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Sharon Park

Junior Fellow (10/2016-08/2017)


Narrating Humanitarian Aid to European Refugee Children after World War II, 1945–1953


PARKUsing age and gender as analytical lenses, this project examines the personal accounts of Jewish refugee children and youth who experienced and witnessed the distribution of international aid after the Second World War. It explores how refugee children's perspectives and understandings of their own agency can push back against the "official" narratives and expectations produced by state-level actors and social workers. Contemporaneous and retrospective accounts also provide insights into how young refugees’ experiences of persecution and antisemitism shaped their conceptions of citizenship, belonging, and democracy in relation to their former and new homes. In addition to social workers’ papers, questionnaires, and agency case files collected from archives in Austria, Germany, France, the U.K., and the U.S., this project works closely with oral history interviews in the Association of Jewish Refugees' "Refugee Stories" collection and the literature on child refugees in the VWI Library.


Sharon Park received her PhD in History at the University of Minnesota. Her work has focussed on Jewish child migrants’ personal narratives and the intersections between refugee and welfare policies in the United States after the Second World War. She also worked as an editorial assistant of the Austrian History Yearbook from 2013–2015.

June 2024
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The Vienna Wiesenthal Institute for Holocaust Studies (VWI) is funded by:


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