The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe's Families after World War II

TitleThe Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe's Families after World War II
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsZahra, Tara
Number of Pages320
PublisherHarvard University Press
CityCambridge, MA
Abstract

During the Second World War, an unprecedented number of families were torn apart. As the Nazi empire crumbled, millions roamed the continent in search of their loved ones. The Lost Children tells the story of these families, and of the struggle to determine their fate. Even as Allied officials and humanitarian organizations proclaimed a new era of individualist and internationalist values, Tara Zahra demonstrates that they defined the “best interests” of children in nationalist terms. Sovereign nations and families were seen as the key to the psychological rehabilitation of traumatized individuals and the peace and stability of Europe. Based on original research in German, French, Czech, Polish, and American archives, The Lost Children brings together the histories of eastern and western Europe, and traces the efforts of everyone—from Jewish Holocaust survivors to German refugees, from Communist officials to American social workers—to rebuild the lives of displaced children. It reveals that many seemingly timeless ideals of the family were actually conceived in the concentration camps, orphanages, and refugee camps of the Second World War, and shows how the process of reconstruction shaped Cold War ideologies and ideas about childhood and national identity. 

URLhttps://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674425064
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676725391

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