to fictional narratives. Humphrey Jennings’s A Diary for Timothy (1946) is a Second World War documentary which intercuts image and sound to create a vivid and artistic style in order to deliver its message. This paper examines the use of Surrealism as a visual mobilisation of childhood imaginings in response to war.

Stella Hockenhull is a Senior Lecturer in Film Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. Her research interests lie in the correlation between film and painting. She completed her PhD in 2006 on Neo-Romanticism and films of the Second World War. This was published in 2008 in a book entitled Neo-Romantic Landscapes: An Aesthetic Approach to the Films of Powell and Pressburger. She is currently writing a book on contemporary British cinema and landscape, due out March 2011 for I.B. Tauris. She has publications in a variety of journals and has presented at conferences nationally and internationally.

 

 

Yvonne Kozlovsky Golan (University of Haifa, Israel)

Little Men: The representation of children survivors in world cinema after 1945

The image of children during the Second World War in Europe and children who survived the Holocaust has captured the imagination of world film directors, who saw the youngsters as a faithful reflection of the war and its horrors. Through personal stories and histories, it was possible to provide deep and moving cinematic expression for the struggle between good and evil, the battle by the weak to survive in a cruel and heartless world, without any defined parental authority, to stay alive and bear witness to what went on. The children and adolescents did not always meet with a kind fate, but their stories will forever be the central narrative in the heritage of the Holocaust in world cinema: there were those who were torn from their parents’ arms and witnessed their murder, children who were sexually exploited, starved to death or died in the camps, others who were hidden by kindhearted Gentiles, or escaped and were saved, while others fell into the hands of evildoers. This presentation traces historical and cinematic trends of the representation in film of children and adolescents who experienced the Holocaust. The historical survey of major films made immediately after the war and during the period following the war whose main theme focuses on the lives of children about 1941 to 1945. The films will be discussed by geographical area: Europe (both Eastern and Western Europe), the USA and Israel, followed by an examination of the research hypothesis: Is there a broad common denominator of the cinematic creations in each continent? How does the cinematic and historical expression of each film reflect the social, cultural and political trends characteristic of each country’s view of World War II and the genocidal destruction it wrought?

Dr. Yvonne Kozlovsky-Golan, head of the new Graduate Program in Culture and Film Studies, is the author of “God have mercy on your soul”: The Death Penalty in the USA: History law and Cinema (Tel Aviv: Resling 2010) She chairs the graduate program for Culture and Film Studies in the faculty of humanities at Haifa University. She is a fellow at Yad Vashem, International Institute for Holocaust Research: The Baron Friedrich Carl Von Oppenheim Chair for the Study of Racism, Anti Semitism, And The Holocaust Founded By The Von Oppenheim Family of Cologne. She researches the connection between history and film - the cinematic representation of the wars of the 20th Century and the traumatic events of the century. Her research examines the cinema's influence on the historical knowledge of the viewers and the cultural and social discussion that follows the representation of history in cinema and the inherent truth.


 

PANEL 15

 

Loukianos Hassiotis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece)

Raising the ‘future of the nation’: Child welfare in Spain and Greece during and after the civil wars, 1936-39 and 1946-49

In the Spanish and Greek civil wars the ‘children’s issue’ became part of the political agenda of the conflicting camps. The creation of Auxilio Social (Social Help) by the francoist side in Spain aimed to the relief of thousands of children-victims of war and political violence, and, at the same time was considered as part of the military struggle of the rearguard. Children of nationalistic and republican families alike were gathered in special institutions for minors in order to grow up according to the dogmas of Falange and National-Catholicism. Accordingly, during the Greek civil war both camps relocated thousands of children in order to ‘protect’ them from the hostilities and kidnapping by the enemy. The Queen’s Fund organised its own network of ‘child-towns’ for war-handicapped children or those threatened by communist ‘abduction’. These centres offered significant services to many boys and girls from rural Greece, in an attempt to confront the humanistic crisis that Greek juvenile population was facing after the end of WWII. At the same time, the ‘child-towns’ were supposed to create ‘good and diligent citizens’, loyal to the monarchy and the conservative-anticommunist principles of the post-war regime in Greece. The paper attempts a comparison between the two cases using state and private archives, publications of the relevant organizations, articles of the Spanish/Greek press of the period under consideration, as well as contemporary historiography.

Loukianos Hassiotis is a Lecturer in Modern and Contemporary European History, in the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece. He is the author of several articles (in Greek, English and Spanish) and of two books (both in Greek), i.e. The ‘Eastern Federation’: Two Greek Federalist Movements in Late Nineteenth Century (2001), and Greek-Serbian Relations, 1913-1918: Allied Priorities and Political Antagonisms (2004). During the last years his main field of research is the role of the children in the great upheavals of the 20th century, focusing on the Spanish and Greek civil wars.

 

 

Alicia Pozo-Gutiérrez (University of Southampton, UK) and Padmini Broomfield (UK)

Los Niños: Child exiles of the Spanish Civil War

Based on data emerging from 30 life story interviews recorded as part of the UK Heritage Lottery Funded project “Los Niños: Child exiles of the Spanish Civil War”, this paper explores the ways in which former evacuee children remember and reflect upon their memories of conflict, war and displacement. This community-based project, led by the University of Southampton in collaboration with Hampshire Archives and Local Studies, aims to document, preserve and disseminate the little-known story of a contingent of nearly 4,000 children who were evacuated to Britain in May 1937, following the bombings of the Basque Country during the Spanish conflict. The in-depth life story interviews help us understand the impact that evacuation, family separation and a history of dislocation experienced at a young age had on the later life trajectories of the niños, and how it influenced educational, career and family decisions made by those who settled in Britain and those who returned to Spain. The paper will focus on how the oral narratives reveal and deal with traumatic memories after a passage of decades, problematising on the very notion of ‘trauma’ and accounting for the maintenance and transmission of shared experiences to subsequent generations and the wider public.

Padmini Broomfield is an oral historian with many years experience in recording and using oral testimony on maritime and immigration themes. She has co-edited a radio programme on Asian women, a publication on shipyard workers, online exhibitions and several audio compilations. She has developed and run oral history training workshops in Albania, Germany, Nicaragua, Spain and the UK and presented papers at seminars in Brussels, Colombia, Spain and the UK. Her recent projects include ‘Los Niños – child exiles of the Spanish Civil War’ and ‘Itchen Navigation Heritage Trail Project’.

Alicia Pozo-Gutiérrez is a lecturer in Spanish Social and Political Studies at the Centre for Transnational Studies which is part of the discipline of Modern Languages discipline at the School of Humanities of University of Southampton, UK. She researches migration and exile in the Spanish-speaking world. She is currently working on ‘Los Niños – child exiles of the Spanish Civil War’ and doing pilot research on Mexican returnee migrants from the US.

 

 

Karl D. Qualls (University of East Anglia, UK)

Niños Sovietica: Making Spanish child refugees Soviet, 1937-1951

In 1937 and 1938, as the bombing of northern Spain increased in frequency and intensity, thousands of children boarded ships to safer residences in foreign countries. These children left behind everything they knew as civil war ravaged their homeland. About 3,000 children, teachers, and caregivers were evacuated to hastily provisioned Homes for Spanish Children in the Soviet Union that became their schools, homes, and families for the next 14 years. Because of the rather haphazard process of exile, Soviet officials had little idea what they were getting or how they should respond. When there was still hope that the exile would last for only a few months, the homes resolved to provide the best education and housing that the limited resources and initially confused administration could provide. After only a few years of getting used to their new homeland, the schools evacuated in front of the Nazi invasion. As they fled to the interior they were met with cold, hunger, and a lack of all material comforts. When it became clear that Franco’s victory meant that the children could not return home, Soviet authorities responded by weeding out bad influences and paying greater attention to Russifying and Sovietizing the children in the homes. The school/homes sought to create a new breed of Spanish-Soviet citizens who would first contribute to their adopted homeland and then help to spread communism abroad. This virtually unknown story of wartime evacuation shows a modernist attempt to refashion the memory and behaviors of war- displaced children.

Prof. Karl D. Qualls, PhD: B.A., University of Missouri at Columbia, 1993; Ph.D., Georgetown University, 1998. Associate Professor of History, Dickinson College (USA); and Director of the Humanities Program in England, University of East Anglia (UK). Author of numerous articles and the book From Ruins to Reconstruction: Urban Identity in Soviet Sevastopol after WWII (Cornell, 2009) which overturns notions of totalitarianism, investigates the creation of historical myths, and outlines the role of monuments and urban space in identity formation in a city torn between Ukraine and Russia. Teaching includes Russian and German history, comparative revolutions (political, social, and cultural), dictators, urban history, and more.

 

PANEL 16

Yael Enoch (Open University of Israel, Israel)

Children on the run: The flight from Nazi-occupied Denmark to Sweden during the Second World War

The materials for this research were obtained by recorded individual life-story interviews with 27 Danish Jews who were children (aged 5 to 15) during the Holocaust and who fled from Denmark to Sweden in October 1943. When they were interviewed they were aged between 65 and 75. They were asked to focus on memories from the Second World War. Most of the respondents related their experiences in chronological order, starting by briefly describing life in Denmark from April 1940 when the Nazi occupation of Denmark began until October 1943, when a majority of Danish Jews avoided arrest by the Germans and fled to Sweden. Then they usually described, in more detail, the time they spent in hiding (from a few days up to several weeks) before the actual crossing over to Sweden in small fishing boats. Most of the interviewees were hidden by non-Jewish Danes together with their families, but some spent the period in hiding alone. The next part of the narrative dealt with the initial reception in Sweden and life as refugees during nearly two years. Finally they described how they and their families were received upon their return to Denmark in the summer of 1945. Most of the respondents did not consider their Holocaust experience as traumatic and did not describe themselves as Holocaust-victims or Holocaust-survivors. Several of them even characterized the time spent in Sweden as "one of the best periods of my childhood". The paper will attempt to discover why they reacted in this way. What was the basic difference between their experience and that of child-survivors from other European countries? None of the respondents reported having discussed or worked through their experience, neither at the time of the flight or upon returning to Denmark, neither at school or with their families. Thinking back on their war-time experiences most of the respondents thought that their own family was the only one where unpleasant experiences in general and the Holocaust in particular, were not discussed. The paper will address this issue. Only a few of the respondents reported any effects of their Holocaust experience on their future identity and life-style: choice of career, immigration to Israel, religious convictions and affiliations, social and political attitudes. Only two of the interviewees reported long- term psychological problems, which they felt had been caused by their Holocaust experience.

Yael Enoch, Ph.D., is a senior lecturer (semi-retired) of Sociology at the Open University of Israel. In addition to her research in distance education she has published several papers in the areas of ethnicity, professional education and tourism. Recently she has added Holocaust studies to her fields of interest.

 

 

Steve Hochstadt (Illinois College, Jacksonville, USA)

Jewish children as refugees in Shanghai, 1938-1949

About 20% of the Jews who escaped Nazi Germany and went to Shanghai in the last year before World War II were children. According to extensive interviews with former refugees, children and young adults experienced the expulsion from Europe and their new lives in Shanghai very differently from their parents. Less rooted in German bourgeois society and more adaptable to the changes required in an unfamiliar land, younger refugees often saw their Shanghai experience as an adventure, while their parents suffered from their social and economic decline. One of the hallmarks of this refugee experience, and probably of others, is the reversal of family roles when adult males lost jobs and status. The expanded role of Jewish wives, especially when their husbands were arrested during Kristallnacht, in running households and arranging emigration has already been established. This role shift extended to teenage children, who often were able to gain power within the family by finding work in Shanghai and contributing to the family economy. Younger children went to school in Shanghai. The refugee community, considerably aided by the generosity of wealthy Baghdadi Jews already established in Shanghai, set up a new school in Hongkou for their children, the so-called Kadoorie School. This school is fondly remembered by its former students. Its history has yet to be written, but this paper will examine its role in providing an educational and social environment for refugee children. Research on the experience of child refugees in Shanghai is heavily based in oral interviews and memoirs. Because the history of Shanghai as a refuge for German-speaking Jews began to be compiled in earnest many decades after World War II, the experiences of children have been overrepresented in published works and oral histories. This paper will address the effects of this overrepresentation on our understanding of this refugee experience.

Steve Hochstadt is Professor of modern European history at Illinois College in Jacksonville, Illinois. He was Professor of modern European history at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, for 27 years. His research has focused on migration in Germany and on the Holocaust, specifically on Jewish refugees to Shanghai. His book Mobility and Modernity: Migration in Germany 1820-1989 (University of Michigan Press, 1999) won the Allan Sharlin Prize of the SSHA. More recently he published Sources of the Holocaust (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004), an annotated collection of Holocaust documents. He has done 100 interviews with Jews who went to Shanghai, 12 of which have been edited to create Shanghai-Geschichten: Die jüdische Flucht nach China, published in 2007 by Hentrich and Hentrich in Berlin. He serves as Treasurer of the Sino-Judaic Institute.

 

 

Gisela Holfter (University of Limerick, Ireland)

Child refugees in Ireland, 1933-1945

So far not much is known about German-speaking refugees in Ireland during 1933-45, let alone the experience of children among them. Indeed, in stark contrast to the experience of the United Kingdom which took in ten thousand children through the ‘Kindertransporte’ there is no evidence of any similar attempt in Ireland. While there were significant numbers in Northern Ireland on Millisle Farm, any child who made it to the Free State of Ireland had to find his or her own way. In this paper I will give an overview of research into the wide ranging experiences of exile in Ireland for children, whether they came with family members or were entirely on their own. I will map out how they came, where they went, who helped them and what obstacles they had to face.

Gisela Holfter, Senior Lecturer, Centre for Irish-German Studies, University of Limerick. Academic Career: German; MA (Washington University, St Louis), PhD (Cologne); Lektorin, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand; Part-time lecturer, Universität Köln; Assistant teacher, Belfast. Research Interests: German-Irish relations (18th-20th century); travel literature; Heinrich Böll; exile literature; women in Romanticism; crosscultural communication; business in Germany; languages for specific purposes.

 

 

Bat-Ami Zucker (Bar-Ilan University, Israel)

Children’s flight from Nazi persecution to American freedom

Resistance to Hitler's plan for the destruction of the Jewish people took numerous forms. Many, unable to escape themselves, desperately sought to save their children by sending them away. Unfortunately refuge was found only for a very small portion of these children in a few countries, among them the United States. American Jewish individuals and some organizations took upon themselves to advance what they called "a sacred mission" and to bring into the United States over thousand unaccompanied refugee Jewish children from 18 months to 16 year of age. Since the atmosphere in the United States was anti-immigration and anti-Semitism was at its peak in the 1930's and the 1940's, Jewish children's rescue operations had to be carried out far away from the public eye, with the result that until recently the history of these rescues has been unknown. It all started in the spring of 1933; only weeks after Hitler came to power, when the particularly touching plight of Jewish children in Nazi Germany raised worries among American Jews. Several American Jewish organizations looked for ways to bring into the United States German Jewish children. To create the necessary machinery for such an undertaking, the German-Jewish Children's Aid (GJCA) was founded. The organization was to arrange for the transfer of the children to the United States, for finding foster homes and caring for them until they reach16 year of ages. One of the most prominent figures involved in the rescue operation was Cecilia Razovsky, Executive Director of GJCA, a social worker born in St. Louis to an immigrant family. She succeeded in establishing a network of Jewish volunteer women in 103 communities, and was a focal point for the planning and execution of the rescues and resettlement of over 1000 children against enormous difficulties, overcoming opposition from federal as well as some American Jewish leaders. Although when compared with the Kindertransport to England that brought about 10,000 children into the UK, the GJCA's achievements might seem less impressive, it was nevertheless a grand rescue operation, providing over one thousand Jewish children with a safe haven in the United States.

Bat-Ami Zucker, Professor of American Legal and Modern History, Bar-Ilan University. Recent publications include: In Search of Refuge: Jews and US Consuls in Nazi Germany, 1933-1941, London & Portland Or., Vallentine Mitchell Publishers, 2001. Cecilia Razovsky and the American-Jewish Women's Operations in the Second World War London & Portland Or., Vallentine Mitchell Publishers, 2008.

 


 

PANEL 17

Gulie Ne’eman Arad (Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel)

Holocaust child survivor: A microanalysis

The closest and most continuous observers of Holocaust child survivors’ lives are family members, but commonly it is methodologically least accepted. In disciplines such as history, anthropology, and psychology, distance from the subject of observation and research is conceived as essential in order to prevent unsettling dissonance. Yet, such a methodological conundrum should not prevent us from pursuing such a path, for it may nurture insights that would otherwise be inaccessible. I wish to maintain that the personal and emotional involvement born by the particular position in the life of a child survivor can be balanced by a continuously self-critical gaze that is likely to diminish the effects of subjectivity. In my presentation, I wish to address methodological questions and argue in favor of microanalysis of long terms observations on the manifestations of the Holocaust experience on the lives of two brothers (one of them my husband of over thirty years), sole survivors of their immediate family. With some two years separating between the two, the older is the main carrier of memory, and the older the interpreter of the past based largely on a mediated memory. Based on observations that I have recorded some three decades, I wish to focus on three main interrelated issues: their respective evolving and changing memory of the war past; its impact on their relationship with each other and their critically different self identity; the very different lives they have build out of shared past. In my analysis, I shall point out to significant, yet often overlooked variables that shed light on veiled affects of the Holocaust on child survivors.

Gulie Ne’eman Arad, Senior Lecturer, Department of Jewish History, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel. Major research interests: History and Memory, Historical Methodology. Selected publications: America, Its Jews, and the Rise of Nazism, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001. America, Its Jews, and the Rise of Nazism, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2001.

 

 

Patricia Heberer (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, DC, USA)

Running in Auschwitz: The Holocaust “Diary” of Michael Kraus

Approximately 1.5 million Jewish children perished in the Holocaust. For a generation of young people who survived in the perilous climate of persecution, ghettoization, and deportation, the nightmare years of the Shoah left an indelible legacy of pain and loss. With notable exception, Nazi anti-Jewish policy ran a parallel course for adults and youngsters. Yet the experiences of children during the Holocaust period were markedly different from those of their adult counterparts, as were the ways in which they contended with the consequences of persecution. This paper offers a narrative in microcosm: it is the story of the Holocaust as seen through the eyes, and fate, of one young victim. Michael Kraus was born in Trutnov, Czechoslovakia in 1930. In December 1942, young Michael found himself deported to Theresienstadt and almost precisely one year later to Auschwitz. Here, with the liquidation of the Czech Family Camp in summer 1944, the fourteen-year-old lost both of his parents. Kraus survived Birkenau as a “runner” [“Läufer”], conveying communications and supplies among officials in the heart of the extermination camp. Kraus began a rudimentary diary in Auschwitz which he lost in the series of death marches he undertook before liberation. Returning orphaned to Czechoslovakia, the teenager reconstructed his Holocaust experiences in a three-volume chronicle completed in 1947. Kraus’s unpublished diary, punctuated by the youth’s remarkable illustrations, reflects the extraordinary story of a child survivor and provides unique insight into the experiences and viewpoints of children during the Holocaust.

Dr. Patricia Heberer has served as an historian with the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum since 1994, functioning as a specialist on medical crimes and eugenics policies in Nazi Germany. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland, producing a dissertation on the Hadamar “euthanasia” facility. She is currently writing a source edition, Children and the Holocaust, for the Center series, Documenting Life and Destruction. A further publication, Atrocities on Trial: The Politics of Prosecuting War Crimes in Historical Perspective, co-edited with Juergen Matthäus, appeared in 2008 with the University of Nebraska Press.

 

 

Hanna Ulatowska (University of Texas at Dallas, USA)

Child survivors and their paths to legacy

The literature on the legacy of survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp deals primarily with the adult survivors, many of whom later became active participants in the antiwar movement and the fight for human rights and justice. Some of them were prominent writers and artists, and became creators of important testimonial work. In contrast, most of the studies of child survivors emphasize the traumatic impact of having their childhood world radically assaulted. Because they could not comprehend the situation in which they found themselves in the camp, they were left with deep trauma for the rest of their lives. In narratives of their camp experiences, themes of separation, loss, encounters with death and incomplete mourning are especially evident. In the proposed presentation, two child survivors are selected from an ongoing investigation of child survivors to illustrate two different paths from trauma and silence to renewal and legacy. One of the survivors has a remarkable memory and is deeply committed to transmitting to others what she has seen and experienced in the camp. The other survivor, who lost most of her family during the war, generates a replacement world through a variety of forms of social activism meant to improve the world. Now when the number of adult survivors is rapidly dwindling, discussion on the gradual change in the attitude of child survivors to serve as witnesses of history is invaluable.

Hanna K. Ulatowska, Ph. D. is Professor of communication disorders and neurolinguistics in the School of Behavioral and Brain Science at the University of Texas at Dallas. Her area of expertise involves studies of language in normal and pathological aging effects of culture and ethnicity on communication, and language and art as mental representation of experiences of survivors of concentration camps.

 


 

PANEL 18

Kathleen Coppens (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium)

Psychosocial support for child soldiers in northern Uganda: The view of practitioners compared to the voices of the beneficiaries

This presentation reports on an inventory study of the psychosocial support former child soldiers received from different national and international (non-)governmental organizations during the war in Northern Uganda. This war lasted from 1986 till 2006 and it is estimated that about 24,000 to 66,000 children were abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army rebel group. The LRA forced children and adults to take part in the war and commit the most horrible atrocities such as killing innocent people. Several initiatives and programs were provided to support the rehabilitation and reintegration processes of former child soldiers in the communities. However, a thorough monitoring, follow-up and analysis of those practices and used methods were often lacking. In order to avoid loss of the rehabilitation and reintegration expertise build up in Northern Uganda, 30 practitioners of 14 different organizations were interviewed about their experiences of supporting former child soldiers. More specific, we were interested in their meanings and opinions about good practices. Furthermore, former child soldiers were interviewed about their experiences of the support they received. What was useful? What was lacking? And, what other things did they need? A qualitative thematic analyse was used to integrate both perspectives. During the presentation, we will focus on the comparison of both perspectives to outline principles and ideas of good practice, inspired from inside the field. Situating the research project: This research is conducted within the Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations (CCVS) which is a cooperation between three Belgian Universities: Ghent University (Prof. Dr. E. Broekaert; Dr. I. Derluyn), Vrije Universiteit Brussels (Prof. Dr. G. Loots) and Katholieke Universiteit Louvain (Prof. Dr. H. Grietens). At the moment the centre is focusing on research in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Northern Uganda, but in 2010 this will be expanded to Nepal and Colombia. Next to this, the CCVS will also start with two guidance centers (one in the DRC and one in Uganda).

Kathleen Coppens: I’m working as a PhD Student at the Vrije Universiteit Brussels and the Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations since the end of 2008. My research started with developing an overview of the available psychosocial caretaking activities and programs for former child soldiers in Northern Uganda. Besides, I was also involved in the adaptation, validation and development of questionnaires on traumatic experiences and symptoms and on (in)formal support possibilities. Currently we are also doing research on the experiences of former child soldiers during their abduction and rehabilitation process by analyzing the archives of former reception centers. In the years to come, I will focus more on the reintegration experiences of former Ugandan child soldiers and how other youth and the community in general is trying to rebuild their lives since the ending of the conflict in 2006.

 

Nafila Maani (Child Helpline International (CHI)

Child Helpline International

Child Helpline International (CHI), is the global network of child helplines working to protect the rights of children. A child helpline belief that children and young people have rights, as set down in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. Child helplines are instrumental in providing children with proper assistance and guidance, while ensuring the participation of children in constructing their future. The reasons children contact child helplines, as compiled in CHI’s annual publication Connecting to Children, range from requesting information to reporting commercial exploitation. According to 2008, child helplines from around the world received over 14 million contacts. Child helplines operating in conflict zones play a crucial role in reaching out to these children, and rehabilitating them. The experience of the child helpline in Palestine is proof. Recent studies show that 84% of Palestinian children suffer from a sense of insecurity. The child helpline in Palestine receives calls related to physical violence, sexual abuse, school drop-outs and child labour...all issues especially prevalent in the lives of children living in conflict zones. In 2009, hundreds of children called the child helpline every day during and after the war, searching for support, being separated from kin and being orphaned. The child helpline, assisted by other member helplines in the region, was able to respond to these children’s needs. Based on their experience, the Palestine helpline has developed effective ways of supporting war affected children to reintegrate into their societies. The experience is invaluable to all CHI member helplines. Members in other regions in the world (including the great lakes region in Africa and in the Americas) who have comparable contacts with children affected by war, street gang activities, and internal displacement due to civil war, can learn from Palestine’s experience.

Nafila Maani is CHI’s Programme Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa. Ms. Maani holds an MA degree in Development Studies from the Institute of Social Studies (ISS), The Netherlands. She also holds a BA in English Language and Literature from al Isra University in Jordan. Ms. Maani is an expert on international peace and conflict resolution, and has been involved in a number of projects targeting the rights and wellbeing of children, youth and women, such as SIGI (Sisterhood is Global Institute), Amnesty International Youth Group - Jordan, the Middle East Youth Peace Forum, and Euro- Med Youth projects. Ms. Maani has worked with the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in Jordan. Prior to working under the Iraq Programme, Ms. Maani worked for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme/ Regional Information Office for Arab States as a Translator and a Coordinator.

 

Sofie Vindevogel (Ghent University, Belgium)

The prevalence and nature of traumatic experiences during child soldiering: The northern-Ugandan case

Topic: In Northern-Uganda, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) carried on a reign of terror against the government and people of Uganda for more than two decades. One of its major and most notorious war strategies is the violent abduction and forced recruitment of children to use them as child soldiers. At least 25 000 children have been forcefully involved as child soldiers in the LRA. Aim: Recently, attention to the experience and impact of child soldiering has risen within the scientific field. Yet, there’s ambiguity in research on how these children are exposed to and affected by the war and more specifically on the prevalence and nature of traumatic experiences during child soldiering. Consequently, this research aims at documenting the experiences of former child soldiers who were abducted by the LRA in Northern Uganda. Method: The database of the former reception centre for returned child soldiers ‘Rachele Rehabilitation Centre’, comprising intake-data on the socio-demographic background and traumatic experiences of 2 042 returnees, as well as the databases of three other reception centers in Northern Uganda, comprising socio-demographic data of 8 154 children, were analyzed using SPSS 17. Results: Analysis found that these children were abducted for approximately 1.5 years. During their captivity, they were exposed to averagely 8.87 different traumatic events. Moreover, apart from living in harsh circumstances and being victims of serious abuse, it was found that 88% witnessed atrocities against others and 76.3% participated forcibly in atrocities themselves. Child soldiers who fulfilled the role of combatant, forced wife or served in Sudan showed higher levels of traumatic exposure. Conclusions: This study reveals that traumatic exposure during child soldiering was rather common than exceptional as was earlier on found by similar research. Moreover, this research indicates that former child soldiers were often more actively – though forcibly – involved in atrocities against the people of Uganda, whereas earlier research stated that they were rather victims and witnesses than perpetrators of war strategies. These new insights bring along challenges for the recovery processes faced by former child soldiers and the broader war-affected society in transition. This urges for a social-ecological approach of the impact of child soldiering on the recovery of post-conflict settings.

Sofie Vindevogel, Department of Orthopedagogics Ghent University Belgium / Centre for Children in Vulnerable Situations.

 

 

William Yule (King's College London, UK)

The work of the Children and War Foundation

The Children and War Foundation was established after the authors’ experiences following the civil war in former Yugoslavia in the mid-1990s. Many organizations tried to mitigate the effects of the war on children but few interventions were based on evidence and fewer were properly evaluated. The Foundation was established in Norway with the aim of promoting better evidence-based interventions to help children after wars and natural disasters. The Foundation has developed a number of empirically grounded manuals that aim to help children learn strategies that will lessen the stress reactions they have developed. The manuals are designed to be delivered by personnel who are not necessarily very experienced in child mental health. They are aimed at groups of children so that a public health approach means that large numbers can be reached in a short space of time. Whilst empirically based, the strategies are not intended as individual therapy. The “Teaching Recovery Techniques” manual has been used following a number of earthquakes and other natural disasters and data from a number of these will be discussed. A “Writing for Recovery” manual is aimed at helping adolescents and is based on the seminal work of Pennebaker. It is currently being evaluated in three separate studies. A group-based manual to help children bereaved by war or disaster is currently in development.

William Yule, Emeritus Professor of Applied Child psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London, and Board member of the Foundation for Children and War (http://www.childrenandwar.org/). William Yule was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award for his work on child trauma by the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.

 


 

PANEL 19

Christophe Declercq (Imperial College London, UK)

Belgian refugees and their children in England during the Great War

When the German army invaded Belgium in early August 1914, nearly one Belgian out of four fled the country. About 250,000 Belgians turned to Britain, most of them stayed in England. The story of Belgian refugees in England is a peculiar one. The large numbers of destitute were met by an immense machinery of distress relief and a vast array of relief funds and committees, resulting in an often intriguing chapter of the lives of the Belgian refugees and their children. The reception of refugees differed across the country. The main areas accomodating the many Belgians were Folkestone and London. In the greater London area, many refugees were employed in munition factories and in the north of England even a true Belgian colony was established. Within a chronological framework of events relevant to describing the situation of Belgian refugees in England during the Great War, it is the purpose of this paper to analyse the issues involved in taking care of the many Belgian refugee children. How were education needs met? How was the linguistic divide overcome? Who was involved in looking after Belgian children especially? The analysis includes a top-level perspective (government departments, relief organisations…) and more local, more individual perspective as well.

Christophe Declercq graduated as a translator at Lessius Hogeschool (Antwerp, Belgium). After positions at Lessius, Blondé Printing Business, Decathlon and Yamagata Europe, he became a lecturer in localisation at Imperial College London. He later also joined the department of Translators and Interpreters, Artesis University College Antwerp. He has been a visiting lecturer at Lille LEAIII, Lessius, Middlesex, Metropolitan University and has spoken at EAFT, NL-Term, TAMA, LISA, ‘Translation&Meaning’, MediaForAll, 9th Portsmouth Translation Conference and EST. He has published in Language International, Language and Documentation and Translation Ireland. At Imperial College London, he is currently working on a PhD about Belgian refugees in Britain during WWI. Besides being an expert for the EU (CIP ICT-PSP call 3) and working closely with SDL and ITR, he works as a freelance translator as well, mainly for Golazo.be.

 

 

Kristine Alexander (York University Toronto, Canada)

Canadian Girls and the Great War

Historians of Canada and the First World War have shown remarkably little interest in the ways in which Canadian girls experienced and understood this world- and life-altering conflict. For while no Zeppelin raids or enemy troops threatened their immediate safety, Canadian girls were nonetheless implicated and involved in their country’s war effort in a variety of ways, as symbols of national virtue and as sources of patriotic labour. Many of them were also, of course, drawn into the conflict on a personal level, as the family members and neighbours of the 600,000 Canadian men who served in the armed forces. My paper will begin to redress this scholarly imbalance by answering the following three questions. First of all, how were Canadian girls represented in wartime propaganda and popular culture? How were they affected by the enlistment of their male relatives? And finally, how were they mobilized for voluntary war service ‘at home’?

Kristine Alexander is a doctoral candidate in history at York University in Toronto. Her doctoral dissertation is a study of the Girl Guide movement, empire and internationalism in interwar England, Canada and India. She has published an article and several book chapters based on this research, and has written a chapter on Canadian girls and total war for a forthcoming edited collection on Canadian and Newfoundland women in World War One. In the fall of 2010, she will begin a new project on Canadian children and the Great War as a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada postdoctoral fellow at the University of Western Ontario.

 

 

Mourad Djebabla (McGill University, Canada)

The Canadian children and the Canadian war effort during the Great War, 1914-1918: The strategies of the adults to mobilize the children in the society at war

During the Great War, all of the Canadian society was mobilized to support the Canadian war effort. The question of the mobilization of men and women is the most studied in the Canadian historiography of the Great War. But the children were also involved in the Canadian War effort. In the Canadian society at war, all of the society had to support the arms of Canada and of the British Mother Country. The “Total War” in Canada was a part of the Canadian society’s experience of the Great War with the mobilization of all, including the children. With my paper, I want to develop the question of the strategies used by the Canadian government or some patriotic associations to involve the Canadian children in the war effort. This paper will study how the adults saw the function of the children in the society at war, and how they mobilize them by using a specific propaganda and the schools to show them their duty in the Canada at war. It is interesting to study how the children got their place in the society at war from the adults, and this one was more and more important during the war and its needs. For example, they formed the “Soldiers of the Soil” to help the Canadian farmers to produce more food for the Allies in 1918. But this children mobilization had also consequences on their desire to do more –the Canadian Young Battalion with soldiers under 18 years old is an example.

Mourad Djebabla, Ph.D. since September 2008, my thesis studied the mobilization of the home front in Quebec and Ontario during the Great War. I am actually a postdoctoral researcher at the McGill University. My research is about the question of the Canadian food productions during the Great War to feed the Allies. I am a lecturer courses in McGill for the course Canadian Cultural History. I published my master’s thesis: Se souvenir de la Grande Guerre, la mémoire plurielle de 14-18 au Québec (VLB, 2004). It is about the memory of the Great War in Quebec from 1919 to 1998. In the winter 2009, I directed the special number of the review Bulletin d’histoire politique on the question of Quebec and the Great War.

 

 

Bart Ziino (Deakin University, Australia)

‘Even the children know all about the war’: Children’s culture and the First World War in Australia

This paper charts the profound impact of the First World War on Australian children who, despite living half a world away from the fighting, nevertheless internalised the war as part of their experience of growing up. Children were not shielded from the war in Australia; indeed it permeated every aspect of life, from family structures to play culture and schoolyard socialisation, as well as in the more obvious fields of education policy and children’s literature. The world of war for children in Australia was defined by its demands on their cultural resources, and children were forced, not necessarily unwillingly, to make sense of the world around them in the context of a struggle in which they and those around them were intimately involved. The methodological approach is important. Unlike previous studies of children during the First World War, this study does not rely upon an investigation of the educational structures developed by adults to direct children’s responses to war. Rather, it utilises children’s own correspondence with a range of people, particularly fathers and brothers serving at the front, and parental observations of their children’s behaviour during wartime, contained in their private correspondence. From these sources emerges a clearer picture of the ways in which children, exposed to patriotic and military culture, propaganda and its attendant technologies, absence, anxiety and grief, negotiated a world of war that was changing their society irrevocably.

Dr Bart Ziino is an Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellow at Deakin University, Australia. He is currently researching an intimate history of Australians and the culture of the First World War, through first person sources. His previous work has focused on Australian experiences of death, grief and commemoration during and after the First World War.

 


 

PANEL 20

Özlem Dilber (Bogazici University, Turkey)

Streets as spaces of interaction between lower class children and the adult world during the Second World War in Turkey

Although Turkey was a nonbelligrent country during the Second World War, it was unable to escape from the social and economic effects of the war. In this respect, the war years in Turkey triggered what became known as the “child question” - an ongoing debate throughout the early Republican era which referred to the hunger, malnourishment and increasing number of street children. As a relative increase in the negligence and abuse of children occurred, poverty among children became more visible in the cities, and the issue of street children emerged as one of the most discussed issues in the adult world during the war years. In this case, the meaning of streets as spaces of childhood was reconstructed and reconsidered both by the experiences in the everyday strategies for survival of lower class children who were the witnesses and victims of the war and with the modern ideology to control the urban place and childhood period. This paper will be prepared on the assumptions and findings of my master thesis and on the archival documents of Official gazette, various newspapers and journals published in that era, biographies of people who experienced the war and stories written during the war. The aim of this paper will be to unearth the history of childhood through the experiences in streets during the Second World War in Turkey. The main questions will be: How did lower class children perceive and react to the difficulties of the war? What were the meanings of streets for street children and adults? Finally, did the meaning of welfare policies towards street children undergo reconstruction during the war years?

Özlem Dilber: I graduated from the department of Political Science and International Relations in Marmara University in 2007 where I took courses mostly on the history of early Republican Turkey. The same year, I was accepted to the master program in the Ataturk Institute for Modern Turkish History in Bogazici University and on September 2009 my thesis, which was titled as “Lower Class Children and the State During World War Two in Urban Turkey: Streets, Schools and Worksites” was approved. Now I am a PhD candidate in the same institute in Bogazici University.

 

 

Lindsey Dodd (University of Reading, UK)

The moment of bombing: A moment that lasts a lifetime

France was bombed by the Germans during the summer of 1940, and thereafter by the Allies. Around 60,000 French civilians were killed by Allied bombing during a campaign which absorbed nearly a quarter of the Allies’ European bombing effort. Children across the world, now elderly adults, underwent the aerial bombardment of the 1940s, and their memories illuminate our understanding of the impact of bombs on human lives. This paper draws on the author’s oral history interviews to explore the many ways in which bombing was experienced by children, and its idiosyncratic reverberations in later life. It will demonstrate the need to guard against historical generalisation when looking at individual lives, whose circumstances are infinitely variable. What is it like to be bombed as a child? Fear, protection and comprehension are key elements that shape the experience, alongside the proximity of the bombs, the child’s age, gender and disposition. Bombing was not always experienced as terror, but sometimes as excitement, part of the ‘game of war’ playing out around them – in the shelter, ‘We were carefree, like children are. We were afraid at the moment of bombing, but after that we were happy to get together, meeting up with girls, playing football afterwards.’ (André Dutilleul, interview with Lindsey Dodd, April 2009). For some adults remembering and recounting their childhood, the experience has marked their lives, physically, through injury or loss, or as an indelible memory that resurfaces on provocation by low-flying aircraft, thunderstorms, sirens, war films. For others, bombing remains only one part of the greater experience of a war that comprised many parts, at once scary and exciting.

Lindsey Dodd is a PhD candidate at the University of Reading, writing her thesis on ‘Children under the Allied Bombs: France, 1940-1945’. She is supervised by Professor Andrew Knapp and Dr Martin Parsons. Her research is funded by the AHRC as part of the project ‘Bombings, States and Peoples in Western Europe, 1940-1945’.

 

 

Helene Laurent (University of Helsinki, Finland)

The war experience of children in Finnish Lapland

The paper examines the war experience of children in Finnish Lapland, the country’s least developed region, between 1939 and 1945, with a focus on child health and work of relief organizations, both domestic and international. The Winter War in 1939 – 40 against Soviet Union was unexpected, and the evacuation of the eastern border chaotic. Epidemics spread among the children causing a steep increase of already high infant mortality. The plight of children was widely publicized abroad by the Finnish relief organizations with a purpose to increase international relief aid. The war set in motion reform of child healthcare in Finland, partly funded with foreign donations. Mobile child health clinics run by relief agencies were active in Lapland throughout the entire period studied. In September 1944 Finland had lost the so-called Continuation War from 1941 to 1944 against Soviet Union and had to drive out the Germans, its former allies, from Lapland. The civilian population was evacuated to Sweden and to southern Finland. Again epidemics took their toll. While retreating to Norway the Germans used “scorched earth tactics” and nearly destroyed Lapland. In 1945 the deeply impoverished Finland received 2.5 million US dollars of UNRRA relief aid, which was meant solely for the areas destroyed by the Germans. A major part of the aid was directed to children: school feeding programs and building of children’s homes and well-baby clinics. The significance of UNRRA aid to Finland is discussed in comparison with other UNRRA recipient countries.

Helene Laurent, MD, University of Helsinki 1978. Specialist in Ear, Nose and Throat Diseases 1988. Master in Social Sciences, University of Helsinki 2006. Theme of Master Thesis: “Prevention of Typhus Fever in Finland during WWII”. PhD student, Department of Social Science History, University of Helsinki, from 2006. Theme of the PhD thesis: “The impact of war experience on child health care in Finland during WWII”. Currently working as a consultant physician in Joutseno center for asylum seekers. Special interests: war, children and epidemics, non-governmental organizations, relief work.

 

 

Alexandra Vinall (Wadham College, Oxford, UK)

The legacy of a wartime childhood in contemporary German anthologies

Since German Unification, and particularly as a response to the major anniversaries of the end of the Second World War in 1995 and 2005, the general interest in children and adolescents’ wartime experience has received an added impetus. Widespread interest in ‘felt history’ as Harald Welzer terms it, has resulted in the publication and consumption of a variety of memory texts in which members of the last generation of eye-witnesses of Nazism recount their personal view of history. In many ways childhood can be seen to represent the epitome of ‘felt history’ of the lived experience of Nazism, as in modern Western society, childhood is still primarily regarded as the most private part of life. The dichotomy of the search for a lost, idyllic childhood during a time which was also shaped by war, loss and suffering, is a central concern of the testimonies in a number of recent German anthologies of wartime childhoods. These include Yury and Sonya Winterberg’s Kriegskinder: Erinnerungen einer Generation (2009), Hilke Lorenz’s Kriegskinder: Schicksal einer Generation (2003) and Sabine Bode‘s Die vergessene Generation: die Kriegskinder brechen ihr Schweigen (2005). This paper provides a detailed analysis of some of the most influential of these collections, exploring aspects such as their status as memory texts and the contribution they make to the wider discourse of the legacy of Nazism in the Berlin Republic.

Alexandra Vinall is in her second year of doctoral study at Wadham College, Oxford on the subject “Growing up in the Third Reich: A Study of Contemporary Representations of Youth under Nazism in Literature, Film and Museum Displays”, under the supervision of Professor Karen Leeder. In addition to a full AHRC award and Senior Scholarship at her college, Alexandra has recently been awarded a Scatcherd European Scholarship to enable two research trips to Germany. Alexandra also currently holds the Heath Harrison Graduate Teaching Fellowship in the Modern Language Faculty.

 


 

PANEL 21

Niko Gaertner (Institute of Education, London, UK)

Operation Pied Piper: The wartime evacuation of schoolchildren from London and Berlin, 1938-45

The paper submitted to this conference reviews current research in the evacuation of schoolchildren from London and Berlin at the outbreak of the Second World War. With warfare moving away from battlefields towards urban civilian centers, provision for children became an increasingly important military expedient and strategic necessity. My focus is the policy development and decision-making within local governments faced with major logistical and sociological challenges. Unlike previous studies, whose foci went away with the evacuees, this study stays in the respective capitals and attempt to explain the actions and reactions of civil servants, politicians, teachers and parents who shared the responsibility for their children’s welfare at a time of war. So far, the unique historical situation of two (enemy) countries attempting massive scale operations for the safety of their children - with similar ambitions but very different policies and outcomes - has not yet been sufficiently exploited. The research presented here aims to fill that gap and should enable a reassessment of the evacuation’s historiography in both countries. Furthermore, as a comparative study it might allow an assessment of successful and unsuccessful wartime measures (with special emphases on propaganda, logistics and social politics) and might even teach lessons from history that could inform future decisions. Historians of childhood and education have promoted comparative research for some years now - and this research aims to contribute to the growing (but yet small) body of international studies in the field.

Niko Gaertner was born and educated in Hamburg, where he studied English Literature and History. After working for five years in Berlin, Kiel and Hamburg on the design and operation of Shore Excursions for Cruise Lines, he defected to England to become a teacher. He taught at Dame Alice Owen’s School in Hertfordshire for several years, but has now returned home to teach at a grammar school in Hamburg. On the side, he studied for an MA in the History of Education at the Institute of Education, University of London, which he has been awarded with Distinction in November 2008. He now studies for a PhD in the same field. An article on London County Council’s preparations for war has just been published in the Journal of Educational Administration and History and an essay on Victorian headmasters is going to be published this year in Reflecting Education.

 

 

Gregory S. Johnson (Otsuma Women`s University, Japan)

Conscripting childhood: The evacuation of urban school children in wartime Japan

In the summer of 1944, the Japanese government initiated a mass evacuation maneuver in which teachers led over 400,000 primary school children from their urban homes to sites of rural refuge away from impending enemy air attacks. This study examines Japan’s evacuation of school children in the context of policies and schooling practices that from the 1930s increasingly defined children as human resources of the state and authorized teachers to assume custody of an urban vanguard of “junior citizens” (shōkokumin). The evacuation measure was a civil defense policy but educational discourse of the period reveals additional goals, including physical and mental training and moral edification through rustication. This work examines Japan’s state-sponsored displacement of children in the context of the war’s effects on the way they were taught, cared for, managed, and imagined. Wartime exigencies intensified some existing methods and at the same time created sharp breaks from the past. The study argues that inconsistencies in ideology delayed planning as the increased mobilization of children contradicted official aversion to removing them from parental care. Furthermore, this study finds that the wartime evacuation policy for Japanese compulsory school pupils is a focal part of a period that redefined childhood and schooling in the nation with an enduring postwar legacy.

Gregory S. Johnson has master’s degrees from the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign, and a PhD from Indiana University’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. He is an associate professor on the Faculty of Comparative Culture at Otsuma Women’s University in Tokyo, Japan. His research interests include childhood and schooling in history and culture.

 

 

Radka Šustrová (Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes, Prague, Czech Republic)

Amazing holiday or hard reality of war? German children evacuees in Bohemia and Moravia during World War II

The paper is going to address the specific war experience of German children which were evacuated from Germany as part of the so called „Erweiterte Kinderlandverschickung“ (KLV), i. e. the plan (adopted in 1940) to place chosen German „non-Jewish“ children out of the immediate danger of the ever increasing air war. Being close to German border and relatively safe from bombing raids at the same time, the Protectorate Bohemia and Moravia constituted a prominent area for locating these children. Thus, elaborating on the empirical basis of the Bohemian and Moravian „children recreation camps“, and exploring the methods of recent cultural history, the paper is going to concentrate on the production of specific children subjectivity constructed vis a vis the long separation from their families, reeducation in accordance with the „Hitlerjugend“ principles, worsening living conditions, increasing mortality or re-evacuation taking place in 1944 and 1945. Instrumentalizing a wide range of sources, such as the original letters of children and their parents, general documents of the KLV office or official documents concerning particular cases of concrete children, the leading question of constructing, perpetuating and/or changing of the children subjectivity under the Nazi dictatorship is going to be tackled.

Radka Šustrová works as research fellow at the Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague and as editorial assistant of the Journal „Střed. Časopis pro mezioborová Studia střední Evropy 19. a 20. století / Centre. Journal for Interdisciplinary Studies of Central Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries“ published at the Masaryk Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. She is currently working on a thesis on children and youth under the Nazi dictatorship during the World War II.

 


 

 

PANEL 22

Sara Valentina Di Palma (University of Siena, Italy)

“We ate laces and swallowed earth”: Children in Nazi camps

“We ate laces and swallowed earth”, writes a Rom girl deported in Bergen-Belsen. In many ways Jews, Sinti and Roma and other groups of children belonging to conquered or annexed countries suffered the persecution carried out by Hitler’s regime. The paper discusses the persecution of childhood under National Socialism, starting with en exam of the Nazi ideology on the so called Neue Ordnung (aimed to a reorganization of the European societies according to a strict racial hierarchy) applied to children with different purposes and manners, depending on children’s belonging group. The deportation of children in concentration, work and extermination camps was functional to this purpose. The essay will then reconstruct the stages and various sides of children’s persecution in camps (e.g. arrival, life in camps, births and medical experiments, two camps for families in Birkenau, resistance, memory) using both documents and children’s memories, since the experiences lived by the youngest ones and especially their perception and sensitivity are largely different from adults. Among the sources, a special attention is devoted to diaries, draws and poetries produced during the persecution, and it will be explained the difference between memories concurrent to the persecution and memories produced in more recent times. A third part will finally deal with the aftermath and the difficult reconstruction of a post war life for children who being liberated face an impossible “happy end” and start a new process of identity searching.

Sara Valentina Di Palma, Ph.D. in Political Science and currently Researching Associate in Contemporary History (Dept. of History, Faculty of Humanities, Siena University) and Research Assistant at the chair of Contemporary History and of Comparative History (Communication Sciences Department, Faculty of Humanities at Siena University). Among her publications, Bambini ebrei, dai giochi ai lager [Jewish children from toys to lagers], “Il calendario del popolo”, Milano, Teti Editore, a.62, n. 715, Jan. 2007; Bambini e adolescenti nella Shoah. Storia e memoria della persecuzione in Italia, [Children and teenagers in the Holocaust. History and Memory of the Persecution in Italy] Milano, Unicopoli, 2004.


 

Diane Garst (University of Texas at Dallas, USA)

The role of music training for children of the Holocaust

Formal musical education of Jewish children in schools was interrupted by the initiation of the Nuremburg Laws. However, children involved in music sought out ways to continue study of voice and instrumental technique and performance. Adult musicians were compelled to continue music education as has been well documented by the instruction of children by professional musicians in the Terezin ghetto. This project explores the motivation and benefits of musical training to Jewish children in the years shortly before World War II and artistic activity that continued in the ghettos. Oral history and written narrative will be used as sources to explore the influence of continued musical training on development of individual and collective identity, the role of the family, and the intergenerational benefits of musical training during the Holocaust in the adult lives of child survivors. The student-teacher relationship will also be investigated, including music instruction as transmission of legacy.

Diane Garst, MS is a clinical faculty member at The University of Texas at Dallas. Her previous work explored multiple identities in a German-Jewish immigrant to the United States, and the development of identity in child survivors of the Holocaust who remained in Poland. She is also involved with the Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance and enjoys playing chamber music with area survivors of the Holocaust.

 

 

Thomas Rahe (Bergen-Belsen-Memorial, Germany)

Children in the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen

Among the approx. 55.000 prisoners of the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen who were liberated by British troops on April 15th, 1945, there was also a large number of children. The youngest inmate liberated by the British was just one day old; he had been born in Bergen-Belsen on April 14th, 1945. All in all some 3.000 children were imprisoned at Bergen-Belsen at various points for various lengths of time. The concentration camp Bergen-Belsen was set up in early 1943 as a detention camp for specific groups of Jewish inmates who were to be exchanged for Germans interned in Western countries. Due to this specific function Bergen-Belsen was from the very beginning a family camp. Most of the children came together with their parents to Bergen-Belsen. In addition specific groups of Jewish orphans were also imprisoned in Bergen-Belsen. The characacter of the camp changed dramatically mainly from the end of 1944 onwards as an increasing number of prisoners of other camps were brought to Bergen-Belsen on the “evacuation transports”, who had nothing to do with the exchange project. In this context other groups of child inmates were brought to Bergen-Belsen, among them also Roma (gypsies). The lecture will deal with the living conditions of these various groups of children in Bergen-Belsen (including their death-rate), with the various ways the children tried to cope with their traumatic experiences in the camp and with their social and psychological relations with their parents. A separate chapter will deal with the orphans in Bergen-Belsen.

Thomas Rahe, Ph. D., historian, dissertation on early Zionism. Since 1987 deputy director of the Bergen-Belsen-Memorial and head of its department of documentation and research. Publications on Jewish history in the 19th and 20th century and on the history of National Socialist persecution (among others: Höre Israel. Jüdische Religiosität in nationalsozialistischen Konzentrationslagern, Göttingen 1999).

 

 

Adam Sitarek (Institute of National Remembrance, Łódź, Poland)

Children in the face of Shoah: Case of the Lodz Ghetto

The text is based on Jewish and German Lodz Ghetto administration documents, diaries and memoirs written by inhabitants of the ghetto, including the 1940 (closing ghetto borders) - 1944 (liquidation of the ghetto) period. The text presents difficult circumstances in which the Jewish children were put in after creating a ghetto in Lodz. During the first years of the Jewish quarter existence the ghetto authorities tried everything to continue the “normal life”. So there were schools, kindergartens, medical care and even organized vacation in Marysin – a village part of the ghetto. All this ended in September 1942 after a large-scale deportations from Lodz to Chelmno death camp. At that time children under age 10 were sent to death, beside the elderly and the sick. After this event the ghetto population was forced to work, even the youngest children were no exception. From that moment the ghetto life was subjected to Rumkowski’s slogan “Unzer enziger weg is Arbeit”. Behind the barbed wire children had to cope with hard life conditions, which many adults failed to deal with. Still despite deportations to Auschwitz many of them managed to stay alive in the ghetto until its liquidation in August 1944.

Adam Sitarek – M. A. (University of Lodz, thesis: An Attempt to Reach an Agreement Between Polish Govenrnment and Jewish Representative in Poland 1918-1922). From 2008 member of t Centre of Jewish Research at University of Łódź, from 2009 researcher at Łódź Department of Public Education Office of Institute of National Remembrance. Doctoral candidate at University of Łódź (tutor Prof. Kazimierz Badziak), thesis Structure and Function of Altestenrat – Jewish Administration in Lodz Ghetto. Coeditor of the Chronicle of Łódz Getto (V volumes) and the Lodz Ghetto – Getto Łódzkie/Litzmannstdt Ghetto 1940–1944 photo album. Interests: history of relations between Poles and Jews in interwar Poland, history of Shoah, history of Łódź 1939-1945.

 


 

PANEL 23

Åsmund Aamaas and Judith Wiesinger (University of Salzburg, Austria)

Young refugees in Upper Austria and Salzburg: Constraints, opportunities and resilience

This paper focuses upon the resilience of young refugees living in Salzburg and Upper Austria. The context in which they find themselves can cause a number of difficulties. Many carry the burden of a difficult past, often experience a turbulent present, and might face an uncertain future in Austria. Even though the constraints can be hard to handle, also opportunities are found in the host society. Some young refugees manage to be resilient; they handle the situation in a positive way. Resilience can be understood as the capability to overcome a crisis without losing “normal” functioning, actively making meaning out of adversity resulting in personal growth. Our research focuses upon resilience processes at individual and collective levels among young refugees with main focus upon a “migrant house” in Upper Austria. There will be carried out a survey and Oral History interviews in the house in order to answer the following questions. How do the resilient refugees handle the situation? What factors are especially important? How are they met by the host society? The situation of the refugees is set in a historical perspective, mirroring a renewed interest of the interface between social anthropology and history.

Åsmund Aamaas has studied at the universities of Bergen (Norway) and Kapstadt (South Africa), and is now a PhD student in history at the University of Salzburg. Thesis: Asylum Seekers in Salzburg: Constraints, Opportunities and the Role of Resilience.

Judith Wiesinger studies history and political science at the University of Salzburg.

 

Markéta Bačáková (Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic)

Tearing down barriers in access to education of refugee children in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic declares equal access to education to all children on its territory disregarding their legal status and nationality. I will argue in the talk, however, that refugee children are deprived of this right based on broader understanding of the expression “access to education" than its solely physical dimension, but comprising also the categories of equal opportunities in a mainstream setting, available support provision, possibility of informed decisions, available counseling and diagnostic services and parental involvement. Supported by results from a qualitative research conducted in autumn 2009, which identified eight major obstacles to equal access to education of refugee children, I will further discuss the possible implications the current situation may have on the (educational) future of refugee children, with the extreme one of not accomplishing elementary education at all. Finally, a model on how to initiate action to tear down the erected barriers in education is proposed with effective information transfer among state agencies, NGOs, parents and schools playing the crucial role. Since the focus of asylum policy of the Czech Republic is and has been on matters different than education, this research brings new and important findings that need to be urgently considered.

Markéta Bačáková is a PhD student at Charles University in Prague, Faculty of Education with research interests in education of refugee and immigrant children and policymaking connected to this topic. In autumn 2009 she worked as a consultant for UNHCR, Prague Office and conducted a research on access to education of refugee children in the Czech Republic.

 

Martha Héder (Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, Canada)

Unaccompanied/separated children in Canada

Canada was the first country to develop guidelines for dealing with unaccompanied refugee minors.  This paper will give a brief review of documented policies and practices regarding unaccompanied/separated chldren seeking refugee status in Canada.  While there is a body of literature about the experience of unaccompanied minor refugee claimants (UMRC) in Europe, very little is known about how UMRC are received in Canada. The guidelines set up by the Canada Immigration and Review Board, a federal body that hears refugee claims, to take into account the 'special needs' of unaccompanied minors while processing their refugee claims are unfortunately not legally binding and are not applied consistently.  Immigration policy is a federal domainwhile provincial governments and territories retain jurisdiction over child protection and social services.  As a result, there is lack of coherent social policy regarding UMRC arriving in Canada.  Very little support exists for provincial child welfare authorities to appropriately meet the special needs of UMRC.  I will discuss in particular the challenges faced by the province of Ontario's child welfare and legal system in responding appropriately to the needs of UMRC.  Canada is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child and has been examined twice by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child for compliance with the convention.  Canada requires a national policy on unaccompanied asylum-seeking children, standard procedures for the appointment of legal guardians for these children and coherent UMRC supports for provincial child welfare authorities.  At the government, legal, child welfare system and community level, Canada has a long way to go in: a) formulating a coherent national policy on unaccompanied refugee children; and b) making the best interests of these unique claimants their primary consideration.

 

Martha Héder: Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General, Office of the Children's Lawyer, Counsel, Personal Rights Department, providing legal representation to children at all levels of Court in child protection an custody/access cases.  B.A., Carleton Univesity 1994; LL.B./J.D., Osgoode Hall Law School 1997; called to the Bar of Ontario 1999.  Poverty Law Legal Aid Clinic, Woman Abuse Council of Toronto, Ontario Interministerial Policy Committee on Assisted Human Reproductive Technologies, High School Legal Education Program.  Publications include: The Evolving Role of Child's Counsel in Child Protection ADR (Co-authored for presentation at the 2009 World Congress in Halifax); The Role of the Ontario Children's Lawyer (Ontario Principal's quarterly Magazine).

 

Dima Zito (University of Wuppertal, Germany)

Child soldiers as refugees in Germany

Currently about 250,000 child soldiers are being used in 17 conflicts worldwide (Child Soldiers Global Report 2008). It is almost impossible for children to leave military or armed groups; only few manage to escape abroad. Child soldiers as refugees in Germany are an especially vulnerable group of young refugees, often unaccompanied minors. They experience the same situation of social inequality and institutionalized exclusion that most refugees face in Germany. Generally there is a high level of traumatization (PTSD, approx. 40%) among applicants for political asylum in Germany (Gäbel et al. 2006). Due to the specific experiences of extreme violence of former child soldiers, the percentage of traumatized persons among them will probably be considerably higher. According to Keilson’s concept of sequential traumatisation, the period after persecution is the decisive sequence. In a supportive environment, a better processing of the trauma is possible, but where stress continues, the psychological pressure becomes chronic (Keilson 1979). The presentation focuses on the questions: 1. Processing: How do adolescents or young adults process experiences of extreme violence, such as being involved in armed groups and conflicts in their childhood? 2. Structural conditions: What impact do the living conditions of young refugees have? To grasp the subjective perspective of former child soldiers, biographical-narrative interviews with 17 adolescents and young adults were carried out. The interviewees come from seven countries and now live in different parts of Germany. The interviews are currently being evaluated with the methodology of content analysis (Mayring 1990/2002). The results will be presented at the conference. Preliminary results: Many of the interviewees were recruited at a very young age. They experienced extreme violence, witnessing war and death and living with the permanent threat of their own death. Many of them had to take part in the killing and mutilation of victims. The girls suffered slavery, rape and involuntary pregnancy. All of them were completely at the mercy of arbitrary, violent commanders and most of them were permanently under the influence of drugs. Within the armed forces there was no way of processing their experiences, no protective social support. The interviewees describe on the one hand symptoms of psychological stress caused by the living situation in homes for asylum seekers, isolation, and fear of deportation; on the other hand symptoms of traumatization (intrusive memories, nightmares, difficulty in concentrating, headaches, avoidance, fear, suicidal thoughts…). In their struggle to cope, they found friends and volunteers, social workers and therapists, but also their own commitment and discipline, religion and the desire to help others. Over the years some of them found relief through protection from deportation, permission to move out of the home for asylum seekers, access to education, work, and therapy.

Dima Zito is a social educationalist, systemic social therapist, psychodrama therapist, systemic trauma therapist, and trauma therapist for children and adolescents. After stays in Central America during her studies, she worked at the Nicaragua Information Office in Wuppertal in the field of political education focused on international development. Since 2003, she has been employed at the Psychosocial Centre for Refugees in Düsseldorf. She is studying for a PhD at the Faculty of Educational and Social Sciences of the University of Wuppertal (Prof. Dr. Heinz Sünker) as a scholarship student of the Hans Böckler Foundation. Her doctoral thesis is research on Child Soldiers as Refugees in Germany.

 


 

PANEL 24

Sarah Field (University College Cork, Ireland)

Children’s voices in armed conflict: The transformative potential of actively listening for children’s lives

Armed conflict affects all children and their indivisible human rights along a continuum. Internati