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"Displaced Childhood? Children’s Transnational Evacuation in the 20th Century"

Referentin: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács
20/09/2022 - 11:30
UC Berkeley

Description of the event

Friederike Kind-Kovács hält im Rahmen des internationalen Tagung "In Search of the Migrant Child: Entangled Histories of Childhood Across Borders” in Berkeley/USA den Vortrag "Displaced Childhood? Children’s Transnational Evacuation in the 20th Century".


While the term ‘Kindertransport’ specifically relates to the rescue of around 10.000 mostly Jewish children to Britain, the practice of children’s unaccompanied evacuation and migration was not a new invention at the time. Especially the post-WWI period saw the emergence of the internationalist idea to save the children of foreign nations through their temporary migration, which was followed by manifold child relief actions in the 20th century that used children’s evacuation to shield or rescue children from war, hunger, violent conflict, distress, and natural disasters. In such periods, when parents could no longer guarantee the unharmed upbringing of their children, they sent their offspring to the countryside or abroad. Against this backdrop, this paper explores the practice of children’s unaccompanied evacuation throughout the 20th century, ranging from the post-WWI children’s trains through the permanent displacement of the Jewish Kindertransport children to the months-long vacation of the so-called Chernobyl children from radioactive radiation. On this basis I want to engage with the question as to what extent children’s forced separation was experienced and can be understood as a form of non-physical, invisible violence even if the motivation behind these evacuations were often ‘humanitarian’ and no violence was meant to be exercised towards the children.


Az Érdekes Ujság 7, no. 48 (25.12.1919), 47.