Resettlement of vulnerable groups: Unaccompanied Children

“Our Children – the Future of our Nation” - Unaccompanied Children navigating the DP camps and resettlement schemes to get abroad

The stories of children at war and in the aftermath are consistently stories of homelessness, defenselessness and loss. From a young age, they experience oppression and violence, traumatizing experiences of flight as they are forced to leave their home due to destruction, religious persecution or for various other reasons. Their experiences of flight and expulsion as a result of World War II, the separation from family and familiar surroundings had a major impact on their rehabilitation and integration strategies in post-war societies worldwide. By reconstructing individual paths, it becomes clear what problems the aid organizations and the unaccompanied children themselves faced in order to achieve rehabilitation in a post-war society or within a new family, and what it meant to be a "surviving child" in the first place. The rehabilitation of surviving children was also constantly linked to the reconstruction of European civilization, especially Jewish communities within postwar societies. The various emigration and resettlement programs for the children were therefore constantly caught between the intention of the children's best interest and the achievement of political and social stability in Europe. Accordingly, the project discusses, among other things, the influential factors and actors involved in the migration processes of unaccompanied children and where these led.

Raphaela Monika Bollwein, BEd MA