DASKIND by MARIELLA MEHR UNVEILING A SUBJUGATED HISTORY: A FIRST DRAFT OF AN ARCHAE-GENEALOGICAL HISTORY OF WVHPKL/OHGFRI PEOPLE by Ursula Baer Lic. Phil. I, University of Zurich, Switzerland, 2001 M.A., The University of British Columbia, 2007 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES (Germanic Studies) THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver) May 2015 © Ursula Baer, 2015 ii ABSTRACT In German fiction, depictions of characters who are, or have been “wards of the state,” i.e., orphans, contracted-out, children and youth living in institutions such as residential schools, children’s homes or group homes, or foster children, are often drawn as asocial or antisocial characters. Many of these characters are seen by critics as metaphorical figures that have no foundation in the extra-literary world. They are perceived as being created to enhance readers’ understanding of social issues that are unrelated to these characters’ unique situation of growing up “without family.” Such a reading is problematic as it ignores centuries of marginalization, exploitation and other forms of abuse, most of which are particular to the status of “growing up in care.” My point of departure is Mariella Mehr’s novel Daskind, whose main topic is the history of this large group of “un-familied” people, and the silencing of their history. Mehr creates a highly intertextual text full of historical, international, socio-cultural and literary allusions. This calls for a theoretical framework which combines notions of power structures, including their subversion on a societal as well as an individual level, with notions of intertextuality. In order to investigate the historical context and plight of “un-familied” people, which has mostly been ignored in literary studies, I introduce the new acronyms WVHPKL (German), OHGFRI, (English) so as to accurately and respectfully address the literary representatives of this very diverse group of people, as listed in the first paragraph. Using the acronym/s does not deny the differences within this group, rather, the acronym/s highlights the differences without invisibilizing the common thread that runs through the different forms of state and community “care,” and deprived and in many cases continues to deprive children and youth from growing up in either any kind of family of origin or in a non-enforced adoptive family. I read Daskind as a iii critique of the notion of “foster care” and as an autonomous, non-centralized Foucauldean kind of theoretical production. This thesis hopes to provide the foundation to open up a broader interdisciplinary field of study dedicated to WVHPKL/OHGFRI people. iv PREFACE This dissertation is an original intellectual product of the author, U. Baer. Some passages cited in Chapter 2 have been published as Baer, Ursula. “Violent Naming: Power Relations and Cultural Identities in Representations of Family-less Children in Modern German-Language Literature.” Crossroads – An interdisciplinary journal for the study of history, philosophy, religion and classics 3, no. 2 (2009): 5-11. http://www.uq.edu.au/crossroads/Archives/Vol%203/Issue %202%202009/Vol3Iss209%20-%204.Baer%20%28p.5-11%29.pdf. v TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT .................................................................................................................................... ii PREFACE ...................................................................................................................................... iv TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................................................ v LIST OF FIGURES ........................................................................................................................ ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ............................................................................................................ x 1. INTRODUCTION ....................................................................................................................... 1 1.1. INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT ..................................................................................... 2 1.2. HISTORY of RECOGNITIONS, APOLOGIES and RETRIBUTION PAYMENTS ........ 4 1.3. TERMINOLOGY: DISAMBIGUATION ......................................................................... 11 1.3.1. “Familienlos” (Family-Less) and “Un-Familied” ...................................................... 14 1.3.2. The Acronyms WVHPKL/OHGFRI ......................................................................... 15 1.4. TEXT SELECTION .......................................................................................................... 18 1.4.1. Daskind (1995) by Mariella Mehr ............................................................................. 21 126.96.36.199. Literary Allusions ............................................................................................ 22 188.8.131.52. Translations ...................................................................................................... 23 1.5. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK ..................................................................................... 25 1.5.1. Michel Foucault: “A Return of Knowledge” ............................................................. 27 184.108.40.206. Theory as Method ............................................................................................ 29 1.5.2. Intertextuality ............................................................................................................. 31 2. DASKIND BY MARIELLA MEHR (1995) .............................................................................. 37 2.1. GENESIS and RECEPTION ............................................................................................. 39 2.1.1. Until the First Edition ................................................................................................ 39 2.1.2. Early Reception and Editions .................................................................................... 43 2.1.3. Reception in the Context of the Trilogy .................................................................... 44 2.1.4. Awards, Recognition, Reprints and Translations ...................................................... 47 2.1.5. To this Day ................................................................................................................. 49 2.1.6. A Novel about Violence? ........................................................................................... 50 2.2. UNVEILING a SUBJUGATED HISTORY: HISTORICAL and SOCIO-CULTURAL ALLUSIONS ............................................................................................................................ 52 2.2.1. A Brief Summary ....................................................................................................... 52 2.2.2. Introductory Exposition ............................................................................................. 53 2.2.3. Armin Lacher - Omissions in Favour of Stereotypes ................................................ 57 vi 220.127.116.11. “Landfahrer” – Definition, Translation and a Nebulous Terminology ............ 59 18.104.22.168.1 A Brief History of “Landfahrer,” and of a Pathology ............................... 61 22.214.171.124. “Verdingung” - English Translations, and Definitions .................................... 62 126.96.36.199.1 “Verdingung” – Etymology, and a Brief History ..................................... 64 188.8.131.52.2 Terminology and Statistical Data .............................................................. 69 184.108.40.206.3 “Education” for a Life in Service .............................................................. 70 220.127.116.11. Identifying Swiss Travelers and Un-Family-Ing their Children ...................... 75 18.104.22.168.1 The Disregarded Son of a Landfahrer ....................................................... 76 22.214.171.124. “Immergrün” (Evergreen) ................................................................................ 78 126.96.36.199.1 Regulation of Love and Desire ................................................................. 81 188.8.131.52.2 Mr. Right, the Church and Society’s Demands, and the Fallout .............. 85 2.2.4. Daskind - the Protagonist ........................................................................................... 89 184.108.40.206. Ancestry: “Karis Fluch,” a Euphemism that is None, and Illusionary Heavens ............................................................................................................................. 93 220.127.116.11.1 Unforgiven Sins and the Recurrent Curse ................................................. 95 18.104.22.168. First Placement ................................................................................................ 97 22.214.171.124.1 “Anstalt” .................................................................................................... 98 126.96.36.199.2 “Anstalt-” and “Heimleben,” and its Consequences ............................... 100 188.8.131.52. “Anstaltskritik” .............................................................................................. 109 184.108.40.206. “Das Eigene Andere” ..................................................................................... 113 220.127.116.11. Second Placement - “Verdingung” again: “Mindersteigerung” .................... 117 18.104.22.168.1 “Verdingkinder,” “Heimkinder,” “Pflegekinder” ................................... 121 22.214.171.124. Legal Development, Money, the Continuously Driving Force and Returnable Goods .......................................................................................................................... 123 2.2.5. Violence: Social Order, Discipline and Violence, an Uncomfortable Relation ...... 127 126.96.36.199. Un-Familying Children – A Generation Later ............................................... 129 188.8.131.52. Structural and Personal Violence, a Tight Interconnection ........................... 130 184.108.40.206. “Socializing” the Uncanny ............................................................................ 133 220.127.116.11. To Not Belong, and its Consequences ........................................................... 136 18.104.22.168.1 Non-Permanency ..................................................................................... 142 22.214.171.124. Violence Begets Violence .............................................................................. 145 126.96.36.199.1 Violence as Coping Mechanisms - from Hope to Hatred ....................... 148 188.8.131.52.2 The Ambach Boy .................................................................................... 152 vii 184.108.40.206.3 Self-Harm ................................................................................................ 154 220.127.116.11.4 The Killing .............................................................................................. 157 2.2.6. Daskind and Lacher ................................................................................................. 161 2.2.7. The Kellers – Conflating Large Discourses ............................................................. 166 18.104.22.168. World War II .................................................................................................. 167 22.214.171.124. A Postcolonial Reading ................................................................................. 173 2.3. DASKIND AND MIGNON: UNVEILING A SUBJUGATED HISTORY: LITERARY ALLUSION ............................................................................................................................ 182 2.3.1. A Brief Summary ..................................................................................................... 183 2.3.2. Mignon in the Reception .......................................................................................... 187 126.96.36.199. Mignon as a Failed Lover .............................................................................. 190 2.3.3. To Not Belong - A Recurring Theme ...................................................................... 196 188.8.131.52. From “Herr” to “Vater” ................................................................................. 198 184.108.40.206. From “Vater” to “Meister” ............................................................................ 201 220.127.116.11. Mignon, the “Verdingkind” ........................................................................... 205 18.104.22.168. “Herz” versus “Vernunft” .............................................................................. 208 22.214.171.124. “Bildung” ....................................................................................................... 211 126.96.36.199. Loss and to Not Belong ................................................................................. 214 188.8.131.52. Externalization: The “Zigeunermacher” (Making of “Gypsies”) .................. 217 2.3.4. Monster versus Role Model ..................................................................................... 221 2.4. MEHR’S WRITING TECHNIQUES .............................................................................. 224 2.4.1. Writing Devices ....................................................................................................... 225 184.108.40.206. Literature Reviews ......................................................................................... 225 220.127.116.11. Literary Devices ............................................................................................. 227 18.104.22.168.1 Literary Devices that Effect the Novel’s Structure ................................. 228 22.214.171.124.2 Other Literary Devices ............................................................................ 234 2.4.2. Dedication ................................................................................................................ 243 2.4.3. Structure and Composition ...................................................................................... 244 126.96.36.199. Chapters: Book of Revelation ........................................................................ 246 2.4.4. Setting: Geographical Locations and Historical Moments in Time ........................ 247 188.8.131.52. Timetable ....................................................................................................... 250 3. CONCLUSION ....................................................................................................................... 253 BIBLIOGRAPHY ....................................................................................................................... 264 viii APPENDIX A: FICTION CONTAINING WVHPKL/OHGFRI CHARACTERS .................... 293 ix LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1: Timeline ........................................................................................................................ 252 x ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I offer my enduring gratitude to the faculty and staff at both the Department of Central, Eastern and Northern European Studies (CENES), and the University of British Columbia, who have inspired me to continue my work in this field. I owe particular thanks to my supervisor Prof. Dr. Gaby Pailer and the committee members Prof. Dr. Thomas Salumets and Prof. Dr. Charlotte Schallié whose questions, invaluable feedback and support encouraged me to make a strong and rigorous statement and to lay the foundation for a new interdisciplinary field devoted to the study and representation of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people in order to explore history, society, literature, arts, media, politics and law from the perspective of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people. I gratefully acknowledge the funding I received towards my Ph.D. program and the completion of my dissertation, in the form of SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships, a University of BC Graduate Fellowship, Faculty of Arts Graduate Awards, Ph.D. Tuition Fee Awards, Eppich Family and German Speaking Community Fellowships, a Dr. Joyce Hallamore Scholarship, and a Dr. Marianne Rose Lourie-Jetter Memorial Scholarship. Special thanks are owed, in alphabetic order, to Lori Albert, Shari Bergman, Marla Britton, Zel Cowie, Jane Stanier and Bozena Zdaniuk, who have supported me throughout the Ph.D. program. 1 1. INTRODUCTION Es ist eine historische Katastrophe von unglaublichen Ausmassen. (It is a historical disaster of staggering magnitude.) Reinhard Siedler1 [B]ut it also seems to me that over and above, and arising out of this thematic, there is something else to which we are witness, and which we might describe as an insurrection of subjugated knowledges. Michel Foucault2 The in-depth and extensive examination of two world wars has made scholars of German literary studies highly sensitive to fictional characters who belong to minority groups, i.e. Jewish, Black, LGBT people as well as women, and to the history pertaining to these groups. The same level of awareness and socio-historical knowledge does, however, not yet exist when it comes to fictional characters who are, or have been, in the care of the state or community. Through the analysis of Mariella Mehr’s novel Daskind, this dissertation addresses that gap and aims to contribute to the international effort to recognize and acknowledge people who have grown up “in care,” and to the dissemination of their history. For these reasons, I continue this introduction with an introductory statement which is followed by a brief overview of the more recent history of recognitions, apologies and retribution payments. This provides readers with a first insight into the history of people who are, or have been in care, but also into the increasing recognition taking place in the extra-literary world of that group of people. In addition, this shows how important it is to investigate fictional characters, who are, or have been, “in care” through the lens of “their” history. In a next step, I examine the 1 Reinhard Siedler, Historikerkommission der Stadt Wien, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33yY3-xZmzk. 2 Michel Foucault, “Two Lectures,” in Michel Foucault, Power/Knowledge – Selected Interview and Other Writings 1972-1977, ed. Colin Gordon, trans. Colin Gordon and Leo Marshal (New York: Pantheon, 1980), 81. 2 terminologies currently in use to describe people who have grown up in “the care of the state or community.” I introduce the new acronyms WVHPKL (German), OHGFRI (English) so as to accurately and respectfully address the literary representatives of this very diverse group of people. I then provide a brief overview of German-language fiction and culturally important texts that contain characters, who are not, or were not, able to grow up within either any family of origin, or in a non-enforced adoptive family, and make a final text selection for this dissertation. I conclude the introductory chapter with a discussion of the theoretical framework I have chosen for this research project. 1.1. INTRODUCTORY STATEMENT The way children and youth in extrafamilial care are and have been treated in the Western world is the focus of an increasing number of studies outside the field of social work. This growing interest in the history and socio-cultural situation of this particular population is currently not reflected in literary studies analysing fiction, which contain characters that experience, or experienced, out-of-home care. The argument that this topic is adequately addressed by literary scholars who employ poverty theories is untenable when considering, for example, studies investigating the impact of “permanency” or more aptly “non-permanency” on children and their development, or the recent history of the reconciliation process between states and their (former) child and youth wards. My dissertation proceeds on the assumption that a new social sciences variable characterizing the status of “foster child” needs to be a seminal part of scholarly work analyzing fiction with characters who are, or have been, in extrafamilial care. I argue that currently used terms such as “foster child” or “foster care” are insufficient as a signifier 3 of this new variable, as these terms do not accurately describe these people’s diverse experiences and histories. Furthermore, I argue that this particular group needs to be examined within a new theoretical framework in order to understand the nature and dimensions of inequality this population has experienced, and continues to experience. There have always been, and in all likelihood will always be, children and youth who are not able or not allowed to grow up in either any kind of family of origin or in a non-enforced adoptive family. These children and youth rely on society’s generosity and goodwill. Common goals of child agencies are to provide safety, permanency and well being for all children, including those who are in care. While physical and sexual abuse as well as neglect have, in the West, increasingly become unacceptable and punishable by law, the abuse caused due to lack of permanency, in particular relational permanency but also physical and legal permanency, has not yet reached the same social and legal recognition. As early as the late nineteen sixties, psychological theorist John Bowlby developed the foundations of attachment theory to explain and understand human’s early social developments.3 Although a conservative with regard to whose responsibility it is to raise children, i.e. women’s, at the core of his findings lies the idea that children and adults need close social bonds for healthy development, and that child-care workers need to be trained accordingly. His research has since been confirmed beyond doubt and it is today recognized that children grow up best in nurturing and stable families. Despite the vast scientific evidence (in medicine and in neuroscience) of how vital relational permanency is for humans, most children in care are, to this day, exposed to repeated relational, physical and legal 3 John Bowlby, Attachment and Loss (New York: Basic Books, 1999). See also Jeremy Holmes, John Bowlby and attachment theory (New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis, 2014). 4 non-permanency.4 This is one of the crucial differences between children and youth in out-of-home care and their peers from low-income families, and it is one of the reasons why poverty theories are not able to properly explore the function and meaning of fictional characters who are or were in state or community care. 1.2. HISTORY of RECOGNITIONS, APOLOGIES and RETRIBUTION PAYMENTS A brief overview of the history of recognitions, apologies and retribution payments shows that this population has often been exploited, abused and been discriminated against beyond what the poor, as a socio-economic group made up of working poor and the underclass, or race and ethnicity based minorities, experienced.5 The following summary indicates furthermore that this treatment of children and youth in care took place in the entire Western world: 1980s During the second half of the nineteen eighties, and in the spirit of the emerging cultural turn, the first official apologies unrelated to World War II were made to minorities, whose children had been removed from their families and been placed in state care. Moreover, during that time period the first large-scale sum for expansive research into what is today also known as 4 The Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks has created an online document, which gives a concise overview and explanation on permanency. “Belonging 4 Ever: Creating Permanency for Youth in and from Care,” Federation of BC Youth in Care Networks, last modified 2010, accessed October 21, 2014, http://www.firstcallbc.org/pdfs/Transitions/2-permanency%20report.pdf. An interview between Mathias Rhode and Daniela Reimer gives some insight into the state of “permanency” in today’s foster care. Daniela Reimer and Mathias Rhode, “Interview zur ‘Siegener Erklärung,’” Internetzeitschrift des Landesverbandes für Kinder in Adoptiv- und Pflegefamilien S-H e.V. (KiAP) und der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Sozialberatung und Psychotherapie (AGSP) (2008), http://www.agsp.de/html/d360.html. 5 And in some cases continue to experience. 5 “the stealing of children” was made available, and retribution payments were made to former children in state care: 1986: The president of the Swiss Federal Council Alphons Egli issues an official apology for the injustice and suffering the Swiss Yenish6 people experienced at the hands of the project “Kinder der Landstrasse” (Children of the Country Road), particularly the removal of several hundred children from their families.7 The same year, the United Church of Canada formally apologizes to Canada’s First Nations’ people for “the church’s role in imposing European culture”8 on them. While the residential schools were not mentioned in the apology, it was clear that they were integral to the country’s overall assimilation policy.9 1987: The vice president of the Swiss charity organization Pro Juventute apologizes for the suffering the project “Kinder der Landstrasse” caused the children and their families. 1988: The Swiss parliament approves eleven million Swiss Francs for independent research into the removal of Yenish children and retribution payments, and grants a select group of researchers access to files and records documenting the process of assimilating the Yenish.10 1990s and Early 2000s During the nineteen nineties, several more Canadian church officials apologized for the churches’ role in the residential school system and for the abuse, pain, suffering and alienation that system caused Canada’s First Nations’ people.11 After this initial period of recognition, 6 The Yenish are a minority group, a group of Travelers, living in central Europe including in Switzerland. I introduce the group in more depth in later chapters and chapter sections. 7 “Pro Juventute – Chronologie der „Vergangenheitsbewältigung,” accessed June 10, 2014, http://www.projuventute.ch/fileadmin/kundendaten/projuventute/kinderDerLandstrasse/KiLa_Chronologie_lang_Erg _d.pdf. 8 “Right Relationships – United Church Apologies to First Nations People,” The United Church of Canada, last modified July 26, 2013, accessed April 18, 2014, http://www.united-church.ca/aboriginal/relationships/apologies. 9 “A Timeline of Residential Schools, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” CBC News, last modified March 25, 2014, accessed April 15, 2014, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/a-timeline-of-residential-schools-the-truth-and -reconciliation-commission-1.724434. 10 “Pro Juventute – Chronologie der „Vergangenheitsbewältigung,” accessed June 10, 2014, http://www.projuventute.ch/fileadmin/kundendaten/projuventute/kinderDerLandstrasse/KiLa_Chronologie_lang_Erg _d.pdf. 11 The Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate in 1991, the Anglican in 1993 and the United Church’s General Council executive in 1998. CBC News, „A Timeline of Residential Schools, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission,“ last modified March 25, 2014, accessed April 15, 2014, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/a-timeline-of-residential-schools-the-truth-and-reconciliation-commission-1.724434. 6 apologies, launching of research projects and allocation of retribution funds, the first apologies to former wards of the state who do not belong to an ethnic or racial minority were made: 1999: The Irish government offers a formal apology to the tens of thousands of victims of child abuse in the country’s vast “industrial (residential) schools system.” 12 This prompts a nine-year investigation into industrial schools, reformatories, orphanages and hostels that were run by the Irish Catholic church from the nineteen thirties to the nineteen nineties.13 1999 - Several Australian governments and religious authorities issue formal apolo- 2006: gizes for instances of past abuse and neglect to former state wards.14 2007: Canada begins the implementation of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), which includes retribution payments, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, commemoration and extensive research into several aspects of the residential school system. 2008 to Present The year 2008 marked the beginning of unprecedented numbers of official government apologies to former wards of states and their families: 2008: The Australian Prime Minister officially apologizes to Australian’s Indigenous people for the discrimination they suffered. Between 1909 and 1969/7015 12 Mary Raftery, “Ireland’s Magdalene laundry scandal must be laid to rest – Church, family and state were all complicit in the abuse of thousands of women. The UN is right, Ireland must investigate,” The Guardian, June 8, 2011, http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/jun/08/irealnd-magdalene-laundries-scandal-un. 13 Henry McDonald, “‘Endemic’ rape and abuse of Irish children in Catholic care, inquiry finds - Beatings and Humiliation by nuns and priests were common at institutions that held up to 30,000 children, Ryan report states,” The Guardian, May 20, 2009, http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/may/20/irish-catholic-schools-child-abuse-claims. The final report concludes, 30,000 children who were “deemed to be petty thieves, truants or from dysfunctional families – a category that often included unmarried mothers – were sent to Ireland’s austere network of industrial schools, reformatories, orphanages and hostels from the 1930 until the last facilities shut in the 1990s.” 14 “Facts and Statistics for Forgotten Australians,” VANISH – Victorian Adoption Network for Information and Self Help, accessed November 25, 2014, http://vanish.org.au/professionals/information/forgotten-australians. In August 2004, the Australian government released the following report: Forgotten Australian: A Report on Australians who experienced institutional or out-of-home care as children (Parliament of Australia, August 30, 2004), accessed November 26, 2014, http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community _ Affairs/Completed_inquiries/200407/inst_care/report/index. In 2002, Stadträtin Monika Stocker issues an apology to the victims of compulsory state measures such as compulsory sterilization, detainment without due process and removal of children. 15 Some sources set the end date to 1969, others to 1970. 7 approximately 20,000 to 25,000 aboriginal children were taken from their families and placed in government care.16 The Canadian Prime Minister apologizes on behalf of Canadians to Canada’s Residential School survivors and their families for the Indian residential school system.17 Between 1870 and 1996,18 about 150,000 Aboriginal, Inuit and Métis children were removed from their families and sent to residential schools.19 2009: Australian’s Prime Minister officially apologizes to the roughly 500,000 non-aboriginal former children and youth, who were removed from their families between the nineteen thirties and the nineteen seventies.20 The University of Melbourne admits to having done medical research on children and youth in state care without their consent, and apologizes for these actions.21 16 This is an estimate by Australian historian Robert Manne. Manne, “In Denial: The Stolen Generations and the Right” Quarterly Essay (April 1, 2001). The apology was made in February 2008: “Apology to Australia’s Indigenous People,” Australian Government, accessed September 21, 2014, http://australia.gov.au/about-australia/our -country/our-people/apology-to-australias-indigenous-peoples. 17 “The Residential School System,” University of British Columbia, Indigenous Foundations, May 2, 2014, accessed, October 14, 2014, http://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/government-policy/the-residential-school-system .html. The apology was made in June 2008. 18 “Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s statement of apology - Indian Residential School survivors,” CBC News, June 11, 2008, accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2008/06/11/pm-statement.html. 19 “Prime Minister Harper offers full apology on behalf of Canadians for the Indian Residential School System,” Statement of Apology. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, last modified June 11, 2008, accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100015644/1100100015649. 20 This number includes the former migrant children shipped from Britain to Australia; some of them were taken out of the country without the parents’ consent. Wolfsburger Allgemeine, “Bewegende Entschuldigung für frühere Heimkinder in Australien,” November 16, 2009, accessed June 10, 2014, http://www.waz-online .de/Nachrichten/Politik/Deutschland-Welt/Bewegende-Entschuldigung-fuer-fruehere-Heimkinder-in-Australien. Thomas Huonker states: “Vertreter der Aborigines und Menschenrechtsaktivisten aus der Mehrheitsbevölkerung lancierten in der Folge den seit 1997 am 26. Mai gefeierten National Sorry Day. Doch erst anlässlich der Eröffnung des Parlaments am 13. Februar 2008 entschuldigte sich der australische Premierminister Kevin Rudd, ein Politiker der Labor Party, formell bei den Aborigines, was sein konservativer Vorgänger John Howard stets verweigert hatte. Rudd sagte: „Today we honour the Indigenous people...” Huonker, “Ein internationaler Vergleich von Formen der Aufarbeitung und diesbezüglichen finanziellen Regelungen gegenüber Kindern, die als Fremdplatzierte Misshandlungen und Missbrauch ausgesetzt waren,” (paper presented at Schweizerische Geschichtstage 2013, Universität Fribourg, 7.-9. Februar 2013), accessed November 25, 2014, http://www.thata.ch/aufarbeitung_und_entschaedigung._heimkinder_internationaler_vergleich_vortrag_t_huonker _fribourg_7februar2013.pdf. Lori Oschefski, “Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd – 2009, apology to the migrant children sent to Australia,” British Home Children in Canada, accessed May 21, 2014, http://canadianbritishhomechildren.weebly.com /australian-apology.html. Canada saw no need to issue an official apology to their British child migrants. Oschefski, “Canada doesn’t plan child migrant apology.” British Home Children in Canada. Accessed May 21, 2014. http://canadianbritishhomechildren.weebly.com/canadian-apology.html. 21 Bridie Smith, “Melbourne Uni says sorry for trials on orphans,” The Age - National, November 8, 2009, accessed October 21, 2014, http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/melbourne-uni-says-sorry-for-trials-on-orphans -20091117-ikc9.html. Medical research on WVHPKL/OHGFRI children and youth was a common practice. In 2012, the newspaper Süddeutsche reports that up to the nineteen sixties, children and youth in Austrian children’s and youth’s homes were used for medical experiments. Cathrin Kahlweit, “Röntgenstrahlen zur Beruhigung,” Süddeutsche, February 14, 2012, accessed April 23, 2012, http://www.sueddeutsche.de/panorama/skandal-um-oesterreichische-kinderheime-roentgenstrahlen-zur-beruhigung-1.1284162. There are similar reports from overseas. Anne Dachel, “The Perils of Testing Vaccines on Children and Infants,” Age of Autism, accessed January 6, 2015, 8 2010: The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom issues an official apology for the shameful British child settlement program. From 1608 to 1967, an estimated 150,000 children were dispatched to Britain’s colonies, the majority, about 100,000, to Canada.22 The same year, the Anglican Church of Australia sincerely apologizes to the children whose experiences in institutional and out-of-home care provided by the Anglican Church caused them hurt, distress and harm.23 After two years of round table discussions, Germany recognizes that approximately 800,000 children and youth, who were in state and church care between 1945 and 1975, were mistreated and abused, as well as exploited as free labourers.24 Austrian historian Horst Schreiber and his research team publish the same year similar results (except for the numbers) for Tirol and conclude that their research is representative for all of Austria.25 The Swiss Minister of Justice Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf issues an official apology to the “Administrativ Versorgten.” That is, to people who were put into prison and psychiatric clinics without due process, between 1941 and 1981.26 2011: The Kanton Bern is the first to issue an official apology to the Swiss “Verdingkinder” (contracted-out children).27 2012: Switzerland prepares the legal documents for rehabilitating the “Administrativ Versorgten.”28 http://www.ageofautism.com/2011/11/the-perils-of-testing-vaccines-on-children-and-infants.html. M. E. Blumering documents the development of a vaccine for smallpox, which was first tested on children from Austrian and Russian foundling homes. M. E. Blumering, Ueber Findelhäuser als Quelle der Schutzpocken-Impfung und die Reform der Impfgesetze (Leipzig: B.G. Teubner, 1865). 22 Oschefski, British Home Children in Canada, “Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd - 2009 apology to the migrant children sent to Australia,” accessed May 21, 2014, http://canadianbritishhomechildren.weebly.com /australian-apology.html. The apology was made in February of 2010. 23 “Apologies,” Alliance for Forgotten Australians, last modified May 6, 2014, accessed November 26, 2014, http://www.forgottenaustralians.org.au/apologies.html. 24Thomas Faltin, “Prügel bis die Seele bricht,” Stuttgarter Zeitung, March 3, 3013, accessed October 21, 2014, http://www.stuttgarter-zeitung.de/inhalt.kinderheime-in-der-nachkriegszeit-pruegel-bis-die-seele-bricht.c3d5ed02 -68bf-42e3-a6a1-84bb7b586e14.html. Freia Peters, “Die unbarmherzigen Erzieher der Nachkriegszeit – Prügel, Missbrauch und Zwangsarbeit: Nach jahrzehntelangem Schweigen soll die Heimerziehung zwischen 1945 und 1975 aufgearbeitet werden,” Die Welt, November 28, 2008, accessed October 21, 2014, http://www.welt.de/welt_print/article2795104/Die-unbarmherzigen -Erzieher-der-Nachkriegszeit.html. Oliver Trenkamp, “Elternversagen, Zahl der Heimkinder steigt,” SpiegelOnline, September 25, 2012, accessed October 21, 2014, http://www.spiegel.de/schulspiegel/wissen/betreutes-wohnen-mehr-kinder-kommen-ins-heim-a -857864.html. It is estimated that 500,000 of the 800,000 were placed in the former GDR. 25 Johann-August-Malin-Gesellschaft – Historischer Verein für Vorarlberg, “25.1.2012 / ORF-Bericht zum Vortrag von Horst Schreiber – Heimerziehung in Tirol und Vorarlberg,” January 25, 2012, accessed May 29, 2014, http://www.malingesellschaft.at/aktuell/medienarbeit-1/25.01.2012-missbrauch-historische-aufarbeitung-laeuft. 26 Verein RAV-IA 1942-1983 – Rehabilitierung der Administrativ Versorgten / Réhabilitations des Internés Administratifs, accessed May 12, 2014, http://www.administrativ-versorgte.ch/. 27 Clara O’Dea, “Bern entschuldigt sich bei Verdingkindern,” swissInfo.ch – International Service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, March 21, 2011, accessed October 14, 2014, http://www.swissinfo.ch/ger/bern -entschuldigt-sich-bei-verdingkindern/29794854. 9 2013: In January, the Swiss monastery “Ingenbohlen” asks for forgiveness for the suffering and abuse child and youth wards experienced while in their care between 1928 and 1970.29 In February, the city of Zurich apologizes to its own “Administrative Versorgten.” 30 In April, Swiss Federal Council member Simonetta Sommaruga, national church representative Markus Büchel, the presedient of the farmers association and other cantonal and communal representatives issue an official apology to the victims of compulsory government measures. In October, Switzerland allocates victim compensation for those who were placed in psychiatric clinics and prisons without due process. 31 Ireland’s Prime Minister apologizes to women, who as children and youth were, between 1758 and 1966, often under false pretense institutionalized in “Magdalene Laundries,” where they had to work for free.32 2014: Germany increases the overall budget for former German Democratic Republic (GDR) “Heimkinder” (children in residential institutions), who experienced abuse and exploitation while in the state’s care.33 Switzerland establishes a “Soforthilfefonds” (Immediate-Aid-Fonds) for former “Verdingkinder.”34 Pope Francis asks victims of sexual abuse for forgiveness.35 28 Verein RAV-IA 1942-1983 – Rehabilitierung der Administrativ Versorgten / Réhabilitations des Internés Administratifs, accessed May 12, 2014, http://www.administrativ-versorgte.ch/. 29 Ingenbohler Schwestern in Kinderheimen - Erziehungspraxis und institutionelle Bedingungen unter besonderer Berücksichtigung von Rathausen und Hohenrain. Schlussbericht der Unabhängigen Expertenkommission 23. Januar 2013. Accessed September 14, 1914. http://www.kinderheime-schweiz.ch/de/pdf/ingenbohler_schwestern_in _kinderheimen_schlussbericht_expertenkommission_23januar2013.pdf. 30 Huonker, “Dunkle Kapitel der Geschichte,” Kinderheime in der Schweiz, Historische Aufarbeitung, accessed October 21, 2014, http://www.kinderheime-schweiz.ch/de/index.php. Tages Anzeiger, “Zürcher Regierung entschuldigt sich bei ‘administrativ Versorgten,’” February 22, 2013, accessed October 21, 2014, http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/zuerich/region/Zuercher-Regierung-entschuldigt-sich-bei-administrativ-Versorgten/story /13794475. 31 Tagesschau, “Verdingkinder und Zwangsversorgte: Opfer sollen Soforthilfe erhalten,” October 25, 2013, accessed September 21, 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kohZWI_MJDw&feature=youtu.be. 32 This was Ireland’s means of taking care of their so called “fallen women,” no matter how old, and whether these young girls were acting up or ended up being pregnant because of abuse. They too had to give up their children, and they had to work for free in the laundries. The last Magdalene Asylum closed, in Ireland, in 1996. Raftery, “Ireland’s Magdalene laundry scandal must be laid to rest – Church, family and state were all complicit in the abuse of thousands of women. The UN is right, Ireland must investigate.” 33 Tagesschau, “Hilfsfonds aufgestockt. Mehr Geld für DDR-Heimkinder,” February 25, 2014, accessed March 6, 2014, http://www.tagesschau.de/inland/heimkind-fonds100.html. Austria has not yet given any official apologizes. 34 In January 2014, the Swiss government released a list of criteria defining who is eligible for “immediate” retribution payments. “Fürsorgliche Zwangsmassnahmen: Runder Tisch legt Kriterien der Soforthilfe fest,” (Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, January 29, 2014), accessed November 26, 2014, https://www.news.admin.ch/dokumentation /00002/00015/?lang=de&msg-id=51852. Manuela Hess, “Niemand wird sein Leid beweisen müssen,” Jungfrau Zeitung, January 30, 2014, accessed, October 21, 2014, http://www.kinderheime-schweiz.ch/de/pdf/niemand_wird_sein_leid_beweisen_muessen_jungfrau_zeitung _ 30januar2014.pdf. 10 Switzerland’s pharma industry recognizes its co-responsibility with financial contribution to a fund for former victims. Medical research was undertaken on children, youth and adults without their consent in psychiatric clinics, until the nineteen seventies.36 In addition to these official recognitions, apologizes and retribution payments, other actions are taken to acknowledge what transpired and to prevent repeating past wrongs: Statute of limitations are discussed, trials dealing with abuse and exploitation are held,37 retribution payments are being made or demanded, a broad range of research projects are underway and continue to be drawn up, files are being saved for future generations and made accessible to former children in state care, as well as to researchers, galleries and museums show exhibitions addressing aspects of “foster care,”38 documentaries are made,39 and permanent exhibitions, memorials40 and mainstream movies dealing with the topic of past and current state care are created and well received.41 35Regina Kerner, “Missbrauch: Papst bitter Opfer um Vergebung,” Frankfurter Rundschau, July 7, 2014, accessed October 14, 2014, http://www.fr-online.de/missbrauch/missbrauch-papst-bittet-opfer-um-vergebung,1477336 , 27738202.html. 36 Markus Föhn, “Pharma zahlt an Opfer,” Beobachter, August 22, 2014, accessed October 14, 2014, http://www.kinderheime-schweiz.ch/de/pdf/22.8.14_Beobachter_-_Pharma_zahlt_an_Opfer.pdf. 37St. Galler Tagblatt, “13 Jahre Haft für Kinderschänder – Kleinkindererzieher verurteilt,” January 23, 2014, http://www.kinderheime-schweiz.ch/de/pdf/13_jahre_haft_fuer_kinderschaender_kleinkindererzieher_verurteilt _22jan2014.pdf. 38 So for example: The Swiss traveling exhibition about contracted-out children and other children in “care,” “Enfances volées – Verdingkinder reden.” “Birthday Party,” an art installation at the University of British Columbia, 2014. “Guido Fluri Stiftung – Ausstellung Verding- und Heimkinder.” 17. October 2011 Internationaler Tag gegen Armut & Ausgrenzung. YouTube video, 7:08. Posted November 7, 2011, www.youtube.com/watch?v =6DZHKil_moc. The Gedenkstätte in Mümliswil is Swiss children’s home turned museum and memorial. The “British Home Child” exhibition in Aultsville Train Station, Ontario, September 28, 2012. Canada declared the 2010 the “Year of British Home Children.” Many former institutions have been turned into memorials, so for example, the Mädchenheim Fuldatal, Hessen, Germany. 39 For example, Verdingkinder directed by Peter Neumann (Switzerland, 2003). Wards of the Crown directed by Andrée Cazamone (Canada, 2005). 40 For example, the Gedenkstätte in Mümliswil, Switzerland. 41 So for example: Philomena, directed by Stephen Frears (USA, 2013); Short Term 12, directed by Destin Daniel Cretton (2013, USA); the documentary Und alle haben geschwiegen, directed by Anja Kindler and Gesine Müller (Germany, 2013), which is based on journalist Peter Wensierski’s book Schläge im Namen des Herrn (München: Spiegel-Buchverlag, 2006); the documentary Forever Family, directed by Catherine Pope (Canada, 2012); Der Verdingbub, directed by Markus Imboden (Switzerland, 2011); Finding a Family, directed by Mark Jean (USA, 2011). As well as the British-Irish crime drama and TV miniseries Quirke. 11 The fact that governments, Churches and private organizations have taken such extensive responsibility for what happened to this group of people in the twentieth century and beyond is a testimony to the magnitude of past injustice inflicted on wards of states and communities.42 1.3. TERMINOLOGY: DISAMBIGUATION The fictional characters discussed in this dissertation are not only children and youth figures, who are or were in care, their ascribed experiences, furthermore represent very diverse practices of out-of-home care. A term that accurately describes these characters’ experiences does currently not exist in either German or English language.. A clear distinction is today made in German-language Europe between child and youth wards who had to work for their keep and those who did not. Depending on the region and type of work, children who had to work were not only known as “Pflegekinder” (foster children) but also as “Verdingkinder,”43 “Haltekinder,”44 “Schwabenkinder,”45 “Tirolerkinder,”46 “Windekinder,”47 “Fabrikkinder” (factory children) and so on. Currently, the term “Pflegekind” (foster child) is used for children placed with foster families, and the term “Heimkind” (home-child) for children in state run institutions, which in English are also known as children and youth’s homes. In the last century48 Austria, Germany and Switzerland provided, in addition to foster families, a wide 42 For more information, see, for example, Huonker’s website, “Kinderheime in der Schweiz – Historische Aufarbeitung,” accessed November 26, 2014, http://www.kinderheime-schweiz.ch/de/index.php. 43 This expression was used in Switzerland, and in “Mitteldhochdeutsch” (Middle High German) and “Althochdeutsch” (Old High German). 44 This expression was used in Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein and Switzerland. 45 This expression was used in Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Germany; children from these alp regions wandered to Oberschwaben to work, or be sold as contracted-out children. 46 This expression was used in Austria, Italy, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Germany. 47 This expression was used in Switzerland and Germany. 48 Some of these types of children and youth’s homes existed already in previous centuries, some still exist today. 12 range of state-run institutions for child and youth wards. So, for example, “Waisenhäuser” (orphanages), “Säuglingsheime” (children’s homes for newborns and toddlers), “Kleinkinderheime” (children’s homes for pre-school children), “Kinderheime” (children’s homes for school-aged children), “Sonderheime” (special needs children’s homes), “Jugendheime” (youth’s homes), “Jugendgruppen” (group homes for youth), “Mädchenheime” (homes for girls), “Knabenheime” (homes for boys), “Heime für schwererziehbare Jugendliche” (reformatories), “Heime für gefallene Mädchen” (homes for fallen girls), and “Erziehungsanstalten” or “Erziehungsheime.” The latter were houses of correction and prison-like institutions for children and youth who could neither be placed in a reformatory nor in a regular children’s or youth’s home.49 The terms “Normalkinderheim” (regular children’s home) and “Spezialheim” (special children’s home) were another way institutions for children and youth were classified. 50 Furthermore, “Kinderheime” as well as “Jugendheime” were, and still are, divided into those that are “geschlossen” (closed) and those that are not “closed.” Closed children and youth’s homes differ from regular ones in several ways. As the name suggests, residents of closed homes do not leave the premises to attend public school or kindergarten. Instead, they attend the institution’s own educational facilities. By contrast, children and youth placed in not closed children and youth’s homes attend public kindergarten and schools. To ensure that residents of closed children and youth’s homes comply with the house rules, the young charges are not allowed any contact with the outside world for a prolonged period of time. To a lesser degree, this is also the case in 49 “Erziehungsanstalten” or “Erziehungsheime” served, and still serve, furthermore, as overflow options if no suitable “Heim” placement was, and is, available. 50 Trauma Umerziehung DDR – Jugendwerkholf,” http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek#/beitrag/video/2247958/ Trauma-Umerziehung:Heimkinder-in-der-DDR (ZDF, Medien). 13 regular children and youth’ homes.51 Closed children and youth’s homes are today classified as residential school institutions by many researchers.52 English-language Canada, the United States and Britain currently use the term foster child as an umbrella term for all children and youth in state care, no matter whether they are in group homes or foster families.53 Regarding the institutions that house these children and youth, the Anglophone world categorizes them as “orphanages,” “residential schools,” “reformatories” and “homes for fallen girls.” In addition, studies have identified special groups of child and youth wards, such as the First Nations residential school children and the British Home Children. While the meaning of some of the English and the German terms overlap, many do not. The translation challenges between English and German terminology describing children and youth in state or community care become even more complex when analyzing German-language fiction that was written before the twentieth century. Therefore, in order to accurately convey in English what the German novel explores, through its many historical, international, socio-cultural and literary allusions, I would like to propose a new terminology. 51 In the nineteen eighties, for example, it was still common practice that children and youth in not closed homes were not allowed any outside contact for three months, including no contact with family members or former caregivers. 52 So for example: Sarah Lyall, “Report details Abuses in Irish Reformatories,” The New York Times, May 20, 2009, accessed June 15, 2014. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/21/world/europe/21ireland.html? pagewanted=all&_r=0. Mary Raftery uses too, uses the term residential schools when talking about Ireland’s Magdalene laundries. In: Raftery, “Ireland’s Magdalene laundry scandal must be laid to rest – Church, family and state were all complicit in the abuse of thousands of women. The UN is right, Ireland must investigate.” 53 A Third World child, who is financially supported by somebody in the West, is also called a foster child. 14 1.3.1. “Familienlos” (Family-Less) and “Un-Familied” In German, the term “familienlos” (family-less) describes children and youth whose parents are permanently or temporarily unable or not permitted to look after them.54 Current and former wards have reclaimed the word and describe themselves as “familienlos.”55 The term signifies that it does not matter whether the status family-less was reached by government intervention or by abandonment, by illness or death of one or both parents, by the unwillingness of relatives to take in a child, or for any other reason. The term “familienlos” acknowledges the existence and predicaments of social orphans, and is used by professionals working with and writing about children and youth in care.56 Furthermore, the term signifies the notion that “family” is more than being related by blood as, for example, successful adoptions show. By translating the term “familienlos” to English and by coining a new term, namely “family-less,” I am able to express more concisely and more exactly the experiences and contradictions that the analyzed characters navigate. There appears to exist no corollary in the English language that expresses these experiences and contradictions in one word.57 54 Orphans are generally identified and named as such, and not as “familienlos.” 55 For example, Kerstin Schulz, “Heimkinder-Demo: Viele haben Angst, auch heute noch,” SpielgelOnline, April 15, 2010, accessed July 18, 2014, http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/gesellschaft/heimkinder-demo-viele-haben-angst -auch-heute-noch-a-689262.html. Also, Ralf Bär and Dag Bär interviewed by Ursula Bär/Baer, 1983. 56 Manfred Kappeler, Die Heimerziehung der 40er- bis 70er-Jahre im Spiegel der Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kinder- und Jugendhilfe – AGJ – Diskussionen – Stellungnahmen – Ausblendungen (Berlin: Arbeitsgemeinschaft für Kinder- und Jugendhilfe, 2011), accessed November 27, 2014, http://www.agj.de/fileadmin/Studie_Heimerziehung_ Endgueltige-Fassung_250311.pdf. Robert Fuchs, “»Und keiner hat sich gekümmert!« Dokumentation zur Geschichte der Bremer Heimerziehung 1945 - 1975,” Arbeitskreis zur Aufarbeitung der Heimerziehung im Land Bremen, 2012, accessed November 27, 2014, http://www.soziales.bremen.de/sixcms/media.php/13/Dokumentation_Ehemalige %20Heimkinder_verlinkt.26258.pdf. Maximilian Rieländer, “Sozialwaisen – Kleinkinder ohne Familie – Auswirkung von Hospitalismus,” Für eine Zeitschrift der “Gesellschaft für Sozialwaisen” (GeSo) (Münster 1982), accessed November 27, 2014, http://www.psychologische-praxis.rielaender.de/Literatur/Hospitalismus.pdf. 57 This contradiction is reflected in the German and English compound words, “familienlos” and “family-less.” Both the German and the English term share a common Latin root “familia,” whose original meanings includes a broadly defined family in the sense of kinship community, which includes household servants, hands and slaves. With the development of the nuclear family in the eighteenth and nineteenth century in central Europe, however, the notion of blood relation and the community of one or both parent(s) and at least one child came into use in both English and German. In regard to the suffixes, early Gothic, Old and Middle High German, Old Saxon and Old English meanings 15 When considering relational, physical58 and legal non-permanency, which are common experiences of child and youth wards, the expression “un-familied” proves to be fruitful. The experience of being un-familied can also be due to government actions, illness or death of caregivers, abandonment and so on. The identity of family-less and un-familied children or youth characters are constituted by contradictions, which are not expressed in the same way by the term “foster child,” as they are by the expressions “familienlos,” “family-less” and “un-familied.” The child and youth ward figures exist in the analyzed text(s) without society’s acknowledgement of their particular losses and marginalization, and by the very simple fact that they are without family in communities where the family grouping is assumed – as do the real-life children and youth they represent. This is a further reason why poverty theories cannot adequately explain the reality of growing up in extrafamilial care. 1.3.2. The Acronyms WVHPKL/OHGFRI “Foster child,” the term most commonly used in English, and the German “Pflegekind” are prescriptive terms.59 When considered literally, they negate the negative experiences a child or youth may have while in care, as well as the potential long-term consequences such an upbringing may have for the individual. The terms “familienlos,” “family-less” and “un-familied” are to a of the suffix “-los,” respectively “-less (-leas)” circle around the negative, such as, empty, vain, false, feigned, nothing, loose, weak, immoral, without, they also include the meaning “free,” “free from” and “happy.” In a modern understanding, both the German “-los” and the English “-less” lean towards the negative, indicating the “lack” or “loss” of something, signifying and connoting aspects such as “without,” “less,” “bad,” “little” etc. 58 Physical non-permanency includes, for example, displacement and new placements. 59 The interconnection between “Verdingkind,” “Heimkind” and “Pflegekind” is reflected in legislature and legal language. To this day, the term “Pflegekind” is in law used for any child and youth placed in any form of institutions, including children’s homes, group homes, residential schools, reformatories as well as children and youth placed with foster families. 16 certain degree “reactive” terms. They too are prescriptive. These terms describe the challenges and losses children and youth encounter while growing up outside of their family of origin or outside of a non-enforced adoptive families. However, these expressions negate positive care experiences. Following the example of the LGBT60 community, I introduce the new acronym WVHPKL, which stands for “Waisenkind” (orphan), “Verdingkind” (contracted-out child), “Heimkind” (children and youth growing up in children and youth’s homes or institutions), “Pflegekind” (foster child), and “Kinder der Landstrasse” (children of the project Children of the Country Road”). A comparable acronym in English would be OHGFRI, which stands for “orphans,” “British Home children,” “group home children,” “foster children,” “residential school children,” and children and youth in institutions. The acronyms offer several advantages to the German and English terms “Pflegekind” (foster child), “familienlos” (family-less) and “un-familied.” Most importantly, the acronyms are descriptive and therefore encompass negative as well as positive ward of the state experiences. Furthermore, they acknowledge a much broader range of lived experiences than the terms “Pflegekind” and “foster child.” A “Heimkind,” for example, does not have foster parents. Instead s/he has caretakers, who work in shifts and leave after their time is up. A “Verdingkind” did in most cases not have foster parents either. These children were, for a certain period of time, “owned” by their “masters” and had to work for their keep. In addition, the term “familienlos” has been used and continues to be used, as I will show, to represent the ideology that only certain types of families are considered “a family”: children from so-called “undesirable families” were taken from their parent/s, put into state care, and 60 The acronym LGBT stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transsexual. Most recently, an “A” has been added for “Asexual,” this expands the acronym to LGBTA. 17 declared family-less. Moreover, in many cases, residents of “closed” and “not-closed” institutions were placed in state care against the will of their parent/s to ensure the children would follow the dominant culture’s way of life rather than their parent/s’ lifestyle. By not using an acronym that represents as many of the extrafamilial care experiences that are known, society denies WVHPKL/OHGFRI61 people their long and rich history, their personal experiences and their identity. In a similar way, the use of the term “gay” to describe all LGBT people denies the history and lived experience of lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people. While it would be easier to use either the German or the English acronym throughout the dissertation, the two acronyms do not fully signify the same. I employ the combination of the German and the English acronyms WVHPKL/OHGFRI as main term in my research because this dissertation, which is written in English, analyzes a German-language novel, which has not yet been translated into English, and because the German novel contains allusions, which establish links to English “texts.” I use the terms “family-less” and “un-familied” when talking about more specific aspects of WVHPKL/OHGFRI figures’ experiences. When talking about how farmers and other families received a child to “care for,” I will employ the term “foster child” but will put this signifier inside quotation marks to underscore how inaccurate this expression is for the specific situation. The terms “foster” and “care,” and the combination “foster care,” after all, do imply positive and nourishing care taking, and not the reality this status held, and continues to hold for many WVHPKL/OHGFRI children and youth. 61 Consequently, I also propose that the simplifying, inaccurate and prescriptive term “foster care” is replaced with the acronym WVHPKL/OHGFRI care. In addition, although the acronyms are long, to shorten them to “VHP” in German and “HIF” in English would exclude experiences that are historically specifically linked to ethnic and racial groups. “VHP” would stand for children and youth that were, or are, in “Verdingung,” “Heimen und Institutionen,” and “Pflegefamilien.” HIF would stand for children and youth who were, or are, “Canada’s Home Children” and other contracted-out children, children and youth in various institutions including group homes, and children and youth in foster families. 18 Although neither the acronyms WVHPKL/OHGFRI nor the term “familienlos” are used in the main narrative I analyze, nor in the alluded to texts, my use thereof as well as of “un-familied” to name the experiences explored in Daskind and in texts that are relevant for the novel, does not constitute a reiterative appropriation of injurious speech in the Butlerian62 sense. On the contrary, my use of the acronyms, of “un-familied” and of “family-less” as the English translation of “familienlos” signifies a performative act that re-identifies these characters. Moreover, in doing so I argue that the analyzed text/s signify locations of radical openness and possibilities, in the sense of Bell Hooks’ writings about the margin.63 1.4. TEXT SELECTION Fictional texts as far back as Oedipus Rex, the Bible64 and the Norse and Icelandic Sagas are an indication that children who are not able or not allowed to grow up within their family or “house” of origin, and the reasons thereof, have long been part of society’s cultural reflection. A cursory review of German-language literature reveals that many authors include WVHPKL/OHGFRI characters in their texts. Among them are, for example, Hartmann von der Aue (1160/70-1210/20), Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), Friedrich von Schiller (1759-1805), Heinrich von Kleist (1777-1811), Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797-1848), Jeremias Gotthelf (1797-1854), Adalbert Stifter (1805-1868), Bertold Auerbach (1812-1882), Georg Büchner (1813-1837), Louise von François (1817-1893), Theodor Fontane (1819-1898), Gottfried Keller (1819-1890), Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach (1830-1916), Wilhelm Raabe (1831- 62 Judith Butler, excitable speech – A Politics of the Performative (New York: Routledge, 1997). 63 Bell Hooks, “Choosing the Margin as a Space of Radical Openness,” in yearning, race, and gender politics (Boston MA: South End Press, 1990), 145-153. 64 The story of Moses, Exodus 2:1-2.10. 19 1910), Frank Wedekind (1864-1918), Jakob Wassermann (1873-1934), Thomas Mann (1875-1955), Carl Albert Loosli (1877-1959), Lena Christ (1881-1920), Cécile Ines Loos (1883-1959), Friedrich Glauser (1896-1939), Emmy Moor (1900-1979), Max Frisch (1911-1991), Arthur Honegger (*1924), Siegfried Lenz (1926-2014), Peter Handke (*1942), Mariella Mehr (*1947), Patrick Süskind (*1949), Martina Borger (*1956) and Maria Elisabeth Straub (*1943), Aglaja Veteranyi (1962-2002), Mirijam Günter (*1972) and Zoë Jenny (*1974). This is by no means a complete list, and does not include fairy tales, children and youth books, as well as autobiographies. In fact, many previously forgotten texts with WVHPKL/OHGFRI characters continue to be rediscovered, and new narratives exploring the topic of growing up as a ward of the state or community are being written. Nevertheless, literary scholars have paid little attention to WVHPKL/OHGFRI figures as a group of their own with a unique social position and history. An overview of texts by the above-mentioned authors reveals that the WVHPKL/OHGFRI child figure is overwhelmingly portrayed as an, in the literal sense, asocial as well as antisocial character. For example, some WVHPKL/OHGFRI child figures are not able to embrace the cultural codes and expectations of their foster environment,65 others are not treated as equal to the children related by blood,66 some are exploited as cheap labourers and maltreated,67 others lack proper speech and cognition,68 some commit suicide,69 die of illness,70 vanish71 or are 65 Der grüne Heinrich (1854/55; 1879/80) by Gottfried Keller; Die letzte Reckenburgerin (1871) by Louise von François; Woyzeck (1879) by Georg Büchner; Kinder der Landstrasse (1987) by Mariella Mehr; Andorra (1961) by Max Frisch; Der Ruf des Muschelhorns (2000) by Zoë Jenny, Kleine Schwester (2002) by Martina Borger and Maria Elisabeth Straub. 66 Norse and Icelandic Sagas (~1222); Frisch, Andorra; Keller, Der grüne Heinrich. 67 Der Bauernspiegel (1837) by Jeremias Gotthelf, Das Gemeindekind (1887) by Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Mathias Bicheler (1920) by Lena Christ, Die Judenbuche (1842) by Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Anstaltsleben (1924) by Carl Albert Loosli, Die Fertigmacher (1974) by Arthur Honegger, Der Gerichtssaal spricht (1944) by Emmy Moor. 68 Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795/97) by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; Keller, Der grüne Heinrich; Daskind (1995) by Mariella Mehr; Kaspar Hauser (1908) by Jakob Wassermann; Kaspar (1967) by Peter Handke; Droste- 20 murdered,72 others are the bearer of malediction and bad luck,73 some commit sibling incest or mother-son incest,74 and others are portrayed as prostitutes,75 drunks,76 thieves, aggressors77 or murderers.78 In comparison, WVHPKL/OHGFRI child and youth characters who, as adults enter into non-incestuous marriage, or marry at all, are portrayed in only four of the reviewed texts. All four are from the nineteenth century. 79 Three of the four characters are female. If WVHPKL/OHGFRI characters are not drawn up as representatives of negative outcomes, they are constructed as role models.80 When looking at these texts diachronically, a diminishing social status can be traced. Starting with Oedipus and reading forward in time until the nineteenth century, there exists a change in the birth status of WVHPKL/OHGFRI child characters, from children of kings, to children of the nobility, to bourgeois, to petit bourgeois. From the mid nineteenth century onward, WVHPKL/OHGFRI child figures are the offspring of the landless, the poor, the fallen, the whore and the criminal. In the second half of the twentieth century, literature depicting WVHPKL/OHGFRI child characters focuses less on the child character’s class background and more on contemporary issues, such as “Verdingkinder,” war children, children of “Gypsies,” Hülshoff, Die Judenbuche; Warum das Kind in der Polenta kocht (2000) by Aglaja Veteranyi; Das Parfum (1985) by Patrick Süskind; Der Ruf des Muschelhorns. 69 Süskind, Das Parfum; Arnes Nachlaß (1999) by Siegfried Lenz; Heim (2004) by Mirijam Günter. 70 Ebner-Eschenbach, Das Gemeindekind; Keller, Der Grüne Heinrich; Goethe, Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre; François, Die Letzte Reckenburgerin. 71 Droste-Hülshoff, Die Judenbuche, Katzensilber (1853) by Adalbert Stifter; Lenz, Arnes Nachlaß. 72 Stifter, Katzensilber; Lulu (1904/1913) by Frank Wedekind; Frisch, Andorra; Günter, Heim. 73 Der Findling (1811) by Heinrich von Kleist; Demetrius (1815) by Friedrich Schiller. 74 König Ödipus by Sophokles (~442BC); Gregorius (~1200) by Hartmann von der Aue; Der Erwählte (1951) by Thomas Mann. 75 Wedekind, Lulu. 76 François, Die letzte Reckenburgerin. 77 Mehr, Daskind; Süskind, Parfum; Günter, Heim. 78 Sophokles, Ödipus; Wedekind, Lulu; Süskind, Das Parfum. 79 Vor dem Sturm (1878) by Theodor Fontane; Barfüssele (1856) by Berthold Auerbach; Hastenbeck (1899) by Wilhelm Raabe; François, Die letzte Reckenburgerin. 80 So for example in Ebner-Eschenbach, Das Gemeindekind; Goethe, Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre; Auerbach, Barfüssele; Gotthelf, Bauernspiegel. 21 children of immigrants and children of single parents. Within the reviewed texts, some of the issues addressed are specific to a certain socio-historical environment, e.g. being a foundling of royal descent. Other themes are reccurring, such as lack of cognitive and language abilities, identity, belonging, sibling incest, poverty, racialization of class, being orphaned, or being abandoned. WVHPKL/OHGFRI figures, fictional as well as real world ones, permeate the boundaries implied in the terminology-complex “private and public,” and upset the “natural” and “normal” order of child rearing, that is, of being familied. Texts with WVHPKL/OHGFRI characters investigate norms, normality and alterity. In this regard, these texts investigate socio-political aspects and ponder ideas and ideologies.81 1.4.1. Daskind (1995) by Mariella Mehr Ever since I started thinking about WVHPKL/OHGFRI characters, Mariella Mehr’s novel Daskind stood out for me as a text that straddles genuinely literary narrative strategies and political activism. In addition to being able to explore the function of WVHPKL/OHGFRI figures in more depth within the field of German-language literature, Mariella Mehr’s Daskind allows me to present to English readers a stylistically interesting narrative, rich with allusions to other literary works and to history. The novel prompts readers to investigate expressions, historical references and allusions to other texts, and in doing so to uncover a complex and far-reaching 81 Many of them are, or were meant to be, part of a counter discourse. 22 history of neglect, prejudice and exploitation. These elements give Daskind a validity that transcends its author’s ethnicity and the book’s period of publication. 184.108.40.206. Literary Allusions Mehr’s novel alludes to a number of literary works from preceding literary periods. Most prominently she refers to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre (1795/96) and this text’s child character Mignon. Referencing Mignon allows the author to expand her problematization of the history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people beyond the novel’s setting of two generations and a small region in central Europe to include the history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people of previous centuries and non-Germanic countries. The allusions to Mignon help highlight how old practices such as “Verdingung” are, and for how long it has been known that non-permanency, in particular, relational non-permanency and lack of love and care can lead to the death of a WVHPKL/OHGFRI child. Furthermore, the allusions to Mignon provide the narrator with the opportunity to include aspects of being a WVHPKL/OHGFRI girl, and outcomes of being “in care,” that are otherwise not explored in Daskind. Thus the “Mignon allusions” are seminal to the understanding of the scope and breadth of Mehr’s Daskind. In addition, Lehrjahre helps map the function and perception of WVHPKL/OHGFRI figures in literary studies over a longer period of time. In turn, a reading of Mignon through the lens of WVHPKL/OHGFRI studies for the purpose of analysing Mehr’s Daskind reveals that the eighteenth century WVHPKL/OHGFRI girl character deserves consideration not only in relation to the male protagonist but in her own right. 23 220.127.116.11. Translations All English translations of Daskind, and other German-language texts are my own, unless otherwise noted. As for Goethe’s Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre,82 even though “translation” is not the topic of this dissertation, I consider several translations. I argue, as translations are part of the intercultural exchange of values, beliefs, social norms and notions of correctness,83 they, particularly those of an older, canonical text such as Lehrjahre, serve as historical sources to map change. The inclusion of a selection of Lehrjahre translations allows me to map changes in mainstream society’s attitude towards and perception of WVHPKL/OHGFRI children, youth and adults. The early English translations of Lehrjahre are of particular import to the analysis of Daskind, as they influence to this day how the figure Mignon, and in extension thereof WVHPKL/OHGFRI girls in general, are perceived by students and scholars reading the novel in English translation. In addition, as colonial topoi and tropes are in Daskind explored as part of the long lasting history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people,84 Lehrjahre’s early translations provide insight into how certain ordering mechanisms and structures affected colonies as well as colonial and non-colonial Europe. Moreover, as more and more German texts are taught in translation at North American colleges and universities, older as well as more recent translations of these texts have to be considered as part of the reception of the original text. In order to understand the 82 For my dissertation, I am working with the Hamburger edition. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, “Wilhelm Meisters Lehrjahre,” ed. Erich Trunz, Vol. 7 of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe - Werke – Hamburger Ausgabe (München: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1982). 83 Theo Hermans, “Translation Norms and Correct Translations,” in Translation Studies: The State of The Art – Proceedings of the First James S Holmes Symposium on Translation Studies, ed. Kitty M. van Leuven-Zwart and Ton Naaijkens (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1991), 155, 166. 84 Norbert Greiner elaborates on translations as contributors to the intercultural communication. Norbert Greiner, Grundlagen der Übersetzungsforschung – Übersetzung und Literaturwissenschaft (Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag, 2004). 24 values texts in translation convey85 translations have to be critically deconstructed within the context of their “source texts.”86 This is even more important if a text in translation does not come with an introduction that explains the intention and focus of the translation, or does not state that this particular translation is “nur eine [...] bestimme Erfahrung eines Rezeptionsverhältnisses”87 (only one specific experience of one interpretation) of the original.88 The first translation I consider in my dissertation is Thomas Carlyle’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship89 from 1824. Carlyle is the first to translate Lehrjahre into English, and was in the early nineteenth century the main translator of this text and of other works of Goethe. Carlyle is known to have “cleaned up”90 Lehrjahre to align it more with his own morals and his understanding of Goethe. As I will show, Carlyle’s changes to the Mignon character affect the understanding and reception of Mignon significantly. The second translation I use is William Allan Neilson’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship for “The Harvard Classics Shelf of Fiction” from 1917.91 Neilson’s text passages concerning the figure Mignon follow Carlyle’s translation very closely. I include Neilson into my examination as his translation shows how ideologies are reiterated and passed on through various scholarly works. The third translation I employ is Eric A. Blackall’s Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship from 1989. He sets out to make Lehrjahre more accessible to a twentieth-century audience of English “non-specialist” readers, whom he calls 85 Hermans, “Translational Norms and Correct Translations,” 166. 86 Ibid. The original is in translation studies also known as “source text.” 87 Friedmar Apel, Literarische Übersetzung (Stuttgart: J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1983), 35. 88 Hermans, “Translation Norms and Correct Translations,” 166. 89 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship and Travels, trans. Thomas Carlyle (London: Chapman and Hall, 1824). 90 Peter Genzel, “Goethe, Carlyle and Bulwer-Lytton – Wilhelm Meister and its Mutations” (MA thesis McGill University, August, 1978: 32. 91 Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, trans. William Allan Neilson (New York: P F Collier & Son Company, 1917). 25 “generalists.”92 His Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship is part of a multivolume “paperback series that brings into modern English a representative portion of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s vast body of work.”93 Therefore, his translation is crucial when analyzing Lehrjahre as a text alluded to in Daskind. Blackall does not edit the sections pertaining to Mignon to fit moral ideologies the way Carlyle does. He does, however, uphold the idea that the female girl character is “hardly encompassable by realistic criteria.”94 The fourth translation I incorporate is H. M. Waidson’s translation of Lehrjahre95 from 2013. The publisher’s aim is to “redefine and enrich the classics canon by promoting unjustly neglected works of enduring significance.”96 Waidson’s translation stays closer to the German original than Blackall’s does. However Waidson, like Blackall, leans on Carlyle’s translation for translating some crucial elements concerning the figure Mignon. This has, as I will show, far reaching consequences for the understanding and perception of Mignon and the group of real-life people she represents. In addition, whenever the four selected translations do not do justice to the Mignon character of the original, I include my own translation. 1.5. THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK Works of literature, after all, are built from systems, codes and traditions established by previous works of literature. The systems, codes and traditions 92 Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, trans. Eric A. Blackall in cooperation with Victor Lange (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1994) UBC library catalogues the paperback as 1994, however, the copy itself lists the first Princeton paperback copy as “1995.” 93 Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, Blackall, back panel. 94 Goethe, Wilhelm Meister’s Apprenticeship, Blackall, 381. 95 Johann Wolfgang Goethe, “Wilhelm Meister’s Years of Apprenticeship,” in Wilhelm Meister – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, trans. H.M. Waidson (Richmond Surrey: Alma Classics, 2013), 3-465. 96Alma Classics, “About Alma Classics,” accessed November 27, 2014, http://www.almaclassics.com/page.html ?zenid=1d2552ed1941a51bac6ee71f783f1889&id=8 26 of other art forms and of culture in general are also crucial to the meaning of a work of literature. Graham Allen97 [I]t is quite possible that the major mechanisms of power have been accompanied by ideological productions. Michel Foucault98 What types of knowledge do you want to discqualify in the very instant of your demand: ‘Is it science’? Which speaking, discoursing subjects – which subject of experience and knowledge – do you then want to ‘diminish’ when you say: ‘I who conduct this discourse am conducting a scientific discourse, and I am a scientist’? Which theoretical-political avant garde do you want to enthrone in order to isolate it from all the discontinuous forms of knowledge that circulate about it? Michel Foucault 99 Mehr’s novel Daskind is by many scholars read as a novel about violence. In contrast, I read Mehr’s novel as a critique, i.e. a Foucauldean criticism, of the notion of “foster care” and as “an autonomous, non-centralised [Foucauldean] kind of theoretical production.”100 To that end, my reading of Daskind focuses on how Mehr unveils the often disqualified and subjugated knowledges and history pertaining to WVHPKL/OHGFRI people. and understands that history as an element of the Foucauldean power-knowledge network. On the plot level, Mehr’s novel is about “family,” about the many different ways “family” is part of the Foucauldean power-knowledge network, and about that network’s implied notion that there exists no essential identity as ‘victim’ or ‘perpetrator.’ More precisely, Daskind is about family’s unnamed, its dangerous shadow-side, its other, that is, the novel is about the un-familied, the WVHPKL/OHGFRI people. These people, who are to this day not recognized as a 97 Graham Allen, Intertextuality, London: Routledge, 2000, 1. 98 Foucault, “Two Lectures,” 102. 99 Ibid., 85. 100 Ibid., 81. 27 social minority group, differ from the general population insofar that they do not grow up in either any kind of family of origin or in a non-enforced adoptive family. If we agree, as I do, that family is an ideal construct “which is forcibly materialized through time,”101 then the same has to be accepted for society’s WVHPKL/OHGFRI people. In order to reveal and explore the long, international and diverse history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people, Mehr created a highly intertextual text, full of historical, international, socio-cultural and literary allusions. This calls for a theoretical framework that combines notions of power structures, and their subversion on a societal as well as an individual level, with notions of intertextuality. I understand allusions in Gérard Genette’s sense, as one form of intertextuality. For the introduction of a theoretical concept for my reading of Daskind, I first focus on Foucault’s notion of “local criticism” engendered by “a return of knowledge.”102 In a next step, I introduce the concept of intertextuality, as theorized in structuralism and post-structuralism. 1.5.1. Michel Foucault: “A Return of Knowledge” French philosopher, social theorist and historian Michel Foucault discusses in his lecture of January 7, 1976 his observations that since the early to mid nineteen sixties an “increasing vulnerability to criticism of things, institutions, practices, discourses” is occurring. He attributes this sense of instability to, what he calls, the “amazing efficacy of discontinuous, particular and local criticism,” and points out that the combination of ‘vulnerability’ and ‘local 101 I am paraphrasing here Judith Butler. Judith Butler, Bodies That Matter – On The Discursive Limits of “Sex” (New York: Routledge, 1993), 1. 102 Foucault, “Two Lectures,” 181. 28 criticism’ has led to an “inhibiting effect of global totalitarian theories.”103 Foucault clarifies this claim and outlines not only the theoretical concept of what he calls the local character of criticism but also of what can be understood as a methodology of how to “do” this specific form of criticism. His explanations of the methodological part of this theory continues in his lecture from January 14, 1976, wherein he elaborates on what “power” is, and how it should be investigated. A key element of the ‘local character of criticism’ is that it is an “an autonomous, non-centralised kind of theoretical production […] whose validity does not depend on the approval of the established régimes of thought.”104 This is made possible, Foucault posits, by what he calls “‘a return of knowledge.’”105 This return of knowledge happens through an “insurrection of subjugated knowledges,”106 because “only the historical contents allow us to rediscover the ruptural effects of conflict and struggle that the order imposed by functionalist or systematizing thought is designed to mask.”107 This notion of an insurrection of subjugated knowledges seems to me most fruitful for my reading of Mehr’s Daskind through the WVHPKL/OHGFRI lens. Foucault defines subjugated knowledges as a) “those blocks of historical knowledge which were present but disguised within the body of functionalist and systematising theory;” 108 and b) as “a whole set of knowledges that have been disqualified as inadequate to their task or insufficiently elaborated: naive knowledges, located low down on the hierarchy, beneath the required level of cognition or scientificity.” 109 These knowledges are concerned with a 103 Ibid., 80. 104 Ibid., 81. 105 Ibid. 106 Ibid. 107 Ibid., 82. 108 Ibid., 82. 109 Ibid. 29 “historical knowledge of struggles.”110 Therefore, he writes, “[critics] task will be to expose and specify the issue at stake in this opposition, this struggle, this insurrection of knowledges against the institutions and against effects of the knowledge and power that invests scientific discourse.” 111 He believes it is through the immediate emergence of these low-ranking knowledges, which include, for example, the knowledges of the delinquent, of the “psychiatric patient, of the ill person, of the nurse, of the doctor, parallel and marginal as they are to the knowledge of medicine,” that criticism performs its work.112 I argue that the “immediate” emergence of the knowledge of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people and their history has to be included in this list of ‘subjugated knowledges.’ 18.104.22.168. Theory as Method Part of unveiling subjugated knowledges, Foucault states, is to locate “power at the extreme points of its exercise, where it is always less legal in character.”113 Critics should be concerned, he explains, with power “in its more regional and local forms and institutions.”114 He names that process “Genealogy,” “or rather a multiplicity of genealogical researches.”115 Genealogy, he explains is concerned with the insurrection of knowledges that are opposed primarily not to the contents, methods or concepts of science, but to the effects of the centralising 110 Ibid., 83. 111 Ibid., 87. 112 Ibid., 82. 113 Ibid., 97. 114 Ibid. 115 Ibid., 83. 30 powers, which are linked, to the institution and functioning of an organized scientific discourse within a society such as ours.116 Genealogy is not against science or scientific discourse, however it is “against the effects of the power of a discourse that is considered to be scientific that the genealogy must wage its struggle.”117 Hence, in terms of WVHPKL/OHGFRI studies, Genealogy challenges the notion of ‘family’ as it is used to create WVHPKL/OHGFRI people. Foucault calls the “painstaking rediscovery of struggles,” 118 including the memory of their conflicts, when combined with erudite knowledge, Genealogy,” and explains further: a genealogy should be seen as a kind of attempt to emancipate historical knowledges from that subjection, to render them, that is, capable of opposition and of struggle against the coercion of a theoretical, unitary, formal and scientific discourse. It is based on a reactivation of local knowledges – of minor knowledges, as Deleuze might call them – in opposition to the scientific hierarchisation of knowledges and the effects intrinsic to their power.119 Foucault defines ‘archaelogy’ to be “the appropriate methodology of this analysis of local discursivities.”120 In comparison, he explains, “‘genealogy’ would be the tactics whereby, on the basis of the descriptions of these local discursivities, the subjected knowledges which were thus released would be brought into play.” 121 For both, Foucault insists, different knowledge discourses, that is, the knowledges provided by different disciplines, have to be considered.122 116 Ibid., 84. 117 Ibid. 118 Ibid., 83. 119 Ibid., 85 120 Ibid. 121 Ibid. 122 Foucault, “Two Lectures,” 85. 31 Following Timothy Rayner’s lead, I combine the two terms (archaeology and genealogy) into one, namely, archae-genealogy, as Mehr does both with and through her novel Daskind.123 I read Mehr’s Daskind as a literary implementation of a Foucauldean ‘local critic’ through the return and insurrection of subjugated knowledges. I argue that Mehr employs intertextuality, in the form of historical, socio-cultural and literary allusions, as a vital tool to write a first draft of an archae-genealogy of the history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people. Her reader becomes in this process the researcher and critic who helps resurrect subjugated knowledges by following the text’s many allusions. 1.5.2. Intertextuality The term intertextuality was coined by Bulgarian-French philosopher, literary critic and psychoanalyst Julia Kristeva in her writings introducing the work of Russian philosopher, literary critic and semiotician Mikhail Bakthin to French literary theorists in the nineteen sixties. However, the origin of intertextuality, Graham Allen underscores in his extensive research on intertextuality, can be traced back to the work of Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure. Saussure’s notion of the differential sign has influenced the “majority of theories of intertextuality.”124 At the core of these theories lies Saussure’s understanding of the linguistic sign as a non-unitary, non-stable, and relational unit. 123 Timothy Rayner, “Between Fiction and Reflection: Foucault and the Experience-Book,” Continental Philosophy Review 33 (2003): 27-43. 124 Allen, Intertextuality, 11. 32 The importance of the linguistic turn for literary theories is that if we agree with Saussure’s notion of the linguistic sign as in some way differential, and therefore not only as “non-referential in nature but also as shadowed by a vast number of possible relations,”125 then this is, as Allen puts it, “doubly true of the literary sign.”126 Saussure’s linguistics implies that all acts of communication stem from choices made within a pre-existing system.127 In other words, authors of literary works do not simply select words from a language system, they select “plots, generic features, aspects of characters, images, ways of narrating, even phrases and sentences from previous literary texts and from the literary tradition.”128 This understanding proposes a synchronic system of language constituted by “a vast network of relations, of similarity and difference.”129 The notion of intertextuality emerged during the transitional time in modern literary and cultural theory from structuralism to poststructuralism.130 As Allen points out, structuralists employ intertextuality to “locate and even fix”131 literary meanings, as does, for example, French literary theorist and structuralist Genette, who defines ‘allusions,’ in his model of transtextuality,132 as one of three forms of intertextuality.133 Poststructuralists employ the term intertextuality to disrupt notions of meaning.134 Kristeva incorporates in her account of Bakhtin’s work his understanding of language as being socially specific and embodying stratifications. Allen points out, for “Bakhtin, Medvedev 125 Ibid., 11. 126 Ibid. 127 Ibid., 9. 128 Ibid., 11. 129 Ibid. 130 This centers on Julia Kristeva’s attempt to combine Saussure’s and Bakhtin’s theories of language and literature in the nineteen sixties. 131 Allen, Intertextuality, 4. 132 Gérard Genette, Palimpseste – Die Literature auf zweiter Stufe, Frankfurt a.M.: Suhrkamp, 1993. 133 Genette subdivides the category ‘intertextuality’ into quotation, plagiarism and allusion . 134 Ibid. 33 and Volosinov, [words] are relational, […] not simply because of their place within an abstract system of language, but because of the nature of all language viewed in its concrete social situatedness. All utterances are responses and are addressed to specific addressees.”135 In other words, while Saussurean linguistics, as discussed earlier, “seeks to explain language as a synchronic system,” and formalism seeks to explain the general ‘literariness,’136 Bakhtin’s view of language is concerned with the social context, namely, with the world’s existence within “specific social sites, special social registers, and specific moments of utterances and receptions.”137 Bakhtin and Volosinow argue against Saussure when stating that “‘there is no real moment in time when a synchronic system of language could be constructed,’”138 because language is always in a “ceaseless flow of becoming.”139 Allen summarizes, “Language, seen in its social dimension, is constantly reflecting and transforming class, institutional, national and group interests.”140 That is, intertextual is the entire cultural code rather than a specif “inter-textual” in the sense of other texts. 141 These aspects make Bakhtin’s work concerning intertextuality so interesting for readers concerned with marginalized or oppressed groups. Bakhtin’s argument of language as dialogic and heteroglot is “threatening to any unitary, authoritarian and hierarchical conception of society, art and life.”142 French critic, literary theorist, philosopher and semiotician Roland Barthes is probably best known for his essay “The Death of the Author” (1968). This manifesto enhances the role of 135 Allen, Intertextuality, 20. 136 Ibid., 16. 137 Bakhtin as discussed in Allen, Intertextuality, 11. 138 M. M. Bakhtin and P.N. Medvedev, Marxism and the Philosophy of Language, trans. L. Matejka and I.R. Titunik, (Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press 1986), 66, quoted in Allen, Intertextuality, 16. 139 Allen, Intertextuality, 18. 140 Ibid. 141 Ibid., 74. 142 Ibid., 30. 34 the reader to taking on an active role in the production of “the anti-monologic text.”143 This happens at the cost of the white male, “Author God,”144 who releases a single, “‘theological’ meaning,”145 i.e. “‘message.’”146 In Barthes’s intertextual model, the text, is no longer a medium within which “meaning is secured and stabilized.” Instead, the text is now perceived as a web, a weave or garment, which is “woven from the threads of the ‘already written’ and the ‘already read.’”147 Therefore, Allen reiterates, “every text has its meaning in relation to other texts.”148 Barthes speaks of the text being experienced “in an activity of production,”149 wherein there are no more critics, just readers, who, if productive instead of being consumers, are also writers creating textual analysis.150 The modern author arranges and “compiles the always already written, spoken and read into a ‘multi-dimensional space in which a variety of writings, none of them original, blend and clash.’”151 The text is further defined as “‘a tissue of quotations drawn from the innumerable centres of culture.’”152 Therefore, the modern scriptor (author) “when s/he writes, is always already in the process of reading and re-writing.”153 Allen reiterates that meaning then does not come from the author “but from language viewed intertextually.”154 The notion of intertextuality has been celebrated and challenged by feminist and post-structuralist critics. Their concerns are with the Barthesian “loss of the author,” in particular with 143 Ibid., 69. 144 Ibid, 73. 145 Roland Barthes, Imogene – Music – Text, trans. Stephen Heath, (London: Fontana 1977), 157, quoted in Allen, Intertextuality, 13. 146 Ibid. 147 Allen, Intertextuality, 6. 148 Ibid, 6. 149 Roland Barthes, Imogene – Music – Text, trans. 157. 150 Ibid., 70. I will continue to use the terms critic and scholar as the main focus of this dissertation is not an analysis of Mehr’s Daskind through the lens of Barthe’s work. 151 Barthes, Imogene – Music – Text, 157. 152 Ibid. 153 Allen, Intertextuality,74. 154 Ibid. 35 the loss of the female author’s identity, and with Harold Bloom’s “anxiety of influence.”155 Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar respond to Bloom by asserting that women suffer from an “anxiety of authorship” rather than from an “anxiety of influence.”156 Therefore, and as women have traditionally been excluded from literary critic and writing, intertextuality is for women, when established, a matter of legitimation rather than, as Allen paraphrases it, of “emasculating belatedness..”157 This statement can be rephrased to include members of other marginalized groups, for example, reader-authors-critics who are WVHPKL/OHGFRI people, such as the author Mariella Mehr. The struggles reader-authors-critics from marginalized or oppressed groups have to undertake, in addition to “simply” write-read-critic, in order to get published, so their texts can be read-critiqued, enter university libraries, become part of university and other educational institution’s curricula, cannot be addressed within the notion of intertextuality as introduced at the beginning of this chapter section. Feminist critics have responded in different ways to the loss of authority. Catherine Belsey, for example, argues that women can locate their subjectivity in the “plural anonymity of Barthes’ poststructuralism.”158 Peggy Kamuf argues similarly. She sees in Barthes’ plurality an opportunity for women to experience “their subjectivity as it is: fluid, individual, and, thus far, inadequately framed and explored.”159 Cheryl Walker offers what Wilson calls a “situated poststructuralism” which considers the author’s gendered or raced 155 Harold Bloom, et al., Deconstruction and Criticism (New York: Seabury Press, 1979), 49, quoted in Allen, Intertextuality, 146. 156 Sandra M. Gilbert and Susan Gubar, The Madwoman in the Attic: The woman writer and the nineteenth-century literary imagination (New Haven CT: Yale University Press, 1979), 49, quoted in Allen, Intertextuality, 146. 157 Allen, Intertextuality,146. 158 Catherine Belsey, “Constructing the Subject: Deconstructing the Text,” Feminist Criticism and Social Change (New York: Methuen, 1985), 50, quoted in Sarah Wilson, “Situated Authorship,” Verso: An Undergraduate Journal of Literary Criticism, 2012: 2. 159 Sarah Wilson, “Situated Authorship,” Verso: An Undergraduate Journal of Literary Criticism, 2012: 4. 36 identity but not as a defining factor to be “designated worthy of canonical status.”160 Nancy K. Miller responds to the different voices by suggesting a postmodern authorial signature. That is, with “a historically specific configuration of gender, class, race, sexual preference, religion, and so forth,”161 which results in a political intertextuality. This notion, Sarah Wilson concludes, allows for fluidity and acknowledges “the inevitably plural nature of identity.”162 Mehr responds to the Barthesian “loss of author” and Bloom’s “anxiety of influence” with a postmodern style of writing. Understanding herself as a political author of Yenish-WVHPKL/OHGFRI descent, Mehr writes from the point of view that the literary form is part of a text’s political message,163 and therefore considers all that came “before” open to imitation and reinterpretation. She echoes and plays with texts, as well as with well-established genres and employs literary techniques and devices, such as historical, international, socio-cultural and literary allusions to convey her political message. 160 Ibid., 5. 161 Nancy K. Miller, “The Text’s Heroine: A Feminist Critic and Her Fictions,” Feminist Studies/Critical Studies (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986), 172, quoted in Sarah Wilson, “Situated Authorship,” Verso: An Undergraduate Journal of Literary Criticism, 2012: 7. 162 Wilson, “Situated Authorship,” 7. 163 Mehr, “Frauenmut,” in RückBlitze, ed. Mariella Mehr (Bern: Zytglogge, 1990), 176. 37 2. DASKIND BY MARIELLA MEHR (1995) Mehr’s novel is a courageous and uncomfortable text that challenges readers to rethink and re-examine knowledges, preconceptions and deeply held beliefs. I begin my analysis of Daskind with a discussion of the novel’s genesis and reception. I then focus extensively on the narrative’s thematic analysis. The different chapters and chapter sections demonstrate how historical, socio-cultural and literary allusions are employed to unveil, explore and problematize the several centuries long and international history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI children, youth and adults. Studies of the novel typically focus entirely on the protagonist. There are, however, good reasons, as I will show, to include the figure of Armin Lacher in the thematic analysis and to start the interpretation with this character rather than with the protagonist. By including Lacher in my examination of the text, I am able to show that the novel is an exploration of WVHPKL/OHGFRI history, and to underscore the importance of considering WVHPKL/OHGFRI literary characters in their own right. The character Armin Lacher, furthermore, allows for a critical discussion of the dyad “perpetrator” versus “victim,” as well as the distinction between “Zigeuner” (Gypsy) and “Landfahrer” (Traveler), in the context of extrafamilial care. After analyzing the figure Armin Lacher through the WVHPKL/OHGFRI lens, I turn my focus on the protagonist. In a first step, I problematize how and why this “own child” experiences extrafamilial care, and introduce socio-historical, socio-political and legal information pertaining to out-of-home care. In a next step I engage in a discussion of violence. In particular, I explore the interconnections between indirect, i.e. structural and cultural violence, and direct, i.e. personal violence as pertaining to WVHPKL/OHGFRI history. The narrative illustrates how violence 38 begets violence and highlights a new form of violence. That is, it is emphasized that “to not belong” has to be recognized not only as seminal for the violence WVHPKL/OHGFRI children and youth experience, but also as a form of violence of its own. I then juxtapose the two WVHPKL/OHGFRI figures in order to map the tight web of connections between these two characters. The next section focuses on the text’s allusions to the dyad “light” versus “dark,” which engender a discussion on how notions and practices of “foster care” interconnect with discourses on WWII, Holocaust and colonialism. The last part of my analysis of Daskind’s allusions is dedicated to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s Mignon. The novel’s allusions to Lehrjahre’s Mignon map the history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people to include the late eighteenth century and other nationals. In addition, The “Mignon allusions” explore aspects of WVHPKL/OHGFRI “care” that are otherwise not explored in Daskind. I end my analysis of Mehr’s Daskind with a structural and stylistic analysis to discuss other writing techniques the author employs to problematize and explore the long and international history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people. 39 2.1. GENESIS and RECEPTION 2.1.1. Until the First Edition By 1995, the year the novel Daskind (Thechild) was published, the “Yenish-Swiss”164 author Mariella Mehr was already known for her socially critical work, particularly her work concerning Switzerland’s treatment of its Yenish People. The Yenish, German “Jenisch,” also known as White Gipsies,165 are a sociocultural minority and Switzerland’s main group of “Travelers,” formerly called Gypsies.166 They live in Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Today, historians and social scientists believe the Yenish to be descendants of the heterogeneous group of the marginalized vagrant poor, mainly of central Europe. 167 In 1973, the then twenty-six year old Mehr was among the founders of the Radgenossenschaft der Landstrasse, an umbrella organization of the Yenish. One year later, Mehr began her journalistic work for several Swiss newspapers and magazines, in particular for the Wochenzeitung (WOZ), the Berner Zeitung, and the Tagesanzeiger Magazin.168 The politically 164 I do employ this term to give readers an idea where Mehr was born and what her cultural heritage is. Mariella Mehr herself, however, sees the phrase “Yenish author” as a label created by the bourgeois. In a documentary about her work and life, the author introduces herself as follows: “Ich bin Mariella Mehr, nach bürgerlichen Einschätzungen eine sogenannte Jenische Schriftstellerin.” (I am Mariella Mehr, according to bourgeois assessment a so-called Yenish author). Die Kraft aus Wut und Schmerz – Zum 60. Geburtstag von Mariella Mehr, directed by Marianne Pletscher (SRF Wissen, March 13, 2008), http://www.srf.ch/player/tv/srf-wissen/video/die-kraft-aus-wut-und-schmerz ?id=e6297378-fe75-4db4-9c77-a2e47c47fc10. 165 There are three main communities of “Gypsies” in Central Europe: the Sinti, the Roma and the Yenish. 166 There is evidence that some Roma, Sinti and Yenish are reclaiming the term “Gipsy,” so for example, in the British documentary series Big Fat Gipsy Wedding and its spinoff My Big Fat American Gipsy Wedding. 167 This is the conclusion made, for example, by Lev Tcherenkov and Stéphane Laederich. Ibid., The Roma – Traditions and Texts (Basel: Schwabe, 2004). As well as, Angus Bancroft, Roma and Gipsy-Travellers in Europe - Modernity, Race, Space and Exclusion (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2005). In earlier years, researchers claimed the Yenish to be an autonomous ethnic group, a sub-tribe of the Roma. So did, for example Huonker, Fahrendes Volk – verfolgt und verfemt. Jenische Lebensläufe (Zürich: Limmat, 1987). 168 The author works in the 1970s also for Migros’ newspaper Die TAT. Migros is Switzerland’s largest retail company and supermarket chain. It is a cooperative society with a mandate to a support the arts and socially conscious 40 active author became known as an “gleichermassen scharfzüngige wie scharfsinnige Analytikerin der gesellschaftlichen Verhältnisse”169 (equally tart-tongued and sagacious analyst of social affairs), and emerged as one of the most pronounced and empathic spokespersons for the rights and emancipation of the Yenish and other marginalized groups, for example, women and men who were detained in mental institutions and prisons without due process.170 Mehr made her debut as a fiction author in 1981 with the semi-autobiographical novel steinzeit (stonetime).171 She published five more books and wrote two dramas172 between her first novel and the publication of Daskind. Her first publications, a book of poetry,173 was followed by a poetry prose letter-documentation,174 a drama,175 a collection of texts,176 and a second novel.177 The majority of these texts address the discrimination and persecution Switzerland’s “Gypsies” suffered as a result of the project “Kinder der Landstrasse” and established Mehr in the nineteen eighties as a strong, talented and prize and award winning writer.178 projects. Since its beginnings in 1925, the brand has expanded to include a travel agency, continuing education, language schools, gasoline stations, a bank, an insurance company, a weekly magazine and from 1935-1978 the newspaper Die TAT. 169 Bernhard Schär, “Nackte Ohnmacht, verletzte Körper und unverhüllte Kritik: Mariella Mehr,” in Lokalgeschichte eines Globalen Aufbruchs – Ereignisse und Erinnerungen – Bern 68, ed. Bernhard C. Schär et al. (Zürich: Hier+Jetzt, 2008), 195. 170 More than forty years later, this group of people is now recognized as being wrongfully detained. 171 Mariella Mehr, steinzeit (Bern: Zytglogge, 1981). The German word steinzeit means “stone age” as well as “stone time.” The English translation of “steinzeit” as “stonetime” is closer to the meaning of the German title, as “stonetime” alludes to the prehistoric period “stone age,” serves as a metaphor for a time when everything is hard, as well as an associative link to the expression “a heart of stone.” The novel steinzeit became available in French translation in 1987. 172 Mariella Mehr, Silvia Z – Ein Requiem, debut performance in Chur, 1986. Mariella Mehr, Anni B oder die fünf Gesänge der Not – Eine Groteske, debut performance in Zürich, 1989. 173 Mariella Mehr, in diesem traum schlendert ein roter findling (Gümlingen, D.: Zytglogge Verlag, 1983). 174 Mariella Mehr, Das Licht der Frau (Gümlingen, D.: Zytglogge Verlag, 1984). 175 Mariella Mehr, Kinder der Landstrasse – Ein Hilfswerk, ein Theater und die Folgen (Bern: Zytglogge, 1987). 176 Mariella Mehr, RückBlitze (Gümlingen, D: Zytglogge Verlag, 1990). 177 Mariella Mehr, Zeus oder der Zwillingston (Zürich: Edition R+F, 1994). 178 Mehr had already received numerous literary prizes and awards before the novel Daskind was published. For example, from the cantons Bern, Grisons, Luzern and Zurich, as well as from the Ida Somazzi-Stiftung, the Migros- Genossenschafts-Bund and from Pro Helvetia. 41 The project “Kinder der Landstrasse” (Children of the Country Road)179 was founded in 1926 by the highly respected Swiss charitable foundation Pro Juventute. “Kinder der Landstrasse” was aimed at communities of “Landfahrer” (Vagrants) with a special focus on the Yenish. The declared goal was the extinction of itinerancy. Alfred Siegfried, the founder of the project, is known to have stated: “He who wants to fight vagrancy successfully, must try to break the bonds of the travelling community. As hard as this may sound, he has to tear the family apart. There is no other way.”180 In the course of almost half a century (1926 – 1973), “the project” removed 586 children from their parents. Together with the Catholic charity “Seraphisches Liebeswerk,”181 the Red Cross and the cantons’ guardianship authorities, a total of 612 Yenish children were removed from their families and communities and put into foster homes, orphanages and children’s homes while “the project” was active. Many of their parents and 179 “Kinder der Landstrasse” has formerly been translated as “Children of the Open Road”. This translation seems to appear first in the BBC TV documentary series 40 Minutes on March 17, 1988. The translation appears again in 1992 on actress Jasmin Tabatabai’s website in connection with the Swiss and German movie Kinder der Landstrasse by Urs Egger. “Children of the Open Road,” last modified July 9, 2014, http://jasmin-tabatabai.com/english/film_kinder_der_landstrasse.htm. The Swiss historian Thomas Meier employs “Children of the Open Road” as the English translation for Kinder der Landstrasse in his research article “The fight against the Swiss Yenish and the ‘Children of the Open Road’ campaign.” Thomas Meier, “The fight against the Swiss Yenish and the ‘Children of the Open Road’ campaign,” Romanie Studies 18, no. 2 (2008): 101-121. I diverge from this translation for the following reasons: The Oxford English Dictionary defines “open road” as “a country road or main road outside the urban areas, where unimpeded driving is possible. In addition, in a figurative context “open road” means “freedom of movement.” Oxford English Dictionary, s.v. “open road”, accessed November 28, 2014, http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/view/Entry/234980?redirectedFrom=open+road#eid. These definitions of “open road” stand in sharp contrast to the mission statement and actions of the Pro Juventute project “Kinder der Landstrasse.” In addition, I have not been able to substantiate a link between the expression “open road” and Yenish, Sinti or Roma in the Anglophone world beyond the 1988 BCC documentary. This means that the expression “(the) Open Road” in the context of Sinti, Roman and Yenish is in all likelihood coined by non-Yenish, non-Sinti, and non-Roma. Furthermore, this expression is influenced by ideologies ranging from romantic notions to social-Darwinist and racial classifications. To better reflect the reality of people detained by the “Kinder der Landstrasse” as well as the “project’s” aim, I translate “Kinder der Landstrasse” simply as “Children of the Country Road.” 180 Alfred Siegfried, Kinder der Landstrasse. Ein Versuch zur Sesshaftmachung von Kindern des fahrenden Volkes. 2nd ed. (Zürich: Flamberg, 1964), quoted in Meier, “The Fight against the Swiss Yenish and the ‘Children of the Open Road’ campaign,” 106. 181 The Seraphische Liebeswerk is a Catholic organization that was founded in Koblenz in 1893 and soon afterward spread into the Catholic regions of German-speaking Switzerland. 42 relatives were thrown into prisons or locked away in psychiatric clinics.182 The children were to be refashioned according to the ideals of a sedentary society. They suffered humiliation, maltreatment, stigmatization and racism. Some were forced to undergo electroshock treatment183 and sterilization. The author Mariella Mehr was herself a ward of the Pro Juventute project. Mehr’s upbringing, family background, her work as a political activist and her writing established her for many scholars as a “Roma”184 writer with one main subject matter, namely, the plight of the Yenish.185 The author, however, already revealed in her first novel that her interests werer broader than the history of her own people. In the dedication in steinzeit she states: dieses buch ist allen ungeliebten babys gewidmet, allen heimkindern, allen anstaltszöglingen, allen an unserer gesellschaft ver-rückt gemacht wordenen, allen stummgewordenen und all jenen, die wissen, dass nur liebe unsere zukunft rettet.186 This book is dedicated to all unloved babies, all children’s home children, all wardens of institutions, to everybody who is made de-ranged in our society, to everybody who is silenced and to all those, who know that only love can save our future. Mehr had met these children, youth, women and men on her “journey” through foster families, institutions for children and youth, reformatories, psychiatric clinics and prison, first as a ward 182 This makes clear, that if family members are included when contemplating the effects of the Pro Juventute project “Kinder der Landstrasse,” the number of people directly affected by the “project” is much higher than 586 respectively 612. 183 Electroshock therapy is today called electroconvulsive therapy. 184 The synonymic use of “Roma” and “Yenish” conceals that these terms refer to two different ethnic groups. The “Jenischer Bund in Deutschland” asserts this distinction. “Zigeuner – Sinti, Roma oder Jenisch?” Jenischer Bund in Deutschland und Europa, “Die Zigeuner,” accessed November 28, 2014, http://jenische.info/homesite/cms/public /index.php?cmd=smarty&id=31_ lde. 185 This assessment can be found in literature lexicons, for example in Killy Literaturlexikon were Pia Reinacher and Zygmunt Mielezarek state “Das literar. Werk von M. […] ist eigentlich monothematisch” (The literary work of Mehr […] is for all intents and purposes monothematic). Killy Literaturlexikon, by Pia Reinacher and Zygmunt Mielezarek, Bd. 8 (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2012), s,v. “Mehr, Mariella., * 27.12.1947 Zürich. – Erzählerin, Lyrikerin, Dramatikerin. (95).” 186 Mehr, steinzeit, 5. 43 herself and later as an activist, and was well aware of their existence and experiences. Daskind is the first book of a trilogy, which extensively explores the conditions of these minorities and the society to which they belong. 2.1.2. Early Reception and Editions The novel Daskind was first published in 1995, in a small edition of three thousand copies by the Swiss publishing house Nagel & Kimche. 187 Two years later, the German publishing house Ullstein released the paperback edition.188 With a few exceptions, critics initially paid little attention to Daskind. The renowned Swiss newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung presented an excerpt from the novel in July 1995, and followed up a few month later with an article by Elisabeth Pulver, who praised Mehr’s precision of language and skill to speak from the characters’ inner most being while at the same time maintaining the overall perspective and critical narrative distance.189 Equally positive comments were offered by Hiltrud Häntzschel, who stressed a few days later in the Süddeutsche Zeitung how Mehr succeeds in writing a “Dorfgeschichte” (village story) in which ill will, envy and negative passion reach monstrous dimensions.190 Katharina Döbler, the author of the epilogue to Daskind’s paperback edition of the publishing house Ullstein, underscored in 1996 in Zeit Online Mehr’s skill to create a language which gets close to the young protagonist and enables readers to finish the book without turning 187 This information is provided by H.U. Ellenberger, Mariella Mehr’s life partner and web master. H.U. Ellenberger, e-mail message to author, February 28, 2013. 188 The number of copies is at this point unknown. H.U. Ellenberger, e-mail message to author, February 28, 2013. In addition, the publishing house Ullstein is unable to give out that information due to data protection laws. Dr. Christiane Stahl, e-mail message to author, March 4, 2013. 189 Elisabeth Pulver, “Steinkind; Mariella Mehrs neuer Roman,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung – Feuilleton, September 21, 1995. 190 Hiltrud Häntzschel, “Im Kind denkt’s ans Töten. Mariella Mehrs düsterer Roman Daskind,” Süddeutsche Zeitung – Literatur, September 20/30, 1995. 44 into voyeurs.191 These early critics recognize Mehr’s ability to create a new language for each of her books.192 They emphasize that the author succeeds in writing a story of almost unimaginable isolation, and that the prolific use of literary devices prevents the explored violence from being at any point misused as entertainment.193 2.1.3. Reception in the Context of the Trilogy Initially, Daskind was understood and read by critics as a text dealing with child abuse194 and the bigotry195 and mendacity196 that engenders such circumstances. With a few exceptions, most importantly Döbler,197 who was one of the first to recognize that the victimized child protagonist internalizes violence and acts on it, the book was perceived as a novel about a victim. Mehr confirmed this interpretation in an interview in 1997 where she stated: “Angefangen mit ‘steinzeit’ bis zum Roman ‘Daskind,’ habe ich immer Opfer beschrieben und immer die Stimme von Opfern übernommen”198 (From ‘steinzeit’ up to ‘Daskind,’ I have always portrayed victims and always chose the victim’s voice). This reading of Daskind changed in 2002 when Angeklagt was published, and to a lesser degree already in 1998 with the publication of Brandzauber. From 191 Katharina Döbler, “Silberherz stirbt,” Zeit Online, January 26, 1996, accessed on January 15, 2012, http://www.zeit.de/1996/05/Silberherz_stirbt. 192 Roman Bucheli, “Die Lust an der Selbstpreisgabe; Mariella Mehr im Werkstattgespräch,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung – Feuilleton, November 25, 1997. 193 Häntzschel, “Im Kind denkt’s ans Töten. Mariella Mehrs düsterer Roman Daskind,” as well as, Döbler, “Silberherz stirbt.” 194 Häntzschel, “Im Kind denkt’s ans Töten. Mariella Mehrs düsterer Roman Daskind,” as well as, Döbler, “Silberherz stirbt.” 195 Ibid. 196 Pulver, “Steinkind; Mariella Mehrs neuer Roman.” 197 Döbler recognizes already in 1996 that the victimized child protagonist internalizes violence and acts on it. She writes, “Das Kind – Daskind – lernt die Lektionen der Grausamkeit nicht nur als Opfer. Harmlos beginnt es damit […] Schmerz zufügen, Rache nehmen.” Döbler, “Silberherz stirbt.” 198 Bucheli, “Die Lust an der Selbstpreisgabe; Mariella Mehr im Werkstattgespräch.” 45 that moment on, reviewers and scholars identified Daskind as the first book of a trilogy that examines violence, its genesis and consequences.199 The novel was read anew and some scholars identified the young female protagonist from then on not only as a victim but also as a perpetrator. Literary critic Beatrice von Matt called her, for example, “einen steinschleudernden Racheengel”200 (a stone-throwing avenging angel). Cordelia Stilke went a step further and opined that the trilogy, and with it Daskind, probes violence and murder as “identitätsstiftende Akte”201 (acts that construct identity). Other critics identified the trilogy as texts that answer the underlying question, “wie werden Verletzungen in einem Opfer zum Willen, sich gewalttätig Luft zu verschaffen?”202 (how do traumas turn into a victim’s volition to release pressure by turning violent?). Sibylle Birrer, who named the three books the “Trilogie des Verletzens”203 (trilogy of causing harm) concluded that the victims strike out, hit, tantalize cruelly and kill. The completion of the trilogy sparked an increased interest in Mehr’s work among scholars. However, despite the new interpretations in magazines and newspapers, the majority of academic investigations which include the novel Daskind, focused, like most of the pre-trilogy critics, on victimization.204 One exception is Filomena Jacovino’s dissertation Wie das Opfer zum 199 Mehr informs readers about this imminent change in the same interview mentioned above: Bucheli, “Die Lust an der Selbstpreisgabe; Mariella Mehr im Werkstattgespräch.” 200 Beatrice von Matt, “Die Sprache der Mutter, das Heimweh der Töchter / Kindheitsrecherchen von Autorinnen aus der deutschsprachigen Schweiz,” Neue Zürcher Zeitung – Literatur und Kunst, September 12, 1998. This interpretation has found its way into other reviews. So opines, for example, Hartmut T. Reliwitte, “an die Stelle der Sprachlosigkeit tritt die Schleuder.” Hartmut T. Reliwette, “Mariella Mehr – Romantrilogie,” accessed November 28, 2014, http://www.reliwette.de/text/rezi044.htm. 201 Cordelia Stilke, “Kritik von Mariella Mehrs Romantrilogie bestehend aus ‘Daskind’, ‘Brandzauber’ und ‘Angeklagt,’” BaZ Basler Zeitung – Resort: Bücher, August 23, 2002. Similarly argues Fredi Lerch, “Mariella Mehr: „Angeklagt,” WOZ Die Wochenzeitung – Ressort Kultur (February 19, 2002). 202 Lerch, “Mariella Mehr: „Angeklagt.” 203 Sibylle Birrer, “Die Logik des Tötens – Mariella Mehrs neuer Roman ‘Angeklagt,’” Neue Zürcher Zeitung – Feuilleton, June 6, 2002. 204 In the following, I am only looking at scholarly analyses that include the novel Daskind. 46 Täter wird (How the victim becomes the perpetrator).205 Her research is to this day the most comprehensive analysis of Mariella Mehr’s writing from Steinzeit to Angeklagt. New to the after-trilogy studies, particularly to those published in English, was that many of these scholars choose to introduce Mehr’s literary work through the theoretical framework of ethnicity, i.e. the Yenish. Literary and cultural historian Carmel Finnan concluded, for example, in The Roles of the Romanies: …Mehr gives literary expression to the unarticulated suffering of victims, describing events, emotions, impressions from the perspective of those persecuted. […] Her subversive literary strategies are a means of representing ethnic minority self in the master discourse…206 Susann Tebbutt argued in similar fashion in her extensive analyses of Mehr’s work: Mehr’s creative use of language […] offer insight not only into the oppression of Europe’s most marginalized minority group, the Yenish, […] but into the very essence of good and evil, …207 Critical analyses of Mehr’s texts that use the ethnic lens allow a dissemination of a history of oppression and marginalization of the Yenish, which is mostly unknown in the Anglophone world. Furthermore, because ethnic and racial discrimination are a well-known part of the former colonies’ past, the history of the Yenish constitutes a shared reality and serves as a point of 205 Filomena Jacovino, “Wie das Opfer zum Täter wird” (PhD diss. University of Peruga, 2004). Some scholars list Jacovino’s dissertation under the year 2003. However, Ellenberger explained that Jacovino’s dissertation was finalized in 2003/2004 and accepted in 2004. Ellenberger, e-mail message to author, January 15, 2012. The earliest known scholarly work about Mehr is done by Christine Mergozzi. However, her dissertation does not include Daskind. Christine Mergozzi, “Literary Aurality and the Politics of Counter-Literacy: Spiritual Resistance in Morrison, Mehr, Anzaldua, Silko” (PhD diss. University of California, 1995). 206 Carmel Finnan, “From Survival to Subversion: Strategies of Self-Representation in Selected Works by Mariella Mehr,” in The Role of the Romanies, ed. Nicholas Saul and Susan Tebbutt (Liverpool: Liverpool University Press, 2004), 149. 207 Susan Tebbutt, “‘Reisefertig, die Heimat im Arm’: Mariella Mehr and her distinctive delight in words,” in From the Margins to the Centre – Irish Perspectives on Swiss Culture and Literature, ed. Partrick Studer and Sabine Egger (Oxford, Peter Lang, 2007), 323. 47 connection, making Mehr’s writing more accessible for Australian, British, New Zealand and North American readers. The risk of the ethnic-racial approaches, however, is that these analyses can give the impression that all of Mehr’s texts are about the Yenish or other ethnic minorities. Elizabeth C. Hamilton, for example, stresses the history of the Yenish in her analysis of Mehr’s child figures. This leaves readers with the impression that all of Mehr’s child characters including Daskind are Yenish.208 Kim Fordham’s analysis of Daskind and other Mehr texts can also be misread as implying that the novel Daskind is about the history of the Yenish.209 As I will show, this is not the case. It is furthermore important to note that the assumption that all of Mehr’s characters are Yenish, or of another ethnic-racial minority, influences the larger narrative which is disseminated with respect to un-familied and family-less children and youth who are, or were, in state care. 2.1.4. Awards, Recognition, Reprints and Translations Mehr received several literary prizes and awards for Daskind, most notably, the prestigious prize of the Schiller-Stiftung in 1996. The cantons Grisons and Luzern, as well as the organization Pro Helvetia and the Donald M. Hess Foundation awarded Mehr with “Werkbeiträge” (work grants and awards) for Daskind and other works, including the trilogy as a whole. In addition, in 1996, the municipality of Tomils in the canton Grisons (Switzerland) 208 Elizabeth C. Hamilton, “Mariella Mehr’s Voices for Children,” in “Es ist seit Rahel uns erlaubt, Gedanken zu haben.” Essays in Honor of Heidi Thomann Tewarson, ed. Steven R. Huff and Dorothea Kaufmann (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, December 2012). 209 Kim Fordham, “Fear of Difference and its Consequences in Selected Works of Mariella Mehr,” in Crossing Over – Redefining the Scope of Border Studies, ed. Antonio Medina-Rivera and Diana Orendi (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2007). 48 bestowed on the author a medal of honour.210 In 1998, Mehr received an honorary Doctorate of the Faculty of Philosophy and History from the University of Basel for her work against xenophobia and discrimination of minorities, as well as for her contribution to recovering the history of the Yenish. The author was the 2012 recipient of the ProLitteris Prize for a Literary Lifetime Achievement Award. The prize is awarded for contributing “Herausragendes und Bleibendes”211 (outstanding and lasting) works in either literature, arts, photography, journalism or publishing. Despite her publication record and the impressive public acclaim for Mehr’s social and political activism, the novel Daskind is today out of print.212 The hardcopy edition ran out of print before Angeklagt was published in 2002, the paperback edition by 2004.213 For economic reasons, the publishing house Nagel & Kimche was unable to publish a further edition of either Daskind, or the entire trilogy.214 In 1999, the Swiss publishing house Demoures published Lamioche,215 the French translation of Daskind. Lamioche is currently out of print. Seven years later, in 2006, Labambina,216 the Italian translation, was published by the Italian publishing house Effigie. The Italian copy is still available. All publishing rights for Daskind and the trilogy as a whole went 210 Please visit Mariella Mehr’s website for a complete list of awards and prizes: Mariella Mehr, “Ein Querschnitt durch das Werk von Mariella Mehr in 12 Lesungen,” “Willkommen auf der Website von Dr. phil. h.c. Mariella Mehr,” last modified March 23, 2012, accessed November 28, 2014, http://mariellamehr.com/oberlin.htm. 211 ProLitteris, “Stiftung Kulturfonds der Prolitleris – ProLitteris Preis,” accessed November 28, 2014, http://www.prolitteris.ch/de/stiftung-kulturfonds-der-prolitteris/prolitteris-preis/. 212 Mehr has to this day published seven novels, five books of poems and has contributed several shorter pieces to anthologies. Moreover, she has written three theater pieces, two pieces for music and collaborated on a movie-script. 213 Ellenberger, e-mail message to author, February 28, 2013. 214 Dirk Vaihinger, management, Nagel & Kimche/Hanser Verlag, e-mail message to author, February 6, 2013. 215 Mariella Mehr, Lamioche, trans. Monique Laederach (Essertine-sur-Role au Closel: Edition Demoures, 1999). 216 Mariella Mehr, Labambina, trans. Anna Ruchat (Milano: Effigie Edizioni, 2006). 49 back to the author between the years of 2004 and 2006. It is Mariella Mehr’s wish that the trilogy be kept together and published as an omnibus volume.217 2.1.5. To this Day In 2001, H.U. Ellenberger, Mehr’s life partner and web master, launched a website documenting Mehr’s work.218 The site evolved quickly into an important multi-media platform for readers, students and scholars. It offered until 2014 up-to-date information in German, French, Italian and English, and is an excellent tool for reaching a broader audience. The author has a strong presence on the World Wide Web. In addition to countless hits linking websites to her name, there are also several uploaded videos on YouTube documenting her work and life. In 2005, just a few years after the website was launched, Mehr was the 37th Max Kade writer-in-residence at Oberlin College in Ohio. The increased interest in the author’s work in the Anglophone world can be traced back to that stay. In 2007, Mehr’s work and life was honored in the “Festschrift” Lieblebchen, sag – Vitamia, dimmi.219 Moreover, Marianne Pletscher’s informative retrospective documentary “Die 217 H.U. Ellenberger-Mehr, “Mein Brief vom 16.5.04 an Herrn Krüger (Geschäftsführer, Hanser Verlag, München),” “Willkommen auf der Website von Dr. phil. h.c. Mariella Mehr,” last modified March 23, 2012, accessed November 28, 2014, http://www.mariellamehr.com/korrespondenz/korr_2.htm. 218 Mariella Mehr, “Willkommen auf der Webseite von Dr. phil. h.c. Mariella Mehr,” last modified March 23, 2012, accessed November 28, 2014, http://www.mariellamehr.com/. In 2014, after many years of supporting her work as a web master, H. U. Ellenberger stepped back. Mariella Mehr plans to manage the website herself but is currently dealing with serious health issues. 219 “Mariella Mehr, Lieblebchen, sag – Vitamia, dimmi – 60 Jahre Mariella Mehr – A Mariella Mehr per I suoi 60 anni, 2007,” “Willkommen auf der Webseite von Dr. phil. h.c. Mariella Mehr,” last modified March 23, 2012, accessed November 28, 2014, http://www.mariellamehr.com/60_jahre_mm/60_Jahre_index.html. 50 Kraft aus Wut und Schmerz”220 (Strength from Anger and Pain) celebrates Mehr’s sixtieth birthday and her life’s work. In January 2011, the drama group Cantadoras debuted a theatrical version of the novel at the Theater Rampe in Stuttgart.221 Currently, the novel Daskind is considered a “Liebhaberwerk” (collector’s item), which is recognized by admirers as a piece of art as well as literature. 2.1.6. A Novel about Violence? Daskind is full of abusive characters. The villagers are, in fact, interconnected through an intricate and mostly covert network of abuse. Nonetheless, analyses investigating Daskind through the lens of violence focus exclusively on the young protagonist. Critics mention, for example, only Daskind, the nameless female protagonist, when they point out that “the child victim” not only learns the lessons of cruelty by being a victim but also by applying them herself.222 Others mention only the WVHPKL/OHGFRI girl, to the exclusion of other characters, when highlighting that the violence experienced has radical consequences.223 Even scholars who identify that Daskind shows the breaking of identity224 or suggest that the novel sheds light on the traumatized child’s inner world, consider solely the protagonist in their research. 225 Von Matt 220 Die Kraft aus Wut und Schmerz – Zum 60. Geburtstag von Mariella Mehr, directed by Marianne Pletscher SRF Wissen, December 26, 2007) last accessed January 7, 2014, http://www.srf.ch/player/tv/srf-wissen/video/die-kraft -aus-wut-und-schmerz?id=e6297378-fe75-4db4-9c77-a2e47c47fc10. 221 Adriana Kocijan, “Daskind – Uraufführung – Theaterstück nach dem gleichnamigen Roman von Mariella Mehr,” Cantadoras, deput performance in Stuttgart, January 18, 2011, http://www.cantadoras.de/img/daskind/daskind _portfolio.pdf. 222 So does, for example, Döbler, “Silberherz stirbt.” 223 So do Jacovino, “Wie das Opfer zum Täter wird;” Deobler, “Silberherz stirbt;” Lerch, “Mariella Mehr: „Angeklagt.” 224 As does Lerch, “Mariella Mehr: „Angeklagt.” 225 So do, for example, Lerch, “Mariella Mehr: „Angeklagt,” as well as Birrer, “Die Logik des Tötens – Mariella Mehrs neuer Roman ‘Angeklagt.’” 51 provides a potential explanation as to why neither Armin Lacher, nor any other of the books many abusive characters are considered victims in research analysing the text along the axis of violence, i.e. victim and perpetrator. Von Matt, who herself focuses in her examination on the female child protagonist, reads that character as a “steinschleudernden Racheengel”226 (a stone-throwing avenging angel), and by doing so suggests that Daskind turns violent to avenge herself. By focusing their research on the protagonist to the exclusion of any other figures, critics imply that other characters, and in particular Armin Lacher, have either no, or not a “good enough” reason, to seek vengeance and become perpetrators. This position implies a strong preconceived hierarchy of victims and mindsets that are still steeped in a binary system of who is a “victim” and who is a “perpetrator.” In Daskind, Mehr goes much further in her novelistic exploration of violence and in her attempt to understand this theme than has been acknowledged thus far. 227 The narrative subverts simplistic binaries and demonstrates through various writing techniques how hard it is to unveil hidden histories and to get to the bottom of things. In order to understand the novel’s complexity, historical aim and political importance it is vital to include the character Armin Lacher in an examination that reads the text through the lens of WVHPKL/OHGFRI children, youth and adults. 226 Matt von, “Die Sprache der Mutter, das Heimweh der Töchter / Kindheitsrecherchen von Autorinnen aus der deutschsprachigen Schweiz.” 227 Exact citation on p. 76ff. 52 2.2. UNVEILING a SUBJUGATED HISTORY: HISTORICAL and SOCIO-CULTURAL ALLUSIONS 2.2.1. A Brief Summary The novel problematizes the circumstances of WVHPKL/OHGFRI children, youth and adults, and explores and unveils the long and intricate history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people as well as the welfare systems they encounter/ed. The novel’s children, who are official and unofficial wards of the state i.e. the village, depend on the goodwill of the community to be taken care of and to survive. The main story line evolves around the life of the nameless female protagonist “Daskind” (Thechild). Readers witness the girl’s experiences while she “migrates” from institutional care to foster family and subsequently into an uncertain future. Mehr takes the proverb, “it takes a village to raise a child” literally and explores the question: what happens when there is no “village” to raise a child? To answer this inquiry, the author probes in Daskind the childhoods of the two WVHPKL/OHGFRI characters. When considering how little information is given about the novel’s other characters, except when they cause harm and neglect, one might have the impression that there is only one story line. However, there are strong arguments for analyzing the other storylines separately, in particular, the one of the second WVHPKL/OHGFRI character. Since I read Daskind as a text recovering the subjugated knowledges, i.e. history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people, I focus in my examination on the two WVHPKL/OHGFRI characters. Daskind’s story is on several levels tightly intertwined with the story line of Armin Lacher, the son of a “Landfahrer.” Therefore, Mehr’s literary experiment includes two, not just 53 one, inverted Kaspar Hauser stories. 228 In the case of the protagonist, the village does not want to take care of Daskind but instead wants to get rid of her. In the case of Armin, the village exploits him as a work force and keeps him marginalized, even as an adult. The nonlinear narrative, which is told in alternating person view, with the protagonist’s being the most prominent one, includes furthermore the stories of Leni, the protagonist’s mother, of Kari, Daskind’s father, and of Frieda and Kari Kenel, her foster parents. The novel begins in the middle of Daskind’s stay at the Kenels’. Her background story is revealed through flashbacks. This inverted genre of “Dorfgeschichte” explores personal circumstances as well as societal and religious conditions that make abuse possible and help perpetuate it. The narrator describes, with shocking imagery, the consequences of how pressure, self-centeredness, the desire for status and revenge, as well as frustration, violence and abuse engendered by unhappy lives, based on blind obedience to Church and authority, are acted out downwards, towards those with less power. The main part of the story takes place in a nameless, generic and outwardly idyllic village in which men raise and breed roses, women have their own clubs and children and youth are exposed to imported cultural events, such as a foot artist and a taxidermied whale. 2.2.2. Introductory Exposition The narrative begins with the statement “Hat keinen Namen, Daskind”229 (Has no name, Thechild), which serves as an introduction of the protagonist. The compound Daskind, which is made up of an article and a noun, is not a name as some scholars suggest. On the contrary, the 228 Critics have so far only recognized the protagonist as an inverted Kaspar Hauser story. Helmut Loder, “Der Waschzettel: Mariella Mehr, Kind ohne Namen: Daskind,” January, 2004, http://www.lodernet.com/waschzettel/wz _mehr_daskind.html. 229 Mariella Mehr, Daskind (Zürich: Nagel & Kimche, 1995), 5. 54 compound underscores that this story is not about just any child, but about those who are reduced by society to nameless children, boys as well as girls. The opening sentence’s structure alludes to Grimm’s fairy tales. Many of them begin with the phrase “Es war einmal [ein-Protagonist]” (Once upon a time, there was [a-protagonist]), wherein the introduced protagonist is a nameless type such as, a princess, a prince, a tailor, a shoemaker, or a boy or a girl, rather than a distinct character. However, the reading of Daskind as a fairy tale is immediately corrected through a long list of slurs and an explanation as to why the village’s women use violent language to talk with and about the female child protagonist. The child is not allowed to have a name because, the narrator explains, “she could otherwise not be addressed by the community with countless, often sexually charged slurs and derogatory terms such as [Hürchen]230 ‘little whore,’ [Saumädchen]231 ‘piggygirl,’ [Dreckigerbalg] 232 ‘dirtybrat,’ and so on. Hence, she becomes in the text,”233 “Daskind” (Thechild). The protagonist’s namelessness signifies, according to sociologist, anthropologist and philosopher Pierre Bourdieu, a lack of belonging to a family, a class, or a clan.234 For theorist Judith Butler,235 being without a name means to be unable to claim an identifying speech act for oneself. “Notwithstanding the community’s professed Christian faith and its associated values, the [protagonist’s] namelessness opens a space wherein injurious speech characterizes her 230 Ibid. 231 Ibid. 232 Ibid. 233 Ursula Baer, “Violent naming: Power Relations and Cultural Identities in Representations of Family-less Children in Modern German-Language Literatures,” Crossroads – An interdisciplinary journal for the study of history, philosophy, religion and classics – Special Issue - 2008 Rhizomes Conference 3, no. 2 (2009): 9, http://www.uq.edu.au/crossroads/Archives/Vol%203/Issue%202%202009/Vol3Iss209%20-%204.Baer%20%28p.5-11%29.pdf. 234 Pierre Bourdieu, Language & Symbolic Power, ed. John B. Thompson, trans. Gino Raymond and Matthew Adamson (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1991). Michel Foucault argues similar. He states, “The ‘name’ and the genealogy that situates one within a kinship group.” Ibid., Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, 2nd ed. (New York: Vintage Books, 1995),192ff. 235 Butler, excitable speech – A Politics of the Performative. 55 WVHPKL/OHGFRI identity.”236 Here, the function of “Butler’s notion of injurious naming as an act of violent identification is openly apparent in the text.”237 In addition, the reiteration of violent naming supports the exchange of shared experiences within this village. This repeated act constitutes and affirms the community at the expense of the most vulnerable among them, the WVHPKL/OHGFRI child. Therefore, the protagonist’s namelessness “provides for the community a sanctioned location to reiterate its conventional and negotiated”238 values and identity. As a whole, the novel’s opening alerts readers to a narrative in which the childhood described is anything but “a fairy tale.” As if that were not enough to clearly mark Daskind as a victim, here of emotional and verbal abuse, the reader also learns that the seven to eight year old protagonist is a foster child. On the following few pages it is further revealed that she is beaten almost daily by her foster-father, and regularly sexually abused by the boarder, who rents a room at the foster parents’ house. The information about the sexual abuse is woven with great caution into the text throughout the entire novel by revealing bits and pieces that only hint at sexual assault but assembled together like a jigsaw puzzle, attest to the repeated violation. The first piece is given on page one239 and by the end of the chapter the sexual abuse is for the first time confirmed. Mehr seeks to minimize the abuse that could occur through the act of writing and reading by employing the literary technique of fragmentation.240 In addition, the technique mirrors how much of a taboo sexual abuse was, and still is, and how that silence is often only broken through the revelation of fragmented pieces of information. 236 Baer, “Violent naming: Power Relations and Cultural Identities in Representations of Family-less Children in Modern German-Language Literatures,” 9. 237 Ibid. 238 Ibid. 239 The narrative begins on page number five and not on the book’s actual page number one. 240 Häntzschel, “Im Kind denkt’s ans Töten. Mariella Mehrs düsterer Roman Daskind.” See also Döbler, “Silberherz stirbt.” 56 In between the verbal onslaught of violent language directed against Daskind and the first indication that she is regularly sexually assaulted, lies another piece of vital information,which is easily passed over. It is here, in the last four lines of the novel’s first page that the second WVHPKL/OHGFRI “child character” is introduced, initially as a nameless, adult boarder, and the full scope and depth of Mehr’s novel is alluded to: …und den Pensionisten im Pflegeelternhaus: Denpensionisten. Ein Knecht. Beim Großbauern ganz in der Nähe verdingt. Mit immergrünem Gesicht im Grünenzimmer, [...] weil dort im Winter die Geranien lagern...241 …and the boarder in the foster parent’s house: Theboarder. A farmhand. At close quarters with a wealthy farmer “verdingt.” With evergreen face in the greenroom, […] because the geraniums are stored there for overwintering… The information that the “Pensionist” (boarder) is at close quarters as a farmhand (with a wealthy farmer “verdingt”) (contracted-out) prompts a wide range of associative knowledges, indicates a second victim in the novel and connects this character thematically through a specific poor aid and early welfare practice with the protagonist. A few pages after the nameless boarder is introduced, readers learn that the figures the “Pensionist” and Armin Lacher are one and the same. This disclosure, in combination with the continuously mounting evidence that Armin Lacher sexually abuses the young protagonist almost nightly, poses a conundrum for readers early in the text. They either identify this adult male character exclusively as a perpetrator and consequently disregard the questions prompted by the fact that Lacher is “verdingt,” or readers include this information in their analysis of this “novel 241 Mehr, Daskind, 5. 57 about violence.”242 So far scholars have chosen to shy away from the challenges the connections between “verdingt,” Armin Lacher and sexual perpetrator pose. The argument that the multifaceted character “Pensionist-Armin Lacher” is absent from scholarly interpretations because the term “verdingt” is little known outside of a small group of specialists researching fringe topics is contested when considering that the omission does not end with the word “verdingt” but extends to include further crucial textual evidence, which indicate that the boarder is a victim too. 2.2.3. Armin Lacher - Omissions in Favour of Stereotypes The arch of suspense that begins on the novel’s first page with the information that an adult boarder is “verdingt,” concludes three quarters into the novel, when Armin Lacher’s story of origin is revealed. Moments before he dies, readers learn in medias res the surprising news that little Armin once was left behind by his father, a “Landfahrer” (Traveler),243 who had emerged from nowhere and vanished again, leaving the boy behind for the community to care. As a result, young Armin is “verdingt” with a local farmer. Die kurze Zeit, eingezwängt in eine zu enge Schulbank, reichte nicht aus, dem Buben das Einmaleins oder Schreiben und Lesen beizubringen. Während sich seine Schulkameraden mit Kreide und Schiefertafel abmühten, stand der kleine Armin am Schweinekoben und schrubbte die Futterrinnen, bevor ihm Schättis Alte das Mittagessen in den Stall brachte. In jenen Zeiten nahm man es noch nicht so genau mit der Schule, schon gar nicht beim Sohn eines Landfahrers, von dem niemand wusste, woher er kam und wem er den Balg zu verdanken hatte, den er auf seinen Wanderungen mit sich schleppte.244 242 Tebbutt speaks of a “trilogy about violence.” In Tebutt, “’Reisefertig, die Heimat im Arm’: Mariella Mehr and her distinctive delight in words,” 314. 243 The term “Traveler” is a contemporary and more respectful English term for all non-sedentary people. 244 Mehr, Daskind, 172. 58 [...] Bis er Frieda Rüegger begegnete, ...245 The short time constrained in a too narrow desk was not enough to instil in the boy the multiplication tables or writing and reading. While his classmates struggled with chalk and slate, little Armin stood at the pigpen and cleaned the feed trough before Schätti’s old bitch brought him his lunch into the pigsty. In those days school was not yet taken too seriously, especially not when it came to the son of a Traveler of whom nobody knew where he came from and to whom he owned that bantling, which he schlepped with him on his wanderings. […] Until he met Frieda Rüegger,... Although the term “verdingt” (contracted-out) is employed in relation to the adult Lacher and not in his story of childhood and ancestry, the description of how he lives while in the care of the village identifies him unambiguously as a “Verdingkind” (contracted-out child), and as such, as the novel’s second WVHPKL/OHGFRI child. Lacher was placed with a local farmer at an age when he could still be called “kleine[r] Armin”246 (little Armin). During that time, he had to work and was “held” more like an animal than a human being. The narrative alludes in this excerpt with a few seminal words to the rampant abuse which is today known to have occurred in the welfare practice “Verdingung.”247 By creating a character that is the direct descendant of a “Landfahrer” and is “verdingt,” the novel stresses the point that so-called “Gypsies” and “non-Gypsies” shared the plight of being “verdingt.” Furthermore, the character Armin Lacher references the long line 245 Ibid. 246 Ibid. 247 The topic has been picked up the press around the world: Maurus Bolfing, “Elende Kindheit,” Universität Zürich, July 3, 2013, accessed November 30, 2014, http://www.uzh.ch/news/articles/2013/ elende-kindheit.html. Imogen Foulkes, “Swiss ‘contract children’ speak out,” BBC News Europe, last modified January 19, 2012, accessed November 30, 2014, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-16620597. Marco Leuenberger and Loretta Seglias, “Verdingkinder in der Deutschschweiz,” Revue Quart Monde 209 (2009), http://www.revue-quartmonde.org/spip . php?article146. Renate Künzi, “Verdingte Kinder. Verdränges Thema,” swissInfo.ch – International Service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, April 22. 2005, http://www.swissinfo.ch/ger/index.html?cid=3778736. Vanessa Mock, “Tragedy of Child Labourers Comes to Light,” swissInfo.ch – International Service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, February 29, 2004. http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/archive/Tragedy_of_child_ labourers_comes_to_light .html?cid=3791074. 59 of people who have been “verdingt” and brings the history of all “Landfahrer” to the readers’ attention. 22.214.171.124. “Landfahrer” – Definition, Translation and a Nebulous Terminology The term “Landfahrer” describes a person or a group, i.e. a folk, who does not have “einen festen Wohnsitz” (a permanent address) but instead lives a nomadic lifestyle and “travels” the land. By using the more neutral and respectful term “Landfahrer” (Traveler) to describe Armin Lacher’s ancestry, rather than one of its derogatory synonymic versions “Landstreicher” (vagrant), “Vagant” (vagrant) or “Zigeuner”248 (Gypsy), the narrator references the long history governing all Travelers. That history spans from the Middle Ages249 to contemporary times250 and includes laws regulating citizenship, poor aid and welfare, which in extension thereof include the infamous Pro Juventute project “Kinder der Landstrasse.” The history of central Europe’s Travelers is shaped by discourses about different ethnic groups, lifestyles and professions, as well as discourses on social economy, psychiatry and eugenics. Less than half a century ago, anybody traveling the land to find work could easily fall prey to the prescriptive and stigmatizing labels “Landstreicher,” “Vagant” and “Zigeuner.” During the nineteenth and most of the twentieth-century, the German terms “Landfahrer” (Traveler), “Vaganten” (vagrant) and “Zigeuner” (Gypsy) described a diverse group of people 248 Given the history of abuse and prosecution, many members of the Roma, Sinti and Yenish consider the term “Zigeuner” derogatory. 249 Schubert, Ernst, Fahrendes Volk im Mittelalter (Darmstadt: Bielefeld: Verlag für Regionalgeschichte, 1995). 250 Eichenberger, Isabelle “Wir Jenische sind vollwertige Schweizer,” September 19, 2012, swissInfo.ch– International Service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, September 19, 2012, accessed November 30, 2014, http://www.swissinfo.ch/ger/gesellschaft/Wir_Jenische_sind_vollwertige_Schweizer.html?cid =33540592. 60 which includes Europe’s three main groups of “Gypsies,” namely the Sinti, Roma, and Yenish, as well as non-settled members of the poor and of other marginalized groups such as “Betteljuden” (begging Jews), jugglers and other performers. Historian Thomas Huonker shows that until the late twentieth century even scientists and authors used the terms “Landfahrer,” “Vagant” and “Zigeuner” in an unreflective, colloquial and synonymic way. During the inter-war period, the scientific community, especially psychiatrists, employed the terms “vagrant” and “Gypsy” to describe anybody who lived a non-settled lifestyle. For example, psychiatrist Johann Josef Jörger, a key figure in shaping the Swiss vagrancy discourse from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth century, considered the Yenish simply as former homeless people of different origin.251 As a result, he made no distinction between them and other Travelers. Alfred Siegfried, the director of the Pro Juventute project “Kinder der Landstrasse” (Children of the Country Road) campaign argued similarly and was convinced that it was completely irrelevant whether the Yenish were “Gypsies” or of another ethnic group.252 Social scientists, social workers, lawyers and private aid societies assisted the discourses on vagrancy and related eugenic measures.253 251 Meier, “The fight against the Swiss Yenish and the ‘Children of the open road’ campaign,” 114. 252 Ibid., 117. 253 Jakob Tanner, “Eugenik und Rassenhygiene in Wissenschaft und Politik seit dem ausgehenden 19. Jahrhundert - Ein historischer Rückblick,” in Zwischen Erziehung und Vernichtung: Zigeunerforschung und Zigeunerpolitik im Europa des 20. Jahrhunderts, ed. Michael Zimmermann (Stuttgart: Franz Steiner, 2007). See also, Meier, “The fight against the Swiss Yenish and the ‘Children of the open road’ campaign,” 113. Claudia Breger and Erich Schmidt argue in their respective texts that the “Gleichschaltung” and transfer of the persecuted group is rooted in the “ethnisch-rassistische” definition of “Zigeuner.” Claudia Breger, Ortlosigkeit des Fremden – “Zigeunerinnen” und “Zigeuner” in der deutschsprachigen Literatur um 1800 (Köln: Böhlau, 1998), 183. Erich Schmidt, “Die Entdeckung der weißen Zigeuner – Robert Ritter und die Zigeunerforschung als Rassenhygiene,” in Zigeuner: Geschichte und Struktur einer rassistischen Konstruktion, ed. Wulf D. Hund (Duisburg: Institut für Sprach- und Sozialforschung, 1996), 183ff. For further information on the legal situation in Switzerland: Otto Frauenlob, “Bettel und Landstreicherei nach schweizerischem Strafrecht. Ein Beitrag zur Abgrenzung des Schweizerischen Strafgesetzbuches vom kantonalen Polizeistrafgesetz” (PhD diss. University of Bern, 1939). 61 126.96.36.199.1 A Brief History of “Landfahrer,” and of a Pathology Starting in the nineteenth century when massive social changes and overpopulation resulted in increased poverty and migratory movements in Europe, the question of nomadic and vagabonding lifestyle became a central topic and was pathologized. In its wake, the expression “pathologischer Wandertrieb” (pathological desire to travel) was conceived.254 The spirit of the time demanded that the pathology be fought. Consequently, laws were passed and institutions founded to counter the “pathological desire to travel.” The goal was to eradicate any lifestyle classified as deviant and delinquent, particularly any vagabonding lifestyle, and instead create sedentary, hard working and God-fearing citizens. All Travelers were to be assimilated. Switzerland’s response to vagrancy was manifold and reaches farther back than the nineteenth century. In 1514, for example, the country decreed that all “Zigeuner” “Gypsies” i.e. Travelers were to leave Switzerland. Later, in 1850, “das Bundesgesetz die Heimatlosigkeit betreffend” (The Homeless Law) was enacted. Consequently, all homeless Travelers were arrested. Some, namely local and indigenous Travelers, who are today recognized as the Yenish people, received Swiss citizenship and were allocated to a canton that in turn assigned them to different communities. These allotted communities were from then on the “Heimatgemeinde” (the original community of a family), or (community-of-origin) of these new Swiss Citizens. “Heimatgemeinde” entitled people in need to support from their community-of-origin. These actions are often referred to as the “Zwangseinbürgerung der Fahrenden” (forced naturalization of Travelers). Travelers who did not receive citizenship were expelled or forced to emigrate 254 As an example for the term’s significance and far-reaching consequences see, for example, Rudolf Waltisbühl’s doctoral dissertation. Waltisbühl, Bekämpfung des Landstreicher- und Landfahrertums in der Schweiz – Eine Untersuchung der rechtlichen und soziologischen Stellung der Nichtseßhaften in der Schweiz (Aarau: Graphische Werkstätten H.R. Sauerländer & Co) 1944. 62 overseas.255 Expensive licenses for traveling professions and other regulations further aimed at assimilating all Travelers into mainstream society. The “Zwangseinbürgerung der Fahrenden” meant the communities, which since 1520 were responsible for their own indigent people, were now also responsible for their Travelers. 256 Over time, more and more people left their community-of-origin to work and live elsewhere. The law, however, entitled communities to deport a person, adults as well children, who became indigent in the community, to the indigent person’s community-of-origin, as that community was responsible for the person’s care.257 As I will show, by the time the forced naturalization of Travelers was implemented, the communities already had an economically and socially feasible method of poor aid and early welfare system in place, namely “Verdingung,” which could now also be applied to Travelers in need of community assistance. 188.8.131.52. “Verdingung” - English Translations, and Definitions “Verdingung” is an early form of social welfare aid that was known in many parts of Europe. The model was more common in rural Protestant regions258 and was in some places of 255 Meier, “The fight against the Swiss Yenish and the ‘Children of the open road’ campaign,” 104. The character non-Traveler Daamiann in Auerbach’s Das Barfüssele shows another aspect of the changes which took place across Western and central Europe,. In exchange for the community’s financial help to emigrate to the United States, Daamiann loses his citizenship and has to relinquish all future help from the community he was born into. This is another way how the “problem” of WVHPKL/OHGFRI people was “externalized” and “solved.” 256 The “Heimatgemeinde” is inherited patrilineally if the child’s parents are married, or marry after the child is born. Otherwise, the child receives the mother’s community of origin. 257 Switzerland’s strong federalism prevented that the law’s implementation was organized on a federal level, leaving that responsibility to each canton, which resulted in different forms of applications. Although less and less applied, the law was in some cases still utilized in the twentieth century. 258 Orphanages were more common in catholic regions. Marco Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945” (Lizentiatsarbeit, Universität Freiburg, Schweiz, 1991), 34, 58. 63 Switzerland practiced until the nineteen seventies.259 The last known “Verdingung” of a child ended in 1985. 260 Currently, there exists no agreement on the translation of the nouns “Verdinung” and “Verding,” the verb “verdingen” and the adjective “verdingt.” The German word “verdingt” has been translated into English as “contracted-out,” 261 “indentured,” “discarded” and “rejected.” These four English terms express different aspects of the slavery-like labour condition “Verdingung.” Out of the four possible translations, I chose “contracted-out” and its nouns “contract labour,” “contracted-out child” and “contracted-out person” as the English translation for “verdingen” (verb), “Verdingung” (noun), “Verdingkind” (contracted-out child) and “Verding” (contracted-out person). At times, I also employ the German terms. The reasoning behind my choice is that the expressions “contract labour” and “contracted-out” are in the Anglophone world used as umbrella terms for any labourer whose freedom is surrendered and as a result thereof unpaid labour force is generated for a certain period of time based on a contractual agreement. This contract can contain stipulations such as repayment of the costs of housing, transportation, training and other expenses.262 Furthermore, contract labour has been linked to poverty and to political and religious intolerance. The Encyclopaedia Britannica states, 259 There seems to be some discordance as to how long children were “verdingt” in Switzerland. The final research report by Leuenberger, however, confirms that children were “verdingt” far into the second half of the twentieth century. “Zehntausende Kinder haben in der Schweiz noch bis 1970 das Los Verdingkindern erlitten.” Joel Gernet, “‘Versorgt und Vergessen’ Schweizer Verdingkinder,” Tages-Anzeiger, November 6, 2008, accessed December 4, 2014, http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/schweiz/Versorgt-und-vergessen--Verdingkinder-in-der-Schweiz/story/10269302. There is evidence that there are even today cases were foster children are taken in to exploit their work force. The most recently publicly acknowledged cases are two brothers who were placed with farmers as cheap labourers until 1985: Kavita Puri, “Switzerland’s shame: The children used as cheap farm labour,” BBC News Magazine, October 29, 2014, last accessed November 14, 2014, http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29765623. 260 Puri, “Switzerland’s shame: The children used as cheap farm labour,” BBC News Magazine, October 29, 2014, last accessed November 14, 2014. http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-29765623. 261 Some authors have also used the shortened version, namely, “contracted.” 262 Encyclopaedia Britannica, Online Dictionary sv “contract labour”, accessed April 7, 2012, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/135320/contract-labour. 64 “[d]eception, kidnapping and coercion have been used to ensure contract labourers.”263 Today, the conditions of contract labour are seen as a slavery-like practice in its severity. As I will show, the practice of “Verdingung” contains many of the elements covered by the English definition of contract labour. In comparison, “indentured labour” is defined as a form of contract labour and is associated with colonial times.264 The terms “discarded” and “rejected,” when used as translations for “verdingt,” express authors’ emotional responses to the practice of “Verdingung,” rather than the labour and legal aspects thereof. 184.108.40.206.1 “Verdingung” – Etymology, and a Brief History The origin of the term “verdingen” goes back to Middle High German “der Verding”265 signifying a male orphan taken into care by “Pflegeeltern” (foster parents). The dictionary Schweizerisches Idiotikon is a bit more honest about the practice and defines a “Verdingkind” as 263 Encyclopaedia Britannica Online Dictionary sv “contract labour”, accessed April 7, 2012, http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/135320/contract-labour. 264 During the time of being indentured, a person “agrees to voluntarily” work off the money i.e. debt borrowed by the indentured person him or herself, or the indentured person’s parents or guardian. Today, “indentured labour” is considered to have differed little from “debt slavery,” which is also known as “debt bondage.” The British Slave trade act of 1843 declared, “[t]hat all Persons holden in Servitude as Pledges for Debt, and commonly called ‘Pawns,’ or by whatsoever other Name they may be called or known, shall, for the Purpose of the said consolidated Slave Trade Act, and of an Act passed in the Third and fourth Years of the Reign of King William the Fourth, intituled An Act for the Abolition of Slavery throughout the British Colonies, for promoting the Industry of the manumitted Slaves, and for compensating the Persons hitherto entitled to the Services of such Slaves, and of this present Act, be deemed and construed to be Slaves or Persons intended to be dealt with as Slaves.” Slave Trade Act, 1843, Victoriae Reginae, (Anno Sexto & Septimo) CAP. XCVIII. “An Act for the more effectual Suppression of the Slave Trade. [24th August 1843.],” Cap. 98,: “II., page 98., accessed July 16, 2014, http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1843/98/pdfs/ ukpga_18430098_en.pdf. For the short version of the act see: Anti-Slavery Society, last modified 2003, accessed July 16, 2014, www.anti-slaverysociety.addr.com/bclab.htm. The Oxford English Dictionary defines “indentured” as “bound by indentures, esp. as an apprentice or servant.” Oxford English Dictionary – The definitive Record of the English Language sv “indentured”, University of British Columbia, online access, accessed April 7, 2012, http://www.oed.com.ezproxy.library.ubc.ca/. 265 Duden – Deutsches Universal Wörterbuch, by Günther Drosdowiski, (Mannheim: Bibliographisches Institut, 1983), sv “Verding.” 65 “ein um bestimmten Lohn von der Armenbehörde in die Pflege gegebenes Waisenkind”266 (an orphan, who is given into care by the poor aid office, and for whose care the poor aid office pays a salary). The German dictionary Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm (Grimms WB) does not list the words “Verdingkind,” “Verdingbub” and “Verdingmädchen.” It does, however, provide explanations of the verb “verdingen.” In regard to people, “verdingen” means, according to Grimms WB, to be given into service, for example, by the father or to give oneself and family members into service.267 The information these reference books provide about “Verdingung” is too conservative. To be “verdingt” had little to do with today’s understanding of foster care or paid work, it was the plight of the poor and affected orphans and non-orphans of both genders, as well as adults.268 To be “verdingt” meant that if neither parents nor relatives were there to care for the person in need, or to be drawn on for financial support, the destitute child or adult had to step in and work as much as s/he was able.269 To be “verdingt” meant to be given into service to do any kind of labour based on a legally binding contract. Mostly, the adult or child in need of community assistance was placed with farmers270 where the “Verdings” labour was 266 Schweizerisches Idiotikon – Schweizerdeutsches Wörterbuch, sv “Verding,” sv “Verdingchind”, accessed April 15, 2012, http://www.idiotikon.ch/Register/faksimile.php?band=3&spalte=349. 267 Deutsches Wörterbuch von Jacob Grimm and Wilhelm Grimm - auf CD-Rom und im Internet, Bd 25, Sp. 235, sv “verdingen”, accessed July 19, 2014, http://woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB/?sigle=DWB&mode=Vernetzung&lemid= GV00849. The verb “verdingen” has multiple meanings ranging from “jemanden in Dienst nehmen” “jemanden in eine Lehre nehmen” “jemanden in Kost und Pflege nehmen” “Vieh übersommern, überwintern” “verpachten.” The term’s etymology includes legal, political, abstract and concrete dimensions. The practice “Verdingung” contains elements of all four aspects. Schweizerisches Idiotikon – Schweizerdeutsches Wörterbuch, sv “verdingen” p. 471, 472, 571, sv “verdingen”, accessed August 25, 2014, http://digital.idiotikon.ch/idtkn/id13.htm#page/130571/mode/1up. 268 Boarding schools and rich relatives or family friends ensured that children of the upper classes who were in need of extrafamilial care were generally raised within their station. Equally, appropriate care and employment were found for adults and the elderly of the upper classes. 269 Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 83. 270 They were also placed in factories or with chimneysweepers. The latter is problematized in the young-adult novel Die schwarzen Brüder (1941, The Black Brothers) by Lisa Tetzner and Kurt Held/Kläber. 66 employed in exchange for food, lodging and clothing.271 Farmers did not have to fulfill any criteria to receive a “Verdingkind” save proving they needed the help of cheap labour.272 “Verdingung” was the communities’ answer to the 1520 law, which required them to take care of their own indigent people, as well as to the subsequent sharp increase of people and families in need of support. Many rural communities did not have the means to care for their destitute citizens. To offset the costs associated with caring for their own people in need, communities employed “Verdingung” as a poor aid and early welfare practice. In different regions, the practice was variously known as “Umgang,” “Kehre schicken,” “Rod,” “in Kost geben,” “Verkostgeldung” or as “Verakkordierung.” Correspondingly, persons placed with farmers were also called “Umgänger,” “Kostkind” and “Kostgänger.” Historians have found evidence of “Verdingung” as far back as the sixteenth century273 and as late as the nineteen seventies.274 A farmer’s economic situation determined the length of time he had to take in community members in need of charity. Sometimes taking in indigent community members was 271 Another fruitful source of reference is the Historisches Lexikon “der Schweiz,” last modified March 4, 2013, accessed August 25, 2014, http://www.hls-dhs-dss.ch/textes/d/D16581.php. 272 Künzi, “Historian reveals tragedy of Swiss child trade,” swissInfo.ch – International Service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, February 29, 2004, http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/historian-reveals-tragedy-of-swiss-child -trade/3791220. 273 Karl Geiser, Geschichte des Armenwesens im Kanton Bern von der Reformation bis auf die neuere Zeit (Bern: Stämpfli, 1894). The topic “Verdingung” has been problematized in literature for several centuries. Michael Hegglin, “Zeugnisse von Verdingkindern in 500 Jahren Schweizer Literatur,” Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen, last modified March 1, 2014, http://www.srf.ch/kultur/gesellschaft-religion/zeugnisse-von-verdingkindern-in-500-jahren-schweizer-literatur. 274 The most recently case was reported in the nineteen eighties. Regula Zürcher and Patric Schnitzer write, “Kinder wurden in verschiedenen Kantonen sogar bis weit ins 20. Jahrhundert de facto «verdingt», auch wenn dieser Begriff in der Behördensprache nicht verwendet wurde. Die offiziellen Quellen sprechen stets nur von Kost- oder Pflegekindern, die gegen entsprechende Unterhaltsbeiträge an Private übergeben wurden.” (Children were “de facto” contracted-out far into the twentieth century, even though this terminology was not used in the official government language. Those talk about foster children, who were given to private people, who were in turn compensated for taking the children in). Regula Zürcher and Patric Schnitzer, “Arm – rechtlos –verdingt: notleidende Erwachsene im 19. Jahrhundert,” Revue Suisse d’Histoire 58, no. 3 (2008): 270. Although “Verdingung” was for the first time forbidden in 1847, some regions upheld the practice far into the twentieth century. 67 seen as a farmer’s responsibility and as a contribution to the community. More often, farmers received a small amount of money from the community in exchange for their service. This financial support was called “Kostgeld” (board and lodging money). Even when these so-called foster parents received financial support for taking in a child it was understood that the destitute child’s labour would be utilized. In fact, the community paid less and less “Kostgeld” as a child grew older. The reasoning behind this was that farmers increasingly benefited from a contracted-out child’s work force once s/he has reached the age of ten. The benefit of taking in a “Verdingkind” was not, as Marco Leuenberger clarifies, the community’s “Kostgeld” payment but the utilization of the child’s unpaid labour.275 Strict guidelines about who is deserving of community support, and who is not, were a crucial element to determine who could receive the community’s support as a “Verding.” Initially communities mostly supported so-called “Notharme”276 (the destitute). This group encompassed orphans,277 the frail aged, the “crippled,” and heavily burdened families and households that police deemened necessary to dissolve.278 Later on, the so-called “Dürftigen”279 (the needy) were added to the persons considered deserving of community support. This group included families, who under ideal circumstances, i.e. good income and health, were able to support themselves. When faced with illness, unemployment and, “grosser Kinderlast”280 (a large flock of children), however, these families were temporarily unable to manage on their own.281 Hence, adults, like 275 Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 98. 276 Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 26. 277 Orphanages, as buildings and institutions, which are located separate from prisons and poor houses, were in Switzerland, as well as in Germany, built relatively late. The orphanage of Zurich, for example, opened its doors in 1771. 278 To dissolve families that did not meet society’s accepted lifestyle has a long history in Switzerland and beyond. I will explore this issue in more depth in later chapters. 279 Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 26. 280 Ibid. 281 Ibid. 68 children were “verdingt” for reasons of being indigent. By the nineteenth century it was common to place destitute children with farmers to save money, even though orphanages and other institutional placements became more and more available.282 To understand why children, youth and adults were “verdingt” in the first place, one has to remember that Switzerland was for many centuries an agricultural nation that was faced with extreme pauperism. In the sixteenth and seventeenth century, for example, many families could not survive without the additional income their children provided.283 Therefore, families felt impelled to exploit their children as cheap labourers or to give them, without a “Kostgeld” (board and lodging money), into the so-called “care” of farmers or chimneysweepers,284 who in turn utilized their labour. In the nineteenth century, as well as during the crisis of the nineteen thirties, overpopulation and little natural resources left many families in devastating poverty. In the nineteenth and far into twentieth century, Swiss children of poor families still had “bei den Feldarbeiten mitzuhelfen”285 (to help in the field) from as young as four or five years of age.286 When considering this long history of girls and boys who had to work to ensure their family’s survival, it is not surprising that children and youth in need of a community’s support were placed at a very young age with farmers where they had to work for their keep. Being placed on a farm was supposed to ensure that a “Verding” would receive enough food and adequate living quarters, and it was believed that it would offer plenty of excellent opportunities to raise a youngster into a life of work and obedience. In addition to proper food and lodging, farmers were supposed to provide their charges with adequate clothing. Little Lacher’s living situation, and the fact that 282 Ibid., 1. 283 Ibid., 136. 284 Children from the Swiss canton Tessin were commonly known to be sold to Italian chimneysweepers. 285 Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 141. 286 Child labour is not a phenomenon of the machine age as is often assumed. 69 nobody stood up for him or questioned how he was treated, references the social reality that it was well known that many farmers did neither but instead severely exploited and abused their “Verding.” Many of these children were not seen as part of the family but as maids and servants, or, like little Armin, as even less. 220.127.116.11.2 Terminology and Statistical Data To prevent any romantic and idealist notions, Leuenberger points out that in the nineteenth-century “alle armengenössigen Pflegekinder”287 (all “foster children” in need of poor aid) were de facto “Verdingkinder” (contracted-out children). Today, the term “Verdingkind” is, for the twentieth century, used to distinguish “foster children,” who had to work for their keep and were placed through the practice of “Verdingung” from those who did not have to work for their keep. Many rural communities did not have the means or the desire to care for their destitute citizens, neither in the sixteenth, the nineteenth or the twentieth century. How many children were contracted out in Switzerland alone, or in German-language Europe as a whole is unknown.288 For one, because the data was either not collected or not kept, but also because there were countless children who were contracted-out without the authority’s knowledge. These children need to be included in the number and history of contracted-out children. It is estimated that there were about 100,000 contracted-out children in Switzerland 287 Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 33, 34. 288 The fact that the numbers of Swiss “Verdingkinder” is unknown was considered so shocking that it made the news, even in Canada. In 2011, The Globe and Mail cited Alexander Leumann, who stated: “In Switzerland we know exactly how many cows there are at any one time, because they are all tagged. But to this day nobody knows for sure how many children were sent away from their families.” Frank Jordans, “Swiss face anguish over stolen childhoods,” The Globe and Mail Friday, November 25, 2011. 70 alone. There existed significant cantonal differences. The canton Bern, for example, is known to have had the highest percentage of “Verdingkinder.”289 Leunberger states in an interview: “For years, the trade involved more than 10,000 children every year.”290 18.104.22.168.3 “Education” for a Life in Service The practice of “Verdingung” saved communities not only money but also ensured that “bedraggled” and “neglected” children did not receive a better education nor a better chance in life than the children of so-called virtuous poor. Leuenberger cites in his dissertation Johann Baptist Hirscher who wrote two centuries ago: Viele hunderttausend Kinder von Bauersleuten, Handwerkern, Taglöhnern, etc., welche keineswegs verwahrlost, sondern von ihren Eltern mit Würde erzogen und rechtschaffen sind, haben kein andres Loos vor sich, als dienen, und vielleicht lebenslänglich dienen. Manche Knaben dieser Eltern würden gern einen besseren Stand wählen und z.B. ein Handwerk erlernen, aber sie haben die Mittel nicht dazu. Also werden sie in Stadt oder Land Knechte und Mägde, und treten damit in einen untergeordneten, übrigens nothwendigen und sehr achtbaren Stand. Warum sollen also verwahrloste und durch öffentliche Wohlthätigkeit gerettete Kinder sich über sie erheben wollen?291 Many hundred of thousands of children of farmers, craftsmen, casual workers etc., are not neglected, but rather are raised by their parents in honour and are virtuous, have no other lot ahead of them, than to serve, and may have to serve their entire life. Many a boy of these parents would like to choose a better class and for example learn a trade, but they don’t have the means to do so. Therefore they become servants in the city or the countryside, and enter herewith a subordinate, by the way necessary, and very respectable class. 289 Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 46. 290 Leuenberger, “Historian reveals tragedy of Swiss child trade,” swissInfo.ch – International Service of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, February 29, 2004, http://www.swissinfo.ch/eng/archive/Historian_reveals_tragedy_of _Swiss_child_trade.html?cid=3791220. According to Leuenberger Bern had in 1930 12’000 “Pflegekinder.” That means that five percent of the canton’s children lived in extrafamilial care. 291 Johann Baptist Hirscher, Die Sorge für sittlich verwahrloste Kinder (Säckingen, 1892), 43/44, quoted in Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 132. 71 Thus, why should neglected children, rescued through public charity want to rise above them? Hirscher’s statement is a testament to how society made a distinction between the virtuous and the non-virtuous poor. This ideology was part of dominat society’s power-knowledge network, and was enforced through social bodies such as the police, churche and welfare systems to ensure its “unquestionability,” The offspring of Travelers and children born out of wedlock, that is, WVHPKL/OHGFRI children, were perceived as “bedraggled” and “neglected,” i.e., as non-virtuous poor. As such, they were considered deserving of community support, but not of any support that would allow them to step out of their allocated social place. I will elaborate later on how strongly this affected their life chances. To be accustomed to work at the earliest possible age was believed to be one of the most effective ways to prevent children in need of community assistance growing up to be a burden on society.292 This rationale concerning the “education” of contracted-out children was supposed to enable “Verdingkinder” to free themselves from poverty, which was seen as hereditary. Critical voices questioned early on how this could happen without proper schooling. Although regular school attendance was rare in the nineteenth century, especially among the poor, this was even more the case for “Verdingkinder.” These children and youth were in the nineteenth and twentieth century rarely given the chance to attend school during summer time, 292 Leuenberger cites in his dissertation a government member who stated: “Für die Erziehung [von WVHPKL/OHGFRI children] gibt es nichts besseres als Arbeit. Es gibt als Erziehungsmittel überhaupt keine bessere Methode als Arbeit in der Landwirtschaft” (there is nothing better for the education of WVHPKL/OHGFRI children than work. There exists no better method of education than work in agriculture). Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 92. The idea was to raise these children to become “‘ein brauchbares Glied der menschlichen Gesellschaft, ein fruchtbarer Baum statt einer Schmarotzerpflanze’” (a useful member of human society, a frutful tree instead of a parasitic plant). Schweizerische Zeitschrift für Gemeinnützigkeit - Organ der Schweizerischen Gemeinnützigen Gesellschaft, Zürich, 6 (1863): 541, quoted in Marco Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 113. 72 enrol in the “Sekundarschule” (grade seven to nine) or to learn a trade. In some cases, farmers made sure that a “Verdingkind” could not attend higher classes when one of their own children was not selected by the teacher to attend those classes.293 One reason why the concept of minimal schooling was upheld far into the twentieth-century was that farmers were used to filling their positions of serfs, maids and farmhands with children and adults from the group of the landless and poor. In other words, contracted-out children were seen by farmers and officials alike as a means to fill the positions of serfs. This was particularly the case during labour shortages of servants and domestics during the agrarian crisis of the eighteen seventies, as well as more than half a century later during World War II. Hence, the basic principles of ”education,” i.e. non-education for “Verdingkinder” fit perfectly with the intentions to fill the increasing demand for servants and domenstics. Consequently, boys like little Armin continued to be placed with farmers to fill the position of farmhands, and girls continued to be placed to work as domestics.294 The word “verdingt” in connection with an adult character problematizes further how society ensured contracted-out children could not get too far in life. Generally, as adults, “Verdingkinder” had to work off the “Kostgeld” (board and lodging money), as well as other costs farmers deemed were not covered by the child’s work and the community’s payment.295 This practise of having to pay back the “Kostgeld” affected all WVHPKL/OHGFRI children and 293 See for example, Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 123. 294 By mid twentieth century, many contracted-out children took their education into their own hands after their time as an indentured child and worker ended. 295 Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 57. In addition, each “Verdingkind” was to receive a new outfit for his or her confirmation. This and other expenses were supposed to be covered by the “Kostgeld” farmers received in exchange of taking in a child. Many farmers recovered their costs for board, lodging and clothing later from the young adult by keeping her or him on without pay beyond the time the government had contracted them out. This practice was in some places upheld into the nineteen seventies. That neither the practice of “Verdingung,” nor the practice of having to pay back the community was limited to Switzerland is, for example, also attested through literary texts such as Ebner-Eschenbach’s Gemeindekind. 73 was in some cases kept in place until 1961.296 There is no textual evidence that Lacher is disabled, was at some point unemployed or was a ward of the project “Kinder der Landstrasse,”297 which were along with being contracted-out as a child, as well as being poor common reasons for an adult to be “verdingt.” Therefore, having to pay off the “Kostgeld” and any other expenses the community and the farmers paid for him when he was a child is the most likely reason why the adult Armin Lacher is still “verdingt.” In 1995, the year the novel Daskind was published, the topic “Verdingung” had already sporadically come to the public’s attention through autobiographies, fiction, as well as children and youth literature. At that time, the best-known texts about “Verdingkinder” in Switzerland were the fictionalized autobiography Die Fertigmacher by Arthur Honegger,298 the novel Der Bauernspiegel by Jeremias Gotthelf299 and the children’s book Die schwarzen Brüder by Lisa Tetzner and Kurt Held/Kläber.300 Overall, a strong associative link between “verdingt” and child 296 Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 91. This deterred many former WVHPKL/OHGFRI people from pursuing a financially successful career. Today, every, canton and country, handles this matter separately. Some treat the support a WVHPKL/OHGFRI person received as a child or youth the same as the support adults receive while on welfare. That means, if the person’s financial situation changes for the better within a certain period of time, that person, including former WVHPKL/OHGFRI children and youth, has to pay back a portion or all the state paid for him or her. The practice of having to pay back the “Kostgeld” helped insure that these children could not get ahead in life. This practice was increasingly criticised in the twentieth century. Leuenberger cites, “Bei Eltern, die es mit der Aufziehung ihrer Kinder ernst nehmen, kosten diese mit zunehmendem Alter je länger je mehr; bei unserer Armenpflege ist es umgekehrt!” (Parents, who take child rearing serious, spend more and more money on them as their children grow; in our care system it is exactly the other way around!) Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 91. 297 Although Mehr explores in Daskind socio-political issues that go beyond the history of the Yenish, this group cannot be excluded in the novel’s analysis. 298 Further examples are: Rosalia Wenger, Rosalia G, ein Leben (Bern: Zytglogge Verlag, 1978). Rosalia Wenger, Warum hast du dich nicht gewehrt - Aufzeichnungen (Bern: Zytglogge Verlag, 1982). Fritz Aerni, Wie es ist Verdingkind zu sein (Zürich: Carl-Huter Verlag, 2005). Hans Jäger, Wenn ich nicht geschrien hätte (Stuttgart: 1975). 299 Further examples are: Droste-Hülshoff, Die Judenbuche. Ebner-Eschenbach, Das Gemeindekind. Friedrich Glauser, Wachtmeister Studer (Zürich: Morgarten, 1936). Glauser, Der Chinese – Wachtmeister Studers Dritter Fall (Zürich: Morgarten, 1939). Cécile Ines Loos, Der Tod und das Püppchen (Zürich: Schweizer Bücherfreunde, 1939). 300 Further examples are: Kurt Held/Kläber, Mathias und seine Freunde (Aarau: Sauerländer, 1950). For additional literature on “Verdingkinder” see, for example, the website of the society “Verdingkinder suchen ihre Spuren,” accessed December 1, 2014, http://www.verdingkinder-suchen-ihre-spur.ch/literatur.html. See also, “Kinderheime in 74 existed. Scholarly research was rare, and like most non-academic texts, focused mainly on children who were “verdingt.” Marco Leuenberger’s thesis Verdingkinder301 (Contracted-Out Children) is one of the first historical analyses to unearth the long and at that time often obscured history of Switzerland’s contracted-out children.302 Regula Zürcher and Patric Schnitzer’s seminal article “Arm – rechtlos – verdingt”303 (Poor – without rights – contracted-out) investigates the topic of destitute adults in nineteenth century Switzerland, and gives readers an idea of how little attention contracted-out adults have received in research and literature. Their study is one of the very few analyses addressing this subject matter, showing clearly that there were always adults who were “verdingt.” The results of their research were first made public in 2008, twelve years after Daskind was first published.304 They found that in 1870, 2.25 percent of Switzerland’s population, that is, 37,378 people were “verdingt.” Of these, roughly 15,000 were adults. der Schweiz, Historische Aufarbeitung,” accessed December 1, 2014, http://www.kinderheime-schweiz.ch/de/kinderheime_schweiz_literatur_ liste.php. 301 Leuenberger, “Verdingkinder – Geschichte der armenrechtlichen Kinderfürsorge im Kanton Bern 1847-1945,” 26. See also, Jürg Schoch, Heinrich Tuggener and Daniel Wehrli, Aufwachsen ohne Eltern – Zur ausserfamiliären Erziehung in der deutschsprachigen Schweiz (Zürich: Chronos, 1999). 302 More studies have been undertaken in recent years. For example: Mirjam Häsler, In fremden Händen – Die Lebensumstände von Kost- und Pflegekindern in Basel vom Mittelalter bis heute (Basel: Schwabe Verlag, 2008). Ueli Mäder und Heiko Haumann, “Die eigene Geschichte erzählen,” Schweizer Monatshefte - Zeitschrift für Politik, Wirtschaft, Kultur 968 (2009): 29-30. Ueli Mäder and Simone Rudin, “Verdingkinder in der Schweiz” in Soziale Disziplinierung und Kontrolle, ed. Uli Mäder, Peter Aebersold and Simon Mugier, 149-176. Basel: gesowip, 2012. Leuenberger et al., “Die Behörde beschliesst” – Zum Wohl des Kindes? - Fremdplatzierte Kinder im Kanton Bern 1912-1978 (Baden-Dättwil: Hier+Jetzt, 2011). 303 Zürcher and Schnitzer, “Arm – rechtlos – verdingt: notleidende Erwachsene im 19. Jahrhundert,” 267. 304 The character Armin Lacher and “Verdingung” are only one subject matter with which the text demonstrates that Mehr’s unearthing of Switzerland’s hidden past did not end with the recovery of the history of the Yenish. Mehr expresses already in 1990 her broader thematic interest explicitly: “Mein Hauptthema waren immer die sozial Benachteiligte[n], Frauen, Kinder und Jenische, Strafgegangene und die Opfer der Psychiatrie” (My main topic were always the socially disadvantaged, women, children and Yenish, imprisoned and the victims of psychiatry). Mehr, “Frauenmut,” 176. 75 22.214.171.124. Identifying Swiss Travelers and Un-Family-Ing their Children When Armin Lacher’s father leaves his son in the village for strangers to care for him, the character seems to reaffirm the stereotypes of the irresponsible, asocial, dangerous, unpredictable and degenerate Traveler. However, rather than reiterating derogatory opinions and ideologies, the narrator alludes with this scene to the 1850 Homeless Law, which forbade “Landfahrer” to take their school-aged children on the road.305 This is one of the examples of how laws un-familied children, leaving them family-less, and how society justified these actions by blaming the parent/s with negligent and inappropriate childrearing, only to then expose those children to exploitation, and in many cases, also to other forms of abuse. The general “refusal of entry”306 of 1906 for Travelers into Switzerland also prohibited “Gypsies” and any Travelers from being transported on railway trains and ships within Switzerland.307 The country was the first to impose such bills, which were incompatible with international treaties.308 This is why, even though nobody in the novel knows where the “Landfahrer” Lacher and his son came from, it is clear to everybody in the community that the two had to be Swiss citizens as the country’s borders had been closed to all Travelers since 1906, and remained closed to them until 1972.309 305 Meier provides a brief overview of the history of discrimination of the Travelers in Switzerland. Meier, “The fight against the Swiss Yenish and the ‘Children of the open road’ campaign.” 306 Ibid., 104. 307 In 1887, cantons had already decided to pass a general refusal to entry for all travellers. Meier, “The fight against the Swiss Yenish and the ‘Children of the open road’ campaign,” 104ff. 308 Ibid. 309 Ibid., 105. The closure of the Swiss border had a devastating effect on the population Travelers during World War II. 76 126.96.36.199.1 The Disregarded Son of a Landfahrer Considering that critics show a great level of familiarity with Mehr’s biography and writing and underscore her Yenish heritage, it is surprising that none of them addresses the historical and semantic connection between “Landfahrer” and “Gypsies,” i.e. Yenish. Having said that, literary scholars are not alone in excluding this novel from seminal discourses about Sinti, Roma and Yenish, as well as “Verdingung” and other WVHPKL/OHGFRI people and their history. Mehr’s novel Daskind is currently absent from any non-university catalogue of fiction specifically created to list fiction with Yenish, Sinti, Roma and “Verdingkinder” characters; so for example, from the sites Verdingkinder suchen ihre Spur310 (Contracted-out Children Search for their History), Thomas Huonker’s Alphabetische Literaturliste zu Kindswegnahmen und Fremdplatzierung in Heimen, Anstalten, als Verding- und Pflegekinder311 (Alphabetical List of Literature about the Removal of Children and Extra-familial Care in Homes, Institutions, as Contracted-out children as well as as Foster Children) and from Amazon.com.312 The reason the character Armin Lacher has continuously been omitted by scholars certainly lies in the textual fact that the adult Armin Lacher sexually abuses the seven to eight year old protagonist almost nightly. The critics’ omission of the figure Armin Lacher indicates that they are still firmly rooted in binaries, currently biased positively towards the Yenish. By comparison, by employing the term “Landfahrer” instead of “Gypsy” or Yenish, Mehr distances 310 “Verdingkinder suchen ihre Spur,” accessed December 1, 2014, http://www.verdingkinder-suchen-ihre-spur.ch/literatur.html. 311 “Kinderheime in der Schweiz, Historische Aufarbeitung,” accessed December 1, 2014, http://www.kinderheime-schweiz.ch/de/kinderheime_schweiz_literatur_ liste.php. 312 The novel cannot be found when entering the search terms “Verdingkind,” “Jenisch,” “Pflegekind” or “Heimkind” into “Amazon.de.” In addition, the novel is also not listed on sites created to list fiction dealing with the history and representation of other WVHPKL/OHGFRI people, such as “Pflegekinder” and “Heimkinder.” 77 herself with this novel from the simplifying binary concepts of the Yenish versus the non-Yenish and the “Gypsy” versus the non-“Gypsy,” wherein the Yenish and “Gypsy” equal the victim and the “good,” and the non-Yenish and non-“Gypsy” equal the perpetrator and the “bad.” Although on some level understandable, the critics’ exclusion of Armin Lacher is counterproductive for the interpretation of the text and stands in direct opposition to the author’s proclaimed thematic intention. Two years after the novel’s publication, Mehr stated in an interview with Roman Bucheli: Gewalt ist so etwas Grossartiges und Unverständliches, dass ich 200 Jahre alt werden kann, und ich werde sie immer noch nicht begriffen haben und werde immer noch neue Sprachen erfinden und neue Bewusstseinsebenen erklettern müssen, um einen Schritt weiterzukommen im Verständnis von Gewalt.313 Violence is something so gigantic and incomprehensible that I can turn 200 years of age and I will still not have understood it, and I will still have to create new languages and climb new levels of consciousness to move a step forward in understanding violence. Mehr’s interest in violence goes far beyond the sexual abuse of female children growing up in extrafamilial care. The lack of critical exploration of Armin Lacher’s character serves to obscure the breadth of Mehr’s interest in violence, and hinders the novel from being recognized as an unveiling, exploration and mapping of WVHPKL/OHGFRI history. Furthermore, to ignore Armin Lacher reiterates that WVHPKL/OHGFRI people and their history are too unimportant and at the same time too “dangerous” to be considered in literary investigations and theories. “Too dangerous” refers here not only to these characters’ antisocial behaviour but also to an understanding of texts as intertextual, and therefore as containing the potential to disrupt the notion of meaning. The recognition of WVHPKL/OHGFRI figures as such might result in the 313 Bucheli, “Die Lust an der Selbstpreisgabe; Mariella Mehr im Werkstattgespräch.” 78 contestation and disruption of today’s understanding and knowledge of who is a victim and who is a perpetrator, as well as of who is in contemporary’s power-knowledge network accepted as marginalized group, with all its socio-political and economic benefits, including the teaching and studying of their history. In contrast, to consider the figure Armin Lacher in research and to recognize him as a WVHPKL/OHGFRI character helps unveil subjugated, low-ranking and outside of the field of social work often disqualified knowledge and history, and sheds light on violence in scientific discourses and in a society that is generally known to be one of the most benign in the Western world, namely Switzerland’s countryside. The figure Armin Lacher, furthermore, problematizes the complexity of violence. In the following chapter sections, I address different aspects of violence as explored in Daskind. 188.8.131.52. “Immergrün” (Evergreen) In the last paragraph of the novel’s first page, “De[r]pensionist” 314 (Theboarder) is described as somebody “[m]it immergrünem Gesicht”315 (with evergreen face). To have a “green” face is known in the context of getting badly seasick. The color green is also used in the idioms “green with envy,” and “green behind the ears.” The latter describes an inexperienced and mostly young person. The expression “immergrün” is like its English translation (evergreen) used to describe conifers. These associations prompt the questions, what are the reasons that cause Theboarder to be forever sick to his stomach, full of envy, as well as “young” and “inexperienced”? Some elements of this second arc of suspense conclude in the reveal of Armin 314 Mehr, Daskind, 5. 315 Ibid. 79 Lacher’s background story. Others come to fruition only when both Armin Lacher and Frieda Rüegger’s background stories are considered. This structure mirrors the proverb “In medio stat veritas” (The truth lies somewhere in the middle), and reflects how difficult it can be to untangle emotionally loaded issues and to overcome strongly founded opinions. By the time Armin Lacher’s origin is revealed, he is already firmly established as a sexual predator, which makes it challenging for readers to see him as anything but an offender. Nevertheless, the narrative stresses that this character was not born a “monster,” but is a socially made, i.e. a culturally constructed “monster.” The reasons why Armin Lacher lives his life with an evergreen face all relate to how society treated and continued to treat this descendant of a Traveler, “Verdingkind” and former child in need of the community’s care. To reiterate, little Armin was not just motherless but also lost his father, which resulted in him becoming de facto a foundling. As if that were not enough loss and hardship to make him jealous of his familied peers, he was subsequently placed with a farmer where he had to work for his keep. As a “Verdingkind,” he was treated as less than human, received very little education, and was brought up to a life of poverty and in service with little chance of a better future: ..., der Lacher, wußte, er würde immer ein Getretener, ein Verlierer bleiben. Ohnmächtig vor Wut schnitt er fremden Leuten Gras und Garbe, molk fremde Kühe, tanzte mit Mädchen, die andern versprochen waren, bezog Prügel. Ein Scheißhaufen, dieses Leben, eine Qual, wäre ihm das Wort geläufig gewesen. Aber Lacher wußte nichts von Wörtern, nichts von jenen des Herzens und nichts von den Wörtern, die man in der Schule lernte.316 …, the Lacher, knew, he would always remain an underdog, a loser. Impotent with rage he cut strangers’ grass and sheaved it for strangers, milked strangers’ cows, danced with girls that were promised to others, received 316 Mehr, Daskind, 172. 80 beatings. A pile of shit, this life, a torment, had he been familiar with the word. But Lacher knew nothing of words, nothing of those of the heart, and nothing of those words one learned in school. Debasement and beatings were cornerstones of Armin Lacher’s life as a “Verding.” Due to the system’s policy that WVHPKL/OHGFRI children had to pay back what was spent on their care, Theboarder remains “verdingt” even as an adult. How much his lowly and transient317 status in the village and society permeates his entire life is also illustrated in his living arrangements. The room he rents from the Kenels is not recognized by Frieda as his room. Instead, she calls the room the “Grünenzimmer”318 (Greenroom). The narrator explains, “weil dort im Winter die Geranien lagern und die Wände des Zimmers lindengrün gestrichen sind”319 (because the geranium are placed there to overwinter and the room’s walls are painted in linden green). Bourdieu stresses in Language and Symbolic Power the importance and power of naming for the construction of social reality as well as for the constitution of class, and with that for a person’s social position.320 That the room the adult Armin Lacher pays rent for is by his landlords utilized for their own storage needs, and is not considered his room and consequently not identified by his landlady as “the boarder’s room,” or later when the boarder is identified as Armin Lacher as “Lacher’s,” “Armin’s” or “Armin Lacher’s room,” signifies a severe lack of power and implies that he is likely to have little control over his life in general. 317 That the room he rents is not named after him reminds readers of hotel guests; and of those seasonal workers who do not even have a room of their own but inhabit the room they rent and the bed in it in shifts with other seasonal workers. 318 Mehr, Daskind, 5. 319 Ibid., 6. 320 Bourdieu, Language and Symbolic Power. 81 184.108.40.206.1 Regulation of Love and Desire The description of the “incident under the beech tree” and the circumstances leading up to it provide further seminal information as to why Armin Lacher lives with a evergreen face. At first glance, what happened seems to be clear. When they were young, Armin fell in love with Frieda Rüegger, who is better known as Kari’s wife Frieda Kenel and as the protagonist’s foster-mother. Apparently, Armin was not willing to wait until they were married to be intimate with Frieda. Frieda, on the other hand, was not willing, so it seems, to give herself to him before their union was official through marriage. Their conflicting needs clashed when Armin made a forceful advance under the beech tree. This appears to have ended any chance of marriage between him and Frieda. When the flashbacks of the incident, which are narrated from Frieda and Armin’s point of view, are read in juxtaposition, however, readers discover textual oddities and conflicting information, all of which indicate that something is amiss in what initially appeared to be a neat and tidy storyline: 82 Exposition: Frieda Hat erst die Geschwister versorgt und dann mit der Näharbeit die Eltern ernährt. Hat nie einen Burschen geküßt, die nicht. Sitzt ihrem Leben gegenüber, ein Zaungast in der letzten Reihe, der nicht zum Mitspielen aufgefordert worden ist.321 [...] “…unters Turmfenster, wo Haare herabgelassen wurden, um den Liebsten zu empfangen. Armin Lachers Stimme, die sagt, laß dein Haar herunter, dein Feuerhaar. Lang ist’s her. Wolltest das Sakrament nicht abwarten, hast’s oben am Berg versucht, an der Stelle, wo statt des Turms eine Buche stand […]. Hast über dem Verwehren die Lust zu warten verloren, Lacher, und meine habe ich dem Herrgott empfohlen, wie’s der Pfarrer verlangt hat, und drei Vaterunser für mein Seelenheil gebetet.322 […] Gebetet. Daß sie nicht über sie komme, die Sünde. Ihr nicht in den Schoß fahre, den willigen. Aber der brannte noch lange, da nutzte kein Gebet und keine Andacht. Der brannte noch lange und wollte gefüllt werden, wurde hart und härter von dem Brennen, bis endlich, nach Jahren, alle Begierde erlosch.323 Exposition: Lacher Das hat ja soweit kommen müssen, [...], daß auch einen wie ihn die Verzweiflung wegen einer Frau niederstreckt. [...] Nie zuvor hat er versucht, in seinem Leben Ordnung zu schaffen, in dem es nur einen Höhepunkt gegeben hat. Eine Himmelfahrt, die sich unmerklich in eine Höllenfahrt verwandelte.324 [...] Bis er Frieda Rüegger begegnete, die, einen Restposten Stoffe unter dem Arm, Schättis Obstgarten durchschritt.325 Und Lacher widerfuhr, was jedem Liebenden wiederfährt, wenn sich die Liebe am falschen Gegenstand abmüht. Lacher mochte bitten und betteln, der Frieda war nicht beizukommen. Die wartete auf den Richtigen, und das konnte nur einer sein, der ihre Verbindung fürs Leben durch das gemeinsam empfangene Sakrament der Ehe besiegeln ließ.326 [...] Nur einmal hatte er sie an sich gerissen und Friedas Leib an sich gepreßt, laut stöhnend und grob, unter einer Buche am Vorderberg. Sein Gesicht brannte von der Ohrfeige und vor Scham, als sich der klebrige Samen in seine Hose ergoß.327 321 Mehr, Daskind, 161. 322 Ibid., 162. 323 Ibid. 324 Ibid., 171, 172. 83 Exposition: Frieda Had first looked after her siblings and then supported the parents, with sewing work. Had never kissed a fellow, not that one. Sits opposite to her life, an onlooker in the last row, who has not been invited to join the game. […] …under the tower window, where hair was let down to welcome the lover. Armin Lacher’s voice, which says, let down your hair, your fire hair. Long ago. You did not want to await the sacrament, you tried it on the mountain, at the location, where instead of a tower a beech tree stood […]. You have over the refusal lost the lust to wait, Lacher, and mine I surrendered to God, the way the priest demanded, and I prayed three Lord’s Prayers for my salvation. […] Prayed. That it may not overcome her, the sin. Not go to her womb, the willing. But it was on fire for a long time, there helped no prayer and no devotions, turned harder and harder over being on fire, until at last, after years, all desire ceased to exist. Exposition: Lacher Well, it had to come so far, [...], that someone like him too is struck down by despair over a woman. […] Never before has he tried to make order in his life, which has had only one high point. An Ascension that turned imperceptibly into a descent into Hell. [...] Until he met Frieda Rüegger, who, leftover fabric under her arm, crossed Schätti’s orchard. And Lacher experienced, what every lover experiences when love falls on the wrong object. Lacher could plead and beg, there was no way of changing her mind. She waited for Mr. Right, and that could only be one, who let their union for life be sealed through the sacrament of marriage. […] Only once did he grab her and pressed Frieda’s body against him, moaning and rough. Under a beech tree on the mountain called ‘Vorderberg.’ His face burned from the slap on the face and from shame, while the sticky sperm ejaculated into his pants. 325 Ibid., 172, 173. 326 Ibid., 173. 327 Ibid. 84 The narrator describes Frieda in her background story as “ein Zaungast in der letzten Reihe, der nicht zum Mitspielen aufgefordert worden ist”328 (an onlooker in the last row, who has not been invited to join the [dating] game) but contests that statement just a few pages later, where readers learn from Frieda’s point of view, how young Lacher revealed his feelings for her to her, and invited her repeatedly, as indicated by his pleas, to let her hair down, her fire-hair. Furthermore, the narrator portrays Frieda also as an overworked and underappreciated young woman, who “hat nie einen Burschen geküßt,...”329 ([h]ad never kissed a fellow, …) and implies herewith that she had never felt a desire to do so, nor a stirring of lust. Curiously, readers learn only a page later, and again through Frieda’s point of view that Lacher in fact did stir lust and desire in her, but that she chose to surrender those feelings to God, “wie’s der Pfarrer verlangt hat”330 (the way the priest demanded). Her desire and feelings for Lacher were, however, never fully extinguished. Years later, and long since married to Kari, Frieda still remembers him longingly: …wenn einem das Rot des Haars abhanden gekommen und sonst einer wie Lacher, ach Lacher, in seinen Armen.331 … when one lost the red hair as well as otherwise one like Lacher, ach Lacher, in his arms. The differences between the accounts narrating the actual “incident under the beech tree,” when told from Frieda’s point of view compared to how the “incident” is relayed in Lacher’s background story, are striking and prompt readers to investigate the intratextual signs more 328 Ibid., 161. 329 Ibid. 330 Ibid., 162. 331 Ibid., 216. 85 closely. For example, were Frieda’s character to simply represent the female coping mechanism of her time, that is, to explain away and rationalize the male transgression, as one might conclude when considering the phrase ([y]ou have over the refusal lost the lust to wait, Lacher), then Lacher’s point of view should reflect the corresponding male attitude. That is, he should be described as feeling entitled to “have” Frieda. Interestingly though, this is not the case. Instead, the account narrating the transgression “under the beech tree” from Lacher’s point of view judges his actions harshly and even speaks of the shame he experienced. In other words, young Armin Lacher was fully aware that he had crossed a line. In addition, Frieda stood her ground and was able to deflect Lacher’s forceful advance by slapping him across the face, which put him in his place. 220.127.116.11.2 Mr. Right, the Church and Society’s Demands, and the Fallout In Lacher’s background story it is revealed that Frieda waited for Mr. Right and that “das konnte nur einer sein, der ihre Verbindung fürs Leben durch das gemeinsam empfangene Sakrament der Ehe besiegeln ließ”332 (that could only be one, who let their union for life be sealed through the sacrament of marriage). At first glance, this phrase implies that Armin just wanted a sexual “union” with Frieda but was not interested in marrying her. However, at this point, readers already know that Armin was in love with Frieda and wanted nothing more than to go out and dance with a girl that was promised to him and not to somebody else. In other words, Lacher would have loved to marry Frieda. Since young Frieda and young Armin clearly had feelings for each other, the question arises, why was Frieda waiting for Mr. Right, i.e. why was Armin, who 332 Ibid., 173. 86 was in love with the young “Störschneiderin”333 Frieda, and who kindled feelings and lust in her, not her Mr. Right? The passive form in the statement “das konnte nur einer sein, der ihre Verbindung fürs Leben durch das gemeinsam empfangene Sakrament der Ehe besiegeln ließ”334 signifies that marriage was readily available to Mr. Right but could not be effected by Armin, or only after a long period of time, as alluded to in “[h]ast [...] die Lust zu warten verloren”335 ([y]ou have […] lost the lust to wait). This comment makes sense when considering the historical fact that there was a time when it was almost impossible for anybody receiving any form of poor aid to acquire the necessary documents to get married. Consequently, this severely impacted anybody who was “verdingt.” Scholars of German literature will here likely recall Jeremias Gotthelf’s Der Bauernspiegel. In this fictive autobiography, the protagonist Jeremia’s plan to marry his love Anneli is thwarted when he learns that as a former “Verdingkind” he owes the community the “Kostgeld” they advanced for him, and that he cannot marry before that debt is paid off. Frieda and Armin found themselves in a similar situation. Unlike Frieda, however, Anneli, does not refuse her young and indebted suitor and the couple consummates their love long before Jeremias is able to marry. Tragically, Anneli and their newborn die in childbirth.336 The account of Lacher’s apparently unrequited love for Frieda alludes to that time in the history of WVHPKL/OHGFRI children and people when a person who was “verdingt,” as well as his or her beloved, could easily die before the “Verding” was able to work off the alleged debts to society and could therefore marry. 333 Ibid., 13. “Stör” is an old term describing the journey of artisans and craftspeople, who worked in their customers’ homes. In other words, Frieda was a migrant worker, more aptly, she was a migrant seamstress. 334 Ibid., 173. 335 Ibid., 162. 336 Gotthelf’s novel further explores the issue of how the prohibition of marriage for any person receiving poor aid-welfare resulted in a vicious circle of illegitimacy and poverty. 87 Knowing that Frieda and Armin had feelings for each other, the words “fürs Leben”337 (for life) appear to be unnecessary over-information. When considering Mehr’s precision with language, then the entire sentence “[d]ie wartete auf den Richtigen, und das konnte nur einer sein, der ihre Verbindung fürs Leben durch das gemeinsam empfangene Sakrament der Ehe besiegeln ließ” has to be read literally. The narrator’s choice of words bring to the fore that Frieda and Armin do have a “union for life.” Although their relationship never attains the legal status of a marriage, their lives are linked through elements generally associated with matrimony: e.g. love, passion, living together, and a child. So do Lacher’s last thoughts reveal that he never stopped loving Frieda. Furthermore, like a married couple, the adult Armin and Frieda live together under one roof. And most troubling, their lifelong union and their repressed feelings are acted out in inappropriate, immature, hence “green” and severely damaging ways upon the female child protagonist. That is, Lacher replaces the unattainable Frieda by a proxy-lover, namely, Daskind, and Frieda transposes her refusal of the “Verding” Armin Lacher onto her foster child by refusing to engage in any loving or caring exchange with her. In contrast, after denying her feelings for Lacher, Frieda chooses a marriage of convenience with Kari Kenel to fulfill her duty to society as a woman and wife, and so Kari can be seen by society as a “real” man. The narrator elaborates on some of this society’s gender norms for males: Der, dem keiner das Hemd wäscht, ist kein ganzer Mann. Zum Gespött wird einer ohne Frau [...]. Drum kocht und wäscht die Frieda weiter, wie sie es von Kindsbeinen an gelernt hat.338 The one, whom nobody washes his shirts, is not a full man. Somebody without a wife is the laughing stock […]. That is the reason why Frieda continues to cook and wash, the way she has learned to since she was a child. 337 Mehr, Daskind, 173. 338 Ibid., 161. 88 To ensure that Frieda’s actions cannot be construed as one person’s bad choices or that what happens to Daskind is perceived as the result of the breakdown of one family, Mehr’s narrative highlights the church’ and society’s complicity in the tragedies of these lives through the character of a nameless “Pfarrer”339 (Father). By demanding that the young and at that time apparently healthy340 Frieda surrender her lust and desire to God and pray, rather than marry the young suitor she clearly has feelings for, the Father mirrors the church and society’s attitude towards “Landfahrer” and “Verdingte,” a mindset that did not change until the last quarter of the twentieth century. Meier, for example, stresses that any actions against “Landfahrer” was strongly supported by the general population, and that the negative attitude against them only started to change once the Swiss borders were reopened to Travelers in 1972. Furthermore, the various forms of stigmatizations surrounding “Verdingkinder” have only in recent years begun to be addressed and, as a result thereof, to abate. Burdened by shame and discrimination, most former “Verding” have kept their past a secret even from their spouses and children until the last decade when more and more historians started to research the topic. The social stigma attached to being a “Landfahrer” or a “Verding” resulted in discrimination and made a marriage with anybody from these groups an “undesirable” union that had to be stopped from happening.341 Although a ban of Traveler marriages was legally not feasible, the notion, though, was considered in the last 339 Ibid., 162. 340 There is no textual evidence that Frieda had any love interests other than Armin Lacher and Kari Kenel. Hence, Frieda did not know, nor did anybody else, that she could not have children until she was married to Kari Kenel. 341 “Landfahrer” and “Verdingte” experience/d collective stigmata based on what Erwin Goffman termed phylogenetic features such as “gipsy-like” or “vagrancy-like” types. Erving Goffman, Asylums: Essays on the Social Situation of Mental Patients and other Inmates (Garden City, NY: Anchor 1961). Meier, “The Fight against the Swiss Yenish and the ‘Children of the Open Road’ campaign,” 112. Sara Galle and Thomas Meier, Von Menschen und Akten – Die Aktion «Kinder der Landstrasse» der Stiftung Pro Juventute (Zürich: Chronos, 2009). 89 century.342 The character Armin Lacher represents a large group of men and women, who were considered by society and law neither “full men” nor full citizens. He and his plight illustrate the problems that plagued “Landfahrer” and “Verding,” as well as the social repercussions resulting from belonging to one or both of these groups. 2.2.4. Daskind - the Protagonist After this initial exploration of the WVHPKL/OHGFRI character Armin Lacher, of the welfare practices he experiences and of the diverse group of people this figure represents, I now turn my focus to the novel’s main character, Daskind. The protagonist’s story of origin and how she becomes a foster child with Kari and Frieda Kenel is revealed in two separate accounts, and like Armin Lacher’s background story, in the last quarter of the novel. The first one is primarily told as a flashback from her biological father’s point of view. Kari remembers: Sieht sich, ein paar Jahre jünger, [...]. Mit der Frau im Rücken, [...] sein Kind, von dem sie nichts weiß. [...] Bis Kari Kenel vor seinem Kind stehenbleibt.343 [...] ... und daß man dem Paar Zeit gönnen müsse, sein Kind zu finden. Sie sagt: sein Kind.344 Sees himself, a few years younger, […]. With the woman in the back, […], his child, of whom she knows nothing. […] Until Kari stops in front of his child. […] … and that the couple is granted the time, to find their345 child. She says: his child. 342 Johann Josef Jörger “promoted the fight against vagrancy by taking away the children” because “resettlement or a ban on gypsy marriages was not feasible legally.” Meier, “The Fight against the Swiss Yenish and the ‘Children of the Open Road’ campaign,” 115. 343 Mehr, Daskind, 177, 178. 344 Ibid., 179. 90 In this excerpt, readers learn the surprising news that Daskind might be Kari’s child. In an initial reading, and especially when distracted by the description of how and why the children are presented to the Kenel couple, the phrase “sein Kind”346 (his child) could easily mean that Kari searches the row of children to find the one he wants to take home as his foster child. The narrator’s statement that Kari’s wife Frieda knows nothing about “his child”, that “it” [the child]347 is also declared by a nun as “his child” and that the narrator repeats this statement as a two word sentence, signifies however, that there is more to this child, and that “it” could literarily be his biological child. Less than ten pages after Daskind’s paternity is revealed, readers are confronted with the disclosure, from her biological mother’s point of view, that her mother is Kari’s sister, Leni: Die Verzweiflung hatte sie aneinandergekettet, Bruder und Schwester, mit Worten, die kein Trost sein konnten, diese Verstrickung nicht lösen konnten, sie in noch schwärzere Tiefen stürzten, sie aus dem Himmel verstießen. Dem Himmel, von dem sie glaubten, daß er Bestand haben würde, dem Dorf und dem Herrgott zum Trotz. Da hatte er ausgesprochen, daß das Ungeborene weg mußte. Das Kind muß weg, hatte er geschrien, während Tränen des Abscheus und des Ekels über sein Gesicht liefen. Um sich geschlagen hatte er, in hilflosem Zorn, und dann hatte er auch Leni geschlagen, seine Hände hinterließen häßliche rote Male auf ihrem Gesicht, er hatte sie in den Bauch getreten und geschrien, daß sie etwas sagen solle, nur ein Wort solle sie sagen, ihm Trost spenden, sie, die selbst untröstlich war. Er hatte gewütet, bis er erschöpft in sich zusammengesunken war.348 [...] Es ist deins, sagte Kari [...]. Wie damals, denkt Kari Kenel, ist kein Trost und kein gütiger Gott in Reichweite, die Sünde zu verzeihen. Da hätte man wieder
UBC Theses and Dissertations
"Daskind" by Mariella Mehr : unveiling a subjugated history: a first draft of an archae-genealogical… Baer, Ursula 2015
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