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Book Talk
Budapest’s Children: Humanitarian Relief in the Aftermath of the Great War

Referentin: PD Dr. habil. Friederike Kind-Kovács
27.11.2023 - 12:00 Uhr
Columbia University, New York

Beschreibung der Veranstaltung

In the aftermath of World War I, international organizations descended upon the destitute children living in the rubble of Budapest and the city became a testing ground for how the West would handle the most vulnerable residents of a former enemy state.

Budapest’s Children reconstructs how Budapest was turned into a laboratory of transnational humanitarian intervention. Friederike Kind-Kovács explores the ways in which migration, hunger, and destitution affected children’s lives, casting light on children’s particular vulnerability in times of distress. Drawing on extensive archival research, Kind-Kovács reveals how Budapest’s children, as iconic victims of the war’s aftermath, were used to mobilize humanitarian sentiments and practices throughout Europe and the United States. With this research, Budapest’s Children investigates the dynamic interplay between local Hungarian organizations, international humanitarian donors, and the child relief recipients.

In tracing transnational relief encounters, Budapest’s Children reveals how intertwined postwar internationalism and nationalism were and how child relief reinforced revisionist claims and global inequalities that still reverberate today.

Friederike Kind-Kovács is a contemporary historian and senior researcher at the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Studies at TU Dresden and a lecturer at Regensburg University in Germany. She is author of Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain, which won the University of Southern California Book Prize in Cultural and Literary Studies in 2015. She is editor (with Machteld Venken) of the double special issue “Childhood in Times of Political Transformation in the 20th Century” in the Journal of Modern European History; (with Heike Karge and Sara Bernasconi) of From the Midwife’s Bag to the Patient’s File: Public Health in Eastern Europe; and (with Jessie Labov) of Samizdat, Tamizdat, and Beyond: Transnational Media During and After Socialism.

More information can be found here.

Cover of the book budapest's children showing an old image of children.

Indiana University Press