Abstracts: Saturday 2 October 2010



Shimon Redlich (Ben-Gurion University, Israel) and Gabriel N. Finder (University of Virginia, USA)

Gabriel N.Finder talks to Shimon Redlich about the film, his time in hiding, Jewish life in post-war Lodz, and being a child survivor and a teenager in Israel.

Shimon Redlich is Professor Emeritus of History at Ben-Gurion University in Israel. His Ph.D. is from New York University. He was born in 1935 in Lwów and survived the Holocaust in hiding in nearby Brzeżany. After World War II he lived in Łódź from 1945 to 1950 and then immigrated to Israel in 1950. He has been at Ben-Gurion University since 1970, where he served as Director of the Rabb Center of Holocaust Studies. He is the author of numerous books and articles on the history of East European Jewry and the Holocaust, including the acclaimed book Together and Apart in Brzezany: Poles, Jews, and Ukrainians, 1919-1945 (2002). In 2009 he completed a book manuscript entitled Life in Transit: Jews in Postwar Lodz, 1945-1950, in which he discusses Undzere Kinder.

Gabriel N. Finder teaches modern Jewish history and culture at the University of Virginia in the US. He has a Ph.D. in modern European history from the University of Chicago and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania. His research interests lie in the Holocaust, the rebuilding of Jewish life after the Holocaust, and the construction of Holocaust memory. His publications in these areas have appeared in several scholarly journals, including Polin, East European Jewish Affairs, Gal-Ed, and Zagłada Żydów: Studia I Materiały. He is contributing coeditor of volume 20 of Polin (2008), which is devoted to the construction of Holocaust memory in Poland. He is currently working on a book that considers ways in which the interaction, entanglement, and confrontation from 1945 to 1968 of Polish Jews and certain ethnic Poles who were outside the mainstream entailed not only their divided memories of the Second World War but also episodic convergences. He is the author of an article on Undzere Kinder: “The Place of Child Survivors in Jewish Collective Memory after the Holocaust: The Case of Undzere Kinder,” will appear in Nurturing the Nation: Displaced Children in Europe and the USSR, 1918-1953, ed. Nick Baron (Leiden: Brill, forthcoming 2010).


Karin Schmidlechner-Lienhart (University of Graz, Austria)

Chair and commentator

Sabine Lee (University of Birmingham, UK)

The human rights of children born of war: Case analyses of past and present conflicts

Ingvill C. Mochmann (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany)

How to increase the knowledge base on war affected populations: Methodological considerations on the group of children born of war


Barbara Stelzl-Marx (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on War Consequences, Austria)

Ivan’s children: The offspring of Soviet occupations soldiers and local women in post-war Austria


Children born of war are children fathered by foreign soldiers and local women. There have always been children born as a consequence of consensual relationship or sexual violence where the father has been a member of an enemy, allied or peacekeeping force and the mother a local citizen. Yet, little attention has been given to the problems faced by these children, many of whom grow up in single parent families, in adopted families or in care, often with little or no knowledge about their biological origins and the identities of their fathers.

Ingvill C. Mochmann (GESIS – Leibniz Institute for the Social Sciences, Cologne, Germany)

How to increase the knowledge base on war affected populations: Methodological considerations on the group of children born of war

This presentation addresses methodological issues related to the research field of children born of war. This group may share some of the similar experiences of other groups of children affected by war such as hunger, displacement, experiencing and witnessing violence etc. However, in addition the children born of war are a direct product of war; their existence, identity and life development is inseparably from the war itself and inseparable from the biological father who is often perceived as an enemy in the local population. Research available from some countries offer an insight into the life development of this group of children. Yet, to which extent this knowledge may be generalised is questionable; data is too poor and if available mostly rather anecdotal and not representative, personal and public documentation and data is missing or destroyed. Even in cases where a certain sample size may be achieved which facilitates surveys and oral interviews, the question of validity of past memories arises. These are some of the issues which will be discussed in this presentation and examples will be shown on how it may still be possible to increase the knowledge base on children born of war which may be applicable also on other groups of children affected by war.

Sabine Lee (University of Birmingham, UK)

The human rights of children born of war: Case analyses of past and present conflicts

The aim of this paper is to analyse the rights of ‘children born of war’ in the context of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. On the basis of initial research of the situation in conflict zones it is clear that children born of war grow up in a more hostile environment simply due to their biological background i.e. having a father belonging to the ‘enemy’ or the ‘other’. Thus the children are exposed to stigmatisation and discrimination which have an impact on their development and also on the rights they are granted in this hostile environment. The paper investigates how human rights, and in particular the rights formulated in the CRC, are affected by their biological origin. In order to discuss this question, the articles set out in the CRC will be applied retrospectively to children in five specific conflict or post-conflict situations, namely: children fathered by German soldiers in Norway during WWII, children fathered by US soldiers in the United Kingdom and Germany during and after WWII, children fathered by US soldiers during the Vietnam War, children fathered by Serb soldiers in Bosnia during the civil war in former Yugoslavia and children fathered by rebel leaders of the Lords Resistance Army in Northern Uganda and born to abducted female child soldiers. The paper concludes that human rights of these children in all cases have been compromised and that specific procedures need to be implemented in national and international law which monitor that the human rights of these children are secured


Barbara Stelzl-Marx (Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on War Consequences, Austria)

Ivan’s children: The offspring of Soviet occupations soldiers and local women in post-war Austria

After the Second World War, so-called “children of occupation” were born all over Austria and Germany: as a result of voluntary sexual encounters between local women and foreign occupation troops, but also as a consequence of rape. They were often regarded as “children of the enemy“ and – together with their mothers – were frequently discriminated against. Especially the children of Soviet occupation troops were confronted with racial, ideological and moral prejudice that can be traced back to the Nazi era. “Russenkind“ (“Russian child“) or “Russenbalg“ (“Russian brat“) were common abusive words up to the 1960s.

In accordance with Stalin’s policy, weddings between Soviet soldiers and Austrian women were practically impossible. Most soldiers or officers were even sent back to the USSR when their liaisons with local women became known. For several decades hardly any contact was feasible. Thus the majority of children of occupation grew up as a fatherless generation. Sometimes they found out only by chance who their biological fathers were and were able to obtain a photograph or a Christian name like “Ivan”. However, often crucial data had been destroyed or were concealed. Many of the children of occupation have been in search of their biological fathers, regardless of the difficulty of obtaining any reliable information. This is linked with the desire to explore one’s own identity and look for one’s personal roots. The proposed paper focuses on the individual fate of the children concerned.

Dr. Ingvill C. Mochmann is head of the "European Data Laboratory for Comparative Social Research" at GESIS in Cologne, Germany. She graduated in comparative politics at the University of Bergen, Norway, and completed a doctoral degree in political science at the University of Giessen in Germany. She is founder of the "International Network for Interdisciplinary Research on Children Born of War" (https://owa.bham.ac.uk/owa/redir.aspx?C=d18466963d4a411597786ef36c84ca7f&URL=http%3a%2f%2fwww.childrenbornofwar.org).

Dr. Sabine Lee is Senior Lecturer at the Department of Modern History at the University of Birmingham. She graduated with a degree in Mathematics and History from Düsseldorf University before completing an M.Phil. in International Relations at Cambridge University and a Ph.D. in Modern History at Cambridge University. Her publications include: Sir Rudolf Peierls – Selected Private and Scientific Correspondence, 2 vols, (2007 and 2009); The Bethe-Peierls Correspondence (2007); Victory in Europe. Britain and Germany between 1955 and 1995 (2001); with R. Aldous (eds), Harold Macmillan: Aspects of a Political Life (1999); An Uneasy Partnership: Anglo-German Relations between 1955 and 1961 (1996); with R. Aldous (eds), Harold Macmillan and Britain’s World Role (1996).

Dr. Barbara Stelzl-Marx, born in Graz in 1971, studied history, Russian and English/American studies in Graz, Oxford, Volgograd and the Stanford University, CA. She has been deputy director since 2002 and research fellow since 1993 at Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Research on War Consequences. Since 2005 she has been lecturer at the University of Graz. In 2005 she was awarded an APART-scholarship by the Austrian Academy of Sciences. In 1999–2000 she received an Erwin Schrödinger post-doc scholarship by the Austrian Science Fund to do research in Moscow, where she has returned to for many research trips since the early 1990s. Currently she is coordinating the international research project “The Vienna Summit 1961”.




Machteld Venken (KU Leuven, Belgium)

Growing up with World War II at the Border in the early post-war years

This paper focuses on experiences during World War II and the marks they left on young people associating themselves with specific border regions in early postwar Europe. Its aim is to identify similarities and differences through comparison, and to verify whether the omnipresent polarized Cold War perspective in historiography needs to be reoriented. The Atlantic World and the region behind the Iron Curtain are indeed often presented as being opposite poles, and the different countries belonging to one bloc as being quite homogeneous. This paper investigates the differences and similarities on war experiences and war memory in three cities in three European border regions at both sides of the Iron Curtain which, at some point during World War II, were under German rule: Sankt-Vith in Belgium, Olsztyn in Poland and Lviv in Ukraine. It approaches both what is remembered about World War II, and how World War II is represented in these cities. All of the cities switched command of rule during World War II, and, in the early postwar, new nation states executed campaigns to nationalize these border regions. In all of the regions, some people were (voluntary or not) replaced during or after World War II, whereas others stayed, although their home grounds migrated to another country. Concentrating on the generation of children and youngsters who experienced World War II, this project studies the intersection between national youth policies concerning war memory coming ‘from above’, the (lack of) power of local policies, and the reception of the children and youth themselves in the early postwar. This anthropological history project applies a trans-disciplinary methodology to unravel transnational, national, regional and local narratives on the war experienced by children and youngsters associated with the cities at study, as well as power mechanisms which brought the selective narratives of some, but not other, of these children and youngsters in various (migratory) public spaces. Through a combined analysis of oral sources, an in-depth literature study and archived governmental and youth organisations’ documents, both in the regions and in exile, the interplay of local children’s and youngsters’ narratives on war memory with narratives ‘from above’ will be identified.

Dr Machteld Venken is a postdoctoral researcher at the Department of History of the KULeuven (Belgium), who is currently a Visiting Scholar at Warsaw University. Machteld is revising her PhD dissertation ‘Straddling the Iron Curtain? Migrants’ War Memories’ for publication, and started in October 2009 her new research project on ‘Growing up with World War II at the Border in the early Postwar’. Information on her dissertation can be found on https://lirias.kuleuven.be/handle/1979/2028, and an updated publication list is available on https://lirias.kuleuven.be/, browse authors Venken, Machteld.



Blaž Vurnik (City Museum of Ljubljana, Slovenia)

Hidden children in occupied Ljubljana, 1941-1945

During the Second World War there were around 130 children living in occupied Ljubljana, whose parents either joined resistance movement or were transported in concentration camps or were absent from their families due to another underground activities in occupied city. These children lived in the city surrounded by barbed wire under false identities with foster families. Liberation movement took care for these children as much as it could. It provided some clothing, money and rationed food coupons for the families who took these children under their protection. The conspiracy regarding everything about this “little illegals” was strength because the occupation authorities were very eager to find them. They would make excellent “extortion objects” for getting their parents out of the woods and other places of resistance. Some of these children were sons and daughters of highest rating officials of resistance movement. The conspiracy was so strength that some of these children who were given to foster families as babies did not know in the next years that their foster parents are in fact not their biological parents. The liberation in 1945 and the return of their parents was for this reason a great stress for the children who suffered in the next years and through their entire lives psychologically a lot. There are as well some suicides of some of these individuals recorded. On the other hand these children lived quite “normal” lives during the war. They were not physically hiding in cellars or attics, but attended school under false names, playing in the courtyards with their coevals and similar. Before 1990 change of regime in Slovenia this topic was explored only to accent the humanitarian point of the resistance and braveness of the foster families who risked deportation to concentration camps for hiding the children. None of the consequences that this war life of the children and return of their biological parents was examined. Today City Museum of Ljubljana continues to research this “darker” side of this topic and also dedicates part of its permanent exhibition to the phenomenon of the children in war time.

Blaž Vurnik finished his graduate studies of history and sociology at the University of Ljubljana (Slovenia) in 1997 and continued with MA studies which he finished in 2001 as Magister of historical sciences. Since 1997 he is employed in the City Museum of Ljubljana as a curator for modern history and museum counsellor. He published more than 70 articles in different professional historical and other revues and magazines. His bibliographical data contains also two monographic books: Between Marx and Punk. The Role of Slovenian Socialist Youth Organization in the Process of Democratization of Slovenia in the Eighties (translation of Slovene title), 2005 and Slovene-Italian bilingual book titled My Life in the Great War, La mia vita nella grande guerra, 2007. He set up several exhibitions on first and second world wars and democratization process in Slovenia. Blaž Vurnik is currently working on his doctoral research on the development of the conflicts in former Yugoslavia.



Janusz Wróbel (Institute of National Remembrance, Łódź, Poland)

Polish children in exile, 1939-1950: War experiences, deportation and repatriation

The dissertation is based on the archived materials and personal accounts that bring back the ordeal of the Polish children who left their homeland due to the hostile actions of the Nazis and Soviets occupants. It is estimated that between 1939 and 1945 approximately 2.5 million Polish citizens were forced to depart Poland. About 20-30% of that group consisted of children under the age of 14. The harsh living conditions endured by Poles staying in the Third Reich and those living on the territories of the Soviet Union had an enormous impact on the mental and physical development of children. Taking care of Polish orphans created a huge problem that was additionally complicated by the fact that most of them were transferred to the Soviet and German orphanages and then forcefully placed for adoption. Polish government in exile, authorities of other countries and charitable organizations tried to help, but their efforts did little to solve the problem. For many Polish children the desire to quickly return home after the end of the war in 1945 was rarely possible. Since Soviet Union was given priority to repatriate their citizens first, the journey of Poles returning from Germany and other Western countries took a lot longer and was more difficult. In the tense years of pre Cold War era the Communist government in Warsaw actively tried to bring back as many children as possible, but that often collided with the actions of foreign guardians that feared for their future in the totalitarian state. Some adolescent Polish citizens stayed for years in Germany and Austria living in the camps for the “displaced persons”. Few Polish refugee camps in Africa, India, Mexico and even New Zealand survived ‘til the end on 1940’s. After the war Poles were also welcomed in USA, Canada, Spain and Ireland. The political conflicts created by adults caused many tragedies for children. The experiences of separation, loneliness, necessity to live and function in the unfamiliar social and geographical environments weighted heavily on the psyche of many young people and stayed with them forever.

Dr. Janusz Wróbel – historian, employed by the University of Lodz and then by the Institute of National Remembrance, specializes in the studies of socio-political strategies deployed by the World War II occupants toward Poles. Furthermore his work concentrates on issues related to war and post-war emigration of Polish citizens. Dr. Wróbel published 7 books associated with this subject and numerous articles printed in both domestic and foreign publications. His latest book is dedicated to the topic of repatriations of Polish citizens from the West after the end of the war.




Lucille Cairns (University of Durham, UK)

Hidden Jewish children in Vichy France during WWII: The case of Elisabeth Gille, Irène Némirovsky’s Daughter

This paper would focus on the topoi of Jewish children, the Holocaust, and trauma, during and after WWII. It would do so by examining a semi-autobiographical novel by Elisabeth Gille, younger daughter of Irène Némirovsky of Suite française fame who died in Auschwitz. Gille’s Un paysage de cendres (1996) is based on Gille’s experiences in Vichy France during WWII. Gille survived this war as an ‘enfant caché’, that is, as the child of Jewish deportees who was hidden by non-Jews and thus saved from deportation and death. Jean Laloum has delineated the particular difficulties such children faced: “more than 10,000 Jewish children were deported from France. Those who escaped deportation were not for all that spared. As orphans, hidden by institutions or in the homes of private individuals, or entrusted to childminders in the youngest of cases, they would later on have to face new ordeals: coming out of anonymity, learning to live again, silencing an ever-present fear, finding a new family, a new home.” Those difficulties are powerfully conveyed in Gille’s searing novel, aptly described by Le Magazine littéraire as ‘a book made of fire and ice’ in which Gille ‘rips open the layers of time, thereby rising up against the risk that we might forget’.

Lucille Cairns is Professor of French at Durham University. She has published numerous articles and chapters both on French women’s writing and on male and female homosexuality in French literature and film; four monographs: Marie Cardinal: Motherhood and Creativity (1992), Privileged Pariahdom: Homosexuality in the Novels of Dominique Fernandez (1996), Lesbian Desire in Post-1968 French Literature (2002), and Sapphism on Screen: Lesbian Desire in French and Francophone Cinema (2006); and one sole-edited volume, Gay and Lesbian Cultures in France (2002). She is currently writing a monograph for Legenda, to be published in 2011 and provisionally entitled Post-War Jewish Women's Writing in French.

Sonja Hedgepeth (Middle Tennessee State University, USA)

The sexual abuse of a hidden child during the Holocaust: Nava Semel’s novel And the Rat Laughed

The Israeli writer Nava Semel boldly places the issue of sexual abuse during the Holocaust at the core of her multi-dimensional novel, And the Rat Laughed. Originally in Hebrew (Tzchok shel Achbarosh, 2001), it is now available in German (Und die Ratte lacht, 2007) and English (2008). Semel takes the reader underground, into cyberspace, and to future inter-galactic space, in order to tell the story of a small Jewish girl hidden in a pit on a Polish farm and the sexual violence repeatedly committed against her there. Entering the black hole of time and crossing boundaries separating generations from one another, the author unlocks the psyche of the adult survivor who was sexually abused as a child, as well as that of her rescuer. Semel reveals the complexity and challenges of remembering such a war story. Nava Semel weaves the horrific past with the present. The novel’s protagonist, the survivor of this sexual abuse, is now a grandmother in Tel Aviv. Her young granddaughter interviews her in 1999 to find out about what happened to her in the Holocaust. Like most victims of molestation, the grandmother cannot speak of it directly, and leaves her granddaughter only a fragmented story of a rat, who was her only friend in the potato pit where she was hidden. But not only is present-day intergenerational communication difficult; in 2099 beings from the future, who are investigating the story of the girl in the pit, also have trouble in piecing together and reconstructing the story of war, hiding, and molestation. In her novel, the author pushes at the limits of possible discourse about the Holocaust and demands that readers consider the issue of rape of children in war. A number of Jewish children hidden from detection by the Nazis were molested by the people who were supposed to protect them – extant testimony by survivors tells of such incidents. I have taught And the Rat Laughed in university classes on literature, and the discussion that ensues is quite amazing. This paper will examine how Nava Semel’s dynamic and innovative novel challenges “ordinary discourse” about the Holocaust and urges us to search for the truth that has strangely been relegated to the realm of silence.

Dr. Sonja Hedgepeth is a full professor in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Middle Tennessee State University. She teaches all levels of German language and literature. She also teaches beginning Modern Hebrew, as well as courses on foreign literature in translation, and inter-disciplinary courses on the Holocaust. Dr. Hedgepeth has published on the German Expressionist writer, Else Lasker-Schüler, and is currently co-editing a book on the sexual abuse of Jewish women during the Holocaust with Dr. Rochelle Saidel, head of the “Remember the Women Institute.”



Beate Müller (University of Newcastle, UK)

'Wait! I want that in order': Figurations of child voices in early post-war Holocaust testimonies

A considerable percentage of Holocaust testimonies can be described as 'ego-texts', ie texts written by survivors themselves who chose to share their experiences with us, often many years after the persecution they suffered. But there are also numerous interviews, as well as testimonial reports based on interviews. While interviews are dialogical in nature which means that we can follow the conversation between interviewer and interviewee step by step, texts which summarize interviews do not allow us such a direct insight into how the gathering of information was shaped by the questions asked, nor do they offer direct access to the survivor's own voice and words. This is because somebody other than the survivor (usually the interviewer) has taken on the authorial role – intertwined with the voice of the interviewee, we hear that of the interviewer. As a result, it is not clear what kind of editing went on. It follows that it is well worth reading these types of testimonies not only for the answers they give but for the questions that were asked – and for those that might not have been asked. I want to look at some early post-war testimonial writings that constitute interviews (Boder, 1946) or work with them (Hochberg-Mariańska / Grüss 1946; Tych et al. 2008). I will focus on texts about child or adolescent survivors, because due to the larger discrepancy in maturity, status, knowledge and linguistic skills between interviewer and interviewee, the described polyphony can be expected to be more salient in these cases than in comparator adult testimonies.

Dr Beate Müller is Reader in Modern German Studies at Newcastle University. She obtained her PhD from Bochum University, Germany, with a thesis on parody (1993). She worked as a DAAD-Lektorin at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge (1992-95) and as Assistant Professor at Flensburg University (1995-97) before going to Newcastle (1997). Her research interests comprise parody, censorship, GDR literature, modern German literature, as well as Holocaust fiction and narratives. She is currently working on child voices and figures in Holocaust narratives, a project that is funded by the British Academy.



Sue Vice (University of Sheffield, UK)

False memoir syndrome in Holocaust testimony

In this paper, I will examine recent false or ‘embellished’ Holocaust testimonies that adopt a child’s-eye perspective. These include two which are entirely fictional: Binjamin Wilkomirski’s 1995 Fragments, and Bernard Holstein’s Stolen Soul of 2004; and a further two which alter or exaggerate the truth: Misha Defonseca’s 2004 Surviving with Wolves, and, most recently, Herman Rosenblat’s Angel at the Fence, due for publication in 2009 but withdrawn at the last moment. The blurred memory of a child in the four false memoirs may appear authentic on first reading, but is in fact a construct, drawing on a literary heritage of children’s Holocaust writing. A child’s viewpoint offers the ideal alibi for imperfect recall, including that of a Jewish ancestry, which also had to be invented in each case apart from Rosenblat’s. I will explore the reasons why the viewpoint of a child surviving the Holocaust years was taken up in these works. To invent a Holocaust biography in place of a less historically specific experience, such as parental rejection or adoption, is, as Slavoj Zizek has argued, paradoxically to use trauma as a shield against something less traumatic. This is indicative of the way the Holocaust has come to be viewed, for instance as the backdrop for romantic failure, as we see in Philippe Grimbert’s fictional childhood autobiography, Secret. It is also symptomatic of links between childhood itself and suffering, as the current success of ‘misery memoirs’ suggests. As the Holocaust moves away from being an event in living memory the child is not only the last possible eye-witness, but a symbol of survival itself: hence the need to invent it.

Sue Vice is Professor of English Literature at the University of Sheffield. Her recent works include Holocaust Fiction (2000) and Children Writing the Holocaust (2004); she is working on a study of false memoirs.





Film: Julie. A Gypsy child survivor of Auschwitz

Julia was 10 when the Nazis came for her family in 1943. She was transported to Auschwitz with her parents and 12 siblings. 11 of the family of 15 survived and found their way back to the ‘Elternhaus’ in a German village. Julie married an American soldier and emigrated with him to the US.


Ruth Barnett (UK)

Children in the hidden unacknowledged war against the Gypsies

The Nazis considered both Gypsies and Jews to be of inferior race. Half a million European Roma and Scinti were murdered in the Holocaust. The world Jewish community now has a Jewish nation state in Israel and, though anti-Semitism still exists, most European countries have taken legal and educational steps to counter it. In comparison, the tide of racism against Gypsies has not abated since the end of WWII and is on the increase with little hindrance from law makers or law enforcers. Growing up and living under the severe stress of racism, ostracism and banishment to the margins of society has led to a high incidence of ill health and unemployment and the low average life expectancy and level of education of Gypsy communities. This paper will explore the current problems that local populations in Europe have with accepting and integrating their Gypsy communities and the problems that Gypsies have in meeting the demands of the local authorities of the areas in which they live. A hypothesis will be presented that the current situation amounts to an unacknowledged war by Europe against its Travellers and Gypsies. Children not only suffer serious abuse in this situation but carry the transmitted traumatisation of generation after generation. It is suggested that the only practicable solution to this dangerous situation is through education, not only of Gypsies but also of the general public.

Ruth Barnett was a secondary school teacher for 19 years, and a Deputy Headteacher for 9 of these. She was also a Chief Examiner in Child Development for five years and wrote a school textbook for the subject. She retrained and then practised as a psychotherapist for 30 years. Currently she spends more time giving talks in schools and colleges, seminars in various trainings and presentations in conferences than time in her consulting room. She came to England from Berlin at age four, with her seven year old brother, on the Kindertransport to escape Nazi persecution, and did not see her parents for ten years. Repatriation to Germany against her will in 1949 was more traumatic than the Kindertransport journey and she failed to settle there and returned to England within a year. She is passionately interested in anti-racist education and projects to raise awareness of genocide and the damaging effects of denial. She and her husband celebrated their Golden Wedding in 2008 and they have three adult children and two teenage grandchildren.


Manfred Deselaers (Centre for Dialoge and Prayer in Oswiecim, Poland) and Malgorzata Musielak (Poland)

The Memorial for the Children Prisoners of Auschwitz - School at Brzezinka, Poland


Before WWII Brzezinka had been an ordinary small village where a normal life was led.  During WWII the inhabitants were evicted, the houses destroyed and the extermination camp Birkenau build.  Those who resisted were put into the Camp or killed at once.  After the War the inhabitants decided to come back to their homeland and, with great difficulties, to rebuild their houses and their village.  In 1968 the primary school was opened.   The school is named: "Memorial for the Children Prisoners of Auschwitz" and is a living monument built to pay tribute to the children who suffered and were murdered in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau.  There is an inscription on its banner; "The fate of the children imprisoned in KL Auschwitz-Birkenau has to be a warning, not a legend for you".  These words as well as the constant contact with child survivors and the school's patron, which is the "Polish Association of Former Political Prisoners of Nazi Concentration Camps and Prisons" are main motives in the children's education of the school.  Brzezinka, just like before the war, the children again learn and play.  But they are aware of the duty which lies upon them.  They have to remember the past not in order to split the nations but to build new interpersonal ties together with other people based on respect for the other person.  This presentation is being prepared in cooperation with the director of the School in Brzezinka, Mrs. Agata Kowol.

Rev. dr. Manfred Deselaers is a catholic priest from Germany.  Since the 1990 he lives in the city of Oswiecim [Auschwitz], Poland.  He works at the Centre for Dialogue and Prayer in Oswiecim where he leads the Program Department.  In Cracow he lectured about "Theology after Auschwitz".

Since May 2006 he is a member of the International Auschwitz Council.

Malgorzata Musielak is a former student of Brzezinka school.





Panayiotis Diamadis (University of Technology, Sydney, Australia)

Rafael Lemkin, the Children of Anatolia and the 1948 Genocide Convention

Writing in A Problem from Hell, Samantha Power highlights the impact knowledge of the Armenian Genocide had on jurist and scholar Rafael Lemkin.  Indeed, in his unpublished essay "Nature of Genocide", Lemkin compared Spain's  treatment of the Moriscos with the Ottoman deportations of the Armenians.  The first four acts of the United Nations' Convention on the Punishment and Prevention of the Crime of Genocide are linked by the common element of the physical extermination of human life.  The fifth act - Paragraph (e) - involves the extermination of the victim group, without the actual extermination of life. Where did Lemkin and his co-authors find reason to include this action in the legal definition of genocide? Through an examination of the forced transfers of indigenous Christian children in the Ottoman Empire across six centuries, this paper endeavours to provide responses to this and other related questions.  As demonstrated by Lemkin's own writings, in many dark ways, the treatment of the indigenous Hellenes, Armenians and Assyrians of the Ottoman Empire set a precedent for the events of the Shoah.  This fully illustrated presentation draws on a range of primary and secondary material, including media reports, published and unpublished memoirs, archival footage and photographs of survivors and relief workers.  The paper includes conference themes such as flight, displacement and resettlement, relief and rehabilitation work, gender issues, persecution, sexual and physical abuse, trauma and amnesia amongst child survivors of the Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian Genocides and their impact on he defining work of Rafael Lemkin.


Dr Panayiotis Diamadis (PhD. Grad.Dip.Ed.(Sec.), USYD) is currently lecturing in Genocide Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, as well as serving as a Director of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.  An active Researcher, his particular interest is in the relationship between Australia and Hellenic, Armenian and Assyrian Genocides. His publications and public lectures focus on Australians as eyewitnesses and rescuers (servicemen, relief workers and donors).  This work has produced a number of publications including A Child's Grief.  A Nation's Lament (1995), "Beyond ANZAC Cove" (Genocide Perspectives II 2005), and "Stolen Generations" (Genocide Perspectives IV 2010).




Georgia Eglezou (Bournemouth University, UK)

WW1 in the Ottoman Empire: Experiencing a genocide

Genocide is a deeply traumatic experience for everyone who endured it and managed to survive it. According to Article II of the 1948 United Nations Genocide Convention genocide refers to any intentional act which aims to destroy “a national, ethnic, racial or religious group” such as the “killing of members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group, deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part, imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group and forcibly transferring children of the group to another group”. The survivors of genocide suffer from chronic fear. They have difficulty in expressing their trauma and may suffer mental health problems caused by the loss of family, relatives and friends. In some cases they have to live with the terror and the trauma of having to continue their lives among the perpetrators of the genocide. The experience is even more traumatic when we are dealing with children. The present paper will focus on how two children, one Armenian and the other Pontic Greek experienced genocide during World War I in the declining Ottoman Empire, as they described it many years later; the first to her granddaughter and the second to her daughter. It will examine how the trauma of genocide affected the whole lives of the two children and their perception of the world. It will focus on how they dealt with the loss of their parents, bothers, sisters and other relatives, how they managed to survive without the family protection and care away from the place of origin. It will examine how their chronic fear and terror impinged on their lives and how they found the strength to express their trauma.

Dr Georgia Eglezou read History and Archaeology at the University of Athens in Greece and holds a PhD from the School of Historical Studies of the University of Birmingham in the UK. She is a researcher at the Media School of Bournemouth University in the UK. She is the writer of the book The Greek Media in WW1 and its Aftermath: The Athenian Press and the Asia Minor Crisis, London: Tauris, 2009. She has written articles on the history of Modern Greece and Britain and has presented her research in many international conferences.



Aram Mirzoyan (Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, Armenia)

Children and the Armenian genocide: Sufferings and survival strategies

This paper examines the fate of the Armenian children during the Armenian Genocide and the survival strategies which helped to rescue many of them. Many children had to witness the brutal murder of their parents, their relatives, and their friends. Besides they lost their homeland for ever. Starvation, diseases, rapes and killings were common during the Armenian Genocide and children were one of the objected groups. Many of them were forcibly converted to Islam, got Turkish, Kurdish of Arab names, lived in Turkish, Kurdish or Arab families and, as a result, lost their identity as Armenians. Great number of children became orphans either in reality or de facto, while many of them were forced to live without their parents, although they were alive. There were several ways for Armenian children to escape from homicide. Many of them were taken to the Turkish, Kurdish or Arab families. Others were handed in Ottoman orphanages as Turks or Kurds and had to live under the permanent fear of being revealed and killed. Some of the children succeeded in escaping from the death caravans. Finally some of deported children survived in spite of all the sufferings on the way of deportation to deserts. The main sources for this research are the memoirs of Armenian children, the survivors of the Armenian Genocide that give an opportunity to analyze their perception of these events. For the background information were used some theoretical materials.

My name is Aram Mirzoyan, I was born in Yerevan, Armenia, in 1982. From 1999 to 2004 I studied at the Russian-Armenian State University, department of Political Science. I was postgraduate student at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute of the National Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Armenia (2004-2007). In 2007 I received my PhD in History. Since then I have been working at the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute as a scientific-secretary.



Victoria Rowe (University of Toronto, Canada)

Reclaiming children in the Near East at the end of WWI: Towards an international practice of care

The paper examines the policies and practices implemented by international humanitarian agencies and the League of Nations at the end of World War I in the Near East to care for children subjected to genocide, forced migration, trafficking, and removal from natal families. The paper is divided into two parts. The first uses archival documentation from the League of Nations and published and unpublished materials written by aid workers, government officials, and eyewitnesses to document international efforts to care for traumatized and displaced children. It focuses in particular on the work of Karen Jeppe at Reception House in Aleppo and Dr. Edward Kennedy, Emma Cushman and Caris E. Mills in Istanbul at the League of Nations House. The paper explores the programmes, many put into practice for the first time, such as sponsorship of a child by persons in other countries, designed to aid children. The complex relationship between aid workers, public opinion and the newly-developed international body of the League of Nations is discussed as it heralded new global practices of care of children in the aftermath of genocide and war. The second part of the paper considers the physical and psychological needs of the children in the care of international agencies through an examination of written memoirs and oral records left by the children, usually later in life, of their experiences of humanitarian aid in the aftermath of conflict.

Victoria Rowe has a Ph.D. in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto, Canada. She is the author of A History of Armenian Women’s Writing, 1880-1922 (Cambridge Scholars Press, 2003). She has written several articles on refugees and the League of Nations including, “Armenian Women Refugees in Aleppo, 1915-1930,” (Refugees and End of Empire. Eds. Panikos Panayi and Pippa Virdee, Palgrave Macmillan, 2010.) She was a lecturer at the Faculty of Policy Studies, Chuo University, Tokyo, Japan from 2005 to 2008. She has been a visiting lecturer at the University of Greenwich in 2008 and 2009.




Sadie Nickelson-Requejo (University of Texas at Austin, USA)

From the eyes of babes: A child’s eye view of the Mexican Revolution and the Spanish Civil War

My paper takes the Mexican Revolution (1910-1920) and the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939), two distinct armed conflicts separated by time, space, cultures, ideologies, and circumstances, and compares their portrayal in 20th- and early 21st-century works of prose and filmic narratives by adult authors and filmmakers, targeted for adult audiences, but crafted from the perspective of child narrative viewers. This paper will draw from my doctoral research for my dissertation, “War and its aftermath from a Child’s Perspective in Works of Adult Prose and Film in Mexico and Spain,” which attempts to determine the textual and/or cinematic function of the child as first person (homodiegetic) narrative viewer, and studies the different ways in which this child’s perspective is constructed. I will note patterns and diversities in subject matter presented by the narrative voice, and observe the characteristics of the child narrative viewer’s world and priorities (as presented by the authors and filmmakers), paying careful attention to how each perceives and understands his or her country’s respective civil war and its aftermath, and will note the specific devices used to simulate recollection when the narrative voice looks back upon these events.

Sadie Nickelson-Requejo received her Masters in Spanish and Spanish American Literature from the University of California at Los Angeles and her B.A. from LaSalle University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at Austin and a Spanish instructor at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.



Frances Pheasant-Kelly (University of Wolverhampton, UK)

Films of fantasy: Other worlds in wartime fiction

In general, fictional films made about war focus on either the war itself, or the hardships endured by those who remain at home, or a combination of both. Visual representations of war were sometimes used as propaganda, while others utilised the comedy genre to provide relief to wartime and post-war audiences (for example, The Ealing Studios). Some filmmakers, such as Powell and Pressburger, adopted specific aesthetic approaches to films made during wartime that arguably offered some solace to the wartime viewer. Films that involve children and war, however, often take a different approach, being orientated towards fantasy worlds, parallel universes, and heterotopias. These otherworldly, often abject spaces represent an escape into the imagination, and perhaps reflect the excitement that wartime held for children. The inevitable opposition of good and evil within the fantasy space of the wartime film likely reflects anxieties about the war itself, and arguably allows the child viewer to confront abject aspects of the war within these imaginary worlds. Films that feature such alternative worlds and imaginary spaces for child characters during wartime include The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, The Others, Hope and Glory, and Pan’s Labyrinth. This paper explores how such films present alternative worlds as abject and fantastic spaces, and considers how they may be cathartic for wartime audiences traumatised by war, and what they offer to peacetime audiences. It will textually analyse the films, engaging with Foucault’s study of heterotopias (1967) and Kristeva’s theory of abjection (1982) as well as theories of trauma and catharsis (Caruth, 1996; Freud, 2001).

Dr. Frances Pheasant-Kelly, Award Leader (MA Film Studies) and Senior Lecturer in Film Studies, University of Wolverhampton. Research interests: Representation of medicine in media and film, particularly in science fiction; early press photography and influences on film noir; aesthetics and abjection in medical drama, spectacular cinema; 9/11 narratives.


Julian Ward (University of Edinburgh, UK)

The making of children’s war films in the People’s Republic of China

Since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, film has played a central role in the spreading of Chinese state propaganda. Over the course of the last sixty years, while political and social campaigns have come and gone, and generations of directors have tackled a variety of topics in many disparate ways, the state has sponsored the making of numerous films about certain politically acceptable subjects, most notable of which has been the Anti-Japanese War (1937-45). Among the most popular titles from the Maoist era were The Urgent Letter (Shi Hui, 1954), which recounts the adventures of a boy who carries an important message to Communist soldiers operating behind enemy lines, and Little Soldier Zhang Ga (Cui Wei, 1963), a story, loosely based on fact, of a young boy who acts as a scout. As a result of a recent wave of nostalgia for the images of the early years of communist rule, and the Chinese government’s persistent demand for unadorned propaganda, Little Soldier Zhang Ga has been remade, firstly as a cartoon as part of the celebrations in 2005 which marked the sixtieth anniversary of the end of the war, and, more recently, as a TV series. This paper will examine the story of Zhang Ga, and other war films made for and about children, to show how their telling at different periods of recent Chinese history reflects the tumultuous changes that have affected the country.

Dr Julian Ward is Senior Lecturer in Chinese Studies at the University of Edinburgh. After completing his PhD on the celebrated Ming dynasty explorer/travel writer Xu Xiake, he turned to the research of PRC cinema, publishing on recent propaganda films about the Anti-Japanese War such as Zhang Side and Qixia Temple 1937. He is currently Associate Editor of The Journal of Chinese Cinemas, and is co-editing The Chinese Cinema Book, scheduled to appear in 2011.




Svetlana Viktorovna Belichenko (Pomorsky State University, Russia)

Influence of war on an everyday life of pupils of the Arkhangelsk region, 1941-1945

Influence of war on the person can be studied within various directions of social science: history, sociology, psychology, and also in the framework of interdisciplinary research. Such branches of science, as military-historical anthropology and socio-historical anthropology which put special focus on the experience endured by the subject, have become of great popularity recently. Military-historical anthropology studies the experience of a warring person, this means a person taking part in military operations directly, and socio-historical anthropology studies a person at different times in various conditions. Therefore it seems possible to study everyday life of a person living on the home front at war time within this paradigm. The Great Patriotic War for the USSR is a unique and comprehensive phenomenon which, to different extent, affected everyday life of the population of all regions, territories and republics. In the Arkhangelsk region everyday life of greater part of the society at the beginning of the war changed dramatically, that was the reason for the stress for some individuals. Therefore we consider that behavioral reactions of people to the events actually were ways of adaptation to the changing reality.

Svetlana Viktorovna Belichenko is a post-graduate student in history at the Pomor State Universit, named after M. V. Lomonosov, Arkhangelsk. Research topic: “The Everyday life of inhabitants of Arkhangelsk in days of the Great Patriotic War.” Fields of interests: socio-historical anthropology, everyday history, oral history.



Julie deGraffenried (Baylor University, USA)

Going to sleep with the living and waking up with the dead: Children’s suffering and resilience in the Soviet Union’s Great Patriotic War

On June 22, 1941, Axis troops invaded the Soviet Union, initiating what is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. In a country somewhat inured to suffering after two decades of Soviet rule, the people of the USSR experienced levels of privation and misery not seen since the civil war decades before. Soviet children, in numerous ways, were put at risk in this confrontation. Memoirs of those who were children during the war, records of the Soviet state, and the accounts of war correspondents help to elucidate and document such experiences. These accounts – ranging from the anecdotal to the statistical to the reflective – demonstrate some of the many ways in which children confronted death in these harrowing years. An overview of the wartime suffering of Soviet children is provided in this paper. One of the remarkable points about children and the Great Patriotic War, however, is the astonishingly high survival rate amongst older children (ages 10-14), a phenomenon which has not yet been explored or explained. This paper seeks to do so, applying a concept from the social sciences – “resilience” – to determine reasons for the survival of older children and, in the process, considering the usefulness of resilience theory for historical inquiry.

Dr. Julie deGraffenried received her Ph.D. in modern European history from The University of Texas at Austin in May 2009. Currently, she is Assistant Professor of Russian and East European History at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Her areas of interest and research concern Soviet history and children’s history. Her current book project is a study of the Young Pioneer Organization in the Soviet Union during the Great Patriotic War (World War II).



Irina Rebrova (Krasnodar College of Management, Technics and Technologies, Russia)

Children’s oral stories about their daily life experience during World War II

In this paper, I discuss the results of a collaborative research project which aimed to collect, process, and systematize oral stories of individual children’s experiences about the 2nd World War. The project was regional and we studied Northern Caucasus, South of Russia mostly. During a two-year period, 2007-2009, a group of colleagues and I gathered oral stories. The majority of our informants were children during the war period. Today, they are all retired people of over 60 years old, but during the war they were no older than 12-14. The most interviews were conducted in the free narrative form. This method allows the story-teller to create the narration by him and to speak about the main moments of his life which are significant from his point of view. The refining questions in the second part of the interview make it possible to define concretely the components of narration and to explain incomprehensible moments. The most of stories are filled with the emotional narrations about the family life during the occupation, relations between family members. Oral stories about the war-time childhood of our story-tellers become a very comprehensive source. For example they can be useful in reconstruction an impression of family relationships during the war-time. More generally, they offer the opportunity to study the peculiarities of the institution of the family in wider Soviet society during the Second World War. The patriarchal family model was predominant during the whole Soviet period, and oral (hi)stories show that this model remained dominant, and even became stronger during the war-time. The most of stories are filled with the emotional narrations about the family life during the occupation, relations between family members, connection with the relatives, who warred at the front, on the means of letters. The analysis of such stories became the basis of this paper.

RebrovаIrina Viktorovna, PhD in history, MA in sociology. Deputy director, Krasnodar College of Management, Technics and Technologies. Assistant professor, Kuban State Technological University, social-humanitarian faculty. Publications: more than 60 articles in Russian scientific magazines, four papers at international conferences (Tampere, 2006, Vilnius, 2008, Oslo, 2009, Kharkov, 2009), one collective monograph on oral history and collective memory about World War II.



Christine Sochocky (Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Center, Toronto, Canada)

Children in uniforms

In this paper we shall examine the older child, the 15-18 year age group, who put on a uniform to become a soldier in WWII. We shall explore two particular cases. From the beginning of 1944, when the Nazi war effort was exhausting its human resources, it began to engage youth, their own, and that of the peoples they occupied. In Ukraine, already in 1943, they had formed several divisions of Ukrainian men who were desperate to fight the Soviet armies. As the Nazi position became more acute, they devised a plan to engage Ukrainian youth, both boys and girls in anti-aircraft artillery work, thus to fill the shortages of regular soldiers. We shall study the procedures of training and of the utilization of these youths. At about the same time, a Ukrainian insurgent army, the UPA, was formed in Ukraine, for the purpose of fighting all of the occupiers of their land, the Red Army, the Nazi army and the Poles. It was totally reliant on the support of the native population. Some young people joined out of idealism, some to avoid being taken to work in the factories in Germany. To examine these two formations should prove useful. The first was part of a grand military master plan, the second was an underground exercise of guerilla warfare. Sources of this study are both the personal memoirs of participants and official documents. We should find many contrasts and similarities.

Christine Sochocky: My academic credentials are a Licence es Lettres from the Universite de Montreal, an M.A. and a Ph.D. in Library Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh. I have taught French language and literature for several years. Now I am associated with the Ukrainian Canadian Research and Documentation Center in Toronto and have an ongoing interest in archives, oral history and the general subject of WWII.





Sofia Candeias (Stanford University, USA) and Claudia Seymour (University of London)

Rethinking justice, impunity and the fight against sexual violence in Eastern DRC: Views from the ground

The DRC is frequently cited as a country where the rates of sexual violence have reached “epidemic” proportions, with thousands of girls reportedly raped each month. Both international and national agencies and NGOs portray rape as a “weapon of war”, and mobilise tens of millions of dollars annually to the fight against sexual violence. Following a larger normative movement furthering efforts against sexual violence in conflict-settings, the fight against impunity has been portrayed as one of the central components of this ongoing campaign in DRC, and both national and international actors have officially acknowledged and endorsed it as a priority. This paper reflects on the problems of the practical implementation of the fight against impunity for sexual violence against girls in the DRC. It provides an overview of the existing normative and institutional frameworks, as well as the actions developed by the multiple actors on the ground. We argue that despite extensive efforts, little has changed in the ways girls experience and recover from violence. Suggesting that the current approach is not addressing the real needs and experiences of girls in the DRC, we argue that the development of potentially inadequate and/or incomplete social and judicial responses may be creating negative consequences both to the survivors and to society at large. Through ethnographic research conducted with Congolese youth in eastern DRC, the paper explores the meanings attributed to the often-cited themes of sexual violence and impunity, and shows how local understandings of these themes- taken from a broader perspective of violence and power relations in the DRC- contrast in important ways to the predominant approaches taken.

Sofia Candeias is presently serving as Coordinator of the Sexual Violence Program of REJUSCO, a multidonor program working on the rehabilitation of the justice system in Eastern DRC. Sofia started as an intern in the ICTY, joining the ICC in 2003 where she would come back in 2007. In 2004, she served as a Legal Officer with the Serious Crimes Unit in UNMISET, East Timor. She joined the Legal Advisory Section of the War Crimes Chamber, in Sarajevo in 2006. Sofia holds a law degree of the University of Lisbon (Portugal) as well as a Masters in Criminology from the University of Leuven (Belgium). She is currently a doctoral candidate at Stanford University.

Claudia Seymour is a doctoral research student of Development Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. Her research focuses on children's experience of violent conflict, with a case study of the Kivu provinces of eastern DRC. Since 2002, she has worked with UNICEF in New York, Liberia, the Central African Republic, and since 2006 in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations and the UN Group of Experts on the DRC. She is currently based in Bukavu, eastern DRC, where she continues her field research and consults with various protection and child protection agencies. Claudia holds a Masters degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies, with a concentration in Conflict Management and Development Economics.



Laura Lee (University of British Columbia, Canada)

Theatre works: Young women challenge conflict narratives in Rwanda and northern Uganda

In Uganda (Acholiland), Rwanda (Northern Province) and the Democratic Republic of Congo (South Kivu), youth female heads of household are some of the most socially and economically marginalized groups affected by conflict, yet their experiences of war and its aftermath are grossly under-studied in the field of conflict and peace studies. While the number of youth headed households has amplified in conflict and post-conflict settings, the burden of care usually falls on young females. Very little, moreover, is known about the longer term affects of their contributions to the well-being of the family and its role in social reconstruction. This comparative study analyzes the experiences of young women headed households in three countries at different stages of transition from war to peace. Drawing on fieldwork to be done May-June 2010, the paper will take an interdisciplinary approach, pairing the Arts, Social Work, Anthropology, Gender Studies and Political Science perspectives to examine female head of households’ complex negotiations as they live their daily lives outside recognized local and international structures. We will question the impact of conflict on both the material and social worlds of these young women; and with a comparative analysis, will answer important questions regarding the correlation of conflict’s impact, both perceived and actual, with marginalization though time. This paper will explore these issues by speaking from the convergence point of the following discourses: i) vulnerability and resilience, ii) kinship and conflict, iii) gender and violence.

Laura Lee - PhD Student (Interdisciplinary Studies, UBC). Research based in anthropology, political science, sociology, development studies with focus on marginalized youth and social reconstruction.



Thomas Poirier (University of Bourgogne, France)

The armed conflict effects on schooling in Sub-Saharan Africa

In the world today, more than one child out of three who does not have access to schooling lives in a country that is ravaged by conflict or is governed by a state system non-engaged towards poverty reduction or simply lacking operating capacity. Given this situation, mainly in Sub-Saharan African states, universal primary education (UPE) will be off target for 2015, thereby invalidating the Millennium Development Goals. The most fragile states are still at war or have been recently involved in armed conflict. Thus, how armed conflict affects the supply and demand of education in these countries? In this paper, explanations are provided and empirically tested. The findings show a strong negative impact of the conflicts on children's schooling. Once peace was recovered, the effects of war on education persist often for years in most contexts. The second aim of this paper is education during the next decade in the context characterized by fragile States. As part of good governance, the future plausible landscape depends on the impact on education systems of any directive driven by two simultaneous parameters: the first one concerns governance and the second the status of the primary education. The various forms of adjustment between these two parameters, in the specific subject area of fragile States, can lead to continuous in evolution and bring the process of Education For All into perspective.

Thomas Poirier, PhD Student, Institute for Research in the Sociology and Economics of Education (IREDU), University of Bourgogne.



Gregory Weeks (Webster University,Vienna, Austria)

Children, rape, genocide and war

The lives of children reflect the problems and imperfection of our world. Our humanity and our very being are tested when we see children suffering and yet, sexual violence against children and babies has become a familiar facet of modern war and genocide. In Sudan and Congo, girls are regularly violated with loaded rifles or pistols, and rapists then pull the trigger, killing their victims. Some victims have their internal organs deliberately mutilated with knives and other weapons. Boys are forced to rape their mothers at gunpoint, and gang rapes and rape camps are the order of the day. Activist Eve Ensler makes this point clearly when she says: “If we’re living in a century when an 8-year old girl is incontinent because…soldiers have raped her, then something has gone terribly wrong.” (Bob Herbert, “The Invisible War,” The New York Times, February 21, 2009). The level of violence is shocking, even for those who have aided in previous complex humanitarian emergencies. The author will examine rape warfare and its ramifications for child survivors and those attempting to aid them as well as analyze the international response to child rape. Rapes of both boys and girls are a troubling component of modern conflicts. They are horrifying acts that defy complete comprehension. Still, rape as a tactic of war is all too familiar from past centuries as we see it directed against children in the present one. Ferocious evil knows no boundaries, gives little warning, and strikes those in its path, even children, brutally and randomly.

Gregory Weeks is the Head of the International Relations Department at Webster University in Vienna, Austria. He earned his doctorate in Contemporary and Austrian History from the University of Graz and is a former holder of the Baron Friedrich Carl von Oppenheim Chair for the Study of Racism, Antisemitism, and the Holocaust at Yad Vashem. He researches civil-military relations, genocide prevention, and twentieth century diplomatic and military history. He is co-author of Vienna’s Conscience: Close Ups and Conversations after Hitler.