Workshop Migration, literature and identity in Budapest

  • November 8, 2018

Together with the Dutch ambassador in Hungary, René van Hell, General Representative David Maenaut opened the workshop "Migration, literature and identity" at the ELTE University in Budapest on 8 November. The workshop focused on the so-called "children’s trains" after the First and Second World War and the migration from Hungary to Flanders and the Netherlands in the twentieth century.

As a result of several migration waves during the century, personal, cultural and economic ties between Hungary and the low countries arose. The workshop, organized by the Department of Dutch Studies at the ELTE University, wants to deliver a meaningfull contributing to the current debate on migration and hopes to generate more research on the topic.

During the workshop, the results of the research on the first migration wave - the 'children's trains' after the First World War - were presented, personal stories were exchanged. And the exhibition "De Hongaartjes” (the little Hungarian children) was opened. This exhibition of KADOC (The Documentation and Research Center for Religion, Culture and Society of the University of Leuven) tells the story of more than 20,000 Hungarian children who stayed with a Belgian family to “regain strength” in the 1920s as part of an international humanitarian project.

General Representation of the Government of Flanders in Hungary

Picture from the collection of  Walter De Smet:  the arrival of  Hungarian children in Nevele , Flanders.