Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovacs

Former Postdoc of the Graduate School
Affiliated Researcher


Hannah-Arendt-Institute for Research on Totalitarianism
at the TU Dresden
Helmholtzstraße 6
01069 Dresden
Tel.: +49 (0)351 / 463 31651

Main Research Areas

  • Cultural and social history of East Central Europe
  • East-West relations during the Cold War
  • Social history of childhood, poverty, and social welfare
  • History of hunger, nutrition, and health
  • History of Samizdat and Tamizdat
  • Philanthropy and humanitarianism
  • Borders, flight, displacement, and migration
  • Transnational culture and media history of the Cold War

Research Project

Central Europe's Starving Children: Humanitarian Child Relief in Budapest after WWI [completed]

Habilitation project at the Graduate School

In the context of twentieth century history, WWI and the dissolution of Europe’s multiethnic empires had a traumatic impact on the aggravation of poverty throughout Central and Eastern Europe. Especially children as the most vulnerable and deprived social group suffered most intensely from the silent side- and after-effects of the war, mainly from neglect, contagious diseases, housing problems and severe starvation. The present habilitation project explores the effects of WWI and the dissolution of the Austro-Hungarian Empire on the extensive pauperization of children in Hungary. Yet, this book project equally aims to identify how the war also yielded a new public awareness of children’s concerns and international humanitarian visions of their relief. This book project exemplifies the dynamic changes of the societal practices of child relief as well as the altering notion of childhood. The conclusions to be drawn will allow tracing the evolution from imperial child relief policies during WWI to the internationally designed and implemented philanthropic practices of the immediate post-war period to an increasingly nationalized approach towards poor children from the 1930s onwards. This research project examines in particular how the visual representation of children’s mutilated bodies joint with the call for their immediate relief brought the suffering of needy Hungarian children to public attention throughout Europe and the United States. As famine and poverty were seen as triggering factors for Eastern Europe’s social and moral degeneration, visually complaining about children’s suffering served as a political instrument to push for Europe’s social re-education. Examining the ways, in which the call for children’s relief played heavily on feelings of empathy, compassion, and pity, will serve to better understand the social and political employability of children in the early twentieth century.

See the project outline in Newsletter Nr. 6, Sommersemester 2016 of the Graduate School

Curriculum Vitae

Born in Frankfurt


Research Associate at The Hannah Arendt Institute for the research on Totalitarianism at the TU Dresden

Affiliated Researcher of the Graduate School

10/2017-07/2018 Fellowship, Imre Kertész Kolleg Jena
05/2017-07/2017 Mobility/short-term scholarschips for junior scientists at the University of Regensburg for research stay at the Department of History of the Academy of Sciences Budapest
2013-07/2018 Associate postdoc at the Graduate School Eastern and Southeast European Studies
Since 2009 Academic Councilor at the Department of History of Southeastern and Eastern Europe, University of Regensburg
2012 - 2014 Scientific Network (DFG): "Social Welfare and Health in Eastern and Southeastern Europe in the Long 20th Century" (together with Dr. Heike Karge)
2010 - 2012 Scholarship holder of the "Fast Track" program of the Robert Bosch Stiftung
2007 - 2009 Scholarship holder of the women's career development program, Cusanuswerk
2005 - 2006 "Doctoral Support Program", CEU, Budapest
2004 - 2008 Doctoral work, ZZF, Potsdam
2001 - 2002 Master’s Program in Modern History, University of St. Andrews, UK
2000 - 2007 Scholarship recipient of the gifted education center, Villigst
1999 - 2001 Master's program, Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg

Positions, Assignments and Memberships



Written Here, Published There: How Underground Literature Crossed the Iron Curtain, New York / Budapest 2014.
[2015 ausgezeichnet mit dem University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies; Rezensionen: Ann Komaromi in: Slavic Review Vol. 74 (2015), Nr. 4, pp. 947-948 und Robert Brier in: sehepunkte Vol. 17 (2017), Nr. 11]

Edited Books and Journal Issues

Zus. mit Heike Karge / Sara Bernasconi (Hgg.): From the Midwife’s Bag to the Patient’s File. Public Health in Eastern Europe (= CEU Press Studies In the History of Medicine), New York / Budapest 2017.

Zus. mit Jessie Labov (Hgg.): Samizdat, Tamizdat and Beyond. Transnational media during and after socialism, New York 2013 (Paperback-Ausgabe 2015).

Journal Articles and Book Chapters

The dangers of listening: mutual surveillance of radio listening in the Cold War. In: Media History (special issue "Knowing your Enemy (and your Friends): Cultures of Radio Monitoring and Surveillance". (in Vorbereitung)

The Sweet Temptation of Revisionism: Shifting Borders, Refugees and Statelessness after the Great War. In: Geschichte und Gesellschaft (special Issue). (eingereicht bei der Herausgeberin der Sonderausgabe).

From Famine to Food: American Child Feeding in Budapest after the Great War. In: New Perspectives (special issue "Politics of Food in and of CEE", Fall 2017. (peer review, accepted for publication)

The Great War, the Child's Body and the American Red Cross. In: European Review of History / Revue européenne d'histoire 23 (1-2; special issue "Humanitarianisms in Context: Histories of Non-state Actors, from the Local to the Global"), 2016, S. 33-62. (double blind peer-reviewed)

Crossing Germany's Iron Curtain: Uncensored Literature from the GDR and the Other Europe. In: East Central Europe 41/2014, S. 180-203. (peer-reviewed)

Memories of Ethnic Cleansing and the local Iron Curtain in the Czech-German Borderlands. In: Nationalities Papers 42 (2), 2014, S. 199-222. (peer-reviewed)

The "Other" Child Transports: World War I and the Temporary Displacement of Needy Children From Central Europe. In: Journal of the History of Irregular childhood 15/2013, S. 75-109. (peer-reviewed)

Voices, letters, literature through the Iron Curtain: Exiles and the (trans-)mission of radio in the Cold War. In: Cold War History 13 (2), 2013, S. 193-220. (peer-reviewed)

Zus. mit Sabina Blomann / Roxana Hila / Julia Kling / Markus Meinke: Die erzählten Grenzen. Geschichte von Unten - Lebensgeschichtliche Interviews im bayerisch-böhmischen Grenzraum. In: Blick in die Wissenschaft 23/2011, S. 3-10.

Zus. mit Jan Behrends: Vom Untergrund in den Mainstream: Samizdat, Emigrationsliteratur und Tamizdat und die Neuerfindung Mitteleuropas in den achtziger Jahren. In: Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 45/2005, S. 427-448. 

Strategies of Survival. In: Claire Morelon / Mary Cox (Hg.): Hunger Draws the Map: Food and Deprivation in Europe during the First World War, 1914-1922. Collective Final Volume of Leverhulme Network. (in Vorbereitung)

The Dutch Connection: The Alexander Herzen Foundation and her Russian writers. In: Apor, Balázs, ed. The Handbook of Cultural Opposition in the Soviet bloc. Budapest: Akadémiai kiadó, 2018. (in Vorbereitung)

Exil Theatre as Provocation: Performing Central Europe in New York. In: Apor, Balázs, ed. The Handbook of Cultural Opposition in the Soviet bloc. Budapest: Akadémiai kiadó, 2018. (in Vorbereitung)

Transatlantic Humanitarianism: Jewish Child Relief in Budapest after the Great War. In: Friederike Kind-Kovács / Heike Karge / Sara Bernasconi (Hgg.): From the Midwife’s Bag to the Patient’s File. Public Health in Eastern Europe (= CEU Press Studies In the History of Medicine), New York / Budapest 2017, S. 145-172.

Zus. mit Heike Karge / Sara Bernasconi: Introduction. In: Dies. (Hgg.): From the Midwife’s Bag to the Patient’s File. Public Health in Eastern Europe (= CEU Press Studies In the History of Medicine), New York / Budapest 2017, S. 1-24.

Compassion for the Distant Other: Children’s Hunger and Humanitarian Relief in Budapest in the Aftermath of WWI. In: Beate Althammer / Lutz Raphael / Tamara Stazic-Wendt (Hgg.): Rescuing the Vulnerable. Poverty, Welfare and Social Ties in Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Europe, New York 2016, S. 129-159 (peer-reviewed).

Voices, letters, and literature through the Iron Curtain: exiles and the (trans)mission of radio in the Cold War. In: Linda Risso (Hg.): Radio Wars: Broadcasting During the Cold War, New York 2015 (reprint of a special issue).

Zus. mit Jessie Labov: Forbidden Fruit: Smuggling and Publishing Across Borders in Ancien Régime France and Cold War Eastern Europe. In: Jan C. Behrends / Thomas Lindenberger (Hgg.): Publishing and the Public Sphere. Transnational Perspectives, Berlin 2014, S. 257-289.

Zus. mit Jessie Labov: Samizdat-Tamizdat: an entangled phenomenon? In: Friederike Kind-Kovács / Jessie Labov (Hgg.): Samizdat, Tamizdat and Beyond. Transnational media during and after socialism, New York 2013, S. 1-23 (peer-reviewed).

Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty as the 'echo chamber' of tamizdat. In: Friederike Kind-Kovács / Jessie Labov (Hgg.): Samizdat, Tamizdat and Beyond. Transnational media during and after socialism, New York 2013, S. 70-91 (peer-reviewed).

(Re)Joining the Community of Letters? The circulation of uncensored literature in/of Cold War Europe. In: Teresa Pinheiro / Beata Cieszynska / Eduardo Franco: Ideas of/for Europe. An Interdisciplinary Approach to European Identity, Frankfurt 2012, S. 177-195.

Historische Ambivalenzen von "Transfer"- und Grenzgeschichte(n): Bevölkerungsverschiebung und Literaturschmuggel im bayerisch-böhmischen Grenzraum. In: Markus A. Meinke (Hg.): Die tschechisch-bayerische Grenze im Kalten Krieg in vergleichender Perspektive. Politische, ökonomische und soziokulturelle Dimensionen, Regensburg 2011, S. 93-108.

Life stories reconnected: Publishing tamizdat as a symbolic act of recreating biographical coherence? In: Sari Autio-Sarasmo / Brendan Humphreys (Hgg.): Winter Kept us Warm. Cold War Interactions Reconsidered (= Aleksanteri Cold War Series 1), Helsinki 2010, S. 170-191.

An "Other Europe" through Literature: Recreating a European literary "Kontinent" after Helsinki. In: Jose Faraldo / Paulina Gulinska-Jurgiel / Christian Domnitz (Hgg.): Europe in the Eastern Bloc. Imaginations and Discourses, Cologne / Vienna 2008, S. 267-299.

Further Publications

Budapest's Eastern Train Station: From the Past to Today's (Child) Refugee Crisis. In: Reluctant Internationalists (Website), 12.10.2015.

Massenmedien im Kalten Krieg (Tagungsbericht). In: Potsdamer Bulletin für Zeithistorische Studien 30/31, Januar 2004, S. 54-60.


Nikolaos Papadogiannis: Militant around the Clock? Left-Wing Youth Politics, Leisure, and Sexuality in Post-Dictatorship Greece, 1974-1981, New York 2015. In: Slavic Review 76 (2), 2017, S. 534-535.

Ann Komaromi: Uncensored. Samizdat Novels and the Quest for Autonomy in Soviet Dissidence, Evanston, IL 2015. In: Russian Review 75, July 2016, S. 511-512.

Cold War Broadcasting (Collective Book Review). In: H-Soz-u-Kult, 01.10.2013.

Daniel Laqua (Ed.): Internationalism reconfigured: 
transnational ideas and movements between the world wars, London u.a. 2011. In: Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 52/2012.

Rüdiger Dannemann: Lukács und 1968. Eine Spurensuche, Bielefeld 2009. In: Ungarn-Jahrbuch. Zeitschrift für interdisziplinäre Hungarologie 30/2009-2010, S. 291-294.

Julia Obertreis / Anke Stefan: Erinnerungen nach der Wende: Oral History und (Post)Sozialistische Gesellschaften, Essen 2009. In: Südost-Forschungen 68/2009, S. 714-718.

Catherine Andreyev and Ivan Savický: Russia Abroad. Prague and the Russian Diaspora, 1918-1938, New Haven 2004. In: Archiv für Sozialgeschichte 46/2006.


Lectures (selected)


"Know Your Listeners: Mutual Radio Surveillance in the Early Cold War" (Trinity College Dublin, März 2017).

Vortrag in Workshop des internationalen Leverhulme-Forschungsnetzwerks "Hunger Draws the Map: Blockade and Food Shortages in Europe, 1914-1922" (Oxford University, Hoover Institution Library & Archives, April 2017)


"Refugee Slumming. Budapest's Housing Crisis after the Great War" (Leipzig Centre for the History and Culture of East Central Europe - GWZO, Leipzig, Januar 2016).


"Transatlantic Humanitarianism: American Child Relief in Hungary after the Great War" (Department of American Studies, Regensburg University, Dezember 2015).

"American Food for Central Europe: Milk Kitchens and Children’s Feeding Stations in Post-WWI Budapest" (ASEEES, Philadelphia, November 2015).

"Biopolitics as body politics: Sorting children’s bodies in post-WWI Hungary" (Study Group of Graduate School of Southeast European Studies, Regensburg University, Juli 2015).

"The Body of the Starving Infant: An Object of Biopolitical Surveillance (1918-1927)" (Birkbeck College, London, Juli 2015).

"Fear of Europe's Moral and Physical Degeneration: Child Poverty after the Great War" (Workshop "The Politics of Fear in East Central Europe in the 20th Century", Regensburg University, Februar 2015).


"International and National Jewish Child Relief in Interwar Hungary" (ESSHC Vienna, April 2014).


"'The Children of the Railway Coaches': The removal and temporary statelessness of refugee children from the former Hungarian territories after WWI" (Salzburg, März 2013).

"Holiday from War: Child Transports across the Austro-Hungarian Empire" (SHCY, Nottingham, Juni 2013).


"Enfance, Guerre et Migration (Forcée). Comment Reconstruire la vie des enfants hongrois?" (Regensburg, Juni 2012).

"The Visual Represenation of Child Transports and Children's Forced Migration From War to Post-War I Hungary" (Forschungskolloquium Göttingen, Mai 2012).

"Save the (Hungarian) Children: WWI as a trigger of children's social in/exclusion" (DHI London, Mai 2012).

"Picturing the poor child: Photography as social politics of (trans)national Child Philanthropy in interwar Hungary" (ESSHC Glasgow, April 2012).

"'The Children of the Railway Coaches': The removal and temporary statelessness of refugee children from the former Hungarian territories after WWI" (DHI Washington, Februar 2012).

"The manifold Faces of (Child) Poverty and Child Relief in Post-WWI Hungary" (Central European University, Budapest, Januar 2012).


"'What is a (Hungarian) child worth to you?' The Visual Representation of International Child Relief Programs in the immediate aftermath of WWI" (SHCY, Columbia University, USA, Juni 2011).

"'Then the Czech came and made it bitter and sour to us.' Narratives about guilt and innocence in the Bavarian-Bohemiam border region" (BASEES, Cambridge University, UK, April 2011).


"Thinking, publishing and broadcasting 'Europe': The early mission of Radio Free Europe and its effect on featuring European Tamizdat" (University of Reading, UK, Dezember 2010).

"Who cares? The struggle of philanthropists and nationalists over child welfare in inter-war Hungary" (ASEEES, Los Angeles, November 2010).

Organisation zweier international besetzter Panels zum Thema "The Embattled Child I: Childhood during the Inter-War Period and during the War" & "The Embattled Child II: Childhood during the Post-War Period and during the Cold War" (ASEEES, Los Angeles, November 2010).

"Opposition in the GDR and in the Other Europe: Entangled but Distinct Worlds?" (GSA, Oakland, US, Oktober 2010).

"The embattled child or how the First World War affected Hungarian child welfare" (Universität Salzburg, September 2010).

Teilnahme am Roundtable "Archives, Research and Education: Where and How RFE/RL History Meets?" (Open Society Archives, Budapest, September 2010).

"The ambivalence of transfer across borders: the Bavarian-Bohemian Border from post-War to Cold War" ICCEES, Stockholm, Juli 2010).


"Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty as the 'echo chamber' of tamizdat" (AAASS, Boston, November 2009).

"Diplomaten, Antiquare und andere 'Brieftauben': Literaturschmuggel zwischen Prag und Weiden in den 1980er Jahren" (Südost-Institut, Regensburg, November 2009).

"Lifestories reconnected: Tamizdat as a universal human experience across the Iron Curtain" (9th Annual Aleksanteri Conference, Helsinki, Oktober 2009).

"Von der Shoah zum Gulag: die biographische Bedeutung des Tamizdat aus dem Anderen Europa" (Lehrstuhl für Geschichte Südost- und Osteuropas, Universität Regensburg, Juli 2009).

'"The ambiguity of the 'Other Europe': From a 'Europe behind the Iron Curtain' to ‘a Europe without the Iron Curtain'" (Universität Chemnitz, Mai 2009).


"The role of friendship and trust for the social practice of smuggling Tamizdat" (OSA, Budapest, Februar 2008).


"Tamizdat as an imagined community of letters" (AAASS, New Orleans, November 2007).

Organisation einer Reihe internationaler Panels und Roundtables zu "The transfer of literature between East and West during the Cultural Cold War" (AAASS-Convention in New Orleans, November 2007).


Einführender Vortrag der Konferenzorganisatoren "From Samizdat to Tamizdat" (Institut für die Wissenschaften des Menschen IWM, Wien, September 2006).

"Tamizdat: independent media crossing borders from L’Ancien Regime to today’s Europe" (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin WZB, Berlin, Juli 2006).


"In the name of Europe: East-West publishing initiatives facing the Helsinki Final Act" (International Samizdat Resarch Association ISRA, OSA, Budapest, November 2005).

"In the name of Europe: East-West publishing initiatives facing the Helsinki Final Act" (ZZF, Potsdam, November 2005).

"The Helsinki Final Act and the freer movement of ideas beyond borders" (Berliner Kolleg für Vergleichende Geschichte Europas BKVGE, Berlin, Oktober 2005).

"Reinventing the Centre of Europe: The destiny of Central Europe as a shared intellectual project of dissident thinkers in East and West in the late Cold War" (CEU, Budapest, Juni 2005).

"A stream of Culture beyond the Iron Curtain. Tamizdat as a new frame for transnational communication between Central Europe, Paris and New York" (Young Scholars Forum, Deutsches Historisches Institut Washington, Arlington, USA, April 2005).


"Central Europe-Paris: an entangled history? The 'Central European debate' and its reception in Parisian Magazines in the 1980s" (Graduate School of Social Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences, Warschau, November 2004).

"Civil Society in Transition: Tamizdat as a Transnational Frame for the Liberation of Society from Political Rule (Institute for the Revolution of 1956, Erdötarcsa, Oktober 2004).


Vorstellung des Promotionsprojektes ("Trans-Atlantic Summer Institute in German Studies", University of Minnesota / ZZF, München, Juli-August 2003).