A “smaller” war? A comparative history of children’s experiences of the Second World War in Western Europe (Germany, France and Italy)

Author/s Camille Mahé
Publishing Year 2023 Issue 2023/303 Language Italian
Pages 23 P. 66-88 File size 183 KB
DOI 10.3280/IC2023-303003
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This article examines the specificity of children’s experiences of the Second World War on the Western Front, based on sources produced by young Germans, French, and Italians (drawings, newspapers, letters, and schoolwork). The comparative approach reveals that despite divergent national frameworks, school-age children in these countries shared a peculiar temporality and a state of historicity of the World War. Since the children had long been held at a distance from the conflict, they entered the war experience later than other population groups. Furthermore, they understood and interpreted war in a similar way, so much so that in the first half of the 1940s they constituted a “community of experiences”.

Keywords: childhood, temporality, WWII, violence, western Europe, Comparative History

Camille Mahé, Una guerra più “piccola”? Una storia comparata delle esperienze della Seconda guerra mondiale nella prospettiva dei bambini (Germania, Francia e Italia) in "ITALIA CONTEMPORANEA" 303/2023, pp 66-88, DOI: 10.3280/IC2023-303003