‘Children are to be regarded as propaganda’: Contradictions of German Occupation Policies in the Child Evacuations to Switzerland 1941-1942

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Abstract

During the first year of Nazi occupation in Belgium, the German authorities consented to send thousands of hungry children to neutral Switzerland for three-month periods of recuperation by means of a Swiss-operated evacuation scheme. After Nazi officials in Berlin learned of these unusual evacuations, the German occupation authorities in Belgium became embroiled in defending and justifying their actions. This article argues that while such contradictions and paradoxes in occupation policies epitomised the Nazi leadership, both the value and agency of children – and the perception of saving them – became unconventional Nazi weapons of exploitation and control.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean History Quarterly
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Aug 2019

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occupation policy
propaganda
Belgium
Switzerland
Swiss
weapon
Berlin
exploitation
leadership
Values
German Occupation
Propaganda
Authority

Cite this

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title = "‘Children are to be regarded as propaganda’: Contradictions of German Occupation Policies in the Child Evacuations to Switzerland 1941-1942",
abstract = "During the first year of Nazi occupation in Belgium, the German authorities consented to send thousands of hungry children to neutral Switzerland for three-month periods of recuperation by means of a Swiss-operated evacuation scheme. After Nazi officials in Berlin learned of these unusual evacuations, the German occupation authorities in Belgium became embroiled in defending and justifying their actions. This article argues that while such contradictions and paradoxes in occupation policies epitomised the Nazi leadership, both the value and agency of children – and the perception of saving them – became unconventional Nazi weapons of exploitation and control.",
keywords = "Nazi Germany, Belgium, occupation, children, evacuations, Switzerland, humanitarian, Red Cross, leadership",
author = "Chelsea Sambells",
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journal = "European History Quarterly",
issn = "0265-6914",
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AU - Sambells, Chelsea

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N2 - During the first year of Nazi occupation in Belgium, the German authorities consented to send thousands of hungry children to neutral Switzerland for three-month periods of recuperation by means of a Swiss-operated evacuation scheme. After Nazi officials in Berlin learned of these unusual evacuations, the German occupation authorities in Belgium became embroiled in defending and justifying their actions. This article argues that while such contradictions and paradoxes in occupation policies epitomised the Nazi leadership, both the value and agency of children – and the perception of saving them – became unconventional Nazi weapons of exploitation and control.

AB - During the first year of Nazi occupation in Belgium, the German authorities consented to send thousands of hungry children to neutral Switzerland for three-month periods of recuperation by means of a Swiss-operated evacuation scheme. After Nazi officials in Berlin learned of these unusual evacuations, the German occupation authorities in Belgium became embroiled in defending and justifying their actions. This article argues that while such contradictions and paradoxes in occupation policies epitomised the Nazi leadership, both the value and agency of children – and the perception of saving them – became unconventional Nazi weapons of exploitation and control.

KW - Nazi Germany

KW - Belgium

KW - occupation

KW - children

KW - evacuations

KW - Switzerland

KW - humanitarian

KW - Red Cross

KW - leadership

M3 - Article

JO - European History Quarterly

JF - European History Quarterly

SN - 0265-6914

ER -