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Open Workshop about Occupation Children in Austria and Germany at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna

Photos: Copyright: Ernst Weingartner

An open workshop talk about Occupation Children of allied soldiers in Austria and Germany was held at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna last week, attended by ESR Sophie Roupetz. The evening focused on historical and psychological parameters, determining the autobiographies of these children born in the aftermath of World War II, fathered by foreign soldiers and born to local mothers.

Organised by the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria, its General Secretary, Herwig Hösele moderated the event. After Markus Kornprobst’s (Chair of International Relations at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna) words of welcome, Barbara Stelzl-Marx, Deputy Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann-Institute for Research on Consequences of War and Director of Research of CHIBOW, gave an overview of the history of Occupation Children in Austria. Stelzl-Marx presented the volume "Besatzungskinder. Die Nachkommen alliierter Soldaten in Österreich und Deutschland" (Böhlau, 2015), that she edited together with Silke Satjukow. The book deals

The psychosocial consequences of being an Occupation Child in the post-war period in Germany and Austria have been presented by Heide Glaesmer, Vice Head of the Department of Medical Psychology and Medical Sociology at the University of Leipzig. She initiated the first study about the topic in 2013 and works together with Barbara Stelzl-Marx to develop the subjects empirical evidence. Presenting on identity issues, stigmatization and discrimination as well as childhood maltreatment as central aspects of the

psychosocial conditions under which Occupation Children grew up, she also named resilience as being found within this population; which is published in the book “Besatzungskinder. Die Nachkommen alliierter Soldaten in Österreich und Deutschland” (Böhlau, 2015). The talk was also attended by Occupation Children, including Eleonore Dupuis, fathered by a Russian soldier and born to an Austrian woman. Parts of her autobiography “Befreiungskind” (“Child of Liberation”) as well as autobiographies by other Occupation Children are published in the volume as well. In the audience were also Kurt Scholz (Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Future Fund of the Republic of Austria), Austrian historian and professor emeritus Gerald Stourzh (Free University of Berlin and University of Vienna) and Former Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann.

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