Lecture Series - Friederike Kind-Kovács: Cotton, Shoes and Milk Powder: Transatlantic Child Relief in post-WWI Central Europe
Cotton, Shoes and Milk Powder: Transatlantic Child Relief in post-WWI Central Europe
The proposed talk explores transatlantic child relief in post-WWI Central Europe. While exemplifying the case of Budapest’s children in need, the talk seeks to reconstruct how, in the aftermath of the First World War, Central Europe became a laboratory of transatlantic humanitarian intervention. It explores how the capital’s children triggered humanitarian sentiments and large-scale material intervention from the United States. It exemplifies how the American Relief Administration and the American Red Cross became invested in delivering tons of material ‘things’, such as cotton, shoes and milk powder, to Budapest’s impoverished and starving children. Here the talk investigates how transatlantic humanitarian child relief consolidated images of destitute Central Europe, while contrasting them with notions of the modern and wealthy U.S. which could not just win the First World War but also this war against hunger and destitution. Examining discourses and everyday practices of relief, the analysis throws light on the ambiguous repercussions of ‘humanitarian’ relief both on local recipient societies and on transatlantic power relations.
Friedrike Kind-Kovács is Acting Professor for Modern and Contemporary History at TU Dresden and a researcher at the Hannah Arendt Institute for Research on Totalitarianism. She completed her habilitation degree in East and Southeast European History at the University of Regensburg in May 2019. She gained her PhD from Potsdam University and an MA from St Andrew's, Scotland. This lecture draws on her forthcoming book, Budapest's Children: Humanitarian Relief in the Aftermath of the Great War, which is being prepared for publication with Indiana University Press. She has also published extensively on samizdat/tamizdat writings, broadcasting in the Cold War and public health in Central and Eastern Europe.
When? Monday, 7 December 2020, 18:15
Where? Online via Zoom, https://uni-regensburg.zoom.us/j/85892790976, Meeting ID: 858 9279 0976