HHIK00882U HIS 88. Hidden Populations: European Children Born of War after 1939

Volume 2020/2021

Område E: Mundtlig fremstilling og debat (HHIK03881E)
[Fagstudieordning. Kandidatdelen af sidefaget i historie, 2019-ordningen]

Område E: mundtlig fremstilling og debat (HHIK13881E)
[Fagstudieordning. Kandidattilvalg i historie, 2019-ordningen]

Historisk kerneområde 3: Mundtlig fremstilling og debat (HHIK03771E)
[Studieordning for sidefaget på kandidatniveau i Historie, 2015-ordningen]

Historisk tilvalgsområde 2 (HHIB10221E) [kun for studerende med grundfag i Historie]
[Fagstudieordning. Bachelortilvalg i historie, 2019-ordningen]


Få overblik på
Historie, KA-2019, ét-faglig, lektionskatalog efterår 2020
Historie, KA-2015, ét-faglig, lektionskatalog efterår 2020

Historie, KA-sidefag-2019, lektionskatalog efterår 2020 
Historie, KA-sidefag-2015, lektionskatalog efterår 2020

Historie, BA, lektionskatalog efterår 2020

HIS 88. Hidden Populations: European Children Born of War after 1939

In this course, we work with the hidden legacies of war on family life and trans/national histories. Native civilians and enemy soldiers often conceive children during wars and occupations. These children born of war (CBOWs) usually face severe social pressure and discrimination in post-conflict societies. Due to stigma, CBOWs in Europe and elsewhere are hidden populations. Unless they publically self-identify, their existence remains unknown. Families play a crucial role here, because they have to negotiate between individual needs of family members and sociopolitical developments.  In our discussions, we will focus on European children born of war after 1939 and work toward an understanding of how the intimate histories of CBOW families have shaped European societies during and after World War II. This course is related to the SAXO research project on “The Politics of Family Secrecy” and we will thus pay specific attention to the dynamics of family secrecy in the mediation between micro- and macro histories.

We begin with a survey of the emerging field of CBOW studies and discuss ethical as well as methodological challenges that come with the study of hidden populations. In the second part of the course, we work with case studies of European CBOW experiences focusing mainly on CBOWs born during and after World War II. Cases will include: 1) Children born to occupying German soldiers in Denmark, Norway, the Netherlands, France, the Czech Republic and Poland 2) Children born to occupying Allied soldiers in postwar Germany and Austria and 3) Children born during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. We will analyze different aspects of CBOW experiences in each case study, such as the role of gender and sexual violence or the racial politics undergirding, for example, the Nazi Lebensborn program in Norway or the experience of children born to African American soldiers in occupied post-war Germany. As far as possible, we will work with personal testimonies by CBOWs themselves to develop a more-in-depth understanding of CBOW experiences in the given historical contexts.  We will close with a discussion on the current developments around children born to IS fighters and European women and an assessment of the status of adult and ageing CBOWs in European societies today.

Students will learn how conduct an ethically sound research project into CBOW family history throughout this course. The results will be presented at a final student conference.

The core book of this course will be Children of World War II: The Hidden Enemy Legacy (Eds.: Kjersti Ericsson and Eva Simonsen. Berg Publishers, 2005). Please ensure access to a copy of this book in advance of the course and I will provide links to additional resources and research articles through our course platform.

Kun studerende med grundfag i Historie kan anvende dette kursus som Bachelortilvalg.
Group instruction / seminar
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Class Instruction
  • 56
  • Preparation
  • 203
  • Exam Preparation
  • 129,5
  • Total
  • 388,5
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)
Type of assessment
Other under invigilation
Exam registration requirements

Aktuelle studieordninger for Historie og Studiehåndbogen [KA] (2015 & 2019) og Studiehåndbogen [BA] (2013 & 2019).

Criteria for exam assesment