How do children experience war? And how do they remember it once they are grown up? What do they associate with keywords such as father, toys, friends or sports? Could childish naivety be a blessing? Andjela and Milena from Belgrade, Serbia discussed everyday life and their experiences during the bombing of Belgrade in 1999, at the age of six and twelve years. Listen to their conversation and find out about two very personal stories reflecting the bombing.
Johann was 15 when his hometown Würzburg in Germany was bombed in 1945. He survived the bombings and the hunger following them. He got to know the truth about the Nazi regime only long after the war and still finds it hard to comprehend that such crimes happened in Germany. For today’s young Europeans Johann has a clear message: Take the chance you have today to build a real European Union.
Michaela Vidláková did not have the childhood you would wish to have. She and her parents were imprisoned in Terezín (Theresienstadt), because they were Jews. They were lucky; the three of them survived, but exclusion and internment strongly shaped Michaela’s attitude towards life. Haris Huremagić had the chance for an interview.
How did three young Europeans from Austria, Serbia and Germany experience the event at the German Historical Museum in Berlin on May 4th? Read their personal approaches in dealing with the historical legacy of parentlessness, expulsion and war atrocities suffered by children during the Second World War and their view on how this legacy and war-children’s experiences are still relevant today. Milena compared legacies of war children’s experiences in post-war societies in Europe and asked herself: “Why were war children claimed, integrated, ignored or made silent?” Read her article “Where do I belong to? The issue of identity of war children” Gregor caught the day’s atmosphere – and found inspiration for starting his own cross-generational dialogues: “Pig-potatoes and new homes – children of...[Read More]
The first victims in every war are the children. Milena, a 28 year old student from Serbia, is interested in the long shadows of World War II on people who had experiences it being young. From the panelists of a Remembrance Day in Berlin she wanted to know: What could it mean for a war-child to be claimed, integrated, ignored or made silent in post-war societies? “In the social jungle of human existence, there is no feeling of being alive without a sense of identity.” Erik Erikson
While participating in a Remembrance Day on the occasion of the end of WW II, which focused especially on the topic of ‘childhood in war’, a 20 year old student finds himself personally and emotionally involved, pondering: Am I a child of war myself and why is this label so important?
Gregor, a 18 year old history student from Germany, attended the Remembrance Day “Children of War in Europe” at the German Historical Museum in Berlin on May 4th 2015. He caught the day’s atmosphere – and found inspiration for talking with strangers about their childhood memories 70 years after the end of World War II.
Since months the fate of thousands of refugees on boats calls for a European solution. How different the fate of a refugee on a boat could turn out reveals Hilda Ketels. As a twelve-year-old she escaped the German invasion of Belgium in 1940 on the passenger and cargo ship SS Albertville. She told her story to our author Thomas Dirven 74 years later.
One lifetime has passed since the end of World War II. During the war, Finland was fighting wars of its own against the Soviet Union, first in 1939–1940 and then in 1941–1944. This interview with researcher Jenni Kirves shows that the war is still present in Finland every day. We might not notice it, but the Finns’ attitudes towards alcohol, work and expressing emotions have all been shaped by the legacy of World War II.