War Children in the Post-war

War Children in the Post-war: A West-East perspective on child policies, child experiences and war childhood remembrance cultures in Europe since 1945

13-15 December 2012

Vienna, Polish Academy of Sciences


This international conference is organized by: Dr. Machteld Venken, Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for European History and Public Spheres and
Dr. Maren Röger, German Historical Institute Warsaw

The event is sponsored by the following institutions:

  • Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for European History and Public Spheres, Vienna
  • German Historical Institute Warsaw
  • Polish Academy of Sciences, Vienna
  • Zukunftsfonds der Republik Österreich, Vienna
  • FWF. Der Wissenschaftsfonds, Vienna

Thursday, 13 December


09:00-10:00: Welcome notes

  • Mag. Claudia Lingner, Managing Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Gesellschaft
  • Prof. Dr. Bogus?aw Dybas, Director of the Polish Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. habil. Ruth Leiserowitz, Research Director of the German Historical Institute in Warsaw

Introduction : Maren Röger and Machteld Venken

10:00-10:45: Keynote I

Tara Zahra: The Lost Children. Reconstructing Europe´s Families After World War II

11:00-13:00: Panel I: Comparing child experiences in East and West

  • Lu Seegers: “Living with A Dead Dad”. Experiences, Memories and Interpretations of Fatherless War Children in Germany and Poland
  • Anna Wylegala: Children’s experience of the deportation and cultural adaptation: comparative study of biographical narratives from Poland and Ukraine
  • Machteld Venken: Children´s War Experiences in European Border Regions

Commentary: Tara Zahra

13:00-14:30: Lunch

14:30-17:30: Panel II: Competition for war children I: Nationalization

  • Johannes-Dieter Steinert: Who are the displaced children? Child forced labourers from Poland and SU
  • Iris Helbing: Polish Displaced Children under protection of UNRRA
  • Beata Halicka: Children’s everyday life in Western Poland in the early post-war – methodological remarks on the work with written memories
  • Ruth Leiserowitz: Children as Objects of Desire. The Soviet Repatriation Policy 1944-1959

Commentary: Bengt Sandin

18:30: Dinner

Friday, 14 December


10:00-10:45: Keynote II

Bengt Sandin: The war time experience – neutrality – and building of welfare for children in Sweden

11:00-13:00: Panel III: Competition for war children II: International framework

  • Michal Shapira: Psychoanalysis and Jewish Child Survivors
  • Christina Norwig: The ideological competition for the war children: The European Youth Campaign 1951-1958 in the context of European integration and Cold War
  • Stefania Bernini: Postwar Family Policy in Italy, Poland and Great-Britain. A Comparison

Commentary: Machteld Venken

13:00-14:30: Lunch

14:30-17:30: Panel IV: Perpetrators’ children – child perpetrators

  • Barbara Stelzl-Marx: Occupation children in Austria
  • Maren Röger: Occupation children in West and Eastern Europe
  • Gregory Weeks: Giving Meaning to a Wartime Childhood in the Post-World War II Era. The Case of Herbert L.
  • Dorothy Mas: Confronting the Past: The Nationalpolitische Erziehungsanstalten in Post-War and Contemporary Memory

Commentary: Johannes-Dieter Steinert

18:00-19:00: Keynote III – Public Lecture

Joanna Michlic: What Does A Child Remember? The Recollections of the War and the Early Post-War Period Amongst Child Survivors From Poland

20:00: Walking Dinner


Saturday, 15 December

09:00-10:30: Panel V: War Children and Religion

  • Sarah Van Ruyskensvelde: A school trip down memory lane … Catholic education, pupils’ memory and World War II; the case of Belgium.
  • Martha Ansilewska: Jewish Children in a Polish Catholic Surrounding

Commentary: Joanna Michlic

11:00-12:30: Panel VI: Patterns of Cultural Remembrance in East and West

  • Ulrike Präger: ‘Musicking’ Children from the Bohemian Borderlands: Hidden and Nurtured Musical Practices on Both Sides of the Iron Curtain
  • Ann Holian: Children and War in Postwar European films

Commentary: Muriel Blaive

12:30-13:00: Final Remarks : Maren Röger and Machteld Venken



Machteld Venken (machteld.venken@ehp.lbg.ac.at)
Nußdorfer Straße 64, 4. Stock
1090 Wien
0043 1 5134068-21
0043 1 5134068-30

Conference website: http://ehp.lbg.ac.at/en/conference-2012

Emilia Robin

Histoire de la guerre froide, humanités numériques, linux, médiation scientifique

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Emilia Robin

Histoire de la guerre froide, humanités numériques, linux, médiation scientifique

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