Lost Children in Post War Europe

In Lost Children : Reconstructing Europe’s Families after World War II,┬áTara Zahra explains the changes in attitudes towards the rehabilitation of children in Europe after the two major world wars. Millions of children were displaced as a result of the Armenian Genocide, World War I, and the Mexican Revolution, and World War II. In order to combat the mass orphanage, organizations such as the ARA (American Relief Association) and the IRO (International Refugee Organization) were created to feed, house, psychologically rehabilitate, and provide welfare to the displaced, wandering new “wolf children” of Europe. (4)

The welfare systems that were implemented to save children in Lost Children: Recontructing Europe’s Families after World War II revolved around psychological rehabilitation. According to Zahra, the social workers worked in the “best interest of the child, rather than any particular agenda”. (17) There is a stark contrast between the European post war welfare system than the one in an industrializing Russia, which was described by Hoffman as “a set of reciprocal obligations between the state and its citizens, rather than as a means to protect the dignity of the individuals”. (Hoffman, 19)

While programs such as the ARA and the IRO sought to bring stability to the individual emotionally and provide them with proper homes to rebuild European family life, the Russian welfare system was to serve as a catalyst for industrialization to catapult the nation into a modern era.

5 thoughts on “Lost Children in Post War Europe

  1. Your blog is well written and well structured, especially the concise introduction. However, there seems to be a failure to analyze the text. You bring out the differences between Russian and Western attempts at child rehabilitation, but you fail to address the entirety of these texts. For example, I think Zahra repeatedly writes that these rehabilitation programs were increasingly effected by international developments. Additionally, Hoffman’s quote seems irrelevant as Zahra specifically states that Spanish refugees received much better treatment than Soviet children, even during the constantly changing Russian alliance system during the Second World War

  2. This post more summarized what Zahra said, and there was little commentary on the ideas that she presented.The connection to Hoffman’s work is good, but you should state which text by Hoffman you are referring to as well as the page number. The first paragraph doesn’t really tell the reader what direction you are going with your writing. Commentary on what Zahra argues, or what her main points are , or what you think of her ideas would strengthen this post.

  3. I found your post to be a coherent and pithy summary of the selected excerpt of The Lost Children. I felt that the book’s introduction and first chapter were fairly dense with information, and your post actually helped me to clarify a few of the larger themes being discussed without becoming preoccupied with details. The only recommendation I would make is that you could perhaps expand on your concluding remarks. You draw an important distinction between the different motivations behind providing aid to displaced children during the interwar period and I would have been interested to hear what else you had to contribute to that subject.

  4. While your post shows a good understanding of the text, it fails to analyze it, instead just summarizing Zahra’s main points. The diction is great and the post is organized well, however I had trouble figuring out what direction you were going in with it. The first paragraph could have used some more clarity with this. I liked the connection you drew to Hoffman’s work though, as it helps to clarify the points you are discussing from Zahra’s work.

  5. While the length is very good, the content is questionable. The summary is good, but the analysis is lacking. The author should reconsider organization/focus, but overall they do a strong job with word choice and sentence structure, varying it up and keeping it interesting.

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