Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies

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Kind-Kovács, Friederike

PD Dr. Friederike Kind-Kovács

Affiliated Researcher
– Former Postdoc
– Former Principal Investigator


Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Studies at the TU Dresden /
Hannah-Arendt-Institut für Totalitarismusforschung e.V. (HAIT)
an der Technischen Universität (TU) Dresden
Helmholtzstraße 6
01069 Dresden

Phone: +49 (0)351 / 463 31651

Website: Webprofile (HAIT)

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

Die hungernden Kinder Zentraleuropas: Humanitäre Hilfe für Kinder in Budapest nach dem Ersten Weltkrieg — abgeschlossen

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

Postdoctoral 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.

Please also see an overview of her project in the Graduate School's Newsletter Nr. 6, Sommersemester 2016.

Curriculum Vitae

Born in Frankfurt. Since 08/2018, Research Associate at the Hannah Arendt Institute for Totalitarianism Studies at the TU Dresden (HAIT) as well as 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

  • Former Principal Investigator of the Graduate School for East and Southeast European Studies
  • Former Member of the Study Group "Social Sorting"
  • Former German coordinator of the "International Samizdat Research Association" (ISRA), OSA, Budapest (2009–2015)
  • Former Co-Investigator in the international Leverhulme Research Network "Connecting the Wireless World: Writing Global Radio History", Bristol University (2016-2019)
  • Former Co-Investigator in the international Leverhulme Research Network "Hunger Draws the Map: Blockade and Food Shortages in Europe, 1914-1922", Oxford University (2015-2018)


  • University of Southern California Book Prize in Literary and Cultural Studies 2015 for an outstanding monograph published on Russia, Eastern Europe or Eurasia in the field of literary and cultural studies
  • Nomination of the dissertation for the Leibniz Young Scientist Award 2009 "Theoria cum praxi" by the Section A (Humanities and Educational Research) of the Leibniz Association


List of publications (HAIT website)


List of presentations (HAIT website)