Added: July 4, 2015 – Last updated: July 4, 2015


Speakers: Marie Kaiser and Martin Miertsch

Title: Methodological specifics of participative research on Children Born of War in the European historical context

Subtitle: An investigation and comparison of German, Austrian and Norwegian Children of World War II

Conference: Interdisciplinary perspectives on Children Born of War – from World War II to current conflict settings (June 4-5, 2015). Pre-Conference Workshop: Connecting Young Scientists with Senior Researchers

Place: Conference Center of Schloss Herrenhause, Hannover, Germany

Date: June 4, 2015

Language: English

Keywords: 20th Century, 21st Century | Austrian History, German History | Types: Wartime Rape / Second World War; Victims: Rape Children


Link: -



»Background: Children born as a consequence of sexual relationships of a foreign soldier and a local woman in (post) World War II Europe can be defined as a hidden population: Not much is known about them, their population size can only be estimated and they are difficult to reach for researchers. Their specific experiences cannot be depicted by means of standardized instruments. For German and Austrian occupation children there is some historical research on experiences while growing up. For Norwegian and Danish ‘Wehrmachtchildren‘ there are historical as well as social studies reporting about longterm consequences on mental and physical well-being as a result of specific experiences of this population. Nevertheless, psychosocial studies on longterm consequences of growing up as occupation child/‘Wehrmacht-child‘ have been missing so far.
Methods: In 2012 the initial thought was to investigate children who were born of rape by Soviet soldiers on their rampage for Berlin at the end of World War II. Thereof, the view broadened to Children Born of War in general and paved way for following projects in Germany, Austria and Norway. Due to hidden population characteristics of the target groups a participative approach was chosen: By including members of the target group as well as scientific experts in the research process, maximum proximity to the target group can be achieved. Thus a questionnaire was developed including open and closed questions, as well as standardized instruments, overall tailored to fit the target group assessing their specific living conditions and experiences in childhood and adolescence, as well as the current mental distress status.
Perspective: Specifics about methodological approach and piloting of the initial instrument as well as specifics of each project country’s target population will be introduced and discussed.« (Source: Conference Programme)

Wikipedia: Wartime sexual violence: World War II