Deutschland, Österreich, Osteuropa, England, Belgien und Frankreich
Edited By Hans-Heino Ewers
An der ,Schulfront‘. Staatlich instrumentalisierte Kindheiten im Ersten Weltkrieg in Österreich-Ungarn
By using archival material, contemporary publications as well as autobiographical texts on childhood during the First World War, this article focuses on the establishment of an Austro-Hungarian ‚school front’, and the multi-faceted war-supporting activities of pupils. The performance of a ‚school front’ was, as it is argued, primarily a phenomenon of the first half of the war, as living conditions became disastrous from 1916 onwards. Before that, the instrumentalization of the school system for war via state authorities, teachers, educational material etc. seems to have been more or less successful – although with limits. The paper analyses different forms of the children´s war engagement, also in a gendered perspective; “love work”, for example, including knitting or sewing for soldiers and sending “love gifts” (“comfort gifts”) to the fronts, was primarily defined as female and was quite popular under school girls, whereas school boys were encouraged to collect various war-important materials. All in all, the extent to which children were integrated into the supportive activities of the ‘home front’ is shocking, and one important dimension of how war made them to victims what includes their agency.
Kinder waren und sind weiterhin massenhaft Opfer von Kriegen. Angesichts der Flucht von so vielen schutzsuchenden Menschen nach Europa müssen wir dies gegenwärtig erneut und in besonders drastischer Weise zur Kenntnis nehmen. Unter den Flüchtlingen sind zehntausende Kinder,2 die von ihren Erfahrungen mit Gewalt, Diktatur und Zerstörung, religiösem Fanatismus und der oft...
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