04.02 at 18:00
Deportacja i praca przymusowa | book premiere
Join us for a discussion devoted to Johannes-Dieter Steinert’s book on the wartime deportation and forced labor of children from Poland and the USSR in Nazi Germany and occupied Eastern Europe.
The Polish edition entitled “Deportacja i praca przymusowa. Dzieci z Polski i ZSRS w nazistowskich Niemczech i okupowanej Europie Wschodniej w latach 1939–1945” [orig. “Deportation und Zwangsarbeit. Polnische und sowjetische Kinder im nationalsozialistischen Deutschland und im besetzten Osteuropa 1939–1945”], translated by Kamil Markiewicz and published by the Pilecki Institute, is Prof. Steinert’s first book translated into Polish!
Johannes-Dieter Steinert – professor at University of Wolverhampton, UK, specializing in the history of World War II and migration studies
Beata Halicka – professor at Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, author of the book “Polski Dziki Zachód. Przymusowe migracje i kulturowe oswajanie Nadodrza 1945–1948” [The Polish Wild West. Forced migrations and cultural domestication of Nadodrze 1945–1948]
Jolanta Sowińska-Gogacz – co-author of the book “Mały Oświęcim. Dziecięcy obóz w Łodzi” [Little Auschwitz. The children’s camp in Łódź]
Andrzej Zawistowski – professor at Warsaw School of Economics, employee of the Pilecki Institute’s Center for Totalitarian Studies, coordinator of the research project “Economic policies as a tool used by totalitarian regimes in the Polish territories in the years 1939–1949”
Moderator: Dr. Joanna Nikel – historian (Historical Institute, University of Wrocław), research associate at the Pilecki Institute
The only thing that kept me alive was thinking about my parents. I was an only child, so I had to be strong. I knew they were waiting for me, and I wanted us to reunite after the war.
excerpt from the account of Daniela Łukomska
According to estimates, 1–1.5 million children from Poland and the USSR were deported to Nazi Germany for forced labor. Their perpetrators considered them lesser people and subjected them to brutal treatment during transport and tragic living and working conditions at their destination. Forced to labor for the German war machine and the economy of the Third Reich in general, the children worked in various circumstances: at the Wehrmacht and SS repair shops, building infrastructure, barracks, airfields and fortifications; at the Organization Todt and the German Reich Railways; in the mines, at industrial works,
farms and workshops. Some of them even worked as servants in German households.
The author describes how the military and civil authorities participated in organizing deportations and forced labor of children, and highlights the connection between forced labor and occupation and Germanization policies. His findings are based on many years of research carried out in German and foreign archives. He pays special attention to the accounts of the victims, whose childhood had been marked by the tragic experiences of deportation and forced labor.