During the Second World War, Belgian women met German men in occupied Belgium and in Germany, and a number of births resulted from these encounters. These children would not have been born without the war. Gerlinda Swillen will come to CegeSoma on Wednesday 20 April, 2:30pm, to give a conference about what is both the subject of her PhD thesis and a personal experience: Conçus par la Seconde Guerre mondiale. Enfants de Guerre sur l’axe Bruxelles-Berlin.
The Point of View of the Offspring
The biological parents are studied through the eyes of their children: who were they and what did they do, how did they meet and if there was a relationship, how were they able to develop it, given the social context? A very important aspect of this research is the sexual intercourse which gave birth to these children, but also their juridical status and the social consequences.
Gerlinda Swillen’s research is based on conversations with more than 120 Belgian children of war, on original documents and on rarely studied archives in Belgium and in Germany. The conclusion is that these children of war are often in a dangerous zone, deprived of juridical and social protection. She underlines the need for an international status for current and future children of war to be included in all international human rights treaties.
The conference will take place in French. Attendance is free, please subscribe at firstname.lastname@example.org.