Catalogue


The lost children [electronic resource] : reconstructing Europe's families after World War II /
Tara Zahra.
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2011.
description
xi, 308 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
9780674048249 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
More Details
author
imprint
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 2011.
isbn
9780674048249 (alk. paper)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
contents note
The quintessential victims of war -- Saving the children -- A "psychological Marshall Plan" -- Renationalizing displaced children -- Children as spoils of war in France -- Ethnic cleansing and the family in Czechoslovakia -- Repatriation and the Cold War -- From divided families to a divided Europe.
catalogue key
8843023
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 251-301) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2011-05-01:
In the aftermath of World War II, the physical reconstruction of Europe was accompanied by a "psychological reconstruction," writes Zahra (history, Univ. of Chicago), focusing on children, who were considered the "quintessential" victims of war. In this impressive multinational study, Zahra charts the history of humanitarian relief from the 1915 Armenian genocide to the postwar era, in the process demonstrating how the institutions of the family became politicized, whereby governments across Europe after 1945 began concerning themselves with promoting the family unit. Zahra demonstrates the impact of pre-1939 humanitarian campaigns on wartime thought. For example, the effort to repatriate Armenian children from Turkish families, which promoted the nationalizing of children, and the Spanish Civil War, where exiled children were encouraged to think of their future in terms of prorepublican activism, both shaped responses to World War II. By 1945, the basic assumption of most humanitarian workers was that children were the biological future of a nation and as such humanitarian programs had to renationalize (i.e., restore to their original geographic place) refugee children. VERDICT Recommended for undergraduates and specialists interested in a transnational approach to postwar European studies.-Frederic Krome, Univ. of Cincinnati Clermont Coll., OH (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Appeared in Choice on 2012-03-01:
Zahra's book contributes significantly to understanding postwar childhood and refugee history in central Europe. The book's merit lies not only in portraying the very real welfare issues regarding thousands of stateless, expelled, and otherwise lost children in this region, but also in showing how those issues became vectors for other early postwar issues. Because children were a country's future (or the future of countries that only recently had been enemies), administrators recognized some children as their own, but marginalized, neglected, or even "converted" children classified as foreign. Zahra (Chicago) demonstrates how issues such as ethnicity, citizenship, state jurisdiction, and even the incipient Cold War came into play in this regard, and how these policies and practices, particularly those regarding transfer of children between state jurisdictions, set precedents for the later handling of children in matters such as intercountry adoption. This work has resonance beyond central Europe; historians for the Balkans or the USSR, for example, will find Zahra's insights and approaches highly useful. Scholars and students of postwar Europe more generally will appreciate the extra depth she brings to an understanding of humanitarian issues in these years. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above. R. Spickermann University of Texas - Permian Basin
Reviews
Review Quotes
Innovative and compelling, Zahra's book brilliantly challenges our understandings of trauma, relief, and rehabilitation, carefully elucidating the competing and highly ideologized claims on children by family and nation after a war that had devastated both.
Zahra deftly draws important lessons about conceptions of childhood and nationality from the ways international organizations, individual countries, and families themselves sought to rebuild shattered lives. An essential contribution to our understanding of a refashioned postwar world.
A fascinating, important, and highly original book which considers the implications and consequences of World War II for children.
Beautifully written and exhaustively researched, The Lost Children makes the story of family reconstruction central to the history of social and political reconstruction in the years following the end of the Second World War.
[A] superb book...[A] wide-ranging, exceptionally well-researched study.
In this impressive multinational study, Zahra charts the history of humanitarian relief from the 1915 Armenian genocide to the postwar era, in the process demonstrating how the institutions of the family became politicized, whereby governments across Europe after 1945 began concerning themselves with promoting the family unit. Zahra demonstrates the impact of pre-1939 humanitarian campaigns on wartime thought.
Across a European landscape shattered by the death and displacement of World War II and the Holocaust, an extraordinary humanitarian agenda crystallized: saving the children. Tara Zahra's elegantly written history brilliantly reconstructs the moment, offering a breakthrough example of the new transnational European history.
Zahra's research examines the difficulties inherent in attempting to mend the social dislocation caused by war...Zahra's work is insightful in considering what treatment of lost children can tell us about broader developments in the post-war period, both in terms of how nations interacted with each other and how psychologists understood the impact of war on children.
Zahra's book contributes significantly to understanding postwar childhood and refugee history in central Europe. The book's merit lies not only in portraying the very real welfare issues regarding thousands of stateless, expelled, and otherwise lost children in this region, but also in showing how those issues became vectors for other early postwar issues...This work has resonance beyond central Europe; historians for the Balkans or the USSR, for example, will find Zahra's insights and approaches highly useful. Scholars and students of postwar Europe more generally will appreciate the extra depth she brings to an understanding of humanitarian issues in these years.
[A] fascinating book...Tara Zahra, a historian who made her name writing about the ambiguities of nationality in Czechoslovakia, has now added an important contribution to the growing literature on Europe's reconstruction after World War II...Zahra is especially good at tracing the connections between pedagogic theories and nationalist politics, and her rich source basis allows her to demonstrate the ubiquity of the problem.
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, May 2011
Choice, March 2012
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Main Description
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. We see how the reconstruction of families quickly became synonymous with the survival of European civilization itself. 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 is a heartbreaking and mesmerizing story. It 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. This riveting tale of families destroyed by war reverberates in the lost children of todays wars and in the compelling issues of international adoption, human rights and humanitarianism, and refugee policies.
Main Description
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. We see how the reconstruction of families quickly became synonymous with the survival of European civilization itself.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 is a heartbreaking and mesmerizing story. It 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. This riveting tale of families destroyed by war reverberates in the lost children of today's wars and in the compelling issues of international adoption, human rights and humanitarianism, and refugee policies.
Main Description
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. We see how the reconstruction of families quickly became synonymous with the survival of European civilization itself. 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 is a heartbreaking and mesmerizing story. It 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. This riveting tale of families destroyed by war reverberates in the lost children of today’s wars and in the compelling issues of international adoption, human rights and humanitarianism, and refugee policies.
Bowker Data Service Summary
During WWII, 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.
Main Description
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. We see how the reconstruction of families quickly became synonymous with the survival of European civilization itself. 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 is a heartbreaking and mesmerizing story. It 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. This riveting tale of families destroyed by war reverberates in the lost children of today's wars and in the compelling issues of international adoption, human rights and humanitarianism, and refugee policies.
Table of Contents
Prefacep. ix
Introduction: Civilization in Disarrayp. 1
The Quintessential Victims of Warp. 24
Saving the Childrenp. 59
A ôPsychological Marshall Planöp. 88
Renationalizing Displaced Childrenp. 118
Children as Spoils of War in Francep. 146
Ethnic Cleansing and the Family in Czechoslovakiap. 173
Repatriation and die Cold Warp. 198
From Divided Families to a Divided Europep. 222
Archival Sources and Abbreviationsp. 247
Notesp. 251
Indexp. 303
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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