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Rädda Barnen in Budapest: Swedish Humanitarianism And Hungarian Children after both World Wars

Referent/in: PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács
13/04/2023 - 11:00
Göteborg (Schweden)

Description of the event

The proposed talk explores various forms of Swedish relief in Budapest in both post-war periods of the 20th century. The talk investigates various Swedish relief organizations and initiatives that were invested in relieving the suffering of Hungarian children in the aftermath of the First World War and contrast them with relief initiatives and activities in the post-WWII period. It will analyze the activities of Rädda Barnen, the Swedish Save the Children which is considered the most prominent Swedish relief organization and which was represented in Hungary by the Swedish humanitarian activist Asta Nielsen, as well as of smaller Swedish relief initiatives that aimed to better feed, clothe and care for Hungary’s destitute children. The talk will also take into account the children’s trains from Hungary to Sweden as one form of transnational Swedish relief in the aftermath of war. In the framework of these children’s trains around 100 Hungarian children were sent to Sweden, where they were to be better fed and cared for than it was possible in postwar Hungary at the time. To shed light on the diverse forms of transnational Swedish intervention in Hungary, the planned talk will both engage with the perspective of the Swedish relief organizations as well as the receiving end. The talk thus aims to adequately reflect on the contribution of and response by local Hungarian relief agents, and most importantly give room to also uncover and reflect on the experiences of thehungry and destitute children that were the main trigger of this transnational relief endeavor.


"The Swedish Mission in Budapest," Képes Krónika 2, no. 27, 06.07.1920.