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Peer reviewed

Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook

Ed. by Ziegler, Dieter

CiteScore 2018: 0.06

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.115
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.203

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Volume 59, Issue 2


Kinderwunsch im Krieg: Kriegserfahrung und Fertilität in Deutschland im Zweiten Weltkrieg

Katerina Piro
  • Universität Mannheim, Abteilung Volkswirtschaftslehre, Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftsgeschichte, L7,3-5, D-68131, Mannheim, Germany
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Published Online: 2018-12-31 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbwg-2018-0016


Does the experience of war necessarily lead to lower fertility and the postponement of starting or enlarging a family? This qualitative analysis verifies the economic and sociological theories of family planning during war. The excellent source material from World War II in Germany allows for an analysis of a large number of ego-documents. The results imply that married couples were aware of the difficult circumstances and dealt with increased infertility, miscarriages and infant mortality. However, they did not let adversity interfere with their generative decisions. The experience of war did not deter people from planning, starting or building a family. It appears that during wartime, children fulfilled important psychological values for their (prospective) parents.

JEL Classification: J 13; N 34; D 84

Keywords: Fertility; World War II; Germany; ego-documents; family planning; crisis; Fertilität; Zweiter Weltkrieg; Deutschland; Tagebücher; Feldpost; Kinderwunsch; Familiengründung; Krise

About the article

Katerina Piro

Katerina Piro (M.A., B.A. Hon.) promoviert an der Universität Mannheim, Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftsgeschichte, zum Thema „Familienplanung in deutschen Ego-Dokumenten im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert“. Sie studierte an der Université de Bourgogne, Frankreich, den Universitäten Heidelberg, Mannheim und Kassel sowie der University of Waterloo, Kanada.

Published Online: 2018-12-31

Published in Print: 2018-11-27

Citation Information: Jahrbuch für Wirtschaftsgeschichte / Economic History Yearbook, Volume 59, Issue 2, Pages 471–505, ISSN (Online) 2196-6842, ISSN (Print) 0075-2800, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jbwg-2018-0016.

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