Folgen der Fremdherrschaft: Besatzungskinder in Ostmitteleuropa

[Förderung: Horizon 2020 – International Training Network]


CHIBOW (Children Born of War) is an EU-funded H2020 Marie Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) investigating past, present and future of children born of war in 20th century conflict and post-conflict situations worldwide. The CHIBOW network comprises over 20 organisations in an interdisciplinary collaboration pooling world-leading researchers in the field of Children Born of War among others from history, psychology, psychiatry, social sciences, public health, and international development. Intersectoral aspects unite fundamental and applied research with NGOs, commercial and media partners, interdisciplinary research institutes, policy makers, and cultural and educational institutions. Supervised by Prof. Dr. Maren Röger, who is also leading one of CHIBOW´s sub projects, three Early Stage Researchers conduct historical analysis to Children Born of War at Augsburg University.


CHIBOW (Children Born of War) is supporting a new generation of researchers to advance our knowledge and understanding of the lived experiences of children born of war in a variety of 20th century conflict and post-conflict situations.The physical and social impact of armed conflict on children is immense; particularly so, if these children are associated with the “enemy”.

Overwhelming evidence suggests that children born of war, i.e. children fathered by foreign soldiers and born to local mothers, have been and continue to be a major obstacle to successful integration of both their mothers and themselves into post-conflict societies.


CHIBOW’s research objectives will be delivered through research in 4 interdisciplinary and thematic programmes:


  • Experiences of Children Born of War in a global historical context
  • Children born of war: Children, conflict and memory
  • Children born of war: Children, education and citizenship
  • Children born of war: Children and community



Experiences of Children Born of War in a global historical context


The historical research investigates experiences of Children Born of War in global historical view in the context of four 20th century conflict scenarios:

The European experience of WW2

Experience in the Pacific theatre of war

The colonial experience

Post-colonial conflicts

This theme is a historical analysis of the lived experiences of CBOW in a variety of 20th century conflicts, covering a range of geopolitical circumstances as well as different chronological periods and types of conflicts and post-conflict situations. It involves most researchers, but the core will be formed by a range of historical projects on policies and experiences during and after WWII and the colonial wars.


At Augsburg University, three Early Stage Researchers conduct historical analysis to Children Born of War, supervised by Prof. Dr. Maren Röger. Jakub Gałęziowski focuses on the interplay between religion and politics in post-war Polish policies towards children fathered by German and Soviet soldiers respectively. Michal Korhel (Cotutelle) examines the borderland children of the Sudetengerman territories during and after WWII at a time of redrawn national borders and resulting shifting national loyalties. Lisa Haberkern (Cotutelle) investigates local, regional and national (Polish) policies towards children fathered by German soldiers in the formerly German territories of Upper Silesia.

Children, Education and Citizenship

Prof. Dr. Maren Röger furthermore coordinates the sub-project "Children born of war: Children, education and citizenship". This theme will be explored primarily in three projects dealing with distinct aspects of education of CBOW as identity-forming and citizenship-defining in different chronological, geographical and political contexts:


Education and the education of children

The construction of narratives

The construction of post-conflict citizenship


For further information to the project, please refer to



Selected Project News:


CHIBOW ESRs meet in Augsburg, Germany (December 2017)


Last week, 4-6 December, CHIBOW ESRs were hosted by Augsburg University and the Bukowina Institute in Augsburg (Germany) for the first Internal ESR Seminar. The idea of this meeting was to listen an update on individual research projects and have time for discussion and feedback. Beside the brief overview each presentation included the main addressed issue was: how particular topic has developed or changed over time. Additionally, every ESR tried to answer questions about its position in CBOW frame, what theoretical frame, methodology, terminology and definitions uses and how they fit in local contexts. Each talked about new findings and discoveries, challenges and obstacle during the research and what next steps are planned to take. Another crucial topic was how ESRs as a second generation of researcher in CBOW field can contribute in both the research on children born of war and local various contexts sometimes by touching completely new, and tabooed topic. Everyone found this is a useful way to collaborate and a network like CHIBOW ITN gives extraordinary opportunities to exchange ideas and provide comparative approach in research. One could see that sometimes in two different projects is possible to find unexpected similarities in state policies, social responses towards CBOW or just in particular biographies. It shows the globalism of that issue on the one hand but also how much they have in common.



CHIBOW panel at the „Vierter Kongress Polenforschung“ (April 2017)


In April 2017 CHIBOW supervisor Prof. Maren Röger together with ESRs Jakub Gałęziowski and Lisa Haberkern presented their work and the ITN at the The Fourth Congress of Polish Studies Grenzen im Fluss (“Borders in Motion”) in a panel on the dissolution of boundaries and exclusion.

Maren Röger gave an overview on the legal situation of Polish women having had children from sexual contacts with German occupiers and hereby showed the variety and complexity of (war-) relations as well as the contradictions of the legal system. Jakub Gałęziowski introduced the audience to the challenges that he is faced with in his endeavour of researching polish Children Born of War. These are rooted in various taboos centred on the topic and the fact that topics like sexual violence were so far not subjects of research in Poland. Lisa Haberkern presented cases of Upper Silesian families that were subjects to prosecution and imprisonment due to their citizenship status during World War II that give reason to further the thesis, that the post war period is formative for Upper Silesian family memories.

The conference took place at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder) as well as at the Collegium Polonicum - a cross-border, academic institution, which was jointly brought into being and is being maintained by the European University Viadrina and the Adam Mickiewicz University from Poznan. Organizer was the “Deutsches Polen Institut” situated in Darmstadt. The theme of "Borders in Motion" was also a symbolic link to the venue of the Fourth Congress of Polish Studies: the cities of Frankfurt (Oder) and Słubice.


Advanced Training Course (ATC) 5 - Memory, remembrance and forgetting: Construction of Identity (September 2016)


The construction of memories as part of the post-war recovery process is vital in understanding the reconstruction of societies fractured by war. Memory and conflict are intimately connected. Without a sense of memory, social groupings cannot reproduce the stories that connect them as communities. Memory and identity are mutually constituted and memory itself is a highly contested concept. Nevertheless memories construct the nature of conflicts, and conflicts create the memories for further identity formations and reformations.

The Advanced Training Course 5, organized by Augsburg University (Jakub Gałęziowski, M.A., Prof. Dr. Maren Röger) and hosted by the German Historical Institute Warsaw explored the idea of memory and how people remember conflicts.

Click here to download the programme for the Advanced Training Course 5.