The article examines the ways in which French officers manipulated the image of the "savage and violent" African colonial soldier. While the background for the development of this image was the general European perception of Africa as a violent space, during World War I, officers, as well as parts of the French public, began to see Africans as "grown children" rather than savages. However, as this image served French military purposes and made the soldiers useful on the battlefields, it was not rejected outright. I look at the debate around recruiting Africans to serve in Europe on the eve of World War I, and the French attempts to refute the German accusations around the deployment of African soldiers in the Rhineland during the 1920s. Finally I examine how, thirty years later, during the Indochina War, African officers dealt with these conflicting images in reports about violent incidents in which African soldiers had been involved.
Thomas K. Hubbard
Adolescent sexuality has been at the forefront of the recent “Culture Wars,” as is clear from the many news stories and political battles over issues such as sex education, teen pregnancy and STDs, Child Sexual Abuse, enhanced legal regulation of sex offenders, pedophiles on the internet, “sexting” and child pornography. On the one hand adolescents today are more sexually mature than at most historical periods: physical puberty occurs ever earlier (Moller, 1987), while children’s capacity to access the same media as adults grows ever more sophisticated. Already in 1982, Neil Postman presciently observed that electronic media had obliterated the historical technological superiority of literate adults relative to not‐yet‐fully-literate children (Postman, 1982). At that point, he was thinking mainly of television, but his observation has become even more true in the digital age, when adolescents are often the ones teaching their parents and grandparents. 1982 had not yet grasped what would be the ubiquity of MTV or cheap, highly graphic visual pornography in many parents’ closets, or if not there, on their kids’ computer screens. Children have become the most clever at accessing media at precisely the time when popular media culture is more saturated with verbal, musical, and visual images of sexuality than ever before.
Odette Rosenstock, Moussa Abadi, and the Réseau Marcel
This article investigates one of the most successful Jewish rescue networks in Vichy France, the Réseau Marcel, and specifically how its history, and that of its co-founders, Odette Rosenstock and Moussa Abadi, was created within multiple gendered narratives that consistently emphasized his leadership and often silenced or muted her achievements. Based in Nice, the Réseau Marcel which saved over 500 children from deportation, consisted of just three people: its young Jewish co-founders and the local Catholic Bishop, Monsignor Paul Rémond. Although deported, Rosenstock, always Abadi's equal, survived the death camps. After the war, the reunited couple returned to Paris, where Rosenstock became a distinguished doctor in public health and Abadi a successful theater critic. At the end of their lives, the Abadi re-united with many of their hidden children, who in their honor formed a public Association that has played a key part in shaping the history of the Réseau Marcel.
‘When I witnessed thousands of children being sent to gas, I swore that if I ever escape this hell alive one day I will devote my future life to the education of Jewish youth when such injustice exists.’ These were the words of Honza Brammer, a survivor of Theresienstadt and Auschwitz, a former tutor of young prisoners in these camps and a colleague of the well-known Fredy Hirsch. This young man, originally from Uherský Brod in Moravia, left Czechoslovakia in 1949 for Israel and there accomplished his war decision. He became an organizer of schools in the Israeli desert and besides the work he loved, his life-long passion was photography. Honza Brammer or Dov Barnea as he called himself in the Eretz took hundreds of pictures of people, places and the nature of Israel throughout the post-war decades and his photographs present an interesting mosaic of everyday life there.
Reading Primers Before, During and After the Second World War
Simona Szakács-Behling and Mihai Stelian Rusu
Drawing on a sample of children’s reading primers published between 1938 and 1953 in Romania, this article explores ways in which both the monarchic and the communist regimes used primary education to fashion political subjects before, during, and after the Second World War. Theoretically grounded in a sociological approach and empirically grounded in textual and visual thematic content analysis, the findings reveal significant semantic shifts in understandings of the “nation” in relation to internal and external anchors, including religion, monarchy, and work, but they also indicate important continuities relating to an ethos of political submission (toward God and king, or the party and the Soviet Union) and patriotic solidarity (with the Romanian Orthodox nation or the workers’ proletarian nation).
Andrew J. Webber
This article is concerned with the 2012 feature Lore, which was made in Germany by Australian director Cate Shortland and is based on the story of the same name by Rachel Seiffert. Focusing on a group of siblings and their odyssey across Germany at the end of World War II, the film explores questions of identity constitution and subversion in the transitional ground between childhood and adulthood, in particular as this is registered in bodily experience. The three main sections of this article focus on the family archive (not least through the medium of photography), structures of double identity (in particular around the figure of the German Jew), and aesthetic strategies of representation (especially framing and mirroring). Through these steps, the article probes the ethical, aesthetic, and political stakes involved in representing the passing of children through the violence of history in what the director calls “grey zones.”
Alan B. Spitzer
The May 1948 issue of Les Temps Modernes published three short essays entitled "Nés en 1925." The young authors were Jean-François Lyotard, who was to become a philosopher of international distinction; Paul Viallaneix, his generation's outstanding Michelet scholar; and Pierre Gripari, the author of a wide variety of works including popular books for children. They had been comrades (along with the future sociologist Alain Touraine), at the khâgne of the Lycée Louis-le-Grand, which prepared a student elite to compete for entrance into the École normale supérieure. Their contributions reflected the experience of an intense traditional education under the pressures of war and the Occupation. Their subsequent careers reveal the relation of the permanent stamp of a common formation and the individual experience of particular circumstances.
Emerging from the defeat of the Second World War, Japan shifted its national lens from empire building abroad to productivity and prosperity at home. Organized around a particular form of sociality and capitalist economics, citizens worked hard for 'myhomeism' - the attachments (of men at the workplace, women to the household, children to school) that fuelled fast-growth economics and rising consumerism. In the last two decades of economic decline and more irregular employment, the 'nestling' of family and corporate capitalism has begun to unravel. In the 'lost decade' of the 1990s, many young Japanese assumed the ranks of what activist Karin Amamiya calls the 'precariat' - those precariously un(der)employed, unable to assume the social citizenship of my-homeism, and existentially bereft. How are people not only surviving hard times but also remaking their ties of social connectedness and their calculus of human worth?
The Kindertransport has long been interpreted as a heroic response to the refugee crisis of the 1930s and has recently re-entered the British national conversation as a model to be applied to the current Middle East refugee crisis. Kinder case files are utilized to argue that an unambiguously celebratory narrative is a misreading of the Kindertransport, especially when considering the plight of parents who had to make agonizing choices to send their children away. The majority of Kinder were never reunited with their families after the war, and even those who were suffered various traumas related to their long estrangement. An examination of the fate of parents and siblings who were not welcomed to Britain suggests that it is a mistake to call for the reimplementation of the Kindertransport on any scale to respond to the wave of religious and political refugees currently crossing into Europe in large numbers.
The persecution of ethnic and social minorities during the Second World War led to the creation of customary international human rights law. These laws serve to protect the fundamental rights and civil liberties of all individuals; even when a person is brought before a criminal court their right to justice will be protected. Through its immigration policies, the UK government aims to create a ‘hostile environment’. The detention of migrants has become the norm, and immigrants have been criminalized through the introduction of criminal offences including entering the UK on false or no documents. The increase in foreign nationals convicted of such criminal offences is portrayed as evidence that criminal migrants are a danger to public safety. Laws have been changed and the role of the courts to protect the rights of children to a family life eroded to further the hostile environment.