Family Secrecy: Experiences of Danish German Children Born of War, 1940-2019

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Families with children born to Danish mothers and German soldiers during WWII often resorted to secrecy to ward off discrimination and harm. Not knowing their origins, though, could have long-term consequences for the identity formation of these children born of war (CBOW). Based on a qualitative analysis of personal testimonies and interviews, this paper shows that the secret burdened,protected, and implicated the CBOW in the case studies in different ways at different points in their lives. This article approaches secrecy not only as a root cause of CBOW identity crisis, but also as a potential resource for resilience through memory work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-76
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Family History
Issue number1
Early online date2020 Oct 21
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Applied Psychology

Free keywords

  • Children born of war
  • Family history
  • Memory studies
  • German occupation of Denmark
  • identity
  • oral history
  • family history research

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