Enfants de Boches

What I find interesting is how familiar this seems. From the New York Times: Tracing Roots Fostered by War, Severed by Shame

The so-called enfants de Boches
— r
oughly, children of the Huns — born during the war to French women
and German soldiers, are seeking to fill a hole in their lives, hunting
for long-lost German fathers they never knew and speaking openly of the
maltreatment they suffered from their French neighbors. It is estimated
that 200,000 children were born of these wartime love affairs.

of the time depict young women, their heads shorn in shame, being
hounded through villages, clutching the children of German fathers. About 20,000 women had their heads shaved. Many rejected the children, gave them up for adoption or placed them in orphanages.

now these children, in their late 60s, are struggling to put their
lives in order while there is still time. They have formed an
association and sought the help of the German and French governments to
try to identify their fathers, in many cases already dead, or families
that their fathers founded in Germany after the war.


Children fathered by the soldiers of occupying armies are by no
means unique to France. But the enmity between the French and Germans
after two bitter wars often turned these children’s lives into hell.

her mother’s death, Mrs. Nivoix-Sevestre was placed with foster
parents, then in an orphanage. When she was 13, she learned from a
girlfriend — she said it seemed that everyone in her village knew about
it but her — that her father was named Werner (no known last name), was
probably Austrian and was most likely killed near Smolensk, Russia, in
1942 or 1943.

You can read the rest here.

Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

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