Refugees and citizens in East-Central Europe in the 20th century

Doina Anca Cretu: Childhood, Experience, Encampment (New article)

Doina Anca Cretu has published her new article entitled Childhood, Experience, Encampment: The Case of Italian-Speaking Refugees in Austria–Hungary During the First World War in the Journal of Contemporary History (2024).

This article seeks to uncover and understand children’s experiences in the confining spaces of the refugee camp in Austria–Hungary during the First World War. This narrative builds primarily on recollections of adults about their younger selves as I draw on a number of available autobiographies, memories, and interviews produced by Italian-speaking refugees who fled Trentino and the Austrian Littoral. I bring these sources together as I seek to explore ways encampment inherently pervaded refugees’ childhood. The article departs from top-down analyses of displacement in Austria–Hungary as it reflects on how refugee children understood their uprootedness and the rapport they developed with the camp as a proposed tool of state-driven care.