Histoire contemporaine du Luxembourg

Presenter: Healing the Nation. Summer Camps for Children in the Belgian-German Borderlands

The paper discusses how the newly gained scientific knowledge on underaged asymptomatic TBS carriers served Belgian and German states as a pretext to commence a summer treatment camp infrastructure to reach out to the children whose home grounds had switched from German to Belgian state sovereignty after WWI. While nation-state institutions offered summer health programs to assure national allegiances of minors, Belgian voluntary associations, the local Roman Catholic Church and a parents’ committee protested these initiatives for the sake of ‘safeguarding’ their children from nationalist indoctrination. The paper centralises the discourses and interaction of the historical actors to compose a borderland mixed economy of child welfare.

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