Ana da Silva Pinho is the author of the book “The Cáritas children between Austria and Portugal (1947-1958)”, a research that addresses the experiences of several thousand minors form central European country who, after the war, were welcomed in Portugal.
The book is the result of a long research of documents, press and also interviews with some of the Austrian children who made the trip and Portuguese families who received them during the years in which this Cáritas project was active.
It is an essential document to understand what this initiative was and how it developed.
This podcast is in Portuguese.
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From a historical perspective, the aim was to investigate the relative weight of Portugal in the international action carried out by Caritas in the care of children from countries devastated by World War II in nations not directly affected by it, to understand the respective contexts, as well as to assess the level of political instrumentalization of this same humanitarian action by the Portuguese government and the way it was and is perceived by the population in general, also seeking to clarify the concept of refugee - on several occasions used to refer to the children in question - and its historical evolution , so often related more to political purposes than to humanitarian concerns per se.