The author explores the meaning of childhood and adolescence under exile conditions 1933-45 and examines coping mechanisms used to deal with terrifying experiences. Against the backdrop of exile research, the author asks why it is that it has taken this long for attention to focus on the mostly Jewish "child exiles." She suggests that the lack of attention corresponds in part to the interests of the child exiles, who had learned early in life to remain unobtrusive and adapt to changing circumstances, and who may often have felt shame when comparing their own fate to that of those murdered in the Holocaust. In addition, the paper examines three novels in which child exiles and their experiences occupy center stage: Irmgard Keun (Kind aller Länder/"Child of all Countries"), Stefanie Zweig (Nirgendwo in Afrika/"Nowhere in Africa") and Lore Segal (Her First American/Ihr erster Amerikaner).


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pp. 8-20
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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