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The war children of the world

War and Children Identity Project (WCIP), Bergen, 2001
Kai Grieg
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The war children of the world

The war children of the world

    Kai Grieg
AcknowledgementThis report is the result of an initiative from Norwegian researchers and war children. It became a reality by the involvement of Bergen City's Chief Commissioner's Office which staff believed in the idea and provided office and salary for 5 months during the autumn months of 2001.During the time of writing this report the board of "The War and Children Identity Project" has provided invaluable input and support. I would like to thank the board for their outmost support and interest in the project.Stein Ugelvik Larsen is an active researcher at the University of Bergen. He is the "father" of the project. He has long been involved in research about the group of Norwegian War Children born after the Second World War. He has been a continuous support for the project.Elna Johnsen, is equally to be called the "mother" of the project. Herself a child of a German soldier in Norway, she has used her own experience to find ways to support other war children with a less fortunate fate. Her input to the report has been practical and down to earth. We have had several discussions on what it means to be a war child. I have several times found my selves in a situation where I thought I understood the implications of having an Unknown Soldier father and found that my understanding has missed some of the main points. I am thankful to Elna for showing me and patiently explaining her experiences. It is surely impressing to see someone using their own experience for improving the fate of others.Siri Gloppen has provided well-funded and very useful comments to an earlier version of this report.Arne Mikael Landro at the Chief Commissioner's office provided the first helpful support for the project. In his office the staff has been extremely helpful in assisting the project in different ways. It is truly impressing that the City of Bergen saw an interest in this project. Thanks to all the staff. This report is a collection of information never before gathered in one place. Internet has been like a Sarepta bottle, never becoming empty. Even during the months this report was written more information kept pouring out. It is the author's belief that some of the solutions to the problems for the children today stigmatised by their background are technological. Distance becomes less of an obstacle. We should never forget that the deep roots lays in questions like who belongs to our society and how do we treat people that seem different from ourselves. The War Children let us face the reality of how human a society we are. 6 BackgroundIn June 2000 Stein Ugelvik Larsen contacted Bergen City Council and the mayor of Bergen Ingmar Ljones to raise the issue of an international war children registry located in Bergen. The aim of the registry was to provide war children with a way to find and reunite with their parents. The idea also aimed to provide help and protection for children who are unprotected as a result their parents being on the "wrong" side in a war. The method to do this was set out as: "after time of crises and war for international teams to register children and their parents identity", quickly and with safe and efficient methods.The author was employed for 5 months to investigate the issue of a registry for war children. At the same time the War and Children Identity Project was formed with the following members:Stein Ugelvik Larsen, Chairman. Elna Johnsen Siri Gloppen from Chr Michelsen Institute of Human Rights. Arne Mikael Landro, Chief Commissioner's Office, Bergen City. Sverre Høye, Chief Commissioner's Office, Bergen City. Magne Raundalen, Centre for Crises Psychology Helge Bomann, Haukeland Sykehus/UiB. Morten Kutschera, Egil Rafto Human Rights House. During the discussion in the board of the project it was decided to define the issue to include all children stigmatised by their background after war and to broaden the scoop of actions to assist them. Definition of the term "war children"In this report the expression war children will mainly be used to describe a child that have one parent that was part of an army or peace keeping force and the other parent a local citizen. The weight is on the stigma these children can be subject to as a result of their background. The children themselves are as different as can be. While some are put outside society others are included. While some get psychological problems from their experiences others don't. Introduction to the war childrenChildren suffer in many ways from war. UNICEF has estimated that during the last decade: 2 million children have been killed; 4-5 million have been disabled; 12 million have been left homeless; More than 1 million have been orphaned or separated from their parents; Some 10 million have been psychologically traumatized.The intention of this report is to bring attention to those children who have each of their parents on different sides of the frontlines or who's parents give them a stigma when they grow up. These children's suffering often starts after the war has formally ended. Every war sees children born as a result of contact between local women and soldiers. The soldier might be seen as an enemy -or an allied. The post world war history of Europe has shown that the problems of these children are often similar. Two groups of "children" (they are not longer kids) have been vocal in raising the issue. The first is the group of children born of American and Canadian soldiers in England and the Netherlands. The other group is the Norwegian children of German soldiers. The two groups are similar. Both groups met discrimination and were stigmatised. And both groups have gone through many difficulties in searching for their fathers. Another group that has received attention is the children of American soldiers the fought in Vietnam. This group is probably the largest, and might number as many as 100.000, when the children born in neighbouring countries are included.From the sources we have been able to find there are at least 500.000 war children living today. The number is presumable much larger as information from many of the conflict after World War 2 has not been found. Examples of war children-Anni Frid, one part of the popular group ABBA, was born in Norway as a child of a Norwegian woman and a German soldier. She thought her father had died during the war, but a German fan got her in contact with him, and they finally met in 1977.-Eric Clapton, son of a Canadian soldier from Montreal and a British woman. He never met his father.To read the stories of Anni Frid and Eric Clapton please see page 55 and 58. Children by military personnelThe figures included in this table come from various sources. The numbers should be understood as estimates only as few good records are made. This overview shows that there are war children on all continents and probably from all wars. In the following we will look at the different kinds of war children. Country The different kinds of war childrenThis overview of 38 different groups of war children has showed us that this is a global phenomenon. Based on the information it is clear that the children have been born as result of relationships ranging from mutual consent to organised rape on the other end. While this report will focus on the conditions of the children we understand this will often depend on how their mothers are treated.One of remarkable features of this group is that it seems that all the war children receives a stigma, whether the father was an enemy soldier or an allied.We have to understand that this stigma often is associated with the status of the mother. Schematically we can say that the relationships between the soldiers and women range in a continuum from mutual consent, via prostitution to rape. It is striking how many mothers of war children in Vietnam and Cambodia that reports that their relationships with the soldier that fathered their child lasted for several years.For this report we have not been able to conduct interviews with the children themselves and we will therefore be careful to draw too strong conclusions on their behalf. However we believe that the children often face the same kind of problems. We will in the following look at their status. We will start by looking at children from forced pregnancies Children as result of forced pregnanciesThe issue of rape as an organised war crime has received more attention after the war in former Yugoslavia. By forced pregnancies we mean when women are raped with the intention of making them pregnant. There are reports that women were held in Bosnia until they were pregnant and could not do a safe abortion 1 . There is little information on how the children resulting from these pregnancies have developed. Most of the research done on rape used as weapon of war has focused on the women and the crimes committed to them. One of the researchers that has focused on the children born as a result of the rapes is R. Charli Carpenter who discusses the Human Rights implications following these children 2 . Her discussion focus on the status these children have according to the international human rights instruments. She argues that they are themselves the victims of the genocide that the forced pregnancies is 3 . However, they become victims through the status they have in the society they are born into.Often their mothers will reject them and they are adopted or raised in orphanages.United Nations has addressed this particular group of children in a few papers. One of these is the UNFPA assessment report on sexual violence in Kosovo 4 . In this it is said:According to the Amsterdam declaration of 21 June 1994, children who are born as a result of a rape should not be marginalized. The programme of Comprehensive Support for Victims of Sexual Violence should be integrated into all the other programs dealing with refugees, so that the victims are not stigmatised. Programmes for dealing with these children should complement others that already exist for unaccompanied children (i.e. UNICEF programmes). Special attention should be given to these children in terms of legal rights and protection (i.e. adoption laws, nationality, etc.).While the issue of these children already is raised it is remarkable little known of their fate or to what extent they are discriminated against. 1 The use of forced pregnancies in the wars of Bosnia and Kosovo led to a heated discussion of the use of abortion and abortion pills to end the pregnancies that occurred after the rapes. There were several hospital providing abortion and NGOs providing abortion pills. The catholic church criticised the UN for providing abortion pills "which equals abortion" for the rape victims. One of the first things US president George Bush did when he came to power was to prohibit the use of Mifepriston, also called the morning-after pill. He also stopped funding for US NGOs that provide the pill abroad. 2 Carpenter 2000b. 3 To read one of the articles R. Charli Carpenter has written on this issue see page 51. 4 http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/Kosovo/Kosovo-Current%20News196.htm Children of prostitutesSoldiers are known to use prostitutes. Around the US military bases in the Philippines many women worked in the entertainment industry. Now there are an estimated 52.000 children born by the soldiers. These children receive a stigma for being the children of prostitutes, although many of the relationships with the American soldiers were long term. In India it is estimated that there are 5 million children of prostitutes 5 . Their life is described like this:Prostitutes in developing countries rarely use contraceptives, either because they are not easily available or because they cannot afford them.The children of prostitutes, inevitably, do not experience much family life. They spend large parts of the day and evening left to their own devices. Not surprisingly they are easily lured into a world of drugs, violence, criminality and sexual exploitation. They are close to, if not actually watching, their mothers in compromising, even sadistic, situations. In Brazil children, even at the age of three or four, are sent out to procure for their mothers. By 9 or 10 they are selling their own bodies. 6 Children from mutual relationshipsIt is difficult from the outside to decide what relationships are mutual and where sexual harassment has happened. After the Second World War there were thousands of children born by allied soldiers. Many places they received as harsh treatment as did the children of the German soldiers. Being children of single mothers and war children made them vulnerable.When discussing the different groups of war children it is important to remember that while their background might be different there are similarities in their needs. What is important for the child?Based on the previous examples of war children we will try to see what is of importance for the child. At different ages different aspects are important for the child. We will try to focus on what is special for these children. Right to citizenship.Many places nationality follows the male line. That means that children with a foreign father are rejected citizenship. An example of this group is children born by women in countries that follow sharia laws. Other rights often follow the right to citizenship. In Vietnam it has been customary for fathers to claim legal paternity and to register births. Legal discrimination of war children in Vietnam has excluded them from education, medical care and welfare. The implications of this are tremendous. Without citizenship the children are doomed to be a pariah in their birth country. To know who their biological parents areMost of the war children seem to want information about their biological parents. While we have no evidence to say that also children of rape want to know who their fathers are, the ever returning issue for other war children is the search for their biological fathers.While the Conventions for the Rights of the Child states that all children has the right to know who their parents are, there are no measures in International law taken to assist the children that want to find their fathers. This issue is related to other discussions that currently are raised, like the right of adopted children to know whom their biological parents are 7 . The right of children born as a result of sperm donation to know non-identifying information about their fathers is now being secured by law in Britain 8 . As a result of the same right to know your parents the majority of parliamentarians in Norway wants to ban anonymous sperm donation.Since the legal framework is divided between two countries the children's right is not always secured. When the US made their Status of Forces agreements with Korea and Japan, which regulates navy visits and the bases there, there were no regulations committing the US military to assist in locating fathers and advising them to pay child support. However, in the similar agreement between USA and Germany this was included 9 .It is a widespread assumption that the fathers do not want contact with their war children. While our focus is on the children it is interesting to see that many of the American soldiers leaving Vietnam actively were searching for their offspring: While many studies focus on the feelings of biological mothers, biological fathers may also have a strong interest in information about their children. In a case requesting the release of information about American servicemen who had fathered children overseas, affidavits from numerous fathers expressed a strong desire in finding their biological children. These affidavits rebutted the government's claims that the release of identifying information could be "both highly embarrassing and personally disturbing to [the servicemen]." 10There are also too many fathers that do not want contact with their children. One of them wrote the following letter to the kid's mother before leaving Cambodia back to the US after serving with UNTAC, The United Nation Transitional Administration in Cambodia: We believe that fathers should take responsibility for their children and that governments can do more to make that happen. 7 Since the Children Act 1975 anyone adopted in the UK and aged eighteen or over has been able to obtain a copy of their original Birth certificate thereby knowing who their biological parents are. Similar laws are in place in Norway. 8 http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,2-2001396900,00.html 9 Foreign Policy in Focus, Vol. 4,No. 9, 2000. www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org 10 War Babes v. Wilson, 770 F. Supp. 1 (D.D.C. 1990). From http://www.law.upenn.edu/conlaw/issues/vol2/num1/cahn.htm 11 http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/transcript.php3?date=2000-09-20&title=The+UN%60s+legacy+in+Cambodia+ Where fathers cannot be found but it is clear that he was a government employee, the government could be held responsible for the upbringing of the child. In rape cases this could also be done. Assistance in locating their fathers (and mothers) of war childrenSeveral organisations have grown up providing assistance in locating the parents of war children. Many children ask for assistance in this field. We believe government should be held responsible for not hiding their employees from their offspring. Efficient searching would be an efficient way of assisting the children. Please also see later in the report discussion on different agencies providing such assistance. Often the government agency involved has rejected to assist. An example is the American National Personnel Records Centre (NPRC) who has refused to provide identifying information to war babes searching for soldier father, on the grounds that it was a breach of the Freedom of Information laws. Thanks to NGOs this is now opened up so NPRC now release information about the city, state and date of whatever addresses are contained in the records of the soldier. 12 Different tools for searching for parentsSince the issue of searching for parents are so vital for many of the war children we will emphasise on that issue for a while. Several organisations work with the aim of locating family members. The biggest is probably the International Committee of Red Cross. Online registriesThere are several online registers available on the Internet. There are open ones where people ask for information from missing family members and there are secret ones where information is provided from one person searching other person. If there is a match from the other person also searching, both persons will be notified. In the following we will look on some of these registries. Existing adoption registersMost western countries today have legislation that provides adopted children the right to know their birth parents identity. This is also the case for long distance adoption. These registers is kept by the agency or organisation that provided the adoption in the first place. The International Soundex Reunion Registry (ISRR)ISRR claims to be the world's largest reunion registry. It is "a non-profit, humanitarian agency which serves and promotes, through the reunion registry, the interests of adults desiring and seeking a reunion with next-of-kin by birth". The service is free and you register your name and the person you are searching. If the other person also has registered both will be contacted. The registry does not provide investigations. On their registration form they claim to have reunited many thousands. The Registry asks for donations to continue the work.Webpage: www.isrr.net The web site does not provide any personal information on the persons searching for relatives.The see their registration form see page 108Yourfamily.comYourfamily.com runs a web page called "Long Lost Family Bulletin Board" where people can search for long-lost family and friends, or see if someone is searching for them. The search engine is free and runs automatically. People put in their notices and people reply directly to them. Around 25 notices are added every day giving an ample example of the big number of children that are searching their birth parents. Not much concern is done to the privacy issue. For example can everyone put in a false search notice, claiming to anybody's child.An example of one war child trying to locate her father through this mean is the following advertisement: The Coalition For Adoption Registry Ethics, (C.A.R.E.)CARE was created in response to the need for standardization of policies and procedures of online reunion registries. They publish a set of standards to be met for online registers, the most important that such services should not charge people searching their family members.Webpage: www.plumsite.com/careSeveral web pages dedicated to find fathers of Amerasian children. Most of these will provide personal information of the child and the father that is searched after. An example of this is the Amerasian Web site: Since Internet is such a huge database readable available these persons will find the advertisement if they are searching the web for article on their own name. That is of course if their name is not too common. Amerasian or person searching Age -Present Location Searching For Wishes -Desires Results of Quest Lessons to be learned from existing registers for adopted childrenInternet is used to search for missing persons with some success. Since no body controls the net, nobody can stop anyone for searching for their relatives, putting personal information on the net. This development makes it more and more unlikely that fathers will never be found if their offspring want to search for them and have correct personal data. In many cases like for many the Amerasians of Vietnam the information was lost during the war. If the personal information had been stored the children would have been more likely to find the whereabouts of their biological parents.The main obstacle for the children to find their parents is however the lack of military registers to provide the information. Military registers can most often find out the whereabouts of a person based on information on the unit he served with and his Christian or last name. Most war children would be immensely helped if the military had an obligation to provide such information and they themselves had enough data about the fathers. That it is possible shows the fact that Germany asked the US to assist them in locating fathers as earlier discussed.One lesson from the many agencies that specialises on searching for relatives split by war is the emphasise they put on having enough documentation about the person searched. If this information could be stored in a safe way for later use of the child even if the child got away from his/her mother or the mother have died. Discussion on a war children registryBackground for the registry The group that started the War and Children Identity Project started with the assumption that more could be done to provide children and parents with information so that they could get in contact with each other more easily. The experience from Norwegian war children who were set away for adoption was that it took many years to get to know the names of their parents. Most of the Norwegian war children have not searched for their biological parents. Many of those who have searched did not succeed, as they did not have enough information available when they decided to search often at an age of 40. On this background the idea of making a registry of war children was born so it could be easier for other war children to search. In the following I will describe this idea closer. Description of a worldwide war children registry.The main principles of a possible registry are: 1. Information on parents and children should be recorded as early as possible 2. The information should be kept secure and only disclosed to the child or its parents. 3. The registration should happen at the same time as governmental agencies register the child, but be separate from this process. 4. Since most war children have parents on different sides of a war, the agency conducting or supervising the registration should be independent from the governments involved.The principles of a war children registry is based on the following: 1. Every child has the right to know who their biological parents are if they choose so.2. Also children born as a result of rape has this right to know their parents if they choose so. 3. UN agencies could be involved in registration of children who have parents from two different countries.As of this date there is no systematic attempt to try to register children that are looking for their parents and equally there are no attempts to register war children worldwide.About UNICEF's work for registration of all children UNICEF works to make child registration available for all children. The birth certificate is the ticket to citizenship. UNICEF figures states that every year 40 million babies are not registered. That is 1/3 of all births. The lack of registration makes many stateless. The people who are not registered are often not allowed participation in the country's society in whole. This is the case for most of Romania's 60.000 -100.000 Romanies (Gypsies). The children that are not registered meet discrimination in many ways. They are often excluded from education like the children of Afghan refugee men in Iran.The use of DNA as a way of establishing genetic relationship DNA-tests are very efficient in providing information on heritage and identity. All American soldiers have to give a DNA sample to be used in case they are killed and the identity of the remains shall be established. Since DNA can be used to prove genetic relationship it can also be used for war children to prove their family members. An internet advertisement shows that war children already want to use DNA to find out about their relationships with their fathers: DNA has also been used to provide reliable information about family identity for abducted children in Argentina and El Salvador. The Argentinean Grand Mothers are using DNA to prove the relationship to children abducted when their parents were killed during the military rule of the country.From the material collected in this report it seems clear that one of the most urgent issues for war children is to locate fathers (and in some cases the mothers). It is however too early to conclude what means should be used to secure an effective locating process. Concluding remarkIn this report it has been established that there is a large group of war children in the world.Only the examples show that group consists of more then 500.000 children. The group is more likely to consist of some million. This is a marginalized group, and special attention should be given to this group to meet their rights.It is the hope that by bringing more attention to this group of children the negative effects of war will not last as long as they have.Some of the war children described later in this report are born as result of international peace keeping missions, like in Korea, Cambodia and Liberia. As more conflicts tend to involve international peacekeeping operations there will probably be more "UN-children", or peacekeeping children born. On this basis and acknowledging the special responsibility of the UN it is recommended that:o Soldiers are informed about he responsibilities following getting involved with local women. o Soldiers should be held economic responsible for the upbringing of the children after their return to their home country. o An office to raise father support cases should be put up during and following peacekeeping operations. o That UN assists persons searching for their relatives.There are similar responsibilities for armies. Armies should make their records of former soldiers available for children searching to get in contact with their fathers. All armies should establish offices dealing with requests to establish paternity claims from children born overseas. Examples of War ChildrenThe group of children discussed in this report have different names all over the world:From the Rwandan genocide we know the following names used for the group of children born after the civil war, most born as result of rape: Historic examples of War children First World WarThe First World War was an occupation war with villages being occupied for some time, then left by the soldiers. Often the men of the village or town had left serving as soldiers somewhere else. While the men were out relationships developed between occupying soldiers and local women.One of the few records of this issue is The Sexual History of The World War by Dr. Magnus Hirschfeld (1934). The book reveals an old fashioned view on women's sexuality and the author has gone to great length in arguing for the view that a lot of the reported rape cases were voluntary. There is little ground to doubt the accuracy in the following exert:In December, 1929, the press There is no evidence to believe the French or British government indeed did support the children.The problems of the children were both that they were illegitimate and also that they did not have any supporting father. Hirschfeld states that one of the good things coming out of all the illegitimate children after the war was that they became less different from other children (1934.25). There were also a large group of children being born in England during the war as a result of soldiers being stationed there:Perhaps the crassest example of the changed attitude on this score was in England where, for a while, there was an actual cult of "war babies," illegitimate children whose fathers were soldiers. (1934:135) The example below of war children after the First World War. The number of children being the result of soldiers in the colonies has many places left a special caste of half-breed children. The Second World War saw the largest transportation ever of soldiers from one continent to another. We have found information on the following groups of children being the result of this these soldiers meeting local women: Second World WarToday it is difficult to find information on the character of the relationship between the soldiers and the girls. It is likely to believe that some of the girls were prostitutes, many were raped and that many had longer relationship with the soldiers. Children of British soldiers in Artic SovietOne group of women who got involved with British seamen got a special harsh treatment. During the war British convoys came with aid to the Soviet Union, especially through Archangel. Some of the women there got involved with the sailors. In some cases the relationship led to children being born. After the war ended many of the woman were sent to Gulag prison camps accused of spying, terrorism and anti-Soviet activity. That the British had been allied did not seem to matter. The children were left back with grandparents or foster parents. Recently one of the woman got in contact with her former boy friend and the father to her child. The Independent Newspaper described their story earlier this year. The situation for the child of the relationship is described like this:Her son was also discriminated against and, unable to get a proper education, worked all his life in a timber mill until he died four years ago. Yelena wrote about Edik's death to his father but the letter came back marked "Addressee left". 15 To read the full story please see page 60. War Brides and Children of Canadian and US soldiers in EuropeThe Northern American soldiers had a warm welcome in many places in Europe. Many of them married local women and it is estimated that 1 million of these "war brides" travelled to the US 16 . They came from allied countries like the United Kingdom, newly liberated countries like Netherlands and occupied territory like Germany. For the children they were able to live with both parents. That was not the case for many of the children left behind in Europe with their mothers. The children could be put into homes run either by local authorities or by voluntary organisations. Any fostering or adoption that might then follow would mean that at least some of the 'brown babies' would not be totally institutionalised. The children of Black American soldiers and British women 3.The babies could be sent to the US to live either with their fathers or with adoptive black families. This was the most widely canvassed solution.For most of the children the second option was selected. As many of them have grown up, suffering prejudice and identity crises, they have become increasingly curious about their roots. Many started to search for their fathers (and mothers in the cases they were adopted into foster parents families.) Few found them since the military register in the US was closed for them.To read the story on the Brown babies and other children from the American soldiers in UK see page 62. Although the Rains started their focus on the children born of Canadian service men born in the Netherlands, their focus has been extended to the larger majority born in the UK. Canadian Children after the Second World WarYou can read more about Project Roots in the section on organisations later in the report.For the Rains it is important to emphasise that also "good girls" got involved with the soldiers and that the "The wild summer of 1945" was a special time when people did things they otherwise wouldn't have done, releasing all the stress from the years of war. That this happened in Europe is easily forgotten when considering more recent war children being born and the stories that led to the relationship between the soldiers and the girls.To read more about the Wild summer of 1945 please see page 67.45.000 British and 3.000 European war brides married Canadian soldiers making new families and most of them eventually moved to Canada.The fate of the women and children left behind was less glorious. In the words of Project Roots:But there was another group of women who never got the chance to come to Canada, whose soldier boyfriends left them behind at the end of the war, pregnant and unmarried. Forgotten by their lovers and ostracised by their families and communities, many of these women were forced to give up their children for adoption at birth or hand them over to relatives. The right to know your parentsThe Project Roots works to change the Canadian Privacy Act, which even today protects the veteran from being named to grown-up children looking for their fathers. The Achieves where the information is stored allows immediately family members to get information after 20 years. But the War Children are not considered legitimate children and are not allow access to the information.In an interview Olga, one of the founders of Project Roots bitterly says:"War criminals get more respect in Canada than the war children. The children don't want anything from their fathers or his family. They just want to know who they are and they would be happy with just a photo or a friendly letter from Dad. Is that too much to ask?Today the archives will call the father if he is alive and send him the request from his daughter or son. If he decides so the child is told that he doesn't want any contact. The process is informal and no records are made of the request. Many of the fathers are happy for the connection with their children being made:Olga says many of the Canadian fathers whom they have reunited have said they do not want to be protected by the Privacy Act. "They wished they had met their war children earlier," Olga says sadly. Children of American Soldiers in AustriaOne source states the number of children from the American soldiers based in Austria to be at least 2000. Some of these were subsequently adopted to American parents.To read more about these children please see page 69. Norwegian Children of German soldiersAnother of the best-recorded groups of war children is the children of German soldiers in Norway. Hitler kept a surprisingly large number of soldiers in occupied Norway and they were encouraged to socialize with local women. Based on the theory of the "master race" a Lebensborn administration was built up providing help for the mothers and a registry was made with information on mother's and father's name and background. Based on this registry the number of war children in Norway is estimated to be over 12000 20 .During the last years the issue of the rights for these war children has been a recurring issue in the Norwegian political debate. For these children one of the main issues has been the right to get access to the archives to search out information on fathers and mothers. In 1998 the Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik publicly asked forgiveness from this group for the mistreatment they had been subject to after the war. In 2001 a group of 7 children sued the government seeking compensation for the infringements that was done towards them during their childhood. The Oslo City Court rejected their right to raise the issue as it claimed the issue was overdue. The group of 8 children will appeal the decision. Several politicians are suggesting that a political agreement is done.The Norwegian War Children are not a uniform group. Many were raised in adoption families, just later getting to know their background. Just like the children of American and Canadian War children they have had difficulties obtaining information from the achieves. Many had problems during childhood, many had not.Currently the Norwegian Research Council is conducting a study on the war children's childhood conditions. The study is expected to be published in 2002. The Research Council of Norway.There has been a continuous discussion on the issue of the children of German soldiers in Norway. Several books are written on the subject. In 1998 the Department for Social welfare and Health asked The Research Council of Norway to develop a knowledge base on the issue. The Research Council was asked to highlight four issues that had been prominent in the Norwegian discussion:1. The issue of lack of father's payment to the mothers after the war. 2. The issue of prisoner of war compensation from Germany 3. What happened during the organised home-coming of children from Germany and deportation of children to Germany 4. In addition the Research Council was asked to give a general description of the childhood of these children, connected to the issue of compensation and moral reparation.The two first points were raised on the basis on the widespread assumption that Germany had paid Norway some sort of compensation money for the children "left behind". The report that followed: "Children of the Enemy?" clarified that there never had been any such compensation paid. It was suggested that more research was needed to be able to describe the childhood and what "political, social and other issues" that made such a treatment happen. This research is now underway. The issue of compensation was not raised in the report but is currently under discussion at the District Court of Oslo. LebensbornLebensborn was an organisation put up by Himmler in 1935 to foster and enlarge the Aryan race. The organisation ran nurseries and children homes all over occupied territory. Only in Norway there were 5 Lebenborn homes where war children were raised, often together with their mothers. In Germany there were 9 Lebensborn clinics 21 . The children often had unmarried mothers. The children were raised by the homes and many of them have grown up without knowing their biological parents. Recently an archive with information on the children was found in Western Germany.An estimated 200.000 children 22 were taken from their parents in Poland. About 25.000 of them were sent home after the war with the help of UNRRA (the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration). Some stayed in Germany, but most were killed as they were not seen as aryan enough.To read two articles about the Lebensborn please see page 70.--In addition to these children that we have documented we are convinced that there are large number of children from the following groups:Children of German soldiers in France estimated to be around 80.000. Children of German soldiers in the Netherlands estimated to be from 10.000 to 50.000. 23 I have found no estimates being made from Poland, Russia and Ukraine but the figures are believed to be high. Children of Soviet and Allied soldiers in GermanyAfter Germany had lost the war there must definitively have been many relationships between the allied soldiers and local women. One source mentions that "In West-Germany between 1945 and 1956 there were born 96000 illegitimate children where the father was reported to have been from the American Army 24 . While there are reports on some of these children, especially the children by black American soldiers, I have not been able to find sources describing the children born by Soviet soldiers. Asia Korea Comfort women, organised rapeDuring the WWII up to 200.000 25 Korean women were extensively used as Comfort Women by the Japanese army. They preferred the Korean women because they were seen as cleaner than the Japanese. After the War the Japanese government opened the Comfort Stations to the US soldiers to prevent rape, -maybe expecting the American soldiers to do like the Japanese had done in China in 1937. 26 The government of Japan shipped girls and women like military supplies throughout the vast area of Asia and the Pacific that Japanese troops controlled, from the Siberian border to the equator, including: China (including Guangdong and Manchuria), Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, Amoi, French Indochina, the Philippines, Guam, Malaya, Singapore, British Borneo, the Dutch East Indies, Burma, Thailand, East New Guinea, New Britain, Trobriand, Okinawa, and Sakhalin, as well as the Japanese islands of Kyushu, Honshu and Hokkaido. The Japanese government built, operated, and controlled hundreds of "comfort houses" in these areas.It is hard to know the exact figures of children from the "comfort women" but it must have run into several thousands. The girls were often forced to have an abortion if they became pregnant. In a report done on 27 women, two of them had become pregnant. There are few testimonies to the destiny of children of these comfort women.Japan has not yet agreed to pay compensation to the "comfort women", now in their 70s. The Japanese government has avoided volunteering direct compensation for former sex slaves, instead setting up a private group --the Asian Women's Fund (AWF)--to offer payouts. In July the fund paid 22,600 euros (19,300 dollars) each to 78 Dutch women forced into prostitution by the Japanese army during the occupation of Indonesia, a Dutch colony at the time.The AWF is funded partly by the Japanese government and partly by donations from Japanese citizens, former soldiers and their families. Many women, however, have refused to accept money from this group because it does not amount to formal compensation by Tokyo accompanied by an apology. The first AmerasiansThe story of the children of the mainly US UN-soldiers in Korea in the 50s is the story of the first children called "Amerasians", the world first organised distant adoption, and the first children of UN peace keepers. Amerasians. The number of Amerasian that arrived in the US are 25000 the rest being family members. (Bass 1996:4) Before arriving in the US the children would go through special training to adapt to the new life in the US, most went through Philippines Refugee Processing Centre (PRPC), and also in the US there were special centres for them.When arriving in the US many of the children were searching for their fathers. When 244 Amerasians approached the Red Cross in requesting help with their father search, the nonprofit organization could only locate 21 fathers. And from those 21 fathers, about 15 "asked not to have their addresses given to their Amerasians offspring" (Marcus,A1).This group is also one of the best documented. Several books and films have been made on the plights of the children.In Vietnam the children suffered widespread discrimination and poverty. They were given "names" by their neighbours or classmates: dust of life. Many children tried to hide their true identity and escape discrimination by quitting school. Neither the North nor the South Vietnamese treated the Amerasian children well. Image when the children where thought history being explained how the Vietnamese won over the enemy, the Americans. It emphasised their status as "Children of the enemy".The US provided two programs to allow the children entrance to USA: The Orderly Departure Act and The Amerasian Homecoming Act. To prepare the children for life in America the children were given English training in special camps, like the Philippine Refugee Processing Centre in Bataan. Many of them being school dropouts they struggled with the classroom exercises. Most of these Amerasians predominantly had their father's looks, strongly identifying them with the American half of their parentage, but they were Vietnamese in culture, language, and habits. Many were self-destructive: Many mutilated themselves. Many Amerasians calls it "the externalisation of inner pain." Some say it is mostly due to depression, which sometimes increases to suicidal measures.Because of the prospect of a new life in America the Vietnamese-American children became a commodity worth their weight in gold, and sometimes sold to people that used them as a ticket to the US claiming they were their foster parents or parents. The Washington Post thereby ran an article February 19, 1993, with the title: "Vietnamese try to buy American Dream; Families fake relationship to children of GIs, obtain Visas. The attention to this sort of cheating again led to stricter screening with real Amerasians left out.The problems for the children did not end when they arrived in the US. Sometimes the Vietnamese that cared for them in order to come to the US left them and they were again alone. When asked if they felt like American, Vietnamese or others, 44% saw themselves Vietnamese; 5% as American; and 50% as "other" (GAO, 75). The other group must be understood as people that could not identify themselves with any of these 4 categories.The United States General Accounting Office made a report in 1994 about the fate of the children that had arrived under the Amerasian Home Coming Act. The report showed that the Amerasians had many problems in being assimilated into their new country. Black Amerasians especially had problems identifying themselves either as American or Vietnamese. One of them stated:I feel ashamed that my mother was with a black man, and now I have to carry at. I wish I were a white Amerasian (Gonzalez,1B).When the children arrived the youngest was 18 years old.The feelings of not being included in any group has very practical implementations, like being in a party with Vietnamese, feeling like to only "white" in the room, and with mainly "white Americans", being the only "Asian".One of the respondents to an interview about being Amerasians also see the potential in his group:I think if Amerasians were more accepted, they could theoretically act as a bridge between American culture and the more isolated Vietnamese-American community at large. If the Vietnamese-American community were linked to American culture less tenuously, it would expand American culture so much and would have an effect of bringing Americans closer to closing that gulf that exists between the two communities. It would also give Vietnamese-American communities, not more into the mainstream, but more normalized and therefore, more able to fully reap the benefits America has to offer. (From Thanh Tran 1999).There are many paradoxes concerning the Amerasian Homecoming Act. It is called a unique social experiment. Bringing teenagers from the bottom of Vietnamese society to the land of their dreams in the US. History has shown that the arrival was not easy.There are few stories by the Amerasian Children themselves on what it was like to be growing up. One of the few exceptions is Christian Langworthy, born in 1975 in Vietnam. He was adopted to the US and is now an author.My brother and I were the sons of my mother's clients. She never told us their names. She just said that they were both killed in the war. One father died in a helicopter accident, the other was ambushed while crossing a bridge. She told the same story to all of our neighbours, but even as a child, I sensed that she was lying. She never cried when she related these stories to anyone and seemed to enjoy each moment of the retelling. She even laughed once, recounting to a woman how she loved my brother's father more than she loved mine.To read more of the story see page 84. While the American offspring in Vietnam and neighbouring countries were allowed to ask for citizenship in the US, this right did not apply to the Philippine Americans, as this country was not seen as a "war zone". PhilippinesThere are an estimated 52.000 children born as a result of relationships between American soldiers and women in the Philippines. This combination of abuse and lack of self-esteem could be a future bomb. It highlights the need to reach these children before they themselves become abusers. The Philippine organisations working for the Americans have tried several times to make the US pay compensation to the mothers and their children.One of these organisations, Wedpro, filed a class suit in 1993 asking the US Navy to pay the medical and educational expenses for the children.In 1993, PREDA on behalf of the children together with the women's rights movement filed a class action suit against the U.S. Government to seek redress of the children and their mothers. This was heard in the Court of Complaints in Washington DC and finally the judge dismissed the complaint saying that the mothers of the children were engaged in prostitution and that being illegal the court could not rule on an illegal act from which the women would gain. The suit was dismissed by the US court on the ground that the women were prostitutes which is an illegal act.Although many of the mothers seem to have been prostitutes there must also be examples of more long term relationships that are not rightfully described with this term. It seems like part of the problem is that the US military do not encourage the soldiers to take a responsibility towards the children. Neither do the military as an institution see any responsibility for them.PREDA has assisted the children's mothers to organise Mother's Association of Filipino-American Children.Preda is helping children and their mothers to search for American fathers. They publish pictures of the fathers on the Internet to assist the search.To see an example of this search is done please see page 91. Picture from a PREDA demonstration.A conference was held in January 2001: First National Conference of Filipino Amerasians and their Caregivers. The children seem to become better organised but their claims are so far just partly met and their situation seems to be more desperate then the one for the children in Vietnam.During the time when the military bases were open Amerasian children could travel to the US -if their mothers could prove paternity. Still the US embassy in Manila is bombarded with citizenships applications. Another way to get to the US was for older Amerasian girls to get married with serving soldiers, then later settle in the US. BangladeshIn the civil war in 1971 between 250000 to 400000 women experienced sexual violence, leading to several thousand children 33 . The book "The Rape of Bangladesh" says that so many as 25000 children were the result of these rapes 34 .This mass rape of Bengali women by Pakistani soldiers happened during the 1971 war in Bangladesh. Bengal, a state of 75 million people at the time and officially called East Pakistan, declared itself independent Bangladesh in 1971. Bangladesh subsequently fought West Pakistan in a rebellion lasting nine months, stopping only when Indian troops came to the support of the Bengalis. When it ended, an estimated three million people were dead and ten million more had become refugees in neighbouring India.In the article: "Duty, Honor, Rape: Sexual Assault Against Women During War" Kevin Gerard Neill, has described the rapes and their consequences: The children that did live up would now be nearly 30 years old. There are few reports on how they are doing.AsThere are reports that the rapes are still continuing. Surely many children must have been born as a result.Women activist in Bangladesh are demanding changes to the legislation to provide for the women and the children born as a result. One of the groups "The Sammilito Nari Samaj" (SNS) is a coalition of women's activist group, which has been fighting and resisting violence against women in all spheres of life since its inception in 1995. In April 1998 they suggested the following changes to the changes to the Nari O Shishu Nirjaton Domon Ain ( (a) To change the definition of rape and sexual assault to interpret it from the feminist perspective, (b) Add an definition of trafficking of women and children, (c) Amendment to the offences related to killing of a woman by acid throwing, (d) Criminalisation of selling of acid without legal documents, (e) Making a difference between 'compensation' and 'fine', (f) Regarding a child born out of rape, it should be the decision of the mother whether she wants the baby or not, and the option for aborting the child will remain with the mother, (g) Prevent the character assassination of a complainant woman, (h) Inclusion of sexual harassment as a separate section, (i) The victim or the dependents of the victim shall be compensated from the government's fund, (j) The extension of the time for investigating the case if needed, if police is accused then investigation shall be conducted with judicial person, (k) Special provision should be put in place when police or other government official is accused. East TimorThe use of rape, "local wives" and "comfort women" (women kept as sex slaves) have all been extremely common by Indonesian soldiers in East Timor during the occupation from 1975 to 1999 38 . In 1996 the Free East Timor Japan Coalition wrote a report on the issue. The report shows that rape happened all places where soldiers were placed. Some of the testimonies tell of children born as result of these rapes: In [ 1977] this same sister was forced to become the "local wife" of an Indonesian Air Force officer by the name of Agus Korek and later she bore a child. This Indonesian officer had a wife in his own country, and after his six months' duty ended in East Timor he went back home, leaving behind Odilia's sister and the child of the officer that she later bore.The Free East Timor Japan Coalition suggests for UN to strengthen mechanism to protect the women and children from such acts by investigating and punishing all those responsible and bringing the perpetrators to justice. Further to provide full redress to the women victims. TheCoalition suggested that steps were taken to protect the women by establishing Red Cross agencies in the districts and provide shelters for the women who had been victimised.In the lead up to the UN organised popular consultation in August 1999, the military sponsored a militia to frighten people to vote against independence. The militia together with the military continued their rapes even when UN personnel were present in the country. During the mayhem that followed the referendum when the Indonesian military together with their militia burned down most of the country there were so many rapes that the impact in the number of children born by single women could be felt the next year when I worked with the UN mission in the country. When Australian-led peacekeepers arrived in the country the militia fled to neighbouring West-Timor, often taking their sex-slaves with them.Since the rapes often continued for long time many women became pregnant. The East Timorese Women's Rights organisation Fokupers has documented four cases of rape victims falling pregnant, and two separate cases where militias have taken their pregnant victims to clinics in West Timor and forced them to undergo abortion. The suffering did not end when they returned home. In many cases they were treated as traitors:"They are viewed as rubbish," Abuelda Alves, chief of advocacy at East Timor Women's Forum (Fokupers) says. "Their families are embarrassed. Women who were already married, their husbands reject them." 39When Mary Robinson, the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights visited East Timor she was presented to one of the children. The mother said: 'Here, this is the product of a militia rape, what are we supposed to do?"East Timorese leaders are aware of the burden put on the women and their children by fellow East-Timorese. They try to educate people to understand that the women where innocent in the rapes. Many places the women live in special quarters separate from the rest of the village. In many cases the women with their small babies have been forced to leave third village because they are seen as militia wives. The amount of organising that where done on the part of the Indonesian military in this can be seen in the fact that most of the victims were "the wives, daughters or sisters of pro-independence guerrillas and activists" according to UN policeman David Senior, sexual violence investigator at the Special Crimes Unit as referred by AFP.The East Timorese orphanages are filled with these children of the enemy. One sister revealed to a journalist that most of the children living in her orphanage were the result of the rape of Indonesian soldiers. The sister explains the background for the children:"Some of these children are the result of rapes, others are the product of a situation that resembles sexual slavery and some are the result of consensual sex ... the women are having a very difficult time, not only because of poverty, but because the sight of these children often reminds them of rape."She said the Indonesian state should take responsibility for these children. 40 Some report suggests that the children are left in orphanages others that the mothers keep them. It will be reasonable to believe that both is true.There were several thousand instances of rape just during the 1999 mayhem according to the UN policeman investigating the cases. Rape was so "normal" that I was once told while looking down a busy street in a East Timorese border town near West Timor that that "in every second house one of more of the girls have been raped".While working for the UN we tried to pinpoint aid to the raped women and their children. The only they had in common was they were young, single mothers. Everybody of course knew about their background. The women were proud, but had few resources, even compared to East-Timorese standard.I worked in one of the districts in East Timor, with approximately one tenth of the tiny country's population of 800.000. The number of children as a result of the rapes in 1999 alone was at least 100. From this I will estimate the number to be up to 1000 for the whole country. In addition to this come the war children born from 25 years of occupation. A census of these children is yet to be made. I will estimate this figure to be at least 5000.For most of the women the name of the child's father is known. The military used to stay long in each location.UN appointed Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy as its Special Rapporteur on Violence against women. In 1998 she made her report on Violence against women, its causes and consequences based on her mission to Indonesia and East Timor. In her report she describes two women she had met: Ms. Radhika Coomaraswamy met with Colonel Tono Suratman, the Territory's Regional Commander. He promised her to have intensive human rights training for his troops and also agreed to declare publicly that violence against women would not be tolerated within the military, and the perpetrators punished. His statement was carried as headlines in all the East Timor newspapers. At the meeting he agreed to raise the possibility of setting up a compensation fund for rape victims, and children born of rape, with his superiors in Jakarta.He also agreed to investigate the cases, referred to above. Needless to say there has been no result of these investigations, neither have there been any compensation available for any human rights victims in East Timor. The new East-Timorese government has agreed to not ask any compensation from Indonesia after the 1999 mayhem. This in an effort to seek to improve the relationship with the huge neighbour. It is unclear if this also involves private persons who wish to ask for compensation from military personnel in Indonesia.To read more stories of the Children of the enemy see page 92 Burma's ethnic areas,Burma is another example of a country where the civil war has led to a large military component that literally can do what they want with impunity. The border areas towards Thailand and Bangladesh have been military "Black areas" which is ruled under military law. In these areas soldiers are known to have committed several rapes.The largest group of vulnerable women are the group of 1.3 million women and girls from ethnic minorities who fled their home and travelled towards the Thai-Burma border. They are especially subject to sexual violence. Many ends in brothels in Thailand were they have few rights. Thailand has cracked down on "Thai child prostitution" so that the child prostitutes in Thailand now increasingly are from the neighbouring countries. While most of the Human Rights reports detail the rapes done by soldiers there are no reports of more consensual relationships between soldiers and local girls. These must also happen. Children of Afghan men in IranIran has one of the highest refugee populations in the world. From Afghanistan there are an estimated 1.4 million refugees and from Iraq 500.000. We received a rare glimpse of understanding of the refugee situation in Iran when this year's Thorolf Rafto Human Rights Prize was awarded to the lawyer Shirin Ebadi from Iran. Especially compelling was it to hear about the situation of the children of the refugees. Many Afghan men have married Iranian women and their offspring are not considered as Iranian nationals as citizenship follows the male line only (Jus Sanguinis -blood line). During the visit to Bergen Shirin Ebadi estimated that the number of children of Afghan men and Iranian women could be as high as 30.000. As these children are not allowed to go to school they can be seen cleaning cars, begging and so on, even in Teheran. The Iranian women that marry these men are often poor. The children are among the poorest of the poorest in Iran.Shirin Ebadi has written several books on the issue of children's rights in Iran. In the book "The rights of the Child" she explains under the heading "The Right to have Identity" the legal vacuum this group has come into in Iran:According to the regulations of the Civil Law of Iran, a child with any of the following specifications is considered an Iranian national: There is not much literature on the background of the parents of these children or the exact number of the children. These children was subject to a discussion at the UN committee on Torture in 1999 between officials from the Iranian government and UN staff in 1999 leading to the solution that there was no mention of them in the final document 41 .Iran has warned women to marry Afghan men as can be seen in the following news report: Iranian women need permit to marry foreignersEnglish daily Iran News, 26 Aug. 1997 The Registration Office for Foreign Citizens' director general has warned Iranian women not to marry foreign men without an official permit. 41 Here follows a copy of the minutes from the COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF RACIAL DISCRIMINATION Fifty-fifth session SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 1357th MEETING about Iran: 46. Mr. SHERIFIS and the CHAIRMAN asked why marriages between Afghan men and Iranian women were mentioned specifically. 47. Mr. SHAHI said that the problem was presumably that Afghan men in Iran were mostly refugees and noncitizens, who were expected to return to their own country eventually. The Committee had not made a specific reference of that kind before, and he considered that it should be deleted. 48. The CHAIRMAN suggested that further information might be requested from the Government. 49. Mr. DIACONU said that, if the rules applied only to Afghan men who married Iranian women, they would be discriminatory. The paragraph merely asked for information about that subject. Perhaps it could be amended to read: "... as well as [information] on marriage between Iranians and foreigners ...". 50. Mr. van BOVEN (Country Rapporteur) said that he had learned from independent sources, including the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, that Afghan men and Iranian women, specifically, had encountered difficulties when trying to register their marriages and the births of their children. The issue had been included in the section "Principal subjects of concern" in his original draft of the concluding observations. He would delete the phrase "as well as on rules applicable to marriages between Afghan men and Iranian women" if members wished. 51. The CHAIRMAN said that there was always a danger that information received from independent sources might be unreliable. Many countries, including European countries and his own country, had restrictions on marriage between their citizens and foreigners. 52. Mr. SHAHI said that the phrase should be deleted. 53. It was so decided."In many cases, the husbands of Iranian women have abandoned them without notice and gone back to their own country," Abbas Najipour said. Without a permit to marry a foreign man, the Iranian government cannot defend these women in divorce courts or grant Iranian nationality to any of their children, he said. The main cause of concern was Iranian women marrying Afghan men. "Iranian women travelling to Afghanistan with their husbands have either been abandoned or forced to do dishonourable acts," Najipour said.It is important to stress that it is only possible to reach these children by working together with the Government of Iran. Even if the situation improves in Afghanistan it is not likely that all these children will return immediately and their situation should find a solution before the children grow old.There will be similar children left in limbo in many of the countries with a strict interpretation of sunni-law. Iran / IraqMany rapes were reported during the Iran Iraq war. During the 2001 Rafto Ceremony I was informed that the cases were an Iranian women became pregnant from rape or other relationships with an Iraqi soldier, the family would do it outmost to hide this. The 2001 Rafto Prize Recipient, Shirin Ebadi, knew no such children. She has written extensively on the right of children in Iran.More research is needed to be able to estimate the number of children born as a result of the Iran -Iraq war, and their fate. Kurdish Areas in TurkeyThe Turkish military has long been known for letting Kurdish Women be subject to sexual violence. In the report: Sexual Violence. Perpetrated by the state, written by the "Legal Aid for Women raped or sexually assaulted by State Security Forces" there are several description of the sexual assaults by the Turkish military, Police and Village Guards.Here follows some of the testimonies of sexual assaults leading to the women becoming pregnant: Another girl was given medication against pregnancy after being raped and severely mistreated 43 . Yet another girl is shot by her brothers after having a miscarriage as result of the rapes of an village guard. She dies later in the hospital. Her family do not come to get her body to bury her. She is buried at night at the cemetery for unidentified people 44 .A Kurdish scholar tells me that if the woman becomes pregnant of rape or otherwise the family will often hide the shame by forcing a male relative to marry the girl. When asked if this is a big issue in the Kurdish areas of Turkey he answers: "It might be, there is no talk of it, we are not yet ready to bring this into the open."Novin Harsan, Chairman of the Kurdish Women's National Committee, reported during NGO Forum UN Conference in 1995 that "During the recent three years the Turkish army has burnt and destroyed almost 2000 villages and forced their former inhabitants to escape. Rape and torture is a part of the daily life for the Kurdish women in Turkey".There must be many children from these rapes. I have found no information on consensual relationship between Kurdish women and Turkish soldiers, but there is likely to be several of these. Sri LankaDuring the long conflict in Sri Lanka government soldiers have used women for sexual purposes. Recently a local Human Rights group published some interviews on the extent of the rapes from governmental soldiers. Independent Movement for Inter-racial Justice and Equality says it is difficult to give estimates of the number of women involved or how many children born as a result. Africa RwandaThe largest number of war related rapes done in recent history was done when Hutu soldiers and militia committed the genocide on the Tutsi population in which maybe as many as 1 million were killed. As many as 250.000-500.000 women experienced sexual violence. The children being born as result of the rapes are called "The children of bad memories". There are estimated by the national Population Office to be between 2.000 and 5.000 of them. A report from Human Right Watch 46 gives an insight in the fate of the children:A large number of women became pregnant as a result of rape during the genocide. Pregnancies and childbirth among extremely young girls who were raped have also posed health problems for these mothers. (…) Health personnel report that some women have abandoned their children or even committed infanticide, while others have decided to keep their children. In some cases, the mother's decision to keep the child has caused deep divisions in the family, pitting those who reject the child against those who prefer to raise the child. In others, the child is being raised without problems within the community.Among other things, Rwandan rape survivors have had to deal with the social isolation and ostracization experienced by rape victims worldwide, severe health complications, and the children born of rape.As elsewhere in the world, rape and other sex-based violations against women carry a stigma in Rwanda. Many of the Rwandan women who have been raped do not dare reveal publicly that they have been raped. Women who acknowledge being raped fear that they will be marked as rape victims and may be ostracized by their families and community. Women know that integrating into their communities and resuming their lives will be more difficult if their rape is known. As a result, many women survivors of sexual violence are reluctant to seek medical assistance or to report what happened to them. "The women who have had children after being raped are the most marginalized," said social worker Godelieva Mukasarasi. "People say that this is the child of an Interahamwe." Taba Children born out of wedlock before the genocide faced some stigma, but generally found a place in their mothers' families. No can predict, however, how children born of rape during the genocide will be treated as they grow up. "It is the unbearable question," said one Rwandan woman who works with a church organization, "Can we ever tell these unwanted children? Will they ever know the truth? What will be the reaction of this child when he learns the truth? What should the government be doing?" Alphonsine was nineteen years old and living with her grandparents inProperty rights follow the male line in Rwanda so the children of rape will be excluded from inheriting from both of their parents.Women in Rwanda have organised to care for children; orphans and other children abandoned. These foster parents project are done by local women's associations.Abortion is illegal in Rwanda, but many women came to doctors with serious complications resulting from self-induced or clandestine abortions arising from rape-related pregnancies.The children would today be around 8 years old.To read a story about one of the women and her son see page 96 LiberiaDuring the ECOMOG peace keeping operation in Liberia, many children were fathered by the soldiers that came from the neighbouring countries. An estimate suggests the number to be 25000 children. Another suggests 6000. The peacekeepers stayed in the country from 1990 to 1998. A charity known as the ECOMOG Children Project Incorporated which works out of Nigeria, estimate that half of children are born to Nigerian peace keepers. The remaining 50 percent is split between Ghanaian, Guinean, The Gambian and Sierra Leonean soldiers.The charity ties to find the fathers of the children and to liase between the mothers, children and the fathers with the view to assisting the young mothers. Many of the fathers, married long before coming to Liberia on peace mission, are not expected to tie the knot with the girls.Under the Liberian law, a child born in the West African country by ''people of colour'' (black) is considered a Liberian until he or she attains the age of 21-year and decides to take his or her mother or father's nationality.Two UNICEF projects have also been set up to meet the special needs of women or girls who served as wartime women during the conflict. Sarah's Daughter's Home, a project funded by UNICEF through the Calvary Chapel mission in Liberia, targets young girls with children fathered by rebels who have either died or deserted them. The girls stay for three months at the centre, where they receive vocational and literacy training. Communities are also sensitised to the plight of these girls. 47Another local charity works for the children. It is dubbed the UNOMIL-ECOMOG Children Organization (UNECO). The name is derived from UNOMIL, which was the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia whilst ECOMOG represents the ECOWAS Cease-fire Monitoring Group, (ECOWAS, is the Economic Community of West African States). It claims to have registered over 6600 children and provide support for them.Interesting, Nigerian ECOMOG soldiers were in 1997 banned from marrying Liberian women. The Nigerian News De Jour -reported 2 April1997 48 . The soldiers were warned that if they married the girls they would be discharged from the military: Major General Victor Malu, the force commander who is a Nigerian has said. Malu spoke against the backdrop of scores of children fathered by Nigerian soldiers from Liberian mothers. ``When I came toLiberia there was an association of Nigerian children and they were recognised by Ecomog, but they can jump into the lagoon`` Malu added. Nigerian soldiers constitute the majority of the 10.000 troops that intervened in 1990 in the Liberian civil war.The war has now ended. The new federal government has planned a census of the children of the ECOMOG soldiers.To read three news stories about the children please see page 97. Taiwanese children in AfricaAround 400 children have been abandoned by Taiwanese agricultural missions in Africa. Pearl S. Buck Foundation works to assist the children. The report that mentions the children does not state which countries the children live in.To read the report see the page 100 47 UNICEF Assistance to Ex-Child Soldiers in Liberia, http://ginie1.sched.pitt.edu/ginie-criseslinks/childsoldiers/liberia2.html 48 http://www.cohdn.ca/ndj/Nigerian%20News%20De%20Jour%20-%20Wednesday%202%20April,%201997.html Namibian soldiers in Democratic Republic of KongoWhen a group of 150 soldiers returned to Nambia after serving in Kongo thy received a heroes welcome. At the time a senior Defence spokesperson Vincent Mwange said he was not aware of any Namibian soldiers who had married in the Kongo and who would like to have their new families transported back to Namibia with them. He continued by stressing that though he could not rule out the possibility that some NDF soldiers had fathered children and even married in the DRC, this information had not been officially communicated to the Ministry of Defence. He said: To read the full story see page 100If Europe BosniaDuring the war in Bosnia between 20.000 and 50.000 women experienced sexual violence. They were often held in so called rape camps until it was too late to perform a safe abortion. 50 One estimate is that 4000 women became pregnant from the rapes. Many of the women knew their rapists. Many women asked for abortion even abortion was condemned by the Muslim community.The exact number of children born as a result of the rapes is not known, as estimate is that more than half the pregnancies led to a child being born. Many, maybe most of these children were set away for adoption.Elisabeth Rehn, the UN special rapportuer of the Commission on Human Rights called the emerging number of children born as a result of rape as a "silent emergency." This was the first time an UN official raised the issue of the children in their own right. KosovoUp to 20.000 women were raped during the Kosovan war. How many children were born as a result? Red Cross estimated 100 were born in January 2000 alone.Many children from multi ethnic marriages are often split between their two parents. Many of them receive harsh treatment as a result of having a parent from "the other side". They are often rejected the opportunity to have contact with both parents even when all family members would like this to happen, because of the stigma in the local environment.To read a lengthy story on these children and their mothers see page 102 Americas PeruHuman Rights Watch published in 1995 the Global Report on Women's Human Rights. In that they describe several instances of the use of rape in armed conflicts. In a few of the cases they mention they also describe the children born as a result. INTRODUCTIONForced pregnancy has lately been recognized as a military strategy used in several recent ethnic conflicts and has been codified underinternational law as a war crime and crime against humanity.Unfortunately, in addressing gender issues relating to rape and abortion access, neither the analysis nor the articulation of forced pregnancy as a crime have examined or recognized its impact on children born of such forced conceptions.Several thousand victims of "birth by forced maternity" were born in the aftermath of the Bosnian, Rwandan and the earlier Bangladeshi genocides.As a result of their unique status, due to the gender relations and cultural traditions surrounding their origins, these children are likely to suffer infanticide, stigma, neglect and discrimination in addition to the difficulties facing all war-affected children. As there is reason to suspect that forced pregnancy may continue to be used as a tool to splinter communities in ethnic conflicts, it is necessary to assess and address the needs of warrape orphans as well as their mothers in the aftermath of forced pregnancy campaigns.An explicit approach is necessary because the unique situation of children born by forced maternity has not been identified in scholarly research and discourse or targeted successfully in the field.Forced pregnancy itself has been conceptualized as a women's issue, with violence against children by their mothers naturalized and stigma against the children treated as a component of the rape victims' misery rather than a denial of children's membership and family rights.For example, Beverly Allen writes that rape victims' attempts to kill their babies at a birth "might be considered healthy"; and Horvath and Goldstein both describe the rejection or killing of rape-children as part of the agony of the mother in the aftermath of rape.The scope of writing on war-affected children similarly has failed to address rape orphans, insofar as they do not experience the war directly as do child soldiers, refugees, or war orphans, but rather experience abuse and stigma in the aftermath of conflict due to the fact that they originated from a military strategy that was a component of the conflict itself.In this paper I seek to merge the agendas of criminalizing forced maternity and advancing children's rights. To this end, I will illuminate forced maternity as a children's rights issue and suggest avenues for assessing the needs and promoting the rights of children born of forced maternity. This paper will provide a preliminary analysis of the war-rape orphan's situation following forced pregnancy; analyze barriers to the realization of her/his human rights, and suggest the following three initial avenues for beginning to focus attention on this previously neglected children's rights issue: the establishment of fact-finding missions to assess the needs and status of such children; re-framing forced pregnancy as a women's and children's issue; and the expansion of norm-building efforts towards acceptance of rapeorphans as well as their mothers in affected communities. ANALYSISThe forcible conception of children who will be rejected by their families and communities is a key component in the strategy of forced pregnancy as a tool of genocide and ethnic cleansing.The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court has defined forced pregnancy as "unlawful confinement of a woman forcibly made pregnant with the intent of affecting the ethnic composition of any population."This new legal concept aims to criminalize the practice, widely recognized during and after the Bosnian genocide, of raping women with the intent to impregnate and preventing access to abortion for rape victims, with the aim of "ethnic pollution."Forced pregnancy has been used throughout history as a tool of assimilation or subjugation of enemy, minority or slave populations. As genocide, forced pregnancy has figured prominently in at least three case studies from very recent history. In 1971, thousands of outcast children were born as a result of the genocidal rapes of Bengali women by the West Pakistani army. Despite the attempts of the Bengali government to treat the rape victims as national heroines, the raped women and their children were uniformly rejected by their families, and many children were presumably killed by their mothers, abandoned, or raised by institutions to grow up as racially stigmatized half-breeds.In the aftermath of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, Tutsi victims of rape gave birth to an estimated 2.000-5.000 "children of hate," according to the National Population Office. Though some Tutsi women have apparently opted to raise their children. Those who have generally lack the support of their families or communities, who view the children as members of the Hutu ethnic group that perpetrated the genocide. Other children of rape in Rwanda, as in other genocides, have been abandoned at the hospital where the mother gave birth, or been victims of infanticide.The conflict that brought "forced pregnancy" to the world's attention, Bosnia-Herzegovina, resulted in an unspecified number of births. Estimates vary between parties concerned, but relief workers running orphanages for abandoned children of rape guessed that there were 400-600 children of rape born after the conflict. Most of the pregnancies from rape in Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia resulted in abortions. The children who were born were nearly always rejected by their mothers and communities.Forced pregnancy was articulated as a crime by feminist legal scholars and activists who wanted to formally recognize a) the specific harms to victimized women forced to carry the children of rapists during armed conflict and b) the harm to an ethnic community of the appropriation of their reproductive capacity by a conquering force. These arguments emphasized the intent of the perpetrating group to destroy a community by undermining its family structure: the targeting of women for sexual violence can devastate communities where women's chastity is bound up with ideas of cultural continuity. For these reasons rape becomes a formidable weapon where the intent is to destroy a minority group as such.Forced pregnancy exacerbates the impact of rape by making it more visible, explicit and ongoing, precluding victims from protecting themselves and their community through silence or denials, and symbolically branding the victims with the mark of the rapes. This formulation and even the term forced "pregnancy" focuses on the conception of a child and the body of the woman carrying it.However, it is not merely conception but birth of rape-children which is the aim of a forced pregnancy campaign. While the effects of forced pregnancy on target groups is well documented, there is less systematic study of the rejection of rape-children in undermining the family structure of target groups, or of violating the rights of children.Forced "maternity" -giving birth to a child of a forced pregnancy -shifts the focus of stigma from the female womb to the born child, and brings into being a second human with specific claims to rights that may be denied based solely on her/his biological origins. When the children of the rapes are born, the target ethnic group typically views them as symbols of aggressor domination and violation of ethnic purity. Thus generating stigmatism, rejection or abuse of these children (and rape victims themselves) is the end goal of those who perpetrate the rapes, as a policy of wounding and demoralizing the target group from within.Though hypothetically, victimized communities could counteract this strategy by incorporating the children (and rape victims) back into the community, in practice this is seldom the case due to specific configurations of beliefs about gender relations, ethnic identity, and kinship. Where patriarchal and nationalist attitudes lead to the belief that lineage passes only from father to child, forced pregnancy removes a rape victim from the reproductive pool of her own community and results in a child that is viewed as ethnically alien. Thus, children born of forced maternity are typically stigmatized as "children of the enemy," a source not only of shame but also of hatred as symbols of an aggressor ethnic group. This secondary victimization may translate into a denial of survival, membership or resources rights: the child may suffer infanticide, neglect resulting in infant death, lack of resources, or denial of citizenship.Significant barriers exist to addressing the needs of war-rape orphans. The single greatest barrier is the very patriarchal cultural beliefs that make forced maternity such a viable military strategy. Forced pregnancy and forced maternity cannot work to undermine a community in which raped women and their children are honored, sheltered and supported rather than degraded, shamed and ostracized. The struggle for women's and children's human rights must proceed hand in hand.It is thus ironic that a second barrier to children's rights in this context has been the polarized rhetoric on women's and children's rights characteristic of debates over reproductive freedom. This discourse, exemplified in the "enforced pregnancy" debate at the Rome Conference for the International Criminal Court, has situated women's freedom against the presumed rights of children of rape (read fetuses in the abortion debate) whose cause as fetuses is usually championed by those seeking to uphold the very patriarchal norms that are the problem. The existence and rights of born children are marginalized when the debate is focused on abortion. Moreover, as rape victims often internalize stigma toward their children, counteracting that stigma will require targeting the attitudes of victims of atrocity, whereas the previous strategy has been to validate, even encourage such feelings and avoid pressuring rape women to love or raise their children. This practice legitimizes the more general stigma of the community toward the children and arguably undermines efforts to counteract stigma against the rape-victims themselves.Lastly, there is a three-fold inadequacy in existing international law on children, genocide and forced pregnancy that makes it difficult to situate the rights of these children legally. Article 2(2) of the Convention on the Rights of the Child bans discrimination against a child based on the status, activities, race, or language of the child's family members. However the CRC does not ban discrimination against children born out of wedlock. A question that may require empirical analysis is: are the children stigmatized because they were born of rape (out of wedlock) or because they were born of genocidal rape (because they are 'little Chetniks')? The language of the Genocide Convention would allow treating such children as victims of genocide only if they are members of the group against which genocide is being committed, a subjective and contested claim that is biologically half-untrue. And the current conceptualization of forced pregnancy, while an important legal innovation, is not broad or clear enough to encompass the harm to children born of rape. In the course of addressing children of rape, traditional international legal concepts need to be reconsidered: the relationship of particular children to particular groups; the double standard for "illegitimate" children; and how to reconcile women's and children's human rights.POLICY PRESCRIPTIONS 1) Fact-finding. As is clear, this analysis is tentative and based on evidence of a pattern drawn from scattered examples in various sources.This preliminary approach aims at generating awareness of the issue; to assess the scope of the problem, and the status and needs of war-rape orphans in a methodologically valid way, far more systematic research will be needed. Though there is evidence from the press and through women-oriented NGOs that the situation of war-rape orphans in war-affected regions is severe, no concerted attention has yet been given to assessing their specific needs and avenues toward ameliorating their condition.Research is required to assess the scope and specific elements of the problem on a cross-country basis in order to draw attention to and devise strategies for dealing with children of forced maternity. We will need to understand variation in their circumstances and discover how best to fill their needs.For example, it would be useful to better understand the circumstances under which forced pregnancy campaigns are most likely, and preventive measures; the conditions under which raped women and their families are able to care for rather than reject their children; the politics of intercountry adoption and under what circumstances this constitutes a better solution for the children than remaining in the post-war situation. Such research could provide a foundation for a policy agenda for dealing with children born of forced maternity.2) Agenda-Setting. Forced pregnancy/maternity has been treated as a women's issue. It needs to be reconceptualized to incorporate born children as subjects, in legal discourse, international instruments and activism. This requires both altering the current legal concept of forced pregnancy and promoting expansion of nondiscrimination rights under the Convention on the Rights of the Child to "illegitimate" children and children born of rape.A focus on children's rights may appear to play into the hands of those who would argue against abortion access for raped women, which may account for the silence on this area by those framing forced pregnancy as a war crime. However, admitting the human rights of born children can be accomplished without endangering reproductive freedom by distinguishing between forced pregnancy, forced maternity and "birth by forced maternity" as specific crimes.The current label "forced pregnancy" is too broad to encompass the secondary victimization of children conceived in policies of mass rape. Children of rape are not victims of "forced pregnancy." A forced pregnancy alone may not even result in a child's birth: whether it does will depend on abortion access or the mother's ability or willingness to carry to term. A child of rape only results from "forced maternity": the actual act of a raped woman being forced to carry to term and give birth to the child. But the child is not a victim of "forced maternity" either; to argue that she is would be to suggest that it is birth itself, which wrongs her. This cannot be the case since it is birth, which brings about the child's existence and claim to human rights. It should not be argued that the child should never have been born.Being "born by forced maternity" in a genocidal context situates the child as a tool of war and typically ensures her deprivation of fundamental children's human rights outlined in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including membership, empowerment and survival rights. Children have a right not to be stigmatized or neglected as a result of their origins; and deliberately conceiving a child whose mothers' victimization will bring about its own suffering and loss of life chances should be treated as a crime. International law should be equipped to articulate, reach and punish such harms; and the NGO sector should be empowered to address the needs of these children as well as the needs of rape victims and their communities.3) Norm-Building/Resource Mobilization. An important part of the NGO approach to aiding warrape victims has been the attempt to alter norms in the prevailing culture: encouraging men not to divorce or kill their family members, providing support and counseling for families; and providing resources to women who have lost status as a result of war rape. These tactics must be extended to counteracting stigma against children of rape, targeting their mothers as well as their communities.What must be emphasized is that the reaction to and treatment of rape-children as well as victims of rape is contingent upon attitudes and norms in the target community.Though the source of the problem is the rape/pregnancy campaigns themselves, it is the secondary victimization from the victims' and children's' communities that is the source of warrape children's' misery, and to a large extent, that of the rape victims themselves. Ideally, rape campaigns may be prevented altogether; but where they already have taken place the emphasis must be on shaping the reaction of the target community to the victims of rape and their children. Not only will this lessen the abuse of rape-children as well as rape-victims, but it will lessen the impact of rape campaigns on the ethnic community itself, enabling it to retain family ties, solidarity, support networks, and a reproductive future. Moreover, since target group complicity in rejecting women and children is a component of the strategy, communities which can incorporate victims of rape and their children as "self" rather than ostracizing them as "other" are less vulnerable to, and likely to be the targets of, future forced pregnancy campaigns.What will make implementing this tricky is that a key target of norm-building campaigns to stop the rejection and stigmatization of rape-children must be the mothers of the children themselves. This may be a sea change for women-focused NGOs who have naturalized rape-victims' tendency to hate their children, and who have considered encouraging rape victims to care for or accept their children a breach of women's human rights and dignity. But the same argument would not be made for husbands' natural tendency and right to divorce or dispose of his raped wife, however naturally inculturated a response this may be for many men in patriarchal societies. Just as this habit must be overcome in the interests of empowering and supporting raped women (and the community itself), so should rape-victims' acceptance of their children as theirs, rather than the enemy's, be a component in the healing process and a key part of counteracting the often lethal stigma against such children.I am not suggesting that raped women should be forced to bear their children where abortion is available and safe, or forced to raise their children if they clearly do not wish to do so. Rather I am suggesting an attitude that encourages and supports rape-victims who are willing to keep their children; that emphasizes a maternal genetic link and motherchild bond rather than presuming an automatic hatred between mother and child; that helps rapevictims to view their children as innocent and as members of their own community rather than as signifiers of the aggressor group; that focuses on developing resources and support for women and their children; and that incorporates acceptance of rape-children into the process of teaching male family members to accept rape-victims. CONCLUSIONIn this paper I have argued that children born of forced maternity are victimized in specific ways in the aftermath of forced pregnancy campaigns, and that closer attention must be paid to their needs and rights, conceptually and materially.While all children suffer during ethnic conflict, children born by forced maternity face specific obstacles based on their origins, which have not been directly addressed by international law or humanitarian efforts. Dealing with their situation is not only a priority from a children's rights perspective but in the interest of promoting reconciliation and countering the effectiveness of forced pregnancy campaigns.Furthermore, I suggest the concept of forced pregnancy must be expanded to include children of rape as victims of crime and subjects of redress in human rights law and activism. Care will need to be taken in this process to articulate the rights of born children without endangering reproductive freedom, by developing a concise and distinct vocabulary that captures the rights of mother and born child and seeks to mitigate against cultural norms that would reify shame or stigma against either of them. When the door closed behind them, Peter asked: "Does the name Synni Lyngstad mean anything to you?" It was the name of Frida's mother. Haase looked shocked."Where did you hear that name?" he finally whispered. Peter held up an Abba poster, pointed to Frida and said: "Congratulations -this is your daughter."Haase barely knew who Abba were, but he studied the picture in amazement. "She resembled her mother so much," he recalled. "The same forehead, the same hair."Returning to the living room, he realised he would have to tell his wife about the wartime affair. "What do you think about this girl?" he asked, pointing to the picture of Frida. Anna, an admirer of Abba, replied that she was beautiful. "Small wonder," said Alfred. "She's my daughter."After the shock had died down, Anna was philosophical. "I have forgiven Alfred for his liaison," she said later. "The times were unnatural back then. People didn't act in a natural way." Before long Haase had the number of Abba's recording company in Stockholm. Abba were at the height of their fame as the icons of poodle rock. But Frida Lyngstad, the tall 32year-old who was also the best singer in the group, was a troubled figure who had suffered from depression and had realised that she needed to seek psychiatric help for what was troubling her. When someone claiming to be her father suddenly started calling, she told the office girls to dismiss him. "I thought it was just a crank caller," she recalled. Her father was dead, and that was that. A week passed before she finally decided to talk to the caller. "Hello, my girl, this is your father speaking," said the voice. She was still suspicious; but there were many things he knew that he wouldn't have known unless he had had some connection with her mother. Several phone calls followed, and in all of them Frida's questions were met with plausible replies. "When it turned out he had a copy of the exact photograph I had of him as a young soldier, that settled it," said Frida. She invited Haase to Stockholm. Abba traded in a brand of happiness that belied Frida's hidden misery. She was about to relive the tragedies of her childhood. What would the effect be? Each knew only fragments of a story that began on April 9, 1940, when the Germans invaded Norway.The port of Narvik was a key target. A two-month battle virtually obliterated it. The town of Ballangen, about 20 miles from Narvik, was the home of the Lyngstad family. Agny Lyngstad was a 41-year-old widow. Her husband died of cancer soon after the Germans seized control. Her youngest daughter, Synni, was a pretty girl with a beautiful singing voice.In the autumn of 1943, Alfred Haase arrived in Ballangen as a 24-year-old sergeant. A handsome man with wavy hair and a moustache, he had been married for one year. His duties in Ballangen were to train recruits and oversee the building of fortifications.There was a clear division between soldiers and locals. Anyone seen speaking with a member of the occupying forces ran the risk of being branded a traitor. Nonetheless, tens of thousands of local girls found themselves romantically involved with German soldiers. By June 1944 Synni Lyngstad had grown into a beautiful 18-year-old with chestnut hair and slim figure. The first time Haase saw her she was carrying a milk pail as she passed him on the road. "Everybody in our platoon was fantasising about her," he recalled. He knew it would be difficult to find a way to talk to her, because of local suspicion of the Germans. The ice was broken when he brought her a gift: a sack of potatoes; not very romantic, but food was in short supply and the gift was welcome. Gradually, Synni's resistance was worn down. "We started going for long walks in the forest together," remembered Haase. "We talked about what we were going to do after the war, how it would feel to be allowed to visit foreign countries in a time of peace." One day they threw off their clothes and went swimming. Afterwards, they made love for the first time on the beach. Haase told Synni that he was married. Synni broke down in tears, but eventually she accepted it. "I think she regarded our relationship as I did: the war meant that the conditions were different," Alfred recalled. "For many of us it was a matter of living for today -tomorrow we might be dead."The romance blossomed in strict secrecy. Only Synni's family knew about it -and they didn't approve. "He will forget you as soon as he's back in Germany," they warned her, but she refused to listen. As the weeks went by, the relationship deepened. Synni would visit the little cabin where Alfred lived, bringing whalemeat for their secret romantic dinners.The affair came to a sudden end in October 1944, when Alfred was abruptly transferred to Bogenviken, 30 miles away. Russian forces had managed to cross the Norwegian border. Further south in Europe the allies were closing in on Germany itself.In early 1945, the troops were told to prepare for transport southwards. "On February 10 or 11 we were transferred to Narvik and told that we would be evacuated to Germany the following morning," remembered Alfred. "I felt that I had to see Synni one more time before I left, so in the evening I borrowed a bicycle in Narvik and left in the dark. Ballangen was some way off and the snow was lying in drifts on the road. But I finally got there late in the evening." Alfred knocked on the door, quietly so as not to disturb anyone else in the family. For the first time Alfred spent the night in Synni's room. "I had to leave at four in the morning if I was to get to the ship on time. It was dark and Synni stood by the gate. That's how I remember her still. She had wrapped herself in a thick woollen shawl. The tears were streaming down her cheeks. That was the last time I saw her." Their last night together left her pregnant. For the Lyngstad family it was a disaster, but Synni refused to worry. "She was so happy that she was going to have a baby," recalled her sister Olive.Haase has claimed that he never knew that Synni was pregnant, despite his efforts to get in touch with her. "I wrote to Synni several times after the war but I never got a reply. Nor were my letters returned. I thought she must have forgotten me." Alfred and Synni never met again. Several years later the Lyngstad family tried to investigate the matter. Their conclusion was that the ship taking Alfred back to Germany must have been sunk by the allies. No fewer than 10.000 children were born as a result of liaisons between Norwegian girls and German soldiers during the war. But the hatred towards anything connected to the occupation was so deep that, in 1945, official reports stated that the offspring of German soldiers had the potential to grow up to become traitors because of their "Nazi genes". Since the identity of her child's father was no secret in Ballangen, Synni was snubbed and insulted by the townspeople. On November 15, 1945, she gave birth to a baby girl. The child was named Anni-Frid -or Frida for short. The Lyngstad family were shunned. Nobody spoke to them or associated with them in any way. Synni, with no word from Haase, was bewildered. Perhaps things would improve if they just stuck it out? Her mother, Agny, decided the best solution would be to take the child out of the country. Hindsight has proved her right: most of the children fathered by German soldiers in Norway were stigmatised for decades. A great number were left with a trauma that affected them all their lives and it is only in recent years that the air has cleared. Agny packed a suitcase and took her granddaughter to Sweden. Soon the frantic and lonely Synni joined them. She found work at a cafe, but she had become frail. She complained of abdominal pains and in September 1947 she collapsed. She was diagnosed as suffering from kidney failure, and died within days. She was only 21; her daughter not yet two. Agny had to support Frida as best she could. She did menial jobs -sewing, cleaning, dishwashingand took the baby to Torshalla, 45 miles west of Stockholm. It was an idyllic town of 5.000 people; but Frida would recall it as dull. She remembered her childhood as lonely. She always had a great admiration for Agny and the way she slaved to give her a secure upbringing. But they shared little physical affection, and Frida never felt she could have a heart-to-heart with her. "She had to work hard to earn our living. We were very poor. I was a latchkey child and I didn't have many friends either. I kept to myself most of the time. "Later I realised that my grandmother wanted the best for me, but was too worn out to have the energy to listen to me when she came home from work. I thought everything about me was wrong: my looks, that I had no talent -there was nothing about me that was worth loving." Her aunt Olive recalled: "Mother feared the future and wondered if she would be able to give the child the security she needed." The social authorities in Sweden were asking the same questions. A guardian was appointed to ensure Anni-Frid's welfare until she was old enough to take care of herself. Frida withdrew into herself, playing alone. But she often spent her summers in Norway with her aunt Olive and her family, who were fond of singing. This was her refuge. At the age of seven she decided she wanted to become a singer. "I never even considered doing anything else," she recalled. She entered talent contests and at 13 she began singing with a local orchestra. Frida had always seen music as a source of comfort in a life tainted by insecurity. Now she got an inkling of what it could feel like to belong to a "family". "I turned away from my family, away from my life that felt like an enormous emptiness," she said. "As music came into my life my social relations changed completely. I grew strong and dared to do things I had found insurmountable before." Her grandmother was quietly disapproving and never came to watch her perform. But Frida was busy turning into a chanteuse, performing jazz standards usually delivered by singers twice her age. By the time she was 16 she was in a big band, and its trombonist, a 19-year-old called Ragnar Fredriksson, was her first serious boyfriend. "I think it was security I was looking for, above all," Frida later reflected. "My childhood lacked gentleness and love. When I met a man, it felt like I had found everything I was looking for. I built my whole life around him."In the spring of 1962, Frida had a shock: she was pregnant. At the age of 16, she seemed to be following in the footsteps of her mother. Alfred Haase knew nothing of her childhood, or her subsequent life juggling teenage motherhood with her increasingly successful career as a singer, when he flew into Stockholm in September 1977. Frida was too nervous to face her father there, so she sent Benny Andersson -her husband and Abba founderand her aunt Olive to meet him. When they reached her villa, Frida was standing on the steps to greet them. Alfred was just as nervous as his daughter as he slowly walked up to her and handed over a bouquet of roses. No words were spoken as they embraced. After a while, Alfred quietly whispered: "My God, it's for real!" When she had composed herself, Frida welcomed her father in broken German. Dinner followed. It was time for Haase to dispel all doubts that he really was Frida's father and not just someone after her millions. Olive placed photographs on the table. Without hesitation Haase pointed and said: "That's Synni, and that's her mother." "On the back of one of the pictures of Synni, Alfred had written something," recalled Olive. "We compared the handwriting. There was no doubt. As evidence established that the man sitting among us really was Frida's father, the tears were streaming down the cheeks of all of us." Father and daughter also compared their index fingers and toes, which in Frida's case were bent in a way unlike anyone else in the Lyngstad family. They laughed when Haase's hands and feet were shaped exactly the same way. Amid all the emotion, Olive wondered about Haase's insistence that he hadn't known that Synni was pregnant when he left Norway. Frida and her father sat up talking until 4am, but having to rely on an interpreter made conversation difficult. There were certain matters she wanted to broach that she felt were just between themselves. She told him she was going to learn to speak German properly. They spent three days talking. When the visit was over, Frida drove her father out to the airport, both of them aware of the complicated situation. "We did get to know each other a bit," recalled Frida. "But it's difficult to get a father when you're 32 years old. It would have been different if I'd been a teenager or a child. I can't really connect to him and love him the way I would have if he'd been around when I grew up." They decided to try to develop the relationship one step at a time, exchanging phone calls and letters. Alfred invited them all to visit him in Germany. "We plan to get together so that I can meet the rest of the family," Frida said after he had gone, "but if we don't get along for some reason we can't force ourselves to have any artificial feelings." She reflected: "It's like my entire background comes back, flowing over me. It's only now that the tension has been released -the other night I lay awake crying for several hours." Six months later Frida referred to the meeting as the most significant event of her life. "It still feels unreal: to have a father who is like a stranger," she said.The episode contributed to Frida's sense of living in a cartoon version of the real world, with a pop magazine enabling her to find her father. She kept in touch with Haase for five years, but later cut contact down. "It was hard work to enter into a whole new family life," she explained. "It felt more like a strain than a stimulation." The truth, however, was that she had concluded that Haase had indeed known that her mother was pregnant. There could only be one conclusion to the matter, and Haase was ostracised. "I prefer to spend my time with people who won't let you down," she said curtly. By MICHAEL WOLOSCHUK --Ottawa SunLooking travel-wearied and limping slightly, the greatest rock guitarist of all time touched ground in the city that will forever ignite thoughts in him of the father he never knew.It was here that the first details Eric Clapton ever learned about Edward Fryer, his father, were made public in a series of newspaper stories I wrote earlier this year.As Clapton walked slowly from the gate at the Macdonald Cartier Airport, I looked straight into his eyes and apologized for not being able to reach him before the articles were published."I tried to contact you through your agent, but I guess no one gave you the message," I told the blues legend.Clapton peered over his black horn-rimmed glasses at me and smiled warmly."Don't apologize," he said. "I had been looking for my father for years, and you found him. You did a very good job. Thank you very much."Then the hand that played such classics as Layla, Sunshine of Your Love, Crossroads, and While My Guitar Gently Weeps, reached out and shook mine."Give me a call sometime," I said."I want to, I want to," Clapton replied, as he thoughtfully fingered my business card before sliding it into the pocket of his black shirt.Our meeting was the culmination of six months of investigative reporting that began when a friend heard Clapton's song, My Father's Eyes, and told me about it.My friend believed that --because I had grown up idolizing the famous guitarist --I would have the necessary drive to trace the whereabouts of the British rock superstar's unknown father.Eric Patrick Clapton was born on March 30, 1945 in Ripley, England, a small town just outside London. Until he was nine years old, the young Clapton was led to believe that the grandparents who were raising him were in fact his parents.He was also told that his mother was his older sister.Clapton's family had tried to shield the boy from the truth --that he was the illegitimate offspring of Edward Walter Fryer, a Canadian soldier stationed in England during World War II, and Patricia Molly Clapton, who was 16 years old when she met the Canadian serviceman.Although he learned the truth about his illegitimacy as a boy, the only detail Clapton ever learned about his father was his name, Edward Fryer.There were no pictures, no personal history. Only rumours that his father had been a conservative banker from Montreal.Clapton spent his entire life wondering who his father was. As the millionaire rock star grew older, he began to make discreet inquiries, most recently through the London law firm that manages his affairs.In March of this year, the guitarist released his latest album, Pilgrim, which featured the song, My Father's Eyes.The song is about how the closest Clapton ever came to looking into his father's eyes was through the eyes of his young son Conor, who died in 1991 after he plummeted to his death from the 53rd floor of a New York City apartment building. Fryer was, like his celebrated offspring, a naturalborn musician. He played piano and sang at Holiday Inns up and down the east coast of North America. Like Clapton, Fryer was also fond of liquor and preferred the life of a drifter.All this, as well as interviews with Fryer's ex-wives and the three children Fryer fathered after Clapton was born, were published in stories last spring.But I never got to meet Clapton face-to-face. When he appeared at a press conference in Toronto before kicking off his Pilgrim tour in April, I was busy tracking down Edward Fryer Jr., his heroin addicted half-brother, in Vancouver.In one of his interviews with the media that day, Clapton said he was both furious and glad that details about his father had finally surfaced."First of all I was furious that I had to find this stuff out through the newspapers," he said. "Then I thought, 'This is great,' because it supplied me with information that I had never had before."And so it was with a knot in my stomach the size of a boxed set of Clapton CDs that I approached the man quietly walking though the Ottawa airport yesterday.Clapton was dressed casually: A black shirt hanging loosely over his baggy blue jeans, feet clad in a pair of tan-coloured, rubber-soled shoes, a black vinyl backpack slung over one shoulder.Standing slightly shorter than I expected, he walked so quietly to the limousine waiting outside I am sure that no one but myself was aware that a certified rock deity had just passed through the airport."Mr. Clapton, I'm Michael Woloschuk," I said when we met. "You know, the guy who found your father."The man I had idolized for years looked me in the eyes and said: "Oh yeah. Nice to meet you."Only six words, but to me they conveyed information crucial to maintaining my sanity.Clapton wasn't mad at me.After we spoke, he climbed into a waiting limousine, to be whisked away for the first concert he has given in Ottawa in 30 years.A return engagement in the city that will always own a piece of his heart. Clapton said he has yet to see the picture of Fryer -who died of leukemia at the age of 65 at a Toronto hospital in 1985 --that ran with the article."This is something that I will take my own time with. When I got on the plane yesterday (Friday), there were newspapers. I had to make decisions about that --there and then. 'Are you going to go and pick up that newspaper and read about your life acccording to somebody you don't even know?' And I thought, `No, I'm not.' I will take my time to do this in a way which is respectful, most of all to me."Clapton never knew his father, although he knew his name, that he was a Canadian soldier and he was both musically and artistically gifted.The Ottawa story says Fryer was cremated and his ashes were scattered into the water off his sailboat by the last woman in his life. The story also reveals details about Fryer's subsequent children --a halfsister living in Florida and a half-brother and halfsister living somewhere in Canada."I don't plan anything," said Clapton, when asked if he'll make contact with his long-lost relatives."I will probably wait for the dust to settle because I don't want any of this to attract any more attention for the people involved than is necessary."Clapton may have a long wait on his hands when it comes to the dust settling.The Friday edition of London's Daily Telegraph had the story on the front page with the headline: "Clapton's missing family is found in America."And now that Clapton is about to embark on a three-month, mid-size arena tour of North America with a 10-man band and 20-piece string section in tow, there will no doubt be endless questions about his family ties.The irony in all of this is that My Father's Eyes is about Clapton's four-year-old son, Conor, who died in a 1991 fall from a New York highrise --an incident which also prompted Clapton to write his 1992 song Tears In Heaven. Wartime sweethearts sent to the gulag for falling in loveRussian women who fell in love with British sailors from the Arctic convoys bringing aid to the Soviet Union during World War Two were later accused of espionage and sent to prison camps. Shunned as pariahs after their release, the survivors are only now beginning to speak about these wartime affairs that destroyed their lives.The women knew that the secret police were deeply suspicious of anybody with a foreign boyfriend. But they thought it was safe enough to go out with British sailors, whose ships braved German air and sea attacks to bring arms and equipment to Russia through Arctic seas from 1941 to 1945.With the start of the Cold War they discovered that they were tragically wrong.Yelena Ivanova, a dark-haired girl from the port city of Archangel on the White Sea, was a librarian who worked in a local medical institute when she met a sailor called Eric Campbell. He was a radio operator at the British military mission in Archangel, keen on football and, going by an old photograph, was exceptionally good looking.Yelena still remembers a football match between British and Russian teams in Archangel's football stadium. Eric captained the British side and, when it won, was given a bunch of flowers. He immediately ran to where Yelena was standing on the sidelines and handed her the flowers.Yelena recalls another occasion when she and Eric were kissing on the staircase of a wooden house when her hat fell off her head. The next day he gave her an elastic band for her hat and they both laughed as she put it on.In 1944 the two had a son, whom they called Edik, though he was officially registered as Eduard Erikovitch. Soon afterwards Eric was transferred from Archangel, though he still sent parcels and a final telegram saying: "I love you."By Yelena's account he was a generous, witty, cultured man who helped her with her English. But, despite the wartime alliance between Britain and the Soviet Union, she was worried that a friend who knew about her affair would tell the NKVD security police.The last British convoy sailed in 1945 and the Cold War was soon underway. Yelena was arrested as she worked in her library in October 1946. Her mother told her later that her son Edik, who was by then three years old, had stood all evening in front of a portrait of Stalin in their house asking: "Grandfather Iosya, why did you take my mother?"Accused of spying, terrorism and anti-Soviet activity she was interrogated for five or six hours every night until she finally broke down. She confessed: "I told Eric important information about political and economic life. I illegally spread rumours that the north [of the Soviet Union] was to be rented to the British for 20 years."Yelena was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Her letters from Eric were burned. She was sent to a camp in a convoy of prisoners surrounded by guard dogs and only received a plate of soup a day. After working on a building site as a bricklayer she was sent to a camp for dangerous criminals, called Taishet, in Siberia. While cutting wood in the forest, a pine tree fell on her and her injuries left her partially deaf.Yelena was released after nine years and returned to Archangel. A photograph taken on her return shows a shrivelled, wary face. Family friends, terrified of being associated with an "enemy of the people", avoided her. She got work as a librarian but never married and remained very poor.Her son was also discriminated against and, unable to get a proper education, worked all his life in a timber mill until he died four years ago. Yelena wrote about Edik's death to his father but the letter came back marked "Addressee left".The two were finally put in touch again by Bill Lowes, a veteran of the Russian convoys, who found that Eric was a retired professional footballer."It is difficult to express my feelings when Bill told me about your awful years after the war," he wrote to Yelena. "I really knew nothing about the hardships you had because of me."Yelena Ivanova said she no longer wanted "to remember the time that brought so much sorrow to myself and my family." But she finally told her story to Olga Golubtsova, a journalist from Severodvinsk, a naval port north of Archangel, who spent years investigating the miserable fate of the Russian girlfriends of British sailors. She gives an account of the lives of 14 women in a little book, published in Severodvinsk, entitled War and Love English-style.At first few of the women wanted to speak. Kapitolina Pamfilova, the daughter of a sea captain, did not tell her son Stepan that his father was a British technician called Thomas Macadam until he was 52 years old. She at first thought she had escaped arrest, but in 1951 she was detained and sent to Siberia for three years as "a socially dangerous element".The love affairs of the girls were carefully monitored by the Soviet security police. "The worst of it was that in the war years many girls reported to the NKVD," says Kapitolina. "We were summoned there and we were scared that they would arrest us. They wanted to make spies out of us and we had only love on our mind."Olga Golubtsova located one woman, whom she calls Tonya Trofimova, who confessed that she had indeed been recruited by British intelligence. A saleswoman in a shop in Archangel, she went to parties in the hostel of the British mission. She received chocolate, cigarettes and money as well as a dress, stockings and a blanket from different boyfriends.In return she was asked about the NKVD, popular attitudes to the British and how people lived. First arrested in 1946 for stealing luxury goods from her shop she was later charged with spying and denounced all her friends, of whom eight went to prison.Only a few of the affairs ended without disaster. Vera Tsirul, the daughter of a famous general, was an interpreter who fell in love with a member of the British mission called Jimmy Morrison. When other women started being arrested she burned all his pictures and letters but believes it was only her father's powerful friends who kept her out of jail.Why were the girls not more conscious of the potential dangers in Stalin's Russia of having a foreign sailor or soldier as a lover? Olga Golubtsova says the reason is simply that they were blinded by love and saw their boyfriends as heroes from an allied country in the war.(The Independent) Children of Black GIs in Britain White women and Tan YanksAt the same time, with most eligible white men away in the services and few black women available, the 'Tan Yank' was a hit with many local white women. They found the black troops fascinating and appreciated their attentiveness and good manners. To them, the black GI was less bombastic and complaining than his white counterpart. Numerous contemporary surveys and pieces of research support the opinion of one 20-year-old girl, who said at the time that the blacks were 'marvellous -treat you as if you are something rare and precious -don't take you for granted as Englishmen do.'The fact that the black soldiers were in England at all was against the wishes of some prominent British politicians, who feared that the GIs' presence in the country would lead to all kinds of problems. And as time wore on, in a situation fuelled by prejudice and jealousy, the British began to be swayed by American opinion. It was not long before official fears were voiced at the prospect of British women having sexual liaisons with the black soldiers, resulting in mixed-race marriages and mixedrace babies. Over the months, public disapproval regarding sexual relations between black GIs and white girls became increasingly strong. Women accused of 'chasing' black soldiers were ostracised by the Americans and branded as prostitutes. Consequently many British girls were forced, under pressure, to drop their boyfriends. For those who didn't and were determined not to allow racism to get in the way of their love, their romances were curtailed when the soldiers were sent away. Marriage was usually out of the question -white officers almost invariably refused permission. The brown babiesAn estimated 2.000 illegitimate mixed-racebrown -babies were born to white English mothers. An increase in the incidence of illegitimate children was nothing new in wartime. So what was the 'brown baby problem'? Not only were these children illegitimate, but they were also 'coffeecoloured', and thus their absorption into society was hardly straightforward. Harold Moody, the black doctor who founded the League of Coloured Peoples in England in the 1930s, summed up the situation nicely: 'When what public opinion regards as the taint of illegitimacy is added to the disadvantage of mixed race, the chances of these children having a fair opportunity for development and service are much reduced.' Three solutions to the 'problem' were suggested:The mothers could keep their babies. The children could be put into homes run either by local authorities or by voluntary organisations. Any fostering or adoption that might then follow would mean that at least some of the 'brown babies' would not be totally institutionalised.The babies could be sent to the US to live either with their fathers or with adoptive black families. This was the most widely canvassed solution.The problem was slightly different for the mothers who were already married. Their husbands -fighting abroad -were usually oblivious of the illicit romances that had taken place at home, and the babies that were the result of these liaisons were very obviously not theirs. For many of the wives, the price of reconciliation with their returning husbands was the removal of their babies; for others, there was no reconciliation at all. In the spring of 1945, an American Red Cross worker in Britain noted in his diary that he had had a 'Funny case today -a woman came -wanted us to help her -seems her husband is divorcing her -she just had a baby and it is a dear little thing -but colored!' Single mothers also experienced great pressures. A few marriages to black GIs did take place, but they were complicated by the fact that such marriages were illegal in many American states because of antimiscegenation laws, even if the marriages had been contracted abroad. Many of the unmarried women did keep their babies, though financial constraints made it difficult. There was no money coming from the US Army or State Department, and paternity suits were not permissible in many states either. Furthermore, the prospect of these women meeting and marrying (white British) men who would accept their brown offspring seemed remote.The public stigma and attendant social pressures involved in bringing up a mixed-race child made the situation even worse. Many of the mothers were quite young and, for some, life became unbearable. One women describes how she was shunned by her whole village: 'The inspector for the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children told my friend to keep her children away from my house ... as didn't she know that I had two coloured illegitimate babies? Isn't there anywhere I can go where my children will not get pushed around?' There were a few reports of mothers trying to hide their babies, while in Shrewsbury, one woman abandoned her four-month-old brown baby in a public toilet. However, in many instances, the mother's parents or another family member came to the rescue. There were numerous black GI fathers who wanted their children to be sent to the US. However, under British law, children were only allowed to be sent abroad to live with British subjects. Some people also had moral objections against sending the children out of the UK, because of the discrimination against black people in many parts of the United States.The fate of the children It seemed that, although a few were adopted when they were very small, the majority of the children were destined to spend childhood and adolescence in statutory or voluntary children's homes. They were 'pushed through the system', being moved from home to home. While some may have had positive experiences, others suffered miserably. For some of the 'brown babies', it was not until they were in their late teens and early 20s that they were able to deal with the combined issues of race and illegitimacy which had caused them such torment as children.However, most simply did not know where they belonged. As many of them have grown up, suffering prejudice and identity crises, they have become increasingly curious about their roots. Only some of the children can pinpoint the exact moment when they learned about the circumstances of their births. There are those who can ask their mothers and hope that they will be forthcoming. However, many mothers refuse to give any information about their children's fathers, for fear of opening old wounds. The children who have tried to find out about their fathers have met with mixed success. Some have searched fruitlessly for 30 years before finally giving up, while others have discovered all they want to know about their fathers and their families on the other side of the Atlantic after just a few weeks. Still others have stopped midway through their quests for fear of rejection. For many, the process of searching is the only way that they can deal with their colour and the circumstances of their birth and upbringing. So even if they don't find what they want, it is still a worthwhile journey. The decision to send black troops to England was effectively made in 1940 when President Roosevelt reiterated his commitment to a target quota of 10 percent black troops in the American Army. Furthermore, there was to be no geographical restriction on the use of black troops either at home or overseas. However, the notorious "jim crow" practice of segregating regimental organisations would remain. This decision met an angry response from black leaders who had been arguing strongly that as well as an increase in the number of black men enlisted in the Army (and Army Air Corps), the Army should be desegregated. In a press statement drafted by Robert T. Patterson, Secretary of War, and agreed to by Roosevelt, the following rationale was presented for maintaining the status quo: The policy of the War Department is not to intermingle white and coloured personnel in the same regimental organisations. This policy has been proven satisfactory over a long period of years, and to make changes now would produce situations destructive to morale and detrimental to the preparation for national defense. The children they left behindWith the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the decision to send American troops to England, the British government had to address these issues. Firstly, how were they to respond to the racial segregation policies and practices that the Americans would bring with them and secondly what was to be done about minimising the possibility of relationships, particularly sexual relationships, developing between black GIs and British women. It was the latter issue which, in England, as in America, was to prove the most contentious. After much debate the British War Cabinet finally ruled that America, ". . . must not expect our authorities civil or military to assist them in enforcing a policy of segregation . . So far as concerned admission to canteens, public houses, theatres, cinema's and so forth, there would and must be no restriction of the facilities hitherto extended, to coloured persons." This policy was reinforced in a confidential letter from the Home Office to all Chief Constables in September 1942 stating that, "It is not the policy of His Majesties Government that any discrimination as regards the treatment of coloured troops should be made by the British authorities."Whilst there was a general feeling that relations between the local population and black GIs were good, the popularity of the black GIs with the British women began to cause concern amongst Regional Commissioners. "A difficult social problem -might be created if there were a substantial number of cases of sexual relations between white women and coloured troops and the procreation of half-caste children." Beside the commissioners, another group were finding it hard to accept the fact that black Americans were not only being treated as equals by the majority of the local population, but were actually receiving favoured treatment. White American servicemen reacted angrily to the level of acceptance enjoyed by the black GIs and fights began to break out, some of them serious. The popularity of black GIs with British women is not hard to explain. Graham Smith points out that family life in Britain had been broken down by the war. The majority of males including fathers, husbands and fiances were serving overseas. Young, single women left home to work in the industrial cities where jobs were plentiful. Many of them had never lived without parental supervision before or had their own incomes. Most importantly there was a war on and all the normal expectations about social behavior seemed to be temporarily put to one side.Estimates of the number of children born to black GIs vary and several attempts were made to gain accurate figures. A survey done for the League of Coloured peoples in 1945 showed that around 553 babies had been born. When these figures were updated in 1948 the number had risen to 775. It is generally accepted that the exact figure will never be known, but could be around 1.000. However, it is important to remember that black births were far outweighed by births to white GI fathers, which were estimated at around 20.000. In terms of outcomes the prognosis for the white ex-nuptial child was more hopeful than for the black. Thousands of British women who gave birth to children fathered by white Americans became war-brides, and joined their husbands in America when the war was over. This was not an option for those women whose children were black. Although there was no specific regulations against mixed marriages the reality was that in around 20 states in America in 1946, they were unlawful. Despite this some British girls persisted in their attempts to marry their black sweethearts. In his book, "Rich Relations" David Reynolds tells the story of Margaret Goosey, a girl from the Midlands, who went to Virginia in 1947, to marry a black, ex-GI she met in England. Their proposed marriage was against the law in that state. Her husband-to-be was sent to the State Industrial Farm whilst she was gaoled and later deported.There was another issue that limited the options for many women whose children were fathered by American GIs -they were already married. Of the 37 black children born in the County of Somerset during the war years, 27 of the mothers were married. As the war dragged on, women who had been faithful to their husbands in earlier years, found sexual fidelity hard to maintain. The arrival of the Americans in 1942, with their fascinating accents and free and easy manners, coinciding as it did with wartime disruption added to the impact the GI's had on the local population. To some observers it led to what was later described as a, "moral decline." After the war ended there was continued debate about possible solutions to the "brown baby" problem, as it was called. One suggestion seriously considered and promoted by the black community leaders in America, was the possibility of some children being shipped to the US and placed for adoption with black families in the States. There was strong opposition, however, from conservatives quarters in the US. In a particularly heated debate in the House, one American Representative described the children as, ". . . the offsprings of the scum of the British Isles." In the end the proposal did not go ahead.Although other attempts were made to look at alternatives it became increasingly clear that their future lay in England. However, some black commentators were concerned about what the future might hold for them. As Harold Moody of the League of Coloured Peoples observed: "When what public opinion regards as the taint of illegitimacy is added to the disadvantage of mixed race, the chance of the child's having a fair opportunity for development and service are much reduced." Those women who could not keep their children at home and were unable to support them alone, placed them in residential care, usually with their local council. Some were eventually found adoptive homes in Britain. A minority, were raised by their mothers, in some cases with the consent and support, of their British husbands. Follow up studies of this group are limited and little was heard about the "war babes" as they became known, during the fifties, sixties and seventies. In her book "Bye Bye Baby: The Story of the Children the GI's Left Behind", Pamela Winfield documents the experience of a number of black war babes. On the whole they had enjoyed a level of acceptance and support from their caregivers, however the issue of identify is one that surfaces frequently for this group. There is a sense of isolation that is difficult to describe to others, about being raised in a family or community where literally no-one looks like you. As one war babe of Mexican-American background put it, as she described being with her birth family for the first time, "We went to church and I sat there with people who all looked like me. I no longer stood out with my dark skin. It was a wonderful feeling." The early eighties saw a period of change in community attitudes toward issues such as illegitimacy. Researching the family tree became a popular pastime and adults adopted as children began to demand the right to information about their birth families. Alex Haley's, "Roots", spearheaded a growth in black genealogy as people re-discovered a pride in their black cultural heritage. These were some of the factors which led to an upsurge of interest amongst war babes, both black and white, in searching for their GI parents.In 1984 Shirley McGlade, a Birmingham (England) woman, who had been trying to find her white GI father for several years established "War Babes", a support group for other adults wishing to make contact with their American fathers. Elsewhere in Britain, Pamela Winfield who had been a war bride and returned to England following the death of her husband, established Trans-Atlantic Children's Enterprise" (Trace), with a similar aim. Some years later, in 1992 "War Babes Down Under", was established in Australia, originally to meet the needs of British war babes who had migrated. The group, coordinated by Diane Roundhill, now receives the majority of its requests for help from Australian born war babes. Between them these organisations have assisted literally hundreds of war babes to find their fathers. The process of searching for a GI father is complicated and frustrating, often taking many years. A lack of information or, finding they have wrong or inaccurate information is a common experience for searchers. It is 50 years since the end of the war and memories have faded. Many birth mothers are reluctant to discuss this aspect of their lives with their children and resent them "stirring up" old memories. For those searching for a black father the situation is complicated by the fact that black veterans tend not to keep in touch with their old units in the same way as other GIs and are therefore harder to trace. Until 1990 the National Personnel Records Centre (NPRC) refused to provide identifying information to war babes searching for a GI father, on the grounds that it was a breach of the Freedom of Information laws. In the late eighties with the support of the Public Citizen Litigation Group in America, Shirley McGlade and "War Babes", filed a law suit against NPRC and the Department of Defense, on the grounds that the information sought was legally available within the FOI Act. In November 1990 a settlement was reached, with NPRC agreeing to a number of demands including that they release information about the city, state and date of whatever addresses are contained in the records of the GI. If the father is deceased the entire address is to be released.The need for legal action to obtain information which in fact should have been available to those searching for GI parents, raises the broader issue of the rights and responsibilities of governments, servicemen and the children they father. The lives of British women who gave birth to ex-nuptial children were never the same. Some never married but chose to devote their lives to raising their children often in a hostile environment and without the benefit of financial support. Others, married men whom they did not love to provide a father for their child, often with disastrous consequences for them and the child. For those women who gave birth to black children and chose to keep them within their own families the impact was trans-generational. From that time on their family became a mixed race or minority family, within their own culture. Their decision impacting not only on themselves and the child, but on their parents, siblings and extended family. Anecdotal evidence regarding how this group of vulnerable children fared, whilst limited, suggests that earlier concerns about their future were unfounded. Not only did they survive they went on to do very well. It is interesting to speculate on the reasons for this. The struggle to survive in the face of adversity often brings out the best in both adults and children. Perhaps, even thousands of miles away from their biological roots and raised in isolation from their racial heritage they could still take strength from it. In the words of Nana Poussaint ("Daughters of the Dust") and Ivanla Vanzant, ("Acts of Faith"), "We are the children of those who chose to survive [and] we move in the power of a mighty past." REFERENCES:Longmate, N. When the war was over in Holland, and the Liberators joined the Liberated, they celebrated!!! That summer is remembered as "The Wild Summer of 1945", and I know, because I was there.One has to understand the situation in Holland at the time. The War had been very hard on the civilian population, especially that last winter when we were cut off by Allied advances elsewhere.The winter of 1944-45 was unusually severe. Called "The Hunger Winter', it was marked by extreme fuel and food shortages. Dutch citizens ate tulip bulbs and dirt to survive. People died of starvation in the streets.After five brutal years of war, the normal standards of social behaviour had shifted somewhat, changing women's and men's roles and undermining traditional notions of right and wrong in families. Parental authority was undermined and challenged by independence-seeking daughters. Fathers and brothers, who would normally have exerted pressure on the young women to behave, had either been taken away long ago as slave labour, or they were in hiding. Into this vacuum young Dutch women were given positions of unusual responsibility. Even teenaged girls became their family's sole support, walking hours to a farmers's field for a bit of food to keep their family alive.By May, 1945, the population was at its physical and psychological breaking point. Then, suddenly, Holland was free once more, and as the Liberators entered our country we were overjoyed.Only the ones who were there will understand those emotional times. We were so glad to have survived the war. The Dutch people were still alive. The soldiers were alive. Is it any wonder that everybody was overjoyed?The To be honest, many of the soldiers didn't know they had left a pregnant girlfriend behind. But many did.Marriages were discouraged by Dutch parents as well as Canadian parents, and also by the Canadian Army. It was not always with selfish attitudes, but with thought for the well-being of both the Dutch girl and the returning soldier. The soldier and the girl came from two different worlds, with different ways and cultures.What about the baby who was to come? Nobody gave much thought to them, because they weren't even born yet. But more than 7000 illegitimate births were recorded in 1946, compared with 2500 in 1939, the last normal year in Holland.Some of the mothers married just to give their baby a name, not realizing that it would have been better for herself and the baby had she stayed single. There were mothers who did stay single because they worried about their child being abused by a second father. When a mother married, the child immediately received the father's name. Until then, they had the mother's maiden name.In 1946, all the Canadian soldiers left Holland and the little babies arrived, -innocent creations with only a mother to love them. In a lot of cases, a heartbroken mother, or very sick mother, or no mother at all.These young Dutch girls had a lot of interference from family. In those days it was a shame to have a baby out of wedlock, and many parents tried to hide the secret from their families, friends and neighbours. In the southern part of Holland, the Church ruled everything and they will never know how much heartbreak they caused. Babies were taken away from their mothers against their will.All that some of these half-Canadian youngsters remember is living in "homes". Some were moved from one 'home" to another. When they started school and the teacher or the other children found out that they had a Canadian father, fingers would be pointed at them. They were different, they were not accepted, they were half-Canadian.There were special names that these youngsters were called. Many times when things got too bad, the family would move to another place. Many of them refer to their childhood as a time of being moved from home to home, or from one aunt to another aunt. They were the so called family possessions, because they had no father.Most of the Liberation children had a difficult childhood because they somehow felt different. At home they were the eldest in the family and had to do many chores. The relationship with their Dutch father was not always good, and in many cases the mother suffered also, because anger was taken out on that Canadian child.The Dutch grandparents played a big role in the lives of the Liberation children and many of these children were raised by their Oka or Oma. The mothers, most of them young girls, had to go out and work to support the child. There was no help available from either the Dutch or Canadian governments. Unlike today, there was no welfare, so the mothers had the responsibility of raising the child. The pressure under which they had to live was too hard to bear for some of them and they died young, leaving their fatherless baby behind.It is now more than 50 years later, and very important to these War Children to find or know about their father. It seems everywhere the War Children write to, they are turned back or get the run-around. Some of them spent money to place ads in the big papers in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and other big cities, but they never heard anything. As the years went by, these children turned into teenagers and then into adults.The likelihood of ever meeting their Canadian father seems hopeless now, as the Veterans are getting older and the possibility of him still being alive are smaller.The Canadian fathers have not looked for their children in Holland. Maybe some have, but not many. Most of these men have known all these years that they left a child behind in Holland, but they didn't know how to go about finding their child. They started a new life after returning from overseas. They married their old sweetheart and had a family of their own.But even after all these years, they have never forgotten the young woman in Holland. They still wonder if she had a boy or a girl, a son or a daughter.It has affected some of these Veteran's lives, and inner turmoil contributed to other illnesses and other problems. Some of them died young on account of that. But now, many fathers are happily reunited with their Dutch offspring, and are relieved that at least it is all out in the open. The fathers who are not found yet are the missing links in a hereditary chain.The war children's motives are very sincere and they are not asking for very much. For some, just to look in the father's eyes and say "Hello" is all they want. Putting together scraps from the past and faces from the present can lead to much happiness for a lonely Veteran here in Canada and an anxious son or daughter in Holland. Since only a fraction of these occupation soldiers provide care for the child and its mother (though, admittedly very generously when they do) and compulsory appropriation of the support payments is still not yet a possibility, the majority of these children have become public charges of the Welfare Service. Some of the children are being raised in private foster homes, others in public institutions. On the `asset side' of the occupation ledger, however, is the adoption of Austrian children by American families. It is a well known fact that the demand for adoptive children is especially high in the USA. Numerous childless couples have now come to recognize in Austria the possibility for the fulfillment of their heart's desire, and a great many of these dreams have actually become reality. In this way, more than a few boys and girls, faced with a childhood as wards of the Welfare Service, have been presented with a genuine home and a secure future." Source: "Salzburg -Jewel of Austria": 10 Years of Reconstruction 1945-1955., Salzburg 1956 also found at www.image-at.com/salzburg/5510.htm Nazi archive gives hope to children of 'master race' John Hooper in Berlin GuardianFriday November 19, 1999Thousands of Germans who were born as a result of one of the Nazis' efforts to create an Aryan "master race" have at last been given hope of tracing their parents -54 years after the scheme was hurriedly wound up at the end of the second world war.Until now, only the most general information has been available about the SS leader Heinrich Himmler's plan to lay the foundations for a blond, blue-eyed race of "supermen" with children fathered by his Nazi officers. The vast majority of the children were adopted, and the only detailed records on the so-called Lebensborn (spring of life) programme were thought to have been destroyed by US troops in 1945. But a programme broadcast last night on German state television revealed that the federal archive in Berlin had acquired a card index which links the names of many of the children with those of their true mothers and fathers. The repercussions could be emotionally, legally and financially explosive. Hans Kaminski, the freelance researcher who discovered the files, said yesterday that at least 7.000 children were born under the project, which ran from 1935 until 1945. Most are still alive. "I would say that about 90% do not know who their real mothers and fathers are," Mr Kaminski said. "I imagine that when they have seen the programme they will want to ask the federal archive to look for their names to see who their parents really were." Only couples with particular racial characteristics were accepted into the Lebensborn programme. "The children were then examined by SS doctors to see if they were good Aryans and those who did not fit the bill were put into orphanages. In a few cases, where the children were deformed or handicapped, they were murdered," said Mr Kaminski. He said he had been able to document two instances of so-called "defective" infants taken away and killed by lethal injection. The tiny minority of Lebensborn children who know the identity of their parents were born either to couples who later married or to mothers who subsequently chose to reclaim their children. Mr Kaminski said the card index contained information on about 1,050 births. Many of the men and women who took part in the project subsequently married other partners and had children by those marriages who became their heirs. Mr Kaminski said that the potential for dispute and litigation was immense.But he added: "I think that everyone in the world has the right to know who his or her mother and father are." A spokesman for the archive, Wilhelm Lenz, confirmed this week that it had records on some of the children, but he declined to say how many. He said the files were a "highly sensitive issue", and were not being made available to the public or media. Though portrayed as a way of getting young Nazis to "mate for the fatherland", the Lebensborn project had some characteristics of a welfare scheme for single mothers. SS and police officers whose girlfriends were pregnant could apply to their superiors to have them accepted into one of the Third Reich's nine Lebensborn clinics. The mothers were admitted in the early stages of their pregnancies and were allowed to remain with their sons and daughters until the children had been weaned. The mothers were able in this way to conceal from their neighbours, and even their families, that they had had a child. Many claimed to have gone away for medical treatment and in some cases, said Mr Kaminski, the authorities provided them with false documents to back up their stories.The documents were filled out towards the end of the war at an SS office in Munich. The records of the entire project were moved to Nussdorf, near Munich, to save them from the allied bombing of the city. US troops found them there after the war and dumped them in a river. But the card index survived, according to Mr Kaminski. It was sent in the late 40s or early 50s to a German government institute in Heidelberg. It remained there until 1997, when the official responsible for it died. His successor, on discovering the file, contacted the federal archive to suggest that it should be transferred. An employee of the archive alerted Mr Kaminski to its existence while he was researching an unrelated subject in May.He said the cards contained the names of all the mothers and about 40% of the fathers.Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273, 3932200,00.html Stolen ChildrenThe Nazis took 250.000 children from their families, intent on "Germanizing" them. After the war, author Gitta Sereny tried to help them find their way home.ALTHOUGH I KNOW THE YEAR WAS 1946, I cannot remember the date I met the first two stolen children in postwar Germany. It is dating the events of one's life that is most difficult. We recall the look of houses, of rooms, of landscapes, colors, and we remember faces, voices, movements, temperatures, and feelings, but more often than not it is impossible to put a day, a month, sometimes even a year to these memories. Still, I'm almost sure it was just before spring in that first postwar year--perhaps already March, perhaps still February--that I found "Johann" and "Marie," as I will call them. For as I write I clearly recall that the fields barely showed color and that it was cold and Displaced European children at a clothing distribution center at a UnitedNations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration facility, December 1945.wet the evening I drove to the farm, a large peasantholding in southern Bavaria. Some Hungarian refugees, who were former slave workers of the Nazis and kindly disposed toward me as a one-time fellow Hungarian, had told me that these peasants, formerly members of the Nazi Party in good standing, had two young children who had appeared seemingly out of nowhere as toddlers a little more than three years earlier, toward the end of 1942. I was 23, a child welfare officer with UNRRA (the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration) and wore the UNRRA khaki uniform. Although we worked under the aegis of-and theoretically in collaboration with--the military government in our area (the U.S. zone of Germany, in my case), it is fair to say that of all the Allied personnel we were the ones most disliked by the Germans and were not too popular with the military government, either. For our principal task was the care of displaced persons--most of them former slave workers of the Nazis--who were despised by many Germans and not liked much more by the U.S. military officials. By this time, 10 months after the end of the war, these occupation authorities were generally not men who had fought the war but administrators who saw their role as getting on with the tidy, respectful Germans and who largely resent ed the extraordinary powers that UNRRA's moral position conferred on us. At the end of the war CNRRA was confronted with more than five million slave laborers, frown both outside and inside concentration and labor camps. Not unlike the Kosovar refugees in the current Balkans conflict, most wanted to return home by whatever means available, and almost four million quickly walked or were rapidly repatriated, West and East. What remained by the autumn of 1945-when the Soviets were extending their political domination across Eastern Europe--was a highly volatile mass of about one million Eastern Europeans.Most of them were devout Catholics who. subjected to political pressures from both left and right and torn by conflicting fears and loyalties, did not know whether to go home or emigrate. These people comprised the core of our responsibility. It fell to UNRRA officers to assemble them in groups of houses or bar-racks-which they themselves guarded against the incursion of communist liaison officers from the Soviet Union--and to provide them and their children with counseling, medical care. educational opportunities, and everything materially necessary for a decent life. And then there were the missing children. As of early 1946 our Child Welfare Investigating (or Tracing) Officers had the right of entry to any German institution or home where we believed an "unaccompanied'' child resided.THOUGHT IT WAS 53 YEARS ago and the farm was of traditional Bavarian design, I might recognize to this day the long, single-story, whitepainted building with its uncurtained small windows. As I walked up to the house I could hear stamping and munching sounds of cattle in the large wooden stable adjacent. No one answered my knock, and as I opened the unlocked door and found myself in a dark entry I could smell that slightly acid animal scent that was always present in European peasants' homes. Only two of the windows I had seen from outside showed light, dim as lights were in German houses that first year after the war. After knocking again I opened the interior door and stepped across the threshold into the kitchen. Inside there were--as I had expected, for I had examined the area records at the mayor's office that morning--six people: the farmer and his wife, brown-haired, 46 and 45 years old; his parents, in their sixties but looking a lot older; a husky boy with merry blue e3es and fair hair in a short circular home-cut; and an equally blue-eyed slim and somewhat smaller girl, with equal-h blond but long, tightly braided hair, who looked younger than the boy. Oddly enough, I remember being surprised when she smiled at me. These two children, the registration papers had told me, had been born in 1940 and were therefore both six years old. I had planned to arrive when they would all be there together. Although I hoped the children would be sent to play or to bed before I started asking my inevitably distressing questions, it was essential for me to see them first within the family circle. As I had expected, they were at table; the fare, manifestly meager, as it would have been even on a fine farm that first postwar winter, was soup, rye bread and lard, beer for the men. water for the women and children. While I reminded myself not to read too much into their reactions--for no one in occupied Germany in those days would have readily welcomed an unexpected uniformed stranger--there was no mistaking the adults' particular unease at my arrival. I went around the table holding out my hand to each of them. No one stood up, but everyone except the old man shook hands, the grownups and the boy limply, the little girl pumping my hand playfully up and down. The grandfather almost childishly hid his right hand behind his back and asked with what I thought was justifiable gruffness, "What do you want?" "Just talk to you for a bit," I answered, handing the children each a chocolate bar. It, was then the little girl, beaming, said, "Danke," and I stroked her face, that the farmer's wife said sharply, "Geht zu Bett" (go to bed), and the two children shot up to obey. I said, "Gute Nacht, Marie. Gute Nacht, Johann." "Gute Nacht," Marie whispered as she slipped by me, throwing herself into her mothers arms while stretching out one hand toward her father, now standing up next to her. "Guat Nacht, Vatter. Guat Nacht, Mutter,'' said Johann in Bavarian dialect. Giving me a suspicious sidelong look, he briefly rubbed his head against his grandfather's stubbly cheek, while the farmer took the small girl out of her mother's arms and hugged her once, tightly. Children always sense atmosphere. "Muatta?" Marie said suddenly in Bavarian in a questioning voice, as she stopped on her way to the door. The grandmother got up then and pushed them ahead of her out of the room. It is strange how clearly I came to recall, once I searched my memory, that first sight of the two children and the words they spoke, their loving ease within the family. EVER SINCE THE establishment of a CentralTracing Bureau in Arolsen, the small town in the British zone of Germany where UNRRA's local headquarters were based, information had been coming in from parents, relatives, and even villages, mostly in Eastern Europe, about children, some younger than two years old, who had been taken away by the Germans. And slowly, as information, reports, and instructions trickled out to individual teams following high-level UNRRA meetings, the word "Germanization" crept into the vocabulary. Various attempts had been made since September 1945 to conduct a census by asking German agencies and institutions as well as individuals to report the presence of any "unaccompanied children of United Nations and assimilated nationality." By January 1946, 6,600 unaccompanied children (and by June 8,500) had been identified in the three western zones of occupation. They were mostly illegitimate and half German, some of them fathered by German occupation soldiers abroad, others the product of relationships between German girls and foreign slave workers in Germany. But the almost complete lack of response to our queries from German families tended to support the insistent claims by the countries of Eastern Europe and the Balkans that many thousands of children had been kidnapped by the Nazis, whose purpose had been twofold: to deplete the populations of the countries Germany was conquering and to replenish Germany's own population with "racially valuable" children.It was difficult at first for us to believe that this could have happened. Who would have taken babies or toddlers away from mothers? How could it be done? How could anyone, even bigots gone mad, believe they could discern "racial values" in young, undeveloped children? Above all how, in practice, could there now be large numbers of foreign children--at least some of whom would have to be old enough to have memories--living, basically in hiding, within the German community? Over the months, the Central Tracing Bureau received tens of thousands of snapshots of babies, toddlers, and older children, with descriptions of when and how they had disappeared from their homes or schools. The vast majority of the inquiries came from Poland, the Baltic borderlands, and the Ukraine. A house-to-house census was considered a last resort, as it was feared that (in the words of one notice from UNRRA headquarters) it could panic both "children and the adults caring for them and serve as advance notice the families who intend to conceal children." But UNRRA teams were directed to appoint child welfare investigating officers and to seek and follow information from all sources. The notice giving these instructions, which was publicly posted all over the Western-occupied zones, was specific: "Any person who willfully delays or obstructs a Child Welfare Investigating Officer in the exercise of any power…or who fails to give such information or to produce such documents or records as aforesaid, or conceals or prevents airy persons from appearing before or being examined by a Child Welfare Investigation Officer, shall upon conviction by a Military Government Court suffer such punishment (other than death) as the Court: may determine.WITHIN MOMENTS OF arriving at that Bavarian farm, I was certain that this family was aware of these orders and was afraid. Nonetheless, while the grandmother was putting the children to bed, I sat down across from the three others at the kitchen table and gave them copies of the military government order to read. By the time the grandmother returned it was after seven. "Schlafen's?" (Are they asleep?) the farmer's wife asked. The older woman nodded. I brought out a pad. On the top page were notes about the family that I had made that morning in the mayor's office. I told them that I was as a child welfare investigator from UNRRA, and that UNRRA was responsible for all individuals who had been brought into Germany from territories forcibly annexed or conquered by the Germans. That included any children either of whose parents might be nationals of any of the 50 countries belonging to the United Nations and who might have been brought into Germany and might be living there now, in institutions or in adoptive families. "Our boy fell in Stalingrad," the farmer said immediately. "The Bolsheviks killed him," his father added angrily. During those immediate postwar years, loathing of Russians was the strongest sentiment one heard expressed by Germans. I can't recall the precise sequence of what followed, but I did tell them that everything they would say to me, or to each other in my presence, would be noted and considered in any decisions that might be made. "But always remember as we talk," I said (as I would say repeatedly over the upcoming months to other families we suspected of having been given kidnapped children), "that none of us wants the children to be hurt." They sat stiffly, looking neither at each other nor at me. I told them I was sorry that their son had died in the war. I said that my understanding was that Johann and Marie had come to live with them less than four years ago. Was it after their son died that they had applied to foster or adopt a child or children? They sat motionless and did not answer. I said I was sure they loved Johann and Made and that I could see that the children loved them, too. But it was necessary that they tell me everything they knew about the children. Did they know who their natural parents were? "They are dead," the younger woman said at once. What had I meant by "children brought into Germany?" she then added. How did she know the children's parents were dead? I asked. "They told us," she said. "Who is 'they'?" I asked."Die Leut" (the people), she answered vaguely, then repeated her question. I told them that thousands of Eastern European parents were looking for missing children. "East?" said the grandfather, and repeating it virtually spat out the hated word: "East? Our children have nothing to do with 'east.' They are German, German orphans. You need only look at them." And there it was: "You need only look at them." IN THE FALL OF 1939 Hitler had conqueredPoland in a three-week campaign--the beginning of the Blitzkrieg, which within 22 months would give him control over virtually all of Western Europe and large chunks of the East. At the time. Heinrich Himmler gave a speech to a restricted audience of SS officers in which he announced the Nazis' plans for Poland: "In the course of the next 10 years," the SS chief said, "the population of [occupied Poland] will become a permanently inferior race that will be available to us for slave labor. A fundamental question is the racial screening and sifting of the young. It is obvious that in this mixture of people some very good racial types will appear from time to time." Poland had been cut up into three parts: the eastern section, which went to the Soviet Union, at the time Germany's ally; central Poland, which was dubbed "the General Government" and was administered mainly as a supply area for human stock for Germany's labor needs; and the rich agricultural lands to the northwest, which were named the "Warthegau" and were incorporated into the Third Reich. Within a few short months, the Warthegau was cleared of Poles (and, of course, Jews), the Polish Language was prohibited, and street signs were changed into German. By the summer of 1941 the Warthegau had been settled with 200.000 ethnic Germans, and it looked as if it had never been part of Poland. All children of "Nordic appearance" found in orphanages or foster homes were presumed to be German and, with or without surviving family members' agreement, were eventually evacuated to reeducational institutions in Germany. Between November 1939 and the middle of 1941, both Himmler and RuSHA (the Nazi Office for Race and Resettlement) would time and again take up the theme of "racially valuable" Warthegau and Polish children. "The first condition for [the management of]...racially valuable children..." announced RuSHA in a secret paper, "is a complete ban on all links with their Polish relatives. The children will be given German names of Teutonic origin. Their birth and heredity certificates will be [filed] in a special department." "We have faith above all in this our own blood, which has flowed into a foreign nationality through the vicissitudes of German history," Himmler added in May 1940. "We are convinced that our own philosophy and ideals will reverberate in the spirit of these children who racially belong to us." Eventually all Polish children between the ages of two and 12 were examined and segregated into two categories: "racially valuable or worthless," as Himmler once wrote. Children found to be racially worthless were either sent home or, if old enough and capable, sent to Germany to work. Those with racial potential were taken to one of three centers in the Warthegau, where further tests were conducted. Children between the ages of six and 12 found to be of "racial value" were sent to institutions in Germany to be Germanized. Those between the ages of two and six, who would eventually be given to "childless families of good race" for adoption, were first sent for a period of observation to a home run by the Lebensborn ("Spring of Life") Society. Conceived in 1935 as one of the most progressive of the Nazis' many social organizations, Lebensborn was run through "homes" that were set up around Germany to provide periods of respite for overburdened mothers and to care for pregnant single girls and illegitimate children--not, as has often been claimed, to operate principally as breeding farms for SS men.BY 9:30 THAT NIGHT I had the family's story. It hadn't been the death of their son in 1942 that had prompted them to apply to adopt a child. It had been the accidental death four years earlier of their younger child, a daughter, then 15, who had been killed in an auto accident. Her name was Irmi; a photo was brought out for me to look at. She had been a fine-looking young girl, proud in her BDM (Bund Deutscher Mädel--the girls' equivalent of the Hider Youth) uniform. She had been on an outing at a BDM holiday camp that summer, the father said, when the brakes had failed on a bus that was carrying 35 girls down a mountain road. Eighteen of the girls had died. The farmer's wife cried softly. Their boy, then 17, enthusiastic and bright, had just been accepted into a--momentary hesitation-leadership school, he continued. "An SS school?" I asked. "A good school," he answered sharply. The father said he knew I wouldn't understand, but it had been a great honor for the boy, the family. Yes, they could have asked to have him returned home after the death of their daughter; there were provisions for that--the party cared, he said stubbornly. But Franz was so longing to go. And besides, the father continued, he and his wife had still been young in 1938; at the end of that year they even thought they might be having another baby. It was when his wife miscarried at the end of the year and they were informed that her childbearing years were over that they first considered adopting. Shortly afterward they filled out an application, though without much hope of success, because there weren't many spare babies in Germany then. By the end of 1939 they still had nothing but an acknowledgment from the authorities to whom they had applied for a baby girl. But early in 1940, the farmer told me, they heard that many German children were being found in Polish orphanages with false Polish birth certificates that had been issued so they had heard--to rob them of their German past. That was when they had written again. "And we said that, with the war and all, and our boy in the service, we'd happily take two children, a boy and a girl, and that they could be twins," the farmer explained. Irmi had been a twin, he added; her brother had died at birth.THE ROLE LEBENSBORN played in the theft and Germanization of possibly a quarter of a million mostly Eastern European children was abominable. It was no doubt because of Lebensborn's existing facilities, combined with the organization's sterling reputation, that the SS decided in the winter of 1941 to make Lebensborn the executant of the "Germanization" project. By late 1941 large Children's Reception Centers (used for the initial sorting of children by "racial experts") and smaller homes (where selected children spent several months being taught the German language and Nazi ideals) had been set up in Germany and virtually all the conquered territories. After long preparation and a considerable number of kidnappings in Rumania, Yugoslavia, and the Warthegau, the project was launched in Poland in the winter of 1941 via a secret order signed by Lieutenant General Ulrich Greifelt, head of the central office of the SS in Poland. There were, the order said, "a large number of children in [Poland] who by reason of their racial appearance should be regarded as children of Nordic parents .... The children who are recognized as bearers of blood valuable to Germany are to be Germanized." Greifelt continued, "My representative will inform the Lebensborn Society of the children aged between two and six who have been recognized as being capable of Germanization. The Lebensborn Society will in the first place transfer the children to one of its children's homes. From there the Lebensborn Society will see to the distribution of these children among [selected families] with a view to subsequent adoption .... These children are to be treated as German children even before the granting of German nationality.... Particular care must be taken," the order concluded, "to ensure that the term 'Germanizable Polish children' does not come to public knowledge .... The children should rather be described as German orphans from the regained Eastern territories." "IT IS TRUE," THE FARMER'S wife said, not long after her father-in-law's outburst. "They were found in the Eastern territories, but they were German orphans. They told us that very clearly." And of course they might have been--there had always been many ethnic Germans in western Poland. But I pointed out that if the children were now six they would have been going on three when they came to the family. How did they seem to their new parents after what must have been a big change in their lives? Shy? Happy? Did they speak well? (I meant, but didn't say, did they speak German well?) The grandfather, who would remain angry throughout, complained about the questions. They were just small children then. What's shy? What's happy? If I wanted to know about happy, all I had to do was look at them: "Happy as the day is long they are," he said. What tricks was I playing? But by that time, well into the second hour of my visit, as far as the farmer and his wife were concerned the atmosphere had changed. Somehow, without exchanging a private word and without any more encouragement from me than common courtesy, they appeared to have persuaded themselves that rather than attacking me they needed to get me onto their side. But the farmer's wife was an honest woman. "I don't know how happy they were," she said thoughtfully. "Marie wanted a lot of cuddling and Johann..." she stopped and looked at her husband. "Well," he said, "they were in a new place." "He was often naughty at first," she continued. "Not for long," the grandfather muttered, and spread his right hand. "He knew pretty quickly what was good for him." For the first time the farmer's wife laughed. "Come on, father," she said. "You make yourself out an ogre." The truth was, she said, that Johann had taken to the grandfather, who almost immediately started taking him along on his chores. "Still do," the old man growled. I asked again whether they spoke a lot, and she said that Marie, yes, spoke "like a baby, you know, but Johann..." Again the grandfather interrupted. "Silly question. He talks like a water mill now," he said firmly. "What does it matter how they talked when they came from the orphanage?" The grandfather was right, the younger woman said: That was then and this was now. "And you know now, don't you, Fräulein, that they are ours? That they were given to us?" Yes, I told them, I believed the children had been given to them. "And that they are German," the farmer said. They could be, I said. I'd be glad if they were. We would find out, but it was likely to take a long time and I hoped they could just go on being happy together. Following that, a wooden plate with sliced rye bread, some rough country cheese, glasses and a bottle--I was sure it was precious--of red country wine were produced, and the farmer's wife took me to see the children asleep next to each other, under their big featherbed. They were happy, loved and happy, and I felt vaguely ashamed when she handed me a photograph of them I had asked for, taken just days after they had arrived, at Christmas 1942, with the family. I knew she thought I wanted it to help me remember the children, who were so pretty. It was the last time I saw those farmers. The photograph was sent to Arolsen, where reports had come in that three families in different parts of Poland were searching for twins who had been taken from them when the children were two or three. The photo was copied and sent to the families. The couple who recognized the children as theirs--young farmers in a small village not far from Lodz--were able to prove the twins' identities, as was required, by citing a small birthmark Marie had on the inside of her right ann. (A bitter irony: Had that tiny mole been any bigger, Marie would not have been thought worthy of Germanization in the first place.) I had been transferred away from the area by then. And so it was someone else's painful task four months later to verify that Marie was this little girl with the birthmark--and to take the children away. A painful task indeed. I only had to do it once, but I will never forget the inconsolable grief of the couple who loved the five-year-old I had to take from them, and the wild anger of the child, who had no memory of his birth parents or native language, and for whom his German parents were his world. In the time I was involved with different aspects of the identification of stolen children, I never handled or heard of a single case in which the German foster or adoptive parents had treated the kidnapped child with anything but love. Nor were they aware, at least as far as we could determine, of the methods by which the child had come to them. The Nazis committed a double infamy here: first in stealing children from their parents in conquered lands, and second in deceiving their own people about the integrity of their actions.BY THE EARLY SUMMER of 1946, by which time a good many German documents had been discovered and quite a number of older kidnapped children who could provide us with information had been found, we had learned a great deal about the process of Germanization. Six Nazi organizations and one ministry had been involved in this program, which was doubtless conceived by Himmler (and, like all major decisions, approved by Adolf Hitler) and operated under the umbrella of the SS. The Office for Repatriation of Ethnic Germans, the Reich Security Office, and the Reich Commission for the Consolidation of the German Race played important administrative roles. The Nazi People's Welfare Association supplied the dreaded "Brown Sisters," who in an odious attempt at reassurance played the good cops when they accom-partied the SS men on their expeditions to abduct the children. The Office for Race and Settlement decided the children's suitability for Germanization on the basis of measurements of 62 parts of their bodies. Then, of course, there was Lebensbom, which operated pretty Children's Homes all over Europe and was in charge of "reeducation." Finally, the Ministry of the Interior lent the criminal undertaking legal status by conferring on the Lebensborn Society the right of civil registry and of guardianship, enabling the organization to issue official birth certificates with (invented) places and dates of birth and (false) names, and--the ultimate form of control--to act as the stolen children's legal guardian.The procedure, carried out in stages, was identical in all countries where children were abducted, but the largest number of children (estimated at 200.000) were taken from Poland. In the Warthegau, as soon as all Poles had been ejected, the children, mostly boys, were taken, primarily from institutions or ethnic German parents who refused to sign documents of allegiance. In the General Government, where the program began somewhat later, most of the children were taken from their families. On secretly designated days, children were picked up off the streets, or from playgrounds, schools, and homes. Unless the child was pretty, healthy, and well built, and had blond or light brown hair and blue eyes, he was eliminated from the selection. If he was chosen in this first stage, his parents were told that he would be returned home after physical and IQ exams that would decide his future schooling. Children were then taken by train to one of the reception centers in the Warthegau (now German territory well out of reach of parents), which had been specially installed for Germanization. If they were young, children whose IQs were below the minimum required for Germanization would be returned home; if older and physically fit, they were sent to Germany to work. And even if they were of the right coloring and build, if they were found to be physically unfit or racially "tainted," they would end up in a children's ghetto in Lodz, where according to postwar Polish records most of them died. Those deemed qualified after about six weeks of tests were issued new birth certificates with German names--which were frequently--no one knows why--close translations of their Polish names, and their parents were notified that they were being sent to Germany for their health. Subsequent inquiries by parents were not answered. Small children were then placed in Lebensborn homes in Germany until they were considered ready to be placed in families, while older ones were sent in small groups to socalled "Heimschulen"--state boarding schools run by Lebensborn but staffed and supervised by the SS--where they received the physical and ideological education given to native German children.According to testimony in the Nuremberg trial of Lebensborn officials in 1947, all German documentation of the kidnappings and reassignments was ordered destroyed in April 1945.In telling the story of the process of Germanization, I am therefore relying on the nearly identical accounts given to me by five 10-to 12-year-old boys I worked with during a six-week assignment at a special children's center in the early summer of 1946.At that center psychiatrists and other staff members experienced in child trauma worked to help the children overcome the pain of separation and to reawaken memories of their original families in the youngest. Children 12 or older who had been brought in for forced labor (they were usually 14 to 16 by the end of the war) had all remained aware of their identifies, and while they spoke some German they retained their native languages. As proof of just how effective Germanization had been, this was not true of those who had been 10 years old when taken. It was, though, easier to bring back memories in children that age than in the youngest ones. For the youngest, we found that the most effective reminders were songs. Even though songs were part of German family culture (and group singing a vital part of Nazi youth education), in a number of cases the sound of Polish nursery songs and children's prayers brought back images of home.The 10-to 12-year-olds with whom I worked had all been taken away from their families in Poland in late 1942. They remembered that it had been during the run-up to Christmas, and that they had stayed for a month or two in two children's reception centers in Brockau (Bruczkow) and Kalisch (Kalisz)--they only remembered the cities' German names.Their strongest memories were of having "good food" but being cold, especially at night when the bedroom windows were always open--a practice manifestly new to these Polish country, children. They remembered that in Kalisz each room had had four beds except for two dormitories that had had 10 beds each, "for bigger boys." The "Brown Sisters" had taken care of them. Had they been nice? I asked. "Except when they were horrid," one of them said; he remembered getting a beating with a switch on his bare bottom because he and a friend had sung a Polish ditty after lights-out. During those first weeks they'd had German language, history., and geography lessons for several hours every day. Outside the school rooms they could speak Polish, except during mealtimes, when--"quite soon," they said they had to speak German or be silent. There were "lots of doctors in white coats but also in uniforms," and they had "lots" of medical examinations. Was that frightening? "No, it was silly," one of them said. "We had to be all bare, and they kept measuring every bit of us." What was it they measured? "Oh, everything. They just went on and on." (The decisive characteristics for being placed in the top racial categories, aside from a child's hair and eye color, were the shape of the nose and lips, the hairline, and the toe-and fingernails, and the condition of the genitalia. Important too were reactions to neurological tests, and personal habits: Persistent uncleanliness and, of course, bedwetting/ farting, nail-biting, and masturbation--which older boys were told on arrival was forbidden--were, if repeatedly observed, automatic disqualifications.) Did their guardians hurt them in any way? "Hurt? No, they didn't hurt me. Why should they hurt me?' In these Germanized children there was quite a lot of defensiveness, and many of their memories--particularly of the years in Lebensborn homes and schools in Germany and Austria that followed the first initiation--were joyful. "We did lots of climbing and obstacle courses and we learned to march. We sang around campfires. Yes, it was strict, but the [German] boys were nice." Had they been homesick? They looked at each other, 'almost puzzled. It had been so long ago. "When we were small, perhaps," the oldest one finally said of that time, so long ago, when he was eight. He shrugged. "Then no more." But yes, he added later, he remembered some Polish, even though there had been severe punishments for speaking it, and he remembered his mother, though his father hardly at all. "It'll be funny to have a mother," he said, and laughed a sort of half laugh.IN THE SUMMER of 1946 I was assigned for about six weeks to a Special Children's Center in Bavaria and there--I recount with sorrow--I was brought face to face with Johann and Marie. I had not known they were there, and UNRRA had forgotten my involvement with them. The two children's appearance--their faces were sallow, and there were shadows under their eyes--and Johann's reaction to me and Marie's awful apathy shook me to the core. Marie was scrunched up in a chair, her eyes closed, the lids transparent, her thumb in her mouth, but Johann raced up as soon as he saw me, and shouted hoarsely, "Du! Du! Du!" (You! You! You!) hit out at me with feet and fists. If I had not found out that they were due to leave for Poland three days later I would have requested an immediate transfer in order to protect them from having to see me. The staff tried to console me; sadly, they were only too familiar with children's reactions to being separated from their German homes. Like other distressed children before them, Johann and Marie had been kept at the center beyond their scheduled departure date, in the hope that they could be helped through this second loss in their young lives before they had to confront the emotional expectations of their natural parents. Nothing had helped, however: Johann had become increasingly defiant, with more moments of the violence he had displayed toward me, and Marie no longer spoke and had reverted to babyhood, wetting her bed and taking food only from a bottle. The decision to send them home, with their Polish parents informed of their condition and one of the center's German-speak-ing therapists accompanying them--for, of course, they now spoke no Polish-was a kind of last resort that had worked in previous cases, with the parents' tenderness giving them relief. Reluctantly, that night, following the direction of the resident psychiatrist, who thought it couldn't harm and might even help, I held Marie in my lap and gave her her bottle. She lay there, her eyes shut, the only movement in her lips, which sucked, and in her small throat, which swallowed. ! held her until she was asleep. It helped me but, I fear, not her. What are we doing? I asked myself. What in God's name were we doing? This was the question that so often occupied us. What was the "right" solution to this human conundrum? Should we return the children to parents who longed for them, but also to an impoverished and largely destroyed Eastern Europe, and to an ideology unacceptable to many of us? Or should we leave them with their German second families--our only-just-past enemy, with their lingering love for Hider--who had obtained them as beneficiaries of a crime of truly Biblical proportions? What was in the best interest of the children? The question became even more disturbing when we learned late that summer of 1946 that Washington was considering issuing a fanatically anti-Soviet order (and seeking agreement to it in Britain) to resettle all children of Russian origin--including those from the contested Ukrainian and Baltic border regions--in the U.S., Australia, and Canada, instead of returning them to their homes and a life under the Soviets. For months already, many UNRRA workers had been concerned about unofficial "advice" from above not to allow Soviet liaison officers into DP camps and not to expose unaccompanied children to them. While the Soviet officers' addresses were posted in the camps for those who might want to visit them, they were not allowed in, as their presence would have been too inflammatory. But some of us, feeling not only that the Soviets had as much right to their children as anyone else but also that we needed their help to locate parents, had ignored this advice, at least regarding the youngest unaccompanied children. Continual changes in the rulings we received over the months were confusing and disturbing, and we were finally convinced that no one in authority understood either the political complexities or the human conflicts that surrounded us and our charges, At the point when the appalling--to us--news of the projected new order for overseas resettlement reached us, I knew of seven children under 10 in Special Child Centers in my region alone whose Ukrainian parents were waiting for them and who, with therapy and language lessons, were being prepared for going home. There were of course many others both in the U.S. and British zones of occupation. How could anyone think of ordering that children who had twice suffered the trauma of losing parents, home, and language, should, like so many packages, be transported overseas and dropped into yet other new and entirely strange environments?With several others--and with the help and approval of the UNRRA director for the U.S. zone, John Whiting--I embarked on a campaign to defeat this plan. Working out of his office in Frankfurt for three weeks, we circulated a protest petition and sought signatures from all UNRRA field workers, made hundreds of phone calls to teams as well as to congressmen and MPs in Washington and London, and bombarded both the State Department and USFET (United States Forces European Theater) with letters. Although many UNRRA workers signed the protest, .replies from Washington and London were sparse, and said only that our opinion had been noted and that no definite decision had yet been made. I was growing increasingly frustrated, both with various aspects of the unaccompanied children problem and with the screening process for displaced persons, which was mostly handled by unqualified GIs. In October 1946, shortly after the latest controversy over the children--the situation was beginning to look insoluble--I left UNRRA to undertake a lecture tour in schools and colleges in America. So when Congress passed the Homecoming Act, Lee Lambert saw a way to bring his daughter, then 17, and her mother on a plane from Ho Chi Minh City. Orchid Lambert remembers arriving at Jacksonville International Airport. Her ears hurt from the flight and she was hungry because she couldn't stomach the strange American food served aboard the plane. When she arrived, she was surprised by the sight of her father, whom she hadn't seen since age 5. After Communists captured Saigon, now known as Ho Chi Minh City, her mother burned family pictures fearing reprisal from the new government for ties to Americans, Orchid Lambert said. "I was used to being around oriental people. I was like shocked, wow, he was so big," she remembered thinking of the 6-foot-2 former soldier, who had broad shoulders and big, mittlike hands. She quickly discovered the English she had learned from a tutor financed by her father wasn't of much use in her new country. "[My father] couldn't understand me," Orchid Lambert said, smiling. She recalled having to learn to use a fork and knife and find food she liked. The rims of Lee Lambert's eyes reddened last week, and he talked softly. "I was very, very excited to see her come," he said. For 12 years, he had only pictures of the little pig-tailed girl to remember her by. He took them out last week for the first time in years and thumbed curiously through old blackand-whites. They were mixed with the papers and certificates he received for his duty overseas. Now that his daughter is here, Lee Lambert said he rarely thinks back on his tour in Vietnam, even with the looming anniversary of the end of the war. "To me, it's just another day," he said of the 25th anniversary. "I did my duty as I saw fit. I did my job to serve my God and my country." Mary Lambert, whom he married in 1997, said the war holds painful memories because her husband's son, Lee Jr., was killed during a scouting missing in 1967. When they arrived, Orchid Lambert and her mother moved in with Lee Lambert, who was divorced from his first wife at the time. His two other children, a son and a daughter, were adults and living on their own at the time. He tried to enroll Orchid Lambert in a local high school. The school rejected her, saying she was too old and uneducated to begin attending school. She took English classes, studied hard and received her GED. She took courses at Florida Community College at Jacksonville, enrolled in a beauty school and worked to help support the family. Life in America was better but far from perfect. Orchid Lambert still doesn't feel totally accepted by either Vietnamese or African-Americans.When she goes to Vietnamese stores, she will speak to the clerk in her native language. They will often reply in English, which is a subtle slight, she said. "It seems as though I don't fit in to either side," she said. "If I go to someplace in the black community, I feel the same way." Orchid Lambert and her mother, Tam Thi Nguyen, live in their own homes. Orchid Lambert works part time at a nail salon and does fashion modeling for a local agency. What was once a liability --the way she looks --is now an asset. The once awkward girl grew to be tall and slim, with long black hair, deep brown eyes and a warm, comfortable smile. "I used to hate being black because they picked on me," Orchid Lambert said. "Now I'm glad because the people at the modeling agency say they picked me because I have unusual features." She knows she is one of the lucky ones. Other Amerasians she knows in Jacksonville don't know their fathers, even after a decade in America. "They ask me if I can help them find them," she said. "It's kind of sad. RICK LOOMIS / Los Angeles TimesJust 10 years ago, Marianne Blank was perched atop the cause du jour. As the director of the nation's busiest Amerasian refugee program, she provided job training, English lessons and tutoring for children of American soldiers and Vietnamese women"living legacies, and pariahs, of the Vietnam War. Congress wrote checks. Morley Safer came calling. The kids were on Oprah. "It was the sexy topic of the time," Blank, now 68 and executive director of St. Anselm's Cross-Cultural Community Center in Garden Grove, said with a weary smile. Today, her relationship with those kids is a more somber affair: She testifies for their defense attorneys. In letters to courts in California, Colorado and Texas, she pleads for leniency. It's a form letter, though she expands it occasionally if the crime is particularly serious. And it's an explanation, in a way, of why the kids she tried to save are stealing cars and breaking into people's homes. "The stigma and shame borne by these 'children' ... produced a group that had little chance of success in this country," the letter reads. "The U.S. never did anything for these children, and they were expected to somehow adapt here as adults, even though they were taught to be ashamed of their existence." It's remarkable how quickly a cause can fade, losing its funding and its moment in the public eye. This time, it has left Amerasians, in many ways, right back where they started"marginalized and forgotten. In all, after the U.S. government formally took responsibility for them 12 years ago, as many as 30.000 Amerasians immigrated to the United States from Vietnam. Most arrived as teens in the late 1980s and early '90s, and now they've grown up. While the public perception is that they simply assimilated into everyday life, the truth is far darker, say social workers, activists and Amerasians themselves. There are scattered success stories, but by most accounts, these children of war"more than 5.000 of whom came to Southern California"remain plagued."We came here because we thought we were coming home," said Holly Do, a 31-year-old Amerasian who emigrated in 1989 and now lives in Orange. "And then we were abandoned all over again. Some couldn't handle it. They just gave up." A Feeling He Was Doomed From Birth Some days, My Nguyen thinks he might have been doomed from the start. Born in the South Vietnamese town of Nha Trang, the son of an American GI whose name he never knew, he was left by his mother in a trash bin when he was an infant. She covered him with a piece of cardboard and left him to die. Rescued by another family in the village, he was later beaten up at school so much that he quit when he was 9 and went to work hauling catfish and shrimp at the village dock.Using a razor and ink made from burnt shoestrings, he scarred his arms with tattoos, one with his birth date, another bitterly recalling the slurs that were lobbed his way as a child. The other kids in the village kicked him away when he tried to join their games. Weary of villagers taunting his adopted mother for raising an Amerasian, he ran away from home at 17 and started living on the streets. In 1990, at 21, his cursed ethnic makeup became his ticket out. Vietnamese had learned that immediate family members of Amerasians were allowed to enter with them, so thousands of Amerasians came to the United States at the expense of families posing as their own. His "family" brought him to Little Saigon, where he began begging on the streets again. In 1997, he and two Amerasian friends were busted while stealing cigarettes from a Westminster store. He spent much of 1997 and 1998 in jail. Behind bars, he learned he has terminal cancer. Now on probation, he has dropped to 100 pounds. A deep scar drops like a trench from his left ear into his neckline. One of his eyes is permanently closed, and there is a large dent in his skull, all because of a cancerous tumor doctors have battled intermittently. He lives in a cramped Westminster apartment with his girlfriend and her three children. The kids sleep in the kitchen on thin mattresses scattered on the floor. Deep in a pile of welfare and other government papers that have documented his struggle, his life is boiled down in a social worker's chicken scratch. Question No. 5 on one form reads: "What community, church, sports or social groups do you belong to?" The answer: "No social interaction." "I had nowhere to go in Vietnam," he said. "I couldn't do anything. So I came here. And now I can't do anything or go anywhere here." Kicked Out of School and Kept From Jobs Saigon fell in 1975, but in some ways, the war was only beginning for Amerasians. In a patrilineal society where a child's social status is passed down from his or her father, they had no father. Worse, most in Vietnam assumed that their mothers were prostitutes or bar girls"though studies suggest that less than a third of Amerasians' mothers were prostitutes. To the North Vietnamese, Amerasians were the enemy's children.To the South Vietnamese, they were remnants of a lost war. They were taunted, called bui doi, "children of the dust," and con lai" "mixed-blood" or "half-breeds." They were kicked out of schools. They were kept from jobs, forcing many to take to the streets. Huong Nguyen sits on a street in Ho Chi Minh City. She lives in a former chicken coop. "Everybody hates us. We are nobody," she says. RICK LOOMIS / Los Angeles TimesIn the United States, they were largely forgotten. Then, in 1986, a newspaper photographer clicked a shot of a 15-year-old boy in Ho Chi Minh City, the former Saigon. The boy was Amerasian, crippled and selling flowers crafted from the foil in empty cigarette packs. A year later"13 years after Saigon fell"Congress approved the Amerasian Homecoming Act. The bill eliminated quotas on Amerasian immigration to the United States; Amerasians, it seemed, had a new lease on life. Congress billed it as the American Dream. But Amerasians would find, upon reaching their "home," that in some ways they were as unwanted here as they were in Vietnam. There were 60 cluster sites established for them, including Blank's in Garden Grove. The sites were quickly overwhelmed. Amerasians typically received eight months of government benefits, including health care, as well as remedial English lessons and some job training, but many believe the government vastly underestimated the amount of assistance Amerasians would need. Meanwhile, as the author Thomas Bass points out in his book, "Vietnamerica," the government made no provisions to reunite Amerasians with their GI fathers. Indeed, the government told its workers that they should take necessary steps to "protect the veteran from ... embarrassing disclosures," Bass writes. Government funding for the cluster sites and all other assimilation programs began drying up in 1993 and ended in 1995. Today, even the success stories are hard to find. Holly Do was one of the lucky ones. Like most Amerasians, Do was kicked out of school. But with rugged resolve, she quietly planted herself outside the village classroom, straining to hear the lessons being taught inside. She eventually taught herself to write. "I would just cry and cry, but I didn't want them to put me down and keep me down," said Do, who came to the United States in 1989 and works in an optometrist's office. "I knew that I was not what they said." She winces when asked about her father"a former Army truck driver she knows only as "Sgt. Foot." They met once, in Vietnam when Do was 3. She has not seen him since, though she has searched persistently. "These children had no identity," Blank said. "In Vietnam, you need a father for an identity, and their fathers weren't there. The culture said: 'You are no one.'" In Vietnam, 'Everybody Hates Us' Back in Vietnam, conditions are even worse. One overcast morning in March, Amerasians gathered outside the U.S. Embassy in Ho Chi Minh City. They meet there every day, even when they don't have any business there, because its pocked, forbidding walls are their only hope. A block away, the former Presidential Palace of South Vietnam is a tourist attraction"mostly because one of the North Vietnamese tanks that blasted through its gates is a permanent relic outside, its red star repainted occasionally when it starts to fade. It's now called "Unification Palace," to the chagrin of those still loyal to the old regime of the South. That's where Nguyen Huong can be found most afternoons. Born in 1972 to an American GI and a Vietnamese woman, she was left by her mother at an orphanage near Da Nang. Raised by nuns, she ran away from the orphanage when she turned 12 and has lived on her own, on the streets, ever since. In 1993, a family offered to pay her way to the United States so they could escape. But after immigration officials discovered they were not related, the family withheld promised payment and even took her identification documents and paperwork. Today, she sleeps in a former chicken coop behind a flower stand in a cramped market. She delivers coffee for a few hours each morning and helps sell flowers, making about 10.000 dong per day"about 70 cents. Her possessions (a blanket, a hat and a cardboard Buddhist shrine) are in the coop. Her belongings are stolen regularly. Currently, she's down to two outfits. "Everybody hates us," she said. "We wander the street. We don't have a place to be. We are nobody." Source: http://adserver.latimes.com/news/nation/reports/viet nam/orange/lat_ocamer000428.htm I'm standing on the roof of the Caravelle Hotel in Saigon. From their tables here in 1975 US correspondents boasted that they could cover the Communist advance on the city without having to get up from their drinks. Such cynical arrogance. Yet it's easy enough to imagine the green fields on the other side of the river being lit up by explosions and flares, the city beneath you traumatized by the unknown future that awaited it, Westerners and pro-American Vietnamese scurrying desperately to get a place on the last US helicopters out. Saigon today is a very different city from the one those US correspondents knew. It even has a different name -though these days only Party stalwarts insist on calling it Ho Chi Minh City. The old Saigon was a city full of vice and corruption, ruled by an incompetent crowd of generals. It was characterized by the night clubs and shady sex-bars that seem the limit of the US soldier's recreational horizons the world over.When the Communists arrived one of their first acts was to clean up the sleaze and the corruption. My own hotel in the backstreets makes me wonder at first whether they failed: my room has a lampstand in the form of a female nude and ceiling mirrors strategically placed over the bed. But the most depraved practice got up to here is the watching of boot-legged James Bond videos from Taiwan -the family that runs the hotel devours them with great glee, despite not speaking a word of English.Judging by accounts from the time Saigon was a dreadful place before Liberation. So it is disconcerting, to say the least, that I can barely find a single person on its streets who doesn't look back to the Americans' time here as a Golden Age.This has nothing to do with ideology or 'freedom'. It is a simple question of cash. When the Americans were here they pumped so much money into the economy that everyone benefited. Many people were directly employed as drivers or office workers, for a start. And while US soldiers may have spent most of their money on bar girls, those bar girls had families and those families bought goods from traders -everyone wound up better off.The memory of this artificial affluence has given the average Saigonese a distorted picture of how the world works. The Vietnamese Government is measured against standards of wealth that no developing country could hope to match, let alone one so shunned by the global economy. And I find it depressing, after all this nation has been through, that the greatest ambition of so many ordinary people is simply to get to the US.I hold an unofficial 'Council of the Poor', for instance, among the shanty shacks built on stilts by the Saigon River. Four families crowd round in an alley leading down to the water and instead of choosing one person to interview I ask questions of them all.Back in 1948 this area was a lake. An old couple tell me they were among those who filled it in by painstakingly digging earth out of nearby fields. Now these families live by selling charcoal, which they buy in the countryside for 550 dong (about 10 cents) a kilo and sell illegally in the city for 600. Doi moi has made no difference to them on the economic front and they still have to purchase the blind eye of local police every now and then.'Poor people like us keep asking for things but we never get anything,' says the most outspoken member of the group, a bare-chested man of about 35. 'At least we can speak out now -we wouldn't have dared to talk to you like this a couple of years ago. But if we asked for the kind of changes that would make us as rich as people in other countries we'd be put in prison.' I know by 'other countries' he really means the US. I try rather feebly to explain that no policy the Vietnamese Government adopted could possibly make its people as rich as Americans. But they pour scorn on my argument. 'When the Americans were here,' pipes up another man, 'one person in work could feed a family of eight or nine; now he struggles to feed himself'. And all but the two old people agree that if they had the chance to go to the US tomorrow they'd go like a shot.It is very sad that American money, even the distant remembrance of it, should have so much power over the imaginations of ordinary Vietnamese in the South. Their view is distorted because they do not realize that most of the world's people live in poverty. They seem to believe that Vietnam is virtually unique in being denied the benefits enjoyed by Americans.Yet on the other hand, of course, they see the reality of a world divided into rich and poor enclaves more clearly than anyone else. Unlike most people in the developing world they have seen American wealth at first hand and they see no reason why they shouldn't have their share of it. The boat person I spoke to in Hanoi had set sail for a rich-world 'paradise'; and, judging by my Council of the Poor, that is why most such refugees take their chances on the ocean -they say some of their neighbours in this stilt suburb were among the first 'boat people'.'Getting to America' is the recurring theme of my stay in Saigon and the South -it crops up again and again. This is least surprising with one group of people: the 'Amerasian' children of US GIs. For more than a decade these children -40.000 of them -were ignored by the governments of both Vietnam and the US. Many of them faced ostracism or discrimination and they were a common sight on the streets of Saigon, making ends meet by begging or petty crime.Photo: Chris Brazier It took the US until 1989 to accept responsibility for the problem but it is now allowing anyone with obvious white or black parentage to emigrateabout 1,500 are now leaving each month. A Transit Centre has been built on the out-skirts of the city. It is clean and well-equipped, with caring Vietnamese staff. From here the 'Amerasians' will be transferred to a camp in the Philippines for six months of 'cultural orientation'. Finally they will be welcomed in the US by voluntary agencies such as the International Catholic Migration Commission. This is all very well but I can't help fearing for their fate. I meet the young people in their social centre and they crowd around eagerly listening to the unfamiliar language they are going to have to learn. Some look very Vietnamese, while others could pass for white or black and there are all shades in between.Most seem to have spent their whole life dreaming of getting to the US. They believe all their problems will be solved by this one miraculous jump into the rich world. Dung, the 23-year-old son of an electrical technician from Arizona, is one of the few to have his father's name and photo -though not his current whereabouts. 'I think life will be easier there than here,' he says.But will it? The US is a very rich country but it is also something of a jungle. It has violent ghettos packed with poor, mixed-race people, and you can't help but feel that's where a half-Vietnamese with no education and limited English is most likely to wind up. The same goes for Thanh, a 20-year-old woman with an unknown black father. She now has a two-year-old child herself -and black single parents are not known for their prosperity in the US.But maybe I'm underestimating them. After all, there are plenty of Vietnamese who have already made good in the US. There is an awful lot of money finding its way from the US Vietnamese community back to relatives and friends in the old country. In fact this is the solution to the riddle that I set myself at the start of my trip. The videos and Honda motor scooters I see on the streets are not paid for out of people's meagre local earnings, which are barely enough to keep them going from day to day. They derive from the little packages sent every month by Vietnamese who have made good abroad. Those people on the station platform back in Huê might have rued the departure of their loved ones -but in the long term they are likely to benefit too.Even out in the paddy fields of the Mekong Delta, the richest food-growing area in Vietnam, the American connection slaps me in the face. I travel out into Long An province to see what life is like for the farmers of the South. I wander off into the fields, walking the tightrope of a narrow, muddy causeway between two waterlogged paddy fields. A group of ten women are bending to their work; I ask for a volunteer and in the end Nuong shyly steps forward. She washes her hands and we end up talking on her employer's verandah.She is 39 and has two children; her husband used to work in a state-owned animal-feed factory but that recently closed (part of the free-market shakedown) and he is now unemployed. So the whole family is at the moment dependent on what she can earn as a casual labourer, She has one month's work for this farmer, who pays her 4.000 dong (80 cents) a day, but she has no guarantee of work and last year found nothing for five months -she had to borrow in order to buy food.Unlike the peasants of the North who now have their leased patch of land, Nuong has nothing. Here in the South doi moi has meant the land reverting to its former owners. Her employer is one of these. He's a 63-year-old man with a ready smile called Tuou, who bought two hectares of land with his life savings from fishing back in 1963. At Liberation the Communists nationalized the land and he worked in a co-operative but in 1986 he got his two hectares back. In his house he has a TV, a video and a cassette deck. He is infinitely better off than Nuong. But it would be hard to hold this against him personally. You just wish Nuong and the others like her had some sort of welfare safety net as they face up to the rigours of the free market. There is no such thing.What keeps Nuong going is the hope that one day she will make it to the US. Her cousins are there; it seems like just about everyone in the South has some kind of relation in the States. She doesn't know the name of Vietnam's leader, let alone the name of the US President, and yet she harbours this dream that one day a magic plane ticket will release her from poverty, undernutrition and insecurity. It is inexpressibly sad.The US used these people. It denied them the united independence they would certainly have voted for if elections had been allowed to take place in 1956. Then it turned their land into the main battlefield for its worldwide crusade against Communism. And since the War ended the US has led a tradeand-aid embargo that has ensured Vietnam's isolation and dashed its hopes of recovery.Yet all over the south of Vietnam there are these people whose only thought is to leave their homeland. This is the last place in the world I would have expected to find an American Dream. Source: http://www.oneworld.org/ni/issue216/dream.htm An Amerasian Childhood in Da Nang by Christian LangworthyMy brother and I were the sons of my mother's clients. She never told us their names. She just said that they were both killed in the war. One father died in a helicopter accident, the other was ambushed while crossing a bridge. She told the same story to all of our neighbors, but even as a child, I sensed that she was lying. She never cried when she related these stories to anyone and seemed to enjoy each moment of the retelling. She even laughed once, recounting to a woman how she loved my brother's father more than she loved mine. My mother's clients were all around us, on the street corners and in the pool halls. They were prison guards, truck drivers, mechanics and pilots. They were sergeants and majors, captains and corporals. My brother and I watched as they performed their military duties in the prisons, on the streets, or on the landing zones. We watched them pilot their Hueys and Chinooks, and caught bubble gum thrown from the back of deuece-and-a-halfs. They were our heroes, and we were fascinated by their weapons of war. We often imitated the way they walked and carried their rifles. We played war games on the streets with the neighborhood boys. Every military piece of trash that we found became a prized possession: belt buckles, brass shells, helmet liners, or canteens. But the most prized items were live rounds. We spent endless hours trying to fire the rounds, striking the priming caps with nails or dropping them off rooftops onto cement. We unscrewed the bullets from their brass casings and used the black powder to make crude fire-crackers which we threw as if we were throwing grenades. We wanted to be soldiers. We wanted to march on the streets with the men in the green uniforms. But what my brother and I most wanted was for one of these men to be our father, though our mother told us our fathers were dead. My mother's clients talked to us in a language we didn't understand. They patted our shoulders, handed us candy, and the men who stayed for more than a day bought us toys like boxing gloves and battery-powered toy jets. We never saw our mother together with these men. She would leave for a day and come back late at night and, if she thought we were awake when her clients were around, we always heard whispers and hushed voices. One afternoon though, during the height of the monsoon season, my brother and I slept in the far back of the bungalow behind a make-shift bamboo partition. It was dark in the bungalow and we awoke suddenly, disturbed from our daily nap. Through the pattering of the monsoon rain, we heard voices groaning. Being curious, we both went out to the front room which was lit by a hurricane lamp. In the center of the room on a table, an American man was on top of our mother. My brother and I, our curiosities piqued, approached the table and walked around it. Our mother told us to go back to sleep, but we ignored her and watched. She was wearing a blouse, but was naked from the waist down, and the man's green trousers hung around his ankles. His hips moved up and down. He said something and our mother yelled at us, and we ran into the far, back room where we always pretended to be asleep. Lying on floor mats, we heard the man yell at our mother and the door slam shut as he left. Weeks passed, the monsoon season ended, and the men in the green uniforms entered and left our lives. More and more often, they were sleeping in our bungalow. One man let my brother and me drink a little whiskey after he had sex with our mother. Another man was taken away by MPs who knocked on our door in the middle of the night. Whenever we could, we slept cuddled with our mother, but her clients took most of her nights. It was only during the afternoons, when temperatures were too hot to do anything, that our mother napped with us in the cool air of the bungalow and held us in her arms. One day, my brother and I returned from playing on the streets to take a nap. A soldier was with our mother. She told us that he was staying for a short while. My stomach felt sick. My brother went into the bungalow and laid down, but I ran back out to the streets. Something had gotten into me. I searched for a stick, a long piece of metal, anything, but all that I could find was an ice-cream stick broken in half lengthwise down the middle. Wielding the ice-cream stick in my hand like a knife, I went back to the bungalow. My mother and the soldier had come out to look for me. I confronted them near a neighbor's clotheslines where white bed sheets hung. I'll kill you, I shouted at the soldier and waved the ice-cream stick threateningly. Go away. He did not understand what I had said, but he understood my body language. He laughed. My mother was furious. She was going to hit me, but the soldier stopped her. He pulled money from his pockets and extended his hand. I grabbed the money and ran to the nearest street vendor where I bought a pop-pistol and roamed the streets, shooting at people until it was time to go home. There is an equally disturbing high rate of abuse committed by nonhousehold members. These are racial, gender and class discrimination that Amerasian children and youth suffer from strangers, peers, classmates, teachers, etc.For many, the absence of a father, or knowing almost nothing about their father, and being the child of survivors of prostitution carry the additional burden of social stigma and psychological stress that affect their schooling and normal integration into their communities. Many parents and caregivers of Amerasians harbor biases against their children. Most of them often attribute behavior-related problems to the mixed race character of their children. There is a very high incidence of abuse experienced by both Amerasians and their caregivers that seems to indicate the reproduction of violence across generations.Many Amerasian teenagers have articulated a "longing for an identity" that seems to be the consequence of growing up without a father.As a result, there are many cases where abandoned Amerasian youth try to go to the United States to find their fathers. They are Amerasians or children fathered by American soldiers assigned at Clark when it was still the biggest military base in the Asia-Pacific region from 1903 until 1991. Christian Langworthy was born inThe Filipino-American Friendship Day does not mean anything to them. Sure, they remember their fathers on such a day. And yes, they have heard a lot of stories about Clark in its heydays, when greenbacks flowed to Angeles' red light district and their mothers pinned their hopes on American servicemen for a comfortable life."We have to scratch a living or else we starve," Kevin, a black Amerasian, says.That there are children sired and abandoned by American soldiers and that they badly need support are truths omitted at the Clark Museum.The museum is instead replete with relics and photos of the United States Cavalry and the US 13th Air Force that occupied some 45.000 hectares of land and transformed these into one of the biggest United States military bases in the world.Neither is there any honest account on the children's mothers, mostly prostituted women."In the southern part of Korea, Okinawa, the Philippines and Thailand, the degradation of women forced into sexual labor is institutionalized in a multimillion-dollar entertainment industry that enjoys the blessing of the US military hierarchy, which considers sexual recreation vital for the 'morale' of troops," economist-historian Walden Bello wrote.Legacy The strips of nightclubs and bars at the periphery of the bases-turned-economic zones are telling symbols of that military legacy that sprang from Fil-Am Friendship Day, when the Philippines and the US were allies, as they are now.The omission, intentional or not, erases the sexualized "rest and recreation" period in the country's history where a sizable disadvantaged population suffered, former Angeles Councilor Susan Pineda said.That institutionalized enslavement, couched in the euphemism "entertainment industry," lured more than 10.000 registered prostituted women in Angeles and Olongapo cities, and an estimated 10.000 more unregistered women, men and children hookers almost four years before the bases were closed in 1991.Their number grew every time US troops came for "liberty" or rest and recreation (R&R), according to Pineda, who is also the executive director of the women rehabilitation center IMA Foundation in Angeles.The women had no choice. They were mostly poor migrants who sought opportunities in communities where much of the options came from base-related activities, former Olongapo mayor and SBMA chair, Richard Gordon, said.Like their mothers, Amerasians, estimated last year at 52.000, not only deal with the question of choice. They also seek roots, confront discrimination in cities that, though already multiracial, harbor a condescending attitude toward people of color, especially blacks, and those born from disadvantaged mothers, said Alma Bulawan of Buklod Center in Olongapo.Bulawan is a mother of an Amerasian boy, now 13.Least helped Yet, even as their victimization was clear, the conversion of Clark and Subic, the same bases from where the military legacy was carried out, largely failed to put these groups in the whole scheme of priorities or directly lessen the conditions that reduce their chance to rebuild their lives after the bases.Since September 1991, when the Senate ordered Clark and Subic closed after rejecting the extension of the 1947 Philippine-US Military Bases Agreement, conversion bodies have rendered no institutionalized, focused or sustained assistance to the prostituted women, the Amerasians and their families.Those who stood up to the task were a few local government officials and members of nongovernment organizations, interviews and reports showed.But neither the national government nor the local government units had set up task forces or permanent offices or programs to assist them.Separately or sometimes in a coordinated manner, local officials and NGO members filled the lack of services, when funds and opportunities were available, through skills training, livelihood projects, educational scholarships and job placements.Prima, a former bar girl in Olongapo, sees neglect from the government."Sobrang pakinabang nila sa amin noon, hindi man lang kami natulungan (They gained so much from us then, they didn't even help us)," she said.The likes of Prima belonged to the bulk of the service sector. In Angeles, prostituted women who registered as entertainers reached 5,640 or almost 67 percent of registered employees in 1987. In Olongapo, they totaled 5,499 or 61 percent of registered workers in the service sector.The base actually propped up the local economy, channeled through these women. Out of the P507.2 million in base-related expenditures in 1987, P41.2 million came from US personnel on liberty, leave or temporary duty.But the Amerasians and their mothers, like other base-dependent sectors, were again buried in the maze of generalities or overtaken by more inauspicious events.Republic Act 7227, the base conversion law, refers to the promotion of "economic and social development of Central Luzon in particular and the country in general." It did not explicitly say who are the beneficiaries of the redevelopment of the bases.The trend of ignoring the plight of the prostituted women and Amerasians was consistent even before the base closed because local officials were excluded from past negotiations for the bases, Gordon said.If the social costs of the bases were raised, this was basically on how to prevent and control the spread of sexually transmitted diseases that, women's rights advocates say, US servicemen were the main carriers."We were used as a cannon fodder all the time they were asking more rental for the base which I thought was demeaning to us. When you seek rental for the base and then you say, as your argument, maraming prostitutes sa Olongapo, you're saying that bayaran n'yo lang kami, okay na kaming magprostitutes," Gordon said.Mt. Pinatubo's eruption, the changing US military policy during the thawing of the Cold War and delayed government's conversion plan, which came only in 1990, did not allow for a gradual withdrawal of the bases or the implementation of pre-pullout plans.But even when the local base conversion bodies were created, their community development divisions did not draw up specific long-term programs for the prostituted women and Amerasians.Few opportunities Amerasians, even before and after the bases closed, "have not had as many opportunities," according to a 1999 study by the University Center for Women's Studies Foundation, the Pearl S. Buck International and the Agencies Collaborating Together with Amerasians.Finding their roots and reuniting with their fathers, or at least seeing them and seeking support was remote then and as it is now.The Amerasian Immigration Act of 1982, which allows Amerasians from Thailand, Korea, Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea to emigrate to the US under sponsorship by an American, excludes Filipino Amerasians since the Philippines was not a war zone between 1960 and 1982.They were also not covered by a US legislation that extends special assistance in the processing of citizenship applications for Thai, Korean and Vietnamese Amerasians, because "they do not suffer discrimination in the Philippines, which in itself a racially mixed society," the study said.A class suit that the national women's coalition Gabriela and Buklod filed in 1993 to seek the US Navy's support for medical and education expenses of the Amerasians was dismissed.The US Assistance for International Development, however, later provided $2 million to "expand and improve humanitarian relief activities in the Philippines providing for disadvantaged children parented by US military and related personnel."The assistance, which ended in December, was a scary prospect for prostituted women and Amerasians who have obtained credits and education support through the USAID fund, Bulawan said.In 1995, the services available to Amerasians in Olongapo, Angeles, Bataan, Tarlac and Zambales were "inadequate," according to a Department of Social Welfare and Development survey.The 1999 study, the last done on the Amerasians and prostituted women, gave no rosy developments either. The children still have a low level of education. Many children have experienced various forms of domestic violence while some have been sexually abused. Some NGOs last year shifted to a family-context approach, noting that poverty gripped the families of these two groups. Different focusWhy has not much help been directed to prostituted women and Amerasians in Clark and Subic communities despite the serious impact of military prostitution and closure of the bases on them? "Nothing specific" was drawn for them because the "focus" of the Bases Conversion Development Authority and its local counterparts like the Clark Development Corp. and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority was "job generation and more investments to eventually get the whole communities going," said former BCDA Chair Rogelio Singson.Pinatubo's eruption in June 1991, the worst in the world in the last century, also shifted the focus and resources of local government units, including the base conversion bodies to rescue, relief and rehabilitation programs.While local governments had no focused, sustained or institutionalized support for the two groups, it was the same for the base conversion bodies.Singson admitted this, saying "the measure of our program was the employment of those formerly directly employed at the base. Yung indirectly (employed like those in the service sector where the prostituted women used to belong) hindi masyadong natuunan."The women's group Kaisaka says that the base conversion bodies have social programs only to strengthen the viability of economic alternatives, not because the communities beyond the borders of the economic zones deserved the services.Still in the margins Bulawan, a former bar worker herself, said no prostituted women were hired at the zones while only a few Amerasians were employed there.Because the base conversion bodies and LGUs were "not deliberately reaching out" to those who needed the skills training most like prostituted women and the Amerasians, they were virtually shut off from benefiting directly from the base conversion process, Bulawan said."We could not land good jobs there because we were not educated, we had no skills. The pay was low. We had to present so many requirements and do a lot of follow-ups that entailed money," she explained."We really are on our own all these years," Bulawan said. Many of them, she noted, are surviving through menial jobs. Saigon, is about the Vietnamese children left behind by their American GI fathers. Called Amerasians, these half-breeds are not found only in Vietnam or in neighboring Thailand or Laos. The Philippines has its fair share of these unfortunate children......There are at least 52.000 Filipino Amerasians who were abandoned by their fathers when the U.S bases were closed down almost eight years ago......Many of them have also been abandoned by their Filipino mothers and left in the care of relatives or neighbors. As if this wasn't hard enough, these youngsters often have to deal with discrimination, abuse and poverty as well......This was revealed in the recent "First National Conference of Filipino Amerasians and their Caregivers" held at the Institue for Social Order at the Ateneo University campus in Quezon City on Jan. 27-28. What a sad lot .....Abuse--sexual or otherwise--and domestic violence are common experiences in the lives of these children. Colored children seem to suffer more from racial discrimination, while fair-skinned ones, especially girls, are vulnerable to sexual harassment......Liza, a church worker and a second generation Amerasian, said that her father got into fights defending her when she was in grade school. "Tinutukso nila ako na isang baluga, o Ita (They called me an aeta [a local aborigine] )," she said......Susie, a nurse, said that some clinics in Angeles City gave her a hard time when she was still applying for a job......"Because I am half-black, they were more concerned with my appearance than with my qualification. They told me bakit ganyan ang hitsura mo (Why do you look like that)?" Susie said......Jaime, 14, reduced everyone to tears when he read a letter he had written to his mother. He has yet to meet his mother who left him to neighbors when he was only a few months old. ....."Mama, hanggang ngayon hinahanap ko pa rin ang pagmamahal mo sa akin at tanging hiling ko lang ay magkapiling tayo . Alam mo ba kung ako ay mamamatay nang hindi ka nakakasama ay hindi matatahimik ang aking kaluluwa (Mama, I am still searching for your love. To be with you is my only wish. If I were to die without ever having known you, my spirit would not find any rest)," Jaime wrote......Such sad words from a boy who, at least from the outside, seems a bit luckier than others like him. Jaime, who is half -black, is tall and good looking. He was adopted by a family in Angeles City.Other Amerasians have it better .....Filipino Amerasians do not have many opportunities, unlike the Indochinese Amerasians for whom many government programs for aid and processing for emigration into the U.S. have been instituted. .....Cathy, 23, is a Cebuana nurse working in a community-based program of the PSBI in Ormoc, Leyte. Her mother, who once worked in Olongapo, died when she was three months old. A sister of her mother raised her in Leyte where she became a PSBI scholar. Because she was taller than most of her classmates in grade school and had lightcolored hair and skin, Cathy was taunted by her friends as "putok sa buho" or born out of wedlock......"I got over it. Time can heal but it takes so long," Cathy said. The feeling of insecurity, Cathy said still persists up to now. "If you're an Amerasian, may stigma ito--there is a "dirty" history behind it," she said. Many mothers and caregivers were formerly prostitutes from Olongapo and Angeles City......When she was much younger, Cathy dreamed of someday meeting her American father. "I don't have the inclination now," she said, " I know myself now, I know what I don't have and what I can do." Cathy plans to study further and continue her work in the community. "I love it," she said......Lani, 21, a social worker who topped the board exam, was virtually raised by social workers at the Lingap Center, a government drop-in center for children......When she was 10 years old, she was brought to the center because a family member was sexually harassing her. She stayed there for six years and found the staff very supportive......When she graduated from the University of the Philippines with honors, Lani said, "andoon sila lahat (They [the Lingap staff] were all there)." .....Classmates would call her "singaw" said Lani, who looks like her father, Roger Gerry Hanson. Lani was made to use her mother's family name and was discriminated against because "wala akong middle initial (I didn't have a middle initial)." ....."Tanda, tanda mo na hindi mo alam ang middle name (You're already so old, but you still don't know your middle name)," one of her teachers said......"Noon, pag may nakatabi akong lalaki sa upuan ko sa school, sinasapak ko (In the past, whenever I would be seated near a boy in school, I'd hit the boy)," said Lani. "May distrust ako sa lalaki-epekto sa akin sa nangyari sa pamilya ko (I have a distrust for men. This is the effect of what happened to my family)." She fears married life, though she has a boyfriend now. ....."My mother was a battered wife," Lani said. She visits her mother now and then and gives her financial support. "I want to see my father who is in Alabama," she said, "I want him to be proud of me." Like Cathy, Lani wants to enroll in graduate school......"There are two things that life has taught me," she said, "One, is that the greatest treasure anyone could have are friends and people who really care and, two, that in this world, nobody is more dependable than yourself." .....Filipino Amerasians who attended the conference are calling for the U.S. and Philippine governments to recognize their responsibility towards them. They are asking for financial support from the U.S. government and social, educational and health services from the Philippine government......The option of U.S. citizenship should be open to those who want it, the Amerasians said.Source: http://www.codewan.com.ph/CyberDyaryo/features /f2001_0206_03.htm Preda Foundation Inc. Search page for fathers to Filipino-American ChildrenThe abandoned Amerasian children of the Philippines are asking their long lost fathers to help them, get in contact and recognize them at least. Children under the Convention of the Rights of the Child have a right to know his or her parents, to have a complete identity and to be belonging to a natural family. This page helps the children realize these rights. On this page, at the request of the children, and their mothers we are posting appeals for help and the photographs of the fathers they are seeking. The children are here too for their fathers to see them as they are today. Please contact Preda if you can help put the fathers in contact with their children. History of the "Campaign of the Mothers of Amerasian Children" "The U.S. Navy offered no assistance to the women or their children." For many years Preda has been helping the children abandoned by their American fathers. When the Military base at Subic Bay finally closed in 1992, Preda tried to get help for the many more children left to fend for themselves. Their mothers were facing difficult time. Preda extended it's assistance for these children by helping the mothers to organize themselves into The Fil-Am Mothers Association. They marched and lobbied for their rights not to be abandoned, requested for assistance and support for the children. "The campaign of Amerasian mothers to get justice for their children assisted by Preda reached its height when they filed a class action suit against the U.S. Government." In 1993, Preda in behalf of the children together with the womens rights movement filed a class action suit against the U.S. Government to seek redress of the children and their mothers. This was heard in the Court of Complaints in Washington DC and finally the judge dismissed the complaint saying that the mothers of the children were engaged in prostitution and that being illegal the court could not rule on an illegal act from which the women would gain. It was recommended that the Congress should address the issue. Preda then lobbied with the Congressional Women's Caucus and through the efforts of Congresswoman Anna Eshoo of 14th District of California, the U.S.Congress recommend that the sum of 2 million be made available for the children. US AID made 650.000 dollars available for the children. This was channeled to the children through the Pearl Buck Foundation. Preda did not receive any of the money to distribute but with the assistance of the Children and Youth Foundation of the Philippines set up a Human Development Education Fund to provide human development training and livelihood assistance to the mothers and personality and formal education for the children. Why the children want most of all is to know their fathers. Here are the fathers and the children we hope that they can put in contact with each other.Carl James Drewery with Milagros Centino and Carl together with his son Emmanuel Drewery, If you have any information regarding, Carl James Drewery, please click below to send us an email at predair@svisp.com Source: http://www.preda.org/filam/fil-am.htm East Timor: Rape used over and over as a systematic tortureSidney Morning Herald, Sep 13, 1999 Indonesian soldiers used rape as a secret weapon, but their 'orphans' bear silent witness. Louise Williams and Leonie Lamont report. Sister Maria leaned forward and quietly confided the truth about the Catholic orphanage which lies along the lonely northern coastal road of East Timor: "Most of the children are mixed race, the babies of women raped by Indonesian soldiers." This is not a truth openly voiced in East Timorese society. Instead, said Sister Maria in an interview in Dili earlier this year, the children were raised by the Church. But, while they are not openly rejected, everyone knows the shame of their parentage. In the early years following the Indonesian invasion, orphanages were filled with genuine orphans: so many adults had been killed in military operations. Now, Sister Maria said, most are children of rape, a tactic used over and over again in war, usually to hurt the father or husband of the victim. The woman's own suffering is an afterthought in a war between men. "One young woman I knew had four babies, I kept asking her why this had happened again and she just said there was nothing she could do," she said. Sister Maria's own whereabouts remain unknown, following the rampage through Dili and the murder of Catholic nuns and priests. Rape, according to a report released this year by Ms Radhika Coomaraswamy, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on violence against women, has been systematically used by elements of the Indonesian military in East Timor, Aceh and Irian Jaya. "Rape was used by the military as a method of torture and intimidation against the local population. Relatives of political opponents were raped by the military as a form of revenge, or to force the relatives out of hiding," she said. "Much of the violence against women in East Timor was perpetrated in the context of these areas being treated as military zones ... rape by soldiers in these areas is tried in military tribunals, and not before an ordinary court of law." Under Indonesian law, for a rape to be prosecuted it required corroboration -including the testimony of two witnesses. Women lived in a "realm of private terror", for any victims or witnesses who dared to take action were intimidated with death threats, Ms Coomaraswamy reported. "Many of the women who were raped as virgins are single mothers who have suffered stigma in their communities after giving birth to children of Indonesian soldiers ... "Some of these children are the result of rapes, others are the product of a situation that resembles sexual slavery and some are the result of consensual sex ... the women are having a very difficult time, not only because of poverty, but because the sight of these children often reminds them of rape." She said the Indonesian state should take responsibility for these children. Senator Marise Payne, one of the parliamentary members of the Australian observer delegation to East Timor, said she had been told of soldiers picking attractive girls from the villages, and making them their "playthings". "This has been happening for 20 years," she said. A Catholic nun, Sister Tess Ward, said: "Many women have said to me they feel dirty, and are too ashamed to tell people." "I don't know of anytime when women were game enough to tell the police. Many of the people said to me the only people we can talk to is the priest or sisters. A CHILD of the new nation of East Timor, fivemonth-old Rai, is much loved by his mother. He is one of the first generation born free, yet his past will imprison him. His mother is Lorenca Martins, now 23, a wistful East Timorese woman with eyes only for her child. His father is Maximu, a militia thug and rapist. Maximu raped Martins in a refugee camp near Atambua, over the border in West Timor, where she was exiled for six months. A member of the notorious Besi Merah Putih gang (Red and White Iron), he first violated her on December 8, 1999, in broad daylight, in the jungle. ``It happened to many women (in the camps),'' she says. ``If they saw a beautiful woman, they just took her.'' Shrugging and fidgeting, she explains that she now lives with her cousin and his family on the outskirts of Ermera, a hill town south of Dili.She has never thought about abandoning Rai, even though he is the son of the enemy. ``I have to accept the baby,'' she says. ``Because of the war, that's what happened. And also, he was given by God.'' She has no hopes for herself. ``I don't want to get married. I just want to look after my baby. I have had a bad life, and if I marry the badness will follow.'' Martins, who in the eyes of many East Timorese is soiled, used and beyond redemption, is one of potentially thousands of victims of a concerted and violent campaign of rape that swept across East Timor, accelerating after the August 1999 vote on independence. Like so many other violated East Timorese women, Martins has managed to divorce the reality of her child's parentage from the trauma of the rape. No one who works with raped women in East Timor can recall a single instance of a woman abandoning a child because it is the product of rape.Rather, they often cling to their children, renouncing any desire for a normal family with a husband. The extent of the campaign of sexual assaults is only now coming to light.``Planned, organised and sustained'' by militia and the Indonesian military, according to one local aid organisation report, the damage is so far incalculable because East Timorese women often shy away from reporting the crimes. Nevertheless, the chief sex crimes investigator for the UN, former Australian Federal Police officer David Senior, says the final count will probably run into the thousands. Senior has no doubt rape was used as a weapon of war in East Timor.``The victims of rape were the wives and children of independence supporters and Falintil,'' he says. ``It was to punish and torture the people for their pro-independence views.''In the dirty conflicts dotting the globe, sexual assault and slavery have become part of the military manual. The magnitude of rape in East Timor and the extent of its use as a weapon of war is only now beginning to emerge. Many traumatised women, who fear being spurned by their husbands, families and neighbours, have kept silent, yet even so the UN already has hundreds of cases on its books, potentially making East Timor one of the world's worst sites for rape, joining the likes of Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia.Galuh Wandita, a UN human rights officer with a particular interest in women's issues, says the cases so far recorded are a promising start. ``But it's the tip of the iceberg, that's for sure.'' Meanwhile the abuse continues unabated in the refugee camps of West Timor, with accounts of rape and sexual slavery accompanying a steady stream of traumatised women returning to the east. Two women returning at Covalima near the West Timor border in recent weeks told of being kept in sexual slavery. Bernard Kerblatt, the chief of operations for the UN's High Commissioner for Refugees in East Timor, tells of a 13-year-old who was retrieved from the West Timor camps less than a fortnight ago.Kept in sexual slavery, she had been beaten, knocked unconscious and raped for the last time the day before she was returned to her family in East Timor. ``Sexual exploitation continues to exist,'' Kerblatt says. ``But the people themselves won't talk about it.'' Since UNHCR's withdrawal from West Timor last year following the tragedy in which three staff members were killed by militia, information from the camps is hard to come by. What is known, though, is that more than 100.000 East Timorese are still in exile in West Timor, many of them against their will. The scale of human rights violations is enormous, says Patrick Burgess, the head of the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor human rights unit. ``There's rape, largescale intimidation, people are not free to move, not free to express themselves, not free to return to their homes. They don't get accurate information about East Timor, they're told there's a war going on here, that the peacekeepers are raping East Timorese.'' Investigators and women's organisations agree rape plagued both East Timor and West Timor following the ballot on independence in 1999, and in many cases constituted both a war crime and a crime against humanity. ``A lot of rapes happened in the chaos,'' Wandita says, explaining that women separated from their families were pounced on by marauding packs of men. But beyond that, she says, many of the rapes were planned, organised and sustained as a joint effort by the military and the militias. ``There was obviously collusion,'' she says.The co-ordination between the TNI (the Indonesian military) and the militias has even been officially admitted by the former governor and district heads in the territory, and the former military chief of East Timor, Brigadier-General Tono Suratman, in interviews with the Indonesian Human Rights Commission's inquiry into East Timor. UNTAET's chief sex crimes investigator, ex-Australian police officer Dave Senior, says that three men have been indicted for rape as a crime against humanity (although two of them remain out of UNTAET's jurisdiction in West Timor). ``The whole of East Timor is a crime scene because of what happened here,'' he says. ``We're trying to prove that the militia and military were using widespread and systematic violence to achieve their ends, which was to oppose the independence supporters.Part of the violence was rape.'' The world is slowly coming to understand the ways rape is used as a weapon of war, particularly in the tribal conflicts that have proliferated in the past 50 years or so. Civilian casualties now outstrip military deaths in these dirty little wars. Last month, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague ruled for the first time that mass rape constitutes a war crime and a crime against humanity. Three Bosnian Serbs were sentenced to between 12 and 28 years in jail for rapes.In Rwanda, too, in 1998, the International Criminal Tribunal found a former mayor, Jean-Paul Akayesu, guilty of crimes against humanity and genocide -the first time rape was found to be an act of genocide specifically designed to destroy an ethnic or tribal group. In July 1998, a treaty creating a permanent international criminal court expressly cited sexual crimes as within the court's jurisdiction.To date, the UN has not decided to institute an international criminal tribunal for East Timor but that time may come. Senior says there is proof that rape as a crime against humanity and a war crime was used in East Timor. He is appalled by the savagery and extent of the crimes. ``There are women who were raped every day for months; they had no option, they were doing it under the threat of death,'' he says. ``There are others who were picked up from their homes, raped by half a dozen men and taken back, only for it to happen again the next night.'' Unfortunately, the investigations into sex crimes in East Timor took a long time to get going. A Human Rights Watch report from August last year deemed investigations into rape cases ``close to nonexistent....Serious investigations into rapes as crimes against humanity only began in July 2000; before then only two rape cases from 1999 were under active investigation.'' The UN's special rapporteur on violence against women, Radhika Coomaraswamy, has also determined that the sexual violence was organised and involved members of the militia and of the Indonesian military. ``It is clear that the highest level of the military command in East Timor knew, or had reason to know, that there was widespread violence against women in East Timor,'' she wrote in her official report.Coomaraswamy also noted that elements of the Indonesian army used rape as an instrument of torture and intimidation before 1998 and that relatives of political opponents were raped by the military as a form of revenge or to force their relatives out of hiding. The pattern continued after the ballot. Yet no one can be sure of the extent of the crime and the depth of the trauma because many East Timorese women prefer to keep their mouths shut and let the wounds fester rather than risk being shunned by their families and communities.Ubalda Alves, advocacy co-ordinator at the East Timorese women's aid organisation Fokupers, says counsellors from the organisation go out into the villages to talk to women who might have been raped and who so far have kept their shame quiet. ``Sometimes their families assault them because in our culture it's very patriarchal and they think this is shameful for the family,'' Alves says. ``Their husbands don't want to accept them again.'' Wandita, though, says she knows of women who were kept in sexual slavery in the refugee camps of West Timor and who were welcomed by their husbands and families when they returned to East Timor. ``They say: `This is the consequence of war and we accept you.' But we also have the situation where women come back and the community accuses them of being the girlfriends of the militia.'' Wandita estimates that about half of all raped women who admit being violated return to condemnation and accusations. She describes the case of some women from Bobonaro, near the West Timor border, who were taken to West Timor and used as sexual slaves by militia. When they finally returned with their rape babies, they were not welcomed. Neighbours were hostile. ``It reflects a lack of understanding about the nature of rape,'' Wandita says. ``Obviously that also relates to norms in society here, the importance of virginity, that sex has to stay within marriage.'' Wandita says even the women's choice of words is telling. Those who had been used as sex slaves often referred to themselves as isteri simpanan --kept wives -somehow sanitising the brutality of their experience with a veil of false respectability. Those East Timorese women who were impregnated by their rapists have little chance of concealing their trauma. Alves says that, to begin with, raped women who have become pregnant don't want to accept the child. ``Our society thinks it is very shameful. They think: `Why do you want to give your body like this?' They think it's the woman's fault.'' Occasionally, that hostility is transferred to the baby --more by family members than by the pregnant women. ``But we go and give counselling and finally [the women] accept it,'' she says. The women's resilience and love for babies fathered by the enemy continues to surprise many aid workers. Wandita says the women seem to manage to keep the trauma and the child in separate boxes. ``I've seen the women against all odds taking care of the children and becoming single mothers with all the difficult financial and social implications of that.'' UNHCR's Kerblatt says, moreover, that his field observations lead him to rank East Timorese mothers as among the least bitter towards their children. ``Compared with what I've seen in Rwanda and Yugoslavia, there is less rejection of the children here.'' The extent of the rapes has dislocated East Timorese society, rampaging handin-hand with terrible guilt. In 1999, many proindependence men and those who were members of the clandestine organisations supporting the Falintil resistance fighters fled to the hills to avoid the militia press-gang, leaving their wives and daughters vulnerable to the predations of the militia. Kirsty Sword Gusmao, wife of East Timor's president-in-waiting, Xanana Gusmao, has been a vocal advocate of raped women for many months and most especially Juliana dos Santos, 16, who is still kept as a sex slave in West Timor by the militiaman who murdered her brother before her eyes. Sword Gusmao says many East Timorese men will be slow to forgive themselves. ``There is huge guilt about what has happened to their wives who were targeted because of [the men's] work for the resistance.'' Brutal strategy: a litany of evil RAPE became an important weapon in the arsenal of war in the late 20th century and it is certain that hundreds of thousands of women have been violated in the name of nationalism or tribal loyalty. In the war in the former Yugoslavia, as many as 20.000 women and girls, mostly Muslims, were raped, according to a European Commission report. In Rwanda, more than 15,700 girls and women ages 12 to 65 were raped during the crisis in the 1990s, according to the nation's department of women's and family affairs.In World War II, recent reports estimate, 100.000 to 200.000 women, mostly Korean, were abducted by Japanese soldiers and taken to the front lines to serve as ``comfort women''. * In Bangladesh during the nine-month war for independence in 1971, 250.000 to 400.000 women were raped, producing 25.000 babies, according to International Planned Parenthood.Unknown numbers of Ugandan women were raped by soldiers in the early '80s; as many as four in 10 Vietnamese boat women were raped in the '80s; and in the recent Sierra Leone civil war rape was a routinely used as a tool of terror.Hand grenade was rapist's calling card DURING the mayhem that followed the East Timorese referendum in 1999, Francisca Soares was raped in front of five of her children, as well as other bystanders, a tactic used around the world to humiliate the victim as much as possible and steep families in shame and guilt. On September 13, 1999, in those weeks when East Timor went up in flames, Soares was sheltering with five of her children in Ermera, south of Dili. Her husband, Julio Batista, was known as a resistance supporter and he had fled into the hills with the three oldest children to escape the militia press gang.Soares shudders as she remembers that Hilario, an East Timorese officer in the Indonesian army and the commander of the local Darah Merah (Red Blood) militia, came to her house in Ermera and shot Franky, now 8, in the leg. That evening he rounded up the family, including a niece, and took them to Glenoe, a nearby town. ``All of us were there, and when Hilario came he threatened us with a knife and a grenade,'' she says. ``He came back by himself; some of his friends [in the militia] stayed outside the place.'' Soares, whose husband remains with her, is only slowly recovering from the shock.She is receiving counselling from ETWave, an East Timorese women's organisation that has also set her up with groceries for a small kiosk at the front of her house. She still tries to make sense of what happened. ``The militias suspected us because my husband ran away. Because they couldn't find my husband, I was violated.'' Year-long ordeal becomes a life sentence ISABELLE Salsinha Perreira smiles nervously as she holds on to her daughter Libania, 2, the product of being repeatedly raped.Perreira typifies the difficulties East Timorese women have had dealing with rape, particularly when the offender had Indonesian or government connections. She was violated, sporadically, for a year, yet she felt she had no recourse. At the time she was going to school in Glenoe, a regional centre south of Dili, and living with her aunt's family. She caught a man's eye at a party, one Jose Maria from the Government Planning Office, and he followed her home. She doesn't know if he was militia or if he later became militia, but other East Timorese people guess he did, as so many others in important government positions did. ``When he came and knocked on the door, the family let him in because they were afraid,'' she says, adding that she also suspects he paid the family. ``I tried to refuse him, but I could not. He kept coming back to rape me.'' When Perreira's pregnancy became obvious, her brother tried to report the rapes to the police, but Maria had left town. Perreira returned to her village, where she manages a subsistence smallholding to feed her mother, her daughter and herself.Her neighbours were not kind. ``They could not accept it, they said many bad words about me.'' Perreira has abandoned any ambitions she once had to marry and have a family. Asked if she would now like to press charges, she just looks at the floor and doesn't answer. Sri Lanka Spawning war crimes INTER PRESS SERVICEA citizen's group has exposed a lesser-known atrocity in Sri Lanka's ethnic conflict --women have been sexually used by government soldiers on the move in villages bordering the war zone. ``We can't give you figures because some women spoke to us in confidence. There are many children fathered by soldiers who do not acknowledge the parentage,'' said Nimalka Fernando of the Independent Movement for Inter-racial Justice and Equality. The body is made up of lawyers, academics, representatives of non-governmental organisations and community health workers. Lanka's 15-year war has spawned a host of problems with the displacement of tens of thousands and the break-up of families. Researchers and NGOs have been studying the effects of war. There is evidence of severe trauma among children and of women, particularly minority Tamils in the war zone, being used as weapons of war. The Movement presented evidence of majority Sinhalese women -in villages bordering the war zone in the east and north of the island-being used by government soldiers. ``Women go from camp to camp searching for the men who fathered their children only to be told by senior officers that they either are not there or have moved on,'' Fernando said. The Movement released an interim report by a citizen's commission on the problems gripping people in the border villages where they are routinely harassed by the forces, and face severe shortages of food, basic amenities and loss of security. Government troops have faced accusations in the past of rape and sexual assault of women in the predominantly Tamil areas, but this is the first time that soldiers have been confronted with claims of sexual harassment and intimidation of Sinhalese women. The Commission said it was not able to visit the rebel-controlled areas of the island, but there is enough evidence to prove that security forces in the conflict zones sexually harass and intimidate women. Fernando said this was not rape, but young women being forced into physical relationships with soldiers. She quoted one elderly Sinhalese in the northwest Puttalam district as saying: ``We are afraid to send even our children to Buddhist temples nearby because of the presence of the armed forces personnel.'' Chairperson of the commission, Leela Isaac, said most people were desperate for the war to end so they could get on with their lives. ``We want peace is their cry,'' she said quoting from the report. The report urged the government to ``reduce the suffering of the people to move away from the notion of war as a strategy for peace.'' Source: http://www.indianexpress.com/ie/daily/19981219/35350744p.html Tutsi women bear children of Hutu rapeTutsi Women Bear Children, Scars, Of Hutus Tuesday, September 24, 1996 1New York Times News Service KIGALI, Rwanda SOME DAYS, WHEN she looks at her round-faced baby boy, Leonille M. feels like she no longer wants to live. It is not the child's fault. He peers back at his mother with innocent eyes. But the baby reminds her of all her family members who died in the genocide that took at least 500.000 lives of Rwandans, most of them Tutsis, in 1994. He also reminds her of the three Hutu soldiers who gangraped her."Everything for me is a tragedy," she said in a recent interview at a relative's home, surrounded by pictures of the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus. "Some days, I say maybe it is better for me to have died because I have nothing in this world." All across Rwanda, women who were raped during the genocide are struggling to care for children fathered by their tormentors, often the same men who killed their families.By conservative estimates, there are between 2.000 and 5.000 unwanted children in Rwanda whose mothers were raped during the civil war and genocide, according to a new report by Human Rights Watch. These children, not yet 2, are known in Rwanda as "enfants mauvais souvenir" -children of bad memories.They are the legacy of a seldom-talked-about horror during the violence that racked Rwanda for three months in the spring of 1994. While Tutsis and moderate Hutus were being rounded up and killed by troops of the Hutu-led government and allied militias, hundreds of thousands of women were also being raped or forced into sexual servitude.The militias were fueled by propaganda that portrayed Tutsi women as high-class seductressesbeautiful women who would corrupt a pure Hutu society. During the genocide, women were raped by individuals, gang-raped, raped with sharpened stakes and gun barrels, and held in sexual slavery, sometimes alone, sometimes in groups, the report says. In many cases, the genitals and breasts of rape victims were mutilated.Almost all the women were raped after witnessing the deaths of their loved ones. About 35 percent of these women became pregnant as a result of their ordeals, according to a survey of 304 rape victims by the current Tutsi-led government, which won the civil war and took over later in 1994.Since abortion is illegal here, many of these women resorted to back-alley abortions rather than bear the children, the report quotes health workers as saying. Others abandoned the babies or gave them away to orphanages. In a few instances, the women even resorted to infanticide.The women who decided to give birth and to keep the children have faced a battery of new troubles. Most are in dire financial straits, living on charity and squatting in abandoned houses. Most not only lost their husbands and families in the war but also their husbands' farms, which were their only means of survival."They have nothing, and they have no houses to live in," said Beatrice Mukansinga, a social worker with the Barakabaho association, a charity group that is supporting 156 rape victims in Kigali.Others have become outcasts in their own communities. A woman in this position is often accused of being a "wife of the interhamwe," the Hutu militia that did most of the killing. Many have had to wage battles with their own families to keep the babies, who are seen as "little interhamwe" by relatives.Since widows and rape victims are often stigmatized in Rwandan society, many women have found it impossible to find new husbands or to begin a new life. Many contracted AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases from the rapists, Mukansinga said.But the psychological toll has been even worse. Often these women suffer from extreme guilt for having survived as sexual captives instead of having died with their husbands and families.And some of the rape victims who had babies as a result say it is hard for them to muster affection for their babies. Godence M., 20, from Butare, said she would gladly give up her 19-month-old boy, Ingabire, to anyone who was willing to raise him. No one has offered, she said.She was the only member of her family to escape the killings in Butare. A child of a mixed Hutu and Tutsi marriage, she walked for days, passing herself off as a Hutu, until a militia member demanded her identity card at a roadblock and discovered that, in the eyes of the law, she was Tutsi. He offered her a choice: she could die at once or agree to be his sexual slave.For a month, she was imprisoned in his house and repeatedly raped. When the man tired of her, he turned her over to a gang of other militia members. They took her to a mass grave and tried to kill her with a machete blow to the back of her head, she said. She survived by hiding among the bodies for several days, pretending to be dead, until soldiers from the Tutsi rebel army liberated the region.When she later discovered that she was pregnant, she wanted an abortion, she said, but was afraid she would die from the procedure. Now she barely has enough food to feed herself and the child.Her Tutsi neighbors have not been kind to her, she said. They accuse her of having collaborated with the Hutu extremists. "It's a big problem for me, because everyone knows I had a child from the interhamwe," she said. "They say I'm a wife of the interhamwe." Leonille M., 35, the mother of the little boy, says she is also no stranger to depression, nor to the cruel barbs of her Tutsi neighbors. Her husband, mother, and four sisters were killed during the genocide. She had managed to escape with her four children, relying on Hutus who were opposed to the killings to hide them.She had left her children with a Hutu family and was hiding alone in an unfinished house in Kanombe, just outside Kigali, when a government soldier discovered her and raped her. Two others came after him.Outside her house, her children played in a dirt courtyard. The youngest child's inarticulate cries mixed with the laughter of his brothers and sisters."When he is old enough, I'll call them all together and tell them what happened to me," she said. Tears welled in her eyes. "What can I do? I had him. What can I do? I have to love him." Tracing Liberia's vanished soldier-fathersJohannesburg, South Africa. October 26, 1998 West African soldiers who served for eight years as peacekeepers in Liberia fathered tens of thousands of children --whom they've abandoned. Now the search is on to find them. By JEFF COOPEREFFORTS are underway to reunite more than 25.000 children with their foreign fathers who served in the West African peacekeeping force 'Ecomog' during Liberia's civil war, according to a new charity in the capital Monrovia.The charity, known as the 'Ecomog Children Project Incorporated', says the children were born to the peacekeepers between 1990 and 1998.The charity, which has its headquarters in the Nigerian city of Lagos, says Nigerian contingent accounts for 50 percent of the offsprings from love affairs between the peacekeepers and their Liberian girls who used sex to survive during the country's seven-year civil war.The remaining 50 percent is split between Ghanian, Guinean, The Gambian and Sierra Leonean soldiers.Teniola Olufemi, who runs the charity, established in April, says the project seeks to liase between the mothers, children and fathers with the view to assisting the young mothers.The charity also will try to locate the missing fathers.''Due to lack of financial assistance, single mothers are finding it impossible to adequately cater for the welfare of Ecomog children,'' says Olufemi.More than 85 percent of the children's fathers have completed their assignment and have either returned home or gone abroad, according to Olufemi. Many of them, married long before coming to Liberia on peace mission, are not expected to tie the knot with the girls.Uganda and Tanzania, which at one point sent soldiers to Liberia, have not made any claim to children born to its soldiers.Nigeria played a leading role in the resolution of the Liberian conflict, costing her more than half the 12 billion US Dollars spent by the sub-region since the civil war erupted in December 1989. Nigeria maintained between 5.000 to 10,.000 soldiers in Liberia each year between 1991 until early 1998.Under the Liberian law, a child born in the West African country by ''people of colour'' (black) is considered a Liberian until he or she attains the age of 21-year and decides to take his or her mother's or father's nationality.Liberians, whose country was founded by freed slaves from the United States in 1822, are noted for western names like Browne, Cooper, Gibson, Dennis, Henries, Graham but since the civil war, Liberian children now carry names like Dongonyaro, Babangida, Ogandare (Nigerian) Dumbouya, Toure (Guinean) and Kwesi, Mensah, Kwame (Ghanian) as some of the legacies of the war. Liberians are already getting used to such names.Hundreds of Liberian girls and even married women reportedly had affairs with Ecomog soldiers in exchange for food and protection during the war which killed well over 250.000 people.Most of the girls were between 13 and 16 years of age. Says Louise Togba, now a refugee in Buduburam Refugee Camp in Ghana, ''I was living with my man after I lost all my family in a grenade blast. He was very nice to me. And I became pregnant in 1992...when I was 16''.Togba says attempts to contact her baby's father in Ghana have not paid off as he has gone on another overseas mission.According to a recent report by the UN Funds for Population Activities (UNFPA), countries affected by civil wars have a steady increase in population growth. Liberia and Rwanda, UNFPA says, now have 8.6 percent and 7.9 percent growth rates of their population respectively.Half a million Liberians, mostly women and children, fled to neighbouring countries between December 1989 and July 1997, before the country's multi-party elections.Efforts by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to repatriate the refugees voluntarily have not been encouraging due to insecurity and lack of employment facilities and shelter in Liberia. Only less than 20 percent of the refugees have returned home.Despite communications difficulties within the subregion, Ecomog Children Project Incorporated has urged its officials to work hard so as to alleviate the plight of the children. --IPS/Misa, October 26, 1998.Source: www.mg.co.za/mg/news/98oct2/26ocliberia.html The Legacy Of "Peacekeepers" Kids In LiberiaPublic Agenda (Accra) March 13, 2001By Albert Gaylor Accra, Ghana Several years after they served in Liberia as Peace Keepers, the West African Soldiers who have been credited with ending the civil war in Liberia, are being called to account for their social stewardship, the kids they left behind are crying for the fathers, A Liberian Journalist Albert Gayflor recounts Post-war Liberia is characterised by a myriad of socio-political and economic problems. Prominent amongst them is the plight of the 6,600 children born by the nearly 17.000 African Peacekeepers whose efforts brought the Liberian civil war to an end three years ago. It is a legacy the soldiers have left after five years of peace keeping. The plight of these children and their future in the tiny West African state with a population of 2.5 million have given cause for the formation of a charity organization to seek their well-being. It is dubbed the UNOMIL-ECOMOG Children Organization (UNECO). UNOMIL is the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia whilst ECOMOG represents the ECOWAS Cease-fire Monitoring Group, (ECOWAS, is the Economic Community of West African States). The Charity is a non-profitable and humanitarian organisation. It says the children are product of sexual relations between Liberian girls and the Peacekeepers between 1990 -1998. The Liberia civil war began on December 24, 1989. It ended on July 19, 1997 following the holding of general and presidential elections, which ushered President Charles Taylor to power. The Nigerian Peacekeepers account for 50 percent of the offspring from their relationship with those Liberian girls who survived by selling themselves to the soldiers during the war. Nigeria also provided the largest number of troops. Ghanaian, Guinean, the Gambian and Sierra Leonean Soldiers are apportioned the remaining 50 Percent. The Rev. Abraham Anderson Cole Sr., a middle aged man and a Minister of the Gospel is the President and Founder of UNECO. He has been appealing to the Liberian government and other humanitarian organisations for assistance for the children, to enable them live productive lives. He wants to help reduce the growing number of Liberian children found in the streets. The Catholic Mission in Liberia has established the Don BOSCO Homes to cater for the homeless. Some of the children are living with other Liberian families or their parents and are usually found selling chilled water and other wares in order to complement the low wages of their parents. UNECO, according to Rev, Cole, has identified and registered the 6,600 children and is providing shelter, medical assistance and educational opportunities for them. It has also begun to make contact with the departed soldiers and the children's mothers. "Even though peace has returned, the children left behind remain a problem because of the dismal state of the Liberian economy and the jobless state of most of their mothers, " says Rev. Cole The Liberian civil war has ended but the wounds and memories of the war has continued to haunt the people of Liberia. Three years after the seven-year bloody civil war ended, over 5.000 children born by thousands of Liberian women but fathered by Nigerian and Ghanaian soldiers who served in ECOMOG peace keeping operations in Liberia were left behind uncared for as their fathers have not made any parental claim to them. According to a BBC report, the children most of whom are now at their schooling age of between 4 and 7 years have begun demanding for their father. Though most of the said Nigerian and Ghanaian soldiers later died in the war, the surviving fathers of the kids are now back in their country but are yet to make any parental claims to the kids they abandoned alongside their mothers back in Liberia. Due to the large number of the abandoned kids and mothers, a local Non Governmental Organisation (NGO) Unimale ECOMOG Children Organisation (UNECO) has taken up the task of assisting and training the children and their mothers. UNECO has established a local nursery and post primary school in the eastern district of Monrovia where the children are trained and taught while their mothers engage in some other commercial training to reshape their lives after the war experiences. The report further said that some of the abandoned kids who bear Liberian names could now read and write in the camp but have continued clamouring to see their fathers.Most of the kids were either abandoned while their mothers were carrying their pregnancies or left behind after the first few months of their delivery in the bushes as thousands of refugees were believed to have died in the war. Some of the kids were also fathered by soldiers of the UN Observer Mission who took part in the peace keeping operations in Liberia while another large number of children were fathered by Liberian rebels and local citizens during the war. A Liberian woman told BBC that a Nigerian soldier whom she identified as Corporal Jimoh Bello whom she claimed is now back in Nigeria has abandoned her and his three years old daughter in Liberia and has not come to claim his child.Source: http://www.republic-ofliberia.com/vol2_no6.htm Plight told of offspring left behind in AfricaFOREIGN AFFAIRS: Over the years, the staff at Taiwan's overseas missions have abandoned over 400 children. One group is trying to focus more attention on the issue By Irene Lin STAFF REPORTER Decades ago, Taiwanese agricultural missions brought knowledge and skills to help people in Africa. But in some cases, members of those missions fathered children who were then left behind to grow up without normal parental care.Altogether there are over 400 children fathered by Taiwanese mendeployed in African countries during the 1960s and 1970s, according to missions based there today.For some of the children, their Taiwanese origins are known. But many others have been left behind, abandoned, never to meet the biological fathers who have their own families in Taiwan.The Pearl S. Buck Foundation, which has helped Amerasian children in Taiwan, called on the public yesterday to show concern for African-born Taiwanese.Chuang Li-chuan, executive-general of the foundation, spelled out the difficulties African-Taiwanese have faced in adjusting to African society."They look Asian and they find it difficult to become incorporated into African society because of this. They can't become Taiwanese either, as their fathers have their own families in Taiwan, families which have never been told about" these African children, said Chuang, himself an Amerasian.A woman identified only as Ms Chao, working for the Foundation, discussed the outright job discrimination faced by children of mixed blood. "They don't want to talk to you or even see your resume. As soon as you walk in, their mind's are made up."Before 1980, when overseas trips were prohibited in Taiwan, families of those who went on agricultural missions were not allowed to go to African countries. It was under these circumstances that a number of members of the missions developed relationships with African women.When they were withdrawn from Africa, they abandoned their women and the children that resulted from the intercultural relationships. Chuang said at least 100 of the children have grown up under the care of members of present Taiwanese agricultural missions. Some of them have been provided with financial assistance for schooling, and some have been given job opportunities at the missions."These abandoned children are grown up now, but some of them are still torn between their Taiwanese origins and their real lives in Africa even to this day," Chuang said.The foundation in Taiwan, one of six Asian branches of the US-based group, has long assisted Amerasian children abandoned by their fathers --US soldiers deployed in Taiwan during the Cold War period -to adjust to Taiwanese society.Chuang said in the long run, they hope a new institution will be formed to help Taiwanese offspring in Africa just as the foundation has done in Taiwan."Their fathers might not be able to take care of them for personal reasons, but I think we Taiwanese can do something to make up for this, some way or another," Chuang added. A French appeal court ruled yesterday that a man who was conceived when French soldiers raped his mother during Algeria's struggle for independence was a victim of war, and awarded him damages. Finally addressing a painful period in France's colonial history, the pensions court in Paris recognised Mohamed Garne as a victim of Algeria's 1954-1962 war against French rule and awarded him disability benefits and a partial military pension for three years. "For 13 years I have been saying that my mother was raped, that I am a child of rape. Everybody hid, everybody pretended not to hear. I fought and I am very pleased to have waged this battle," Mr Garne after the hearing. "I am the first to have dared to defy the state," he said. "I am not totally satisfied, because I have not been awarded a life pension -but it is important to have reopened the file on the Algerian war." Mr Garne, who suffers from both physical and psychological infirmities, was born in April 1960 in the internment camp of Theniet el-Had. He was the son of a 16-year-old local girl identified only as Kheira and an unknown French officer, one of 30 or 40 who raped her repeatedly and brutally during a period of several months. The court accepted his argument that the foetus had suffered from continued violence inflicted on his mother by the French soldiers while she was pregnant and ruled that, under the military pension system, he was entitled to partial benefits. Kheira previously testified that in an attempt to provoke a miscarriage the soldiers had hit her stomach with metal cables after discovering that she was pregnant. She gave Mohamed up after his birth and he was raised in various orphanages, only succeeding in tracing his mother in 1988. He later took her to court to force her to reveal the circumstances of his birth, and while she initially insisted he was the son of an Algerian killed during the war, she finally broke down during a hearing in 1994 and said he was conceived during a gang rape by French soldiers. In 1999 and 2000 two lower courts denied Mr Garne any reparation, saying he could only be considered an "indirect" victim of the war. Yesterday's ruling, made after a psychiatrist testified that his troubles could be linked to the traumatic pregnancy and later shock of discovering his origins, overturned those decisions. Mr Garne, a caretaker in a Parisian department store, said he did not now want to find his father, nor see him punished. "Recognition is all I seek," he said. "There are many of us in Algeria, children born of French army rapes. It is necessary that this is said and recognised in France. Otherwise it will be forever a stain on its history." Whether France should officially recognise the barbarism of its troops in Algeria has become the subject of a heated and at times venomous debate during the past 18 months. "That terrible war ended without anybody being found guilty or held responsible," Mr Garne's lawyer, Jean-Yves Halimi, said yesterday. "Now we know that it left behind at least one victim." Algerian War Victim Awarded PensionThursday November 22 2:36 PM ET By VERENA VON DERSCHAU, Associated Press Writer PARIS (AP) -A man conceived in a rape by French soldiers during the Algerian independence war was declared a war victim Thursday and awarded damages. An appeals court awarded Mohamed Garne, 41, a partial military pension for three years, but denied his request for full lifetime benefits. The decision was the first time a French court ruled that a person conceived as the result of a rape was a war victim, and it brought a formal closure to Garne's tortuous search for his identity. Garne's mother, Kheira, was 16 when he was born. She gave him up at birth, and he was raised in orphanages. He located his mother in 1988 and took her to court in order to identify his father and legally use his name. The mother initially told Garne he was the son of an Algerian killed during the war, but she broke down during a 1994 court appearance, saying he was conceived when she was raped by French soldiers. The origin of the name Garne was not clear. ``I am the first to have dared to defy the state,'' Garne said after the ruling. ``I am not totally satisfied because I was not given a life pension, but it is important to have reopened the file on the Algerian war.'' The brutal seven-year war ended with independence for France's North African colony in 1962. A court had rejected a 1998 request by Garne for reparations. But the appeals court accepted the argument that as the fetus suffered from violence inflicted on the mother by French soldiers while she was pregnant and ruled that under the military pension system Garne was entitled to partial benefits for three years. The mother alleged in the 1994 court appearance that the soldiers came back later and hit her stomach with electrical wires after learning she was pregnant. In its decision, the court stressed its role was not ``to rewrite history'' but said the war led to ``unspeakable acts'' on both sides.Passions remain high in France and Algeria over the 1954-62 war. While atrocities have long been said to have been widespread on both sides, there has been no official acknowledgment from the government that abuses were comitted by its soldiers. Algerian victims of French torture seek recognitionIrish Times by Lara Marlowe Mohamed Garne was 29 when he finally found his mother, Kheira, in 1989. She was living in a hole between two graves in an Algiers cemetery, which she had covered with a tarpaulin and a door. She came out of her hovel brandishing a hatchet and Mohamed cried out: "I am your son." "If you are really my son, come close and put your head on my shoulder," Kheira answered. "Don't go. This woman is mad. She'll attack you with the hatchet," local people told him. But Mohamed went towards the woman who had abandoned him in an orphanage as a scrawny, sick baby when she was a child of 15. He rested his head on her shoulder and she sniffed him like an animal, then kissed him. The shame of Mohamed's life was the blank space next to the word "father" on his birth certificate. Kheira led him to believe a fighter from the National Liberation Front (FLN) who married her before dying in the 19541962 independence war was his father. But the dead man's family refused to give Mohamed his name. Kheira was dragged into an Algerian court in 1994 where a judge said: "Tell us the truth about your son's birth or I'll throw you in prison." She tottered forward, blurted out: "They raped me" and then fainted. For 35 years, Kheira Garne had kept her terrible secret. In August 1959, at the height of the war, French soldiers found her hiding in a tree during a bombardment. They took her to their barracks in the mountains southwest of Algiers, tortured her with electricity and water and repeatedly raped her. When she became pregnant, they beat her in the hope of destroying evidence of their war crime. For her part, Louisette Ighilahriz at 20 was an FLN fighter known as Lila when she was captured by the French army and taken to the 10th parachute division headquarters. "I was lying down naked, always naked," she told Le Monde. "They would come once, twice, three times a day. As soon as I heard their boots in the corridor I started trembling. Time seemed interminable. Minutes seemed like hours, hours like days. The first days were the hardest, getting used to the pain. Later, you detach yourself mentally, as if your body were floating." Lila says she was tortured daily for three months, sometimes in the presence of Gen Jacques Massu and Gen (then Colonel) Marcel Bigeard. Most of her family, including her mother, were also arrested and tortured. One day a military doctor named Richaud lifted her blanket. "Little one, you've been tortured! Who did this? Who?" he asked. She was quickly transferred to prison. After the war, Lila tried to find Dr Richaud to thank him for saving her life. Thirty-eight years after the Algerian war, the wounds of Kheira and Mohamed Garne, Lila Ighilahriz and thousands of others have not healed. The French newspapers Le Monde and L'Humanité -both of which were punished for reporting the truth at the time -have again taken up the cause, publishing a petition by 12 intellectuals who opposed the war and who now demand that French leaders condemn the torture carried out in Algeria. On November 4th, Prime Minister Lionel Jospin announced his support for the 12, saying the "search for truth" must continue and that France must make a similar effort to bring to light "other dark moments of our history". Mohamed Garne now empties rubbish bins in a Paris department store. He wants French authorities to acknowledge his ruined life by granting him a war victim's pension. French courts have twice admitted that French officers raped his mother but concluded that he was "not the direct victim of the violence". Lila Ighilahriz's testimony prompted a denial from Gen Bigeard. "Bigeard remains a model for France," he said, speaking of himself in the third person and accusing Lila of trying "to destroy everything that is clean in France". But Gen Massu recalled having seen Bigeard give electric shocks to prisoners he was interrogating. "Torture is not indispensable in war," he said, negating an argument often used by the military. "When I think of Algeria, I feel deeply sad . . . We could have done things differently." Gen Massu had kept in touch with Dr Richaud, who saved Lila Ighilahriz, until Richaud's death in 1997. Lila remembered Richaud telling her: "I haven't seen my daughter in six months. You remind me so much of her." This year the remorseful commanding officer of Lila's torturers helped her contact Dr Richaud's two daughters, to thank them for their father's courage. Lila says she feels relieved of a great weight. "I have obtained justice through truth; I asked nothing more. This will free me of my anxiety and already makes me feel more at peace. More than ever, I see France not through Massu and Bigeard . . . but through Richaud." Source: http://www.ireland.com/special/reviews/2000/world /marlowe5.htm Rape victims' babies pay the price of warUp to 20.000 women were raped during the Kosovan carnage. Now the victims are bearing children fathered by their Serb tormentors. In this harrowing dispatch, Helena Smith reports on the awful fate awaiting the offspring of conflict Sunday April 16, 2000 The ObserverHe was a healthy little boy and Mirveta had produced him. But birth, the fifth in her short lifetime, had not brought joy, only dread. As he was pulled from her loins, as the nurses at Kosovo's British-administered university hospital handed her the baby, as the young Albanian mother took the child, she prepared to do the deed.She cradled him to her chest, she looked into her boy's eyes, she stroked his face and she snapped his neck. They say it was a fairly clean business. Mirveta had used her bare hands. It is said that, in tears, she handed her baby back to the nurses, holding his snapped, limp neck. In Pristina, in her psychiatric detention cell, she has been weeping ever since.'Who knows? She may have looked into the baby's face and seen the eyes of the Serb who raped her.'The words are uttered coolly, undramatically, by Sevdije Ahmeti almost as a matter of course. Ahmeti, tireless human rights activist, mother and member of Kosovo's transitional government, does not want me or anyone to sensationalise this poor woman's plight. 'She is a victim too. She is just 20 years old and cannot read or write. She has been abandoned by her husband. Psychologically raped a second time.' She reels off Mirveta's details from a thick, yellow notepad. 'She is repenting, of course, but the attitude that she is a cold-blooded murderer is wrong. Who knows what this poor girl has been through? Who knows why she didn't abort?'There were marks, signs of bites and bruises over her body, her intimate parts. We want to protect her; we will try to get her a new lawyer.' This is what Ahmeti does: she speaks for the estimated 20.000 women now carrying Kosovo's dark secret. The innumerable women who were raped, and impregnated, abandoned by family and friends. The women outcasts violated, tortured and left for dead; the 'touched' women, who have now heaped shame on the houses of their husbands. The women who see the war every day, in their minds, in their bodies, through their rape-babies.It is Friday morning and there are snowflakes splattering the window panes of the Centre for Protection of Women and Children which Ahmeti set up in 1993. Women trudge up the hill on which the centre stands, daintily side-stepping the litter and carrion birds that defile so much of the province.Sometimes, when they are feeling strong, they step inside. Sometimes, if Ahmeti is lucky, a woman will even tell her story. So far, 76 women, mostly young and beautiful, the daughters of eminent Kosovars and village elders (women targeted by the Serbs) have been mus tered enough courage to enter the centre.For everyone who had come there, Ahmeti said you could count at least a hundred more. They are just the tip of the iceberg; the very few who have managed to break the 'metallic silence' that surrounds the issue of being 'touched'.For rape is not a word that Kosovar women ever use. This is not Bosnia; there is no cosmopolitan Sarajevo. There is only provincial Pristina. In the villages and hamlets, where the Yugoslav police, military and Serb paramilitaries evidently ran amok, rape has yet to enter their ancient lexicon.'These are simple women, women who have been degraded, disgraced, and will carry this trauma like a bullet for the rest of their lives,' Ahmeti murmurs, chain-smoking. 'Raped women all over the world find it hard to speak, here they can hardly do it at all.'They rarely tell each other... we've had cases of suicide, the lunacy of women losing all access to their children if it gets out.' Mirveta, the pretty infanticidal mother, is no exception. She is typical of the selection process pursued by the perpetrators, according to a Human Rights Watch report released last month.As they tried to ethnically cleanse Kosovo, paramilitaries -often aided by masked Serb neighbours -systematically searched villages for girls of prime, child-bearing age.It was about power and control, humiliation and revenge. And what better way to damage the enemy's morale than to hit at his family? 'Our society is a traditional one where Albanian men are brought up to see themselves as breadwinners and protectors,' Ahmeti points out.'Once you touch the woman, you touch the honour of the family and you provoke the man to react. The Serbs knew this. Belgrade had, for years, put out propaganda that the only thing Albanian women could do was produce like mice. So daughters were gang-raped in front of their fathers, wives in front of their husbands, nieces in front of their uncles, mothers in front of their children, just to dehumanise, just to degrade.' It is estimated by the World Health Organisation and the US-based Centre for Disease Control that as many as 20.000 Kosovar women (4.4 per cent of the population) were raped in the two years prior to Nato's forces entering the benighted territory. Numbers to match Bosnia, if not more.But unlike Bosnia, where international organisations were located throughout the war, the province was on its own. If, as Human Rights Watch argues, politicians did not exploit the fate of the women (which would have been a way of drumming up support for the Nato bombing campaign), aid organisations also played it down.'I think there was a deliberate policy to keep it quiet. We knew, in such a patriarchal society, where the perception of rape is so medieval, that it would probably cause a lot of social distress,' said Gamilla Backman, an adviser on violence prevention at the World Health Organisation. 'Making revelations just to shake mentalities might have had the opposite effect and made life even more difficult for victims brave enough to speak.'The international community has got cynical about rape. Time has shown, with the women of Bosnia, how very little talking can achieve.' By the time the province was liberated, hundreds of women who had been plucked from columns of refugees as they tried to flee the Serb onslaught were discovered wandering the hills, often disoriented, drugged, half-naked and half-crazed.'There was always so much focus on the refugees who managed to get out and so little on the people who stayed inside -the 700.000 of them who suffered the real trauma,' said Ahmeti.How many of these women then found themselves pregnant will remain a mystery. How many gave birth is almost impossible to determine because of taboo.Local humanitarian groups, including the Red Cross, have estimated that 100 rape-babies were born in January alone. Innumerable others almost certainly came into the world on bathroom floors and kitchen tables, behind the high-walled homes of family clans who have vowed never to speak.'Only God knows,' said Professor Skender Boshnjaku, Kosovo's leading neuropsychiatrist, who specialises in women's illness, 'how many have been born in secret. I know of children who are being brought up by their grandmothers, women who want to protect their daughters. These babies will know a lot of hate, they will not have a lot of love.'The issue of babies 'born of violence' is not a subject Kosovars find easy to address. Boshnjaku concentrates on his shoes when the conversation veers in the direction of the rape-babies. Did he think I would be able to talk to some of the victims?No, he said flatly. Albanian women did not talk about themselves. They did not talk about their feelings. They used language economically, usually to convey the essentials of their primitive lives. They were 'the property of men, to be bought, sold and betrothed before birth'. They are 'sacks to be filled,' he says, citing the Kanun, the medieval warand-peace code of behaviour still adhered to in these parts.'Ours was a society built on generations of hate. There are older Albanians who speak Serbian, but generally there was very little interaction between our people and the Serbs. And now,' he said, waving his hands desperately, 'there are these babies.'Even Ahmeti, who hails from a family of openminded, well-travelled intellectuals, finds the phenomenon of Albanian-Serb progeny uncomfortable. Some women will accept them, some will nurture them begrudgingly, some will reject them. But, she said, they will not be dumped in orphanages and they will not be left in baskets and boxes on the streets.'They are innocent children, they are not to blame,' she said. 'People, here, will take them into their homes and married women will be able to cover up. Our hope is that they grow up without the guilt of their mothers.' The local authorities are about to start a television campaign appealing for prospective parents. 'It concerns me greatly that some are calling them "children of shame".' But rape, I am told on my first night in Pristina, is worse than death. To be an Albanian who gives birth to a child sired by a Serb is to be sentenced to a living hell.Pedric, who told me this, is young and worldly. 'If I were normal, I would keep the kid, accept my wife. But in Kosovo, in our culture, death is better than rape. I could not accept my wife. She would be dirty, evil, the castle of the enemy,' he booms. 'A lot of women have been very sensible. They have kept quiet about it, they have given birth at home and, if they are even more sensible, they do what that woman (Mirveta) did last month. They kill their scum-babies.' Agron Krasniqi, a gynaecologist at Pristina's University Hospital, is also at the table. 'All of us, we were conducting abortions around the clock,' he said. 'Only a few weeks ago we had a woman who came to the hospital and said she was raped and could we help. She was six months pregnant. There are so many women like that...Women who couldn't physically make the journeys to hospitals and private clinics because they couldn't afford it or didn't dare tell their husbands. In this instance, there was nothing we could do. It was a terrible business, as terrible as the abandoned babies we've also got at the hospital.'Abandoned babies? 'Yes, we've got eight new-born babies and a roomful in the paediatric ward. There are boys as well. In our culture, boys are usually never abandoned. It is fair to say most are the product of rape.' No one wants to talk about the abandoned babies; no one wants to associate them with rape. But there they are, on the second floor of the Pristina clinic in an airy room off a chamber lined with incubators. Babies less than eight weeks old lie in little plastic cases, the others in blue-andwhite check-cloth cots.The doctors have given them names which they have written in blue ink on plasters they have stuck to their beds. 'They have nothing. The least we can do for their dignity is give them names,' said Enser, the neo-natalist. 'We try to cradle them, hug them whenever we can, because we now know how important the first six months are in a baby's life. Before we didn't do it, and you could see the difference.' Did the mothers ever return to claim them? 'Never,' he said. 'And we don't really have any idea who they are because they usually come alone, very early, around 5am so no one will see them and then they give us false names. An American woman, a midwife, came the other day. She wanted to adopt Teuta, our oldest one, but the authorities don't want any to go abroad, they want them to stay here.'In the paediatric wing, there are 12 more abandoned children, all between six and 18 months. They are kept for most of the day in a small room, playing on plastic tricycles, lying on mattresses, sitting on nurses' laps. Some are dark, some blond, some obviously Slavic with give-away high cheekbones and broad faces.When we open the door they come rushing out, tugging at the hems of our skirts, jumping up and down, beseeching to be held. 'They are lovely children,' said the nurse, apologising for her insistence that in the room, at least, we do not take any pictures. 'There are other rape-babies, you know, in other hospitals. There are some in Prizren and some in Pec.'Around Pec, Serb paramilitaries and the Yugoslav army appear to have acted with wanton abandon, raping women in barracks, public buildings and private homes. It is in Pec that the UN-sponsored International Rescue Committee has established the Women's Wellness Centre, one of only two international organisations in Kosovo specialising exclusively in violence against women. The centre has taken a holistic approach in its attempt to attract victims. And since opening six months ago it has run classes in English, sewing and art.But getting these same women to tell their stories is another matter. 'We have a lot of cases of domestic violence, which is prevalent in this culture,' said Jeanne Ward, an American psychotherapist who has worked on similar programmes in New York. 'But so far absolutely no rape cases, although a great many women are suffering from depression, isolation, nightmares, flashbacks, all the symptoms of such trauma. Confidentiality is a big problem here and the social stigma is just so great. Kosovar women are afraid that if they are perceived to have been raped they will automatically be cut off from their families, children, everyone .' 'Let me tell you a story,' she said. 'I know of one woman who was raped and when it got out she was immediately dropped by her fiancé. The dishonour, he said, was just too much. Since she's been deflowered and is no longer seen as fit for marriage, her family have made her a prisoner. She is now a servant to the household.'The centre's Albanian director, Lumnije Decani, interrupted. 'Jeanne is right,' she said. 'It will take time, but I'm sure women will come. They want to, I know, they need to talk, which is why we are going to install 24-hour hotlines. You should go to Belegu.' 'And Lubeniq,' said the American.It was in Lubeniq that about 70 men were shot dead in the village square, after taking up arms to protect their women. They had heard about the mass rapes. And they were scared. Belegu lies in the middle of a plain and Lubeniq stands on a hill on the road that leads to it. They are both wretched places, polluted by violence and death.We stop at Lubeniq on the way to Belegu to find children playing around their relatives' graves. 'My daddy is in there,' said Mentor Ukshinaj, pointing to the mound of earth bearing a wooden stump and the name of Hajdar Ukshinaj. 'He died protecting my mummy. He died in front of me.'When we go to Belegu, the members of the first house, a fine stone building erected around a triangular courtyard, rush out to greet us. Beqir Zukaj, a proud man in a white felt cap who is the head of the extended family, did not mince his gestures. Outside his stone, high-walled house, he made thrusting movements and performed the charade of ripping off his wife's clothes. 'It didn't happen here,' he said. 'It happened in the big barn in the other end of the village.' Sevdije Hoxha was there and she remembered everything. Hundreds of people had converged on Belegu from other villages on the plain and when the Serbs began to encircle them they hid in the barn.We went to the barn and she showed us its big lime-coloured doors. 'They came, they separated the women from the men, they took all our documents and then they took away the young ones. They took them to the brick building here,' she said, pointing to the half-constructed red-brick villa next door. 'We had plastered some of the pretty ones with animal manure, to make them smell and look less nice, but they took them anyway. You could hear them scream, beg, shout. Many have never come back to their villages. They got on tractors, they went to Albania and from there, I think, they went abroad.'The ones who returned to Belegu are broken. 'Broken lives, broken hearts,' said Imer Zukaj, who spent years working in Switzerland. 'There is one young girl here. She is 17 years old. She was raped by six Serbs, who pinned her down, cut her breasts. Whenever I, or any man, greets her, which is when we go to her home, she jumps in the air and screams. She is not well. She is on medication. She doesn't speak. Nobody, you know, will marry her, her life is finished.' When I asked Ahmeti if I could meet some of the victims, she glared. Hers is the only organisation that has managed to reach out to women trapped in villages like Belegu; she is furious that more has not been done for them.After last month's infanticide, WHO initiated a programme to sensitise doctors and nurses dealing with women about to give birth -to spot those who might want to reject their babies. Other than that, Ahmeti said, psycho-social support has been minimal. The women are outcasts. Some are war widows and many have no work, no family, no one to turn to. There has been almost no attempt to socialise, reintegrate or resettle them with therapeutic counselling. Or to provide witness protection so they may eventually give evidence before the criminal tribunal at The Hague. 'This is a torn society and there are so many things that have to be done, but these women's needs have really never been addressed. Wherever you go in Kosovo you bump into victims, but these particular ones gain nothing from talking. You just rape their psyche a second time.'She is right, of course. In Kosovo, everyone at some stage has been a victim and you do not have to go far to bump into one. Seated in front of Ahmeti, interviewing her, is 29-year-old Luljeta Selimi, a journalist who trained as a gynaecologist (a profession never allowed to flourish under the Serbs). 'Please excuse my English. I used to speak it very well, but last April the Serbs arrested me helping a friend give birth. They kept me in water for nine hours, beat me until I fainted and then threw me on a rubbish dump. It was Gypsies who saved me and took me to Macedonia,' she said. 'You will never find these women. I have had to spend weeks in villages posing as a doctor, gaining their trust, staying at their homes.'Selimi, it turns out, has collected testimonies from 200 rape victims; each case documented in black notebooks and on cassette. 'I want the world to know what happened to my country, to these women. Thousands of women who now have nothing.'Over the course of the next week she brought me three victims; women who are young, educated and angry with the world. Angry that Nato did not intervene or send in ground troops earlier; that help has not been more forthcoming; that they have been left to drift, dependent on small kindnesses. They have come to me, because they could never have me go to them -it would raise too many suspicions. They are willing to talk because they want the world to know that they exist. They have lost their homes, they have lost their valuables (extorted by the rapists) but they are still the lucky ones. At least they have been spared becoming pregnant.'They stopped our car as my husband, son and daughter were driving towards the Macedonian border on 22 March, two days before Nato intervened,' said the school-teacher from a hamlet south of Pristina. 'They were paramilitaries, some wore bandannas, some masks.'They made us get out and walk over the hills and then _ and then they took me, they made me comb my hair and they did what they did. When my husband tried to stop them, they shot him dead. My children were there, watching.'The two other women were similarly stopped, one as she tried to flee across the Albanian border, the other as she hid with her family in the forest, hours after the Serbs had torched their village in the middle of Kosovo.Both were virgins before and both have avoided sex since. Both hardly leave their homes. And both have the saddest, most vacant eyes I have ever seen.'So what do you think I should do?' asked the one with red-dyed hair, the one who was raped for hours in the forest. I looked at her and thought: 'Yes, what next?' Here I am, privy to the most painful event this woman will ever endure and I have no ready answer; no relief to proffer, only the ability to make her, and the children of war, 'exist'. When Julie, a birth mother, was reunited with her daughter, Ronald with his father, Jeffery with his brother and two sisters, none of them had ever really expected an end to their search and to experience the joys of the reunions that followed. Since 1975, many thousands had their dreams come true, just by simply registering with Soundex Reunion Registry. You too, are given this same hope and opportunity. The registry had always been provided without cost to its registrants, supported entirely by individual registrant's contributions. Costs are incurred in the operation and maintenance of your registry, a cost that increases annually. Won't you please help to ensure your registry will continue to serve you and so many by your generosity. Send your contribution today. All donations are gratefully accepted. The ISRR Voluntary Board of Trustees thank you. YES! I want to help. Enclosed please find my contribution: $_______________________ Name:_________________________________________________________ Address:_______________________________________________________ City:_______________________________State:_____Zip:_______________ Make checks payable to: ISRR (Indicate if receipt is desired) "united today for the reunions of tomorrow" your contributions are tax-deductible These organisations work with the issue of Children's identity after War. The list is sorted according to the Country the organisation is based in or works with. CanadaThe Liberation Children of The Netherlands http://www.albedo.net/~jboers/ USA Pearl S. Buck's Foundation.The organisation was made by the Nobel laureate Pearl S. Buck and has especially been interested in the fate of mixed race children. Now it runs several programs including adoption. Seems to be the largest organisation specialising on war children. Focus on Asia. www.pearl-s-buck.org Vietnam Amerasian Relief AgencyHelping Amerasian children to locate their American fathers. Works especially with children from Vietnam but aims to also help Amerasian children form other countries in Southeast Asia.Email: Brian Hjort brihj@danbbs.dk,.Two homepages: http://www.danbbs.dk/~brihj/ http://www.philippine-connection.com/ara/index_ara.htm Sao Mai,Organisation to facilitate the building of a network and chain of information to be used for the reunification of families separated when US Armed Forces left Vietnam and Saigon fell. Will start an interactive database online where people can search for missing parents and children.Email: Laura Fay Speasmaker, saomai@hotmail.com, Homepage: http://www.zyworld.com/saomaimsa Philippines Amerasians -The forsaken onesWorks to make Amerasian children meet their fathers, so far 39 cases are solved. Includes a form to include request for missing family members. Also lists missing family members, mostly former American soldiers. Together with War Babes have those two agencies helped 1100 children find their biological fathers."Pregnant woman guarded by soldier" Photo source: National Archives 27 By Janet Baker Copyright 1996. Janet Baker. Originally published in Volume 4, Number 2, April, 1996 edition of the quarterly publication "LEST WE FORGET." Over 1 million American troops were stationed in England in the two years preceding the D-Day landings which heralded the invasion of France in June, 1944. This figure includes approximately 130.000 black GIs. By the end of the Second World War an estimated 20.000 children had been born as the result of relationships between British women and American GIs. Approximately 1.000 of these children were black. "Source: http://www.inq7.net/reg/2001/jul/11/reg_7-1.htmThe dust of life: The sad plight of FilipinoAmerasians Bui-doi, The dust of life", one of the most poignant songs from the acclaimed musical, Ms. .....The Amerasian Immigration Act of 1982 allows Amerasians from Thailand, Korea,Vietnam, Laos and Kampuchea to emigrate to the U.S. under sponsorship. The bill, however, excludes Filipino Amerasians since the Philippines "was not a war zone during the time period covered, from 1960-82."....."Produkto daw kasi ng R&R o rest and recreation at hindi giyera ang mga bata," (Filipino Amerasians are 'products' of R&R and not of the war) said Dulce Natividad of Wedpro, secretariat of the conference. .....Wedpro (Women's Educational Development and Research Organization) is one of several nongovernmental and other organizations supporting the Amerasian cause. The group, ACTWA (Agencies Collaborating Together With Amerasians, Their Families and Communities) Coalition, is composed of the Pearl S. Buck International, Buklod Center, the American Chamber Foundation Phils., the American Association of the Phils., Philippine American Guardian Association, St. Joseph Community Center, and Wedpro. .....WedproThe coalition said they are planning to reopen the class suit filed in 1993 in behalf of the Filipino Amerasians, asking the U.S. Navy to pay the medical and educational expenses of the children. The suit was dismissed by the U.S. court. Success stories .....Pearl S. Buck International (PSBI), a nonsecretarian organization "dedicated to serving the disadvantaged children," has started facilitating the education of thousands of Filipino Amerasians since the 80's......There have been some success stories from among its list of scholars. my people are quite different. I'm only here to do my job. I don't want you to think bad things about me. When I return to my own country, I'll ask my God to look after your health, to give you an education and to make the child happy. I'm sorry, I didn't know you were pregnant. I thought it was a joke. I have your address and when I write to you again, you shall have mine too. I wish your family, yourself and the child good luck. All the best, your friend. 11Hello my friend. I write this letter because I want you to understand my thoughts about you and the baby. I'm a responsible man and therefore I told you I didn't want to have a child. For if I were to have a child I'd want it to be happy. And a kid is only happy if it has a mother and a father. You know very well that I have to leave this country because I come from the US. My habits, my food, my religion, my traditions and My name is Le. I'm looking for my birthfather. He was a pilot in Vietnam, went back to U.S. in 1973 when I was few months old and his name is Williams C., lived in Maryland. That's all I know about him.Le sailorb35@hotmail.com Tue Jun 5 11:25:37 EDT 2001 o Pregnancies of the war o Children of hate o "Enfants non-desirés" -Unwanted Children o "Enfants mauvais souvenir" Children of bad memories o Children of War After The Second world war in Norway these children were called:o tyskerunge -literally kid of a German o son or daughter of the German whore o "krigsbarn", war children, this term is preferred today.The children born by American soldiers have been called: o Amerasians -the term first used about children by American soldiers in Korea. o Vietnamericans o "Bui doi" -Dust of life o "Con lai" -outcasts o Children of Gold Children of Canadian soldiers in Europe were referred to as: o War Leftovers Children of Filipino women and American Soldiers were called: o Babay na sa -bye-bye to daddy o "hanggang" -up to pier only o "negro" o "multo" if they are light skinned o "kulot" or curlyhaired if they are dark. The town of Bergen, NorwayMany people in Bergen are probably the descendants of the 500 soldiers from the Delmenhorst Regiment who were sent to Norway in 1765. They originated from Delemhorst outside Bremen. The group of a half a thousand soldiers were very visible in town. In 1769 Bergen had 14000 inhabitants. 82 children are recorded in the church books as having a soldier from this regiment as their father. In 1774 the soldier left Bergen, leaving their children behind 13 . As a matter of fact, the number of illegitimate births in all the districts of England where soldiers were quartered showed such an unexpected rise that the lower House of Parliament was forced to discuss the question of how to erase the stigma of both the children and their mothers. A Member of Parliament, McNeil, stated that in a certain district at the beginning of 1915 there were two thousand illegitimate births. Special reference was made to the fact that the Australian soldiers exercised a particular fascination upon British women. In this connection we might recall that the race fetishism of the English woman, and also the French woman, found expression in huge numbers of children of mixed breeds born during the war. In every land the question of war children was a vital one. If the soldier denies paternity,' it goes on to say, `no further action will be undertaken other than to merely inform the woman of this fact. She is to be advised to seek help from a German or Austrian welfare organization. If the soldier is already in the United States, his address is not to be communicated to the woman in question, the soldier may be honorably discharged from the army and his demobilization will in no way be delayed. Claims for child support from unmarried German and"A girl who tastes the forbidden fruit must bear the consequences herself..." "In the April 18, 1946 issue of `Stars and Stripes', the newspaper published for the American Armed Forces in Europe, I read an article bearing the headline `Pregnant Fräuleins are Warned!' I am enclosing a German translation of this article in the hope that you will publish it in your newspaper. Perhaps a girl or two will be brought to their senses by reading these lines. `Girls who are expecting a child fathered by an American soldier will be provided with no assistance by the American Army.' Thus reads the text of the recently issued military regulations. They were issued in response to a letter received from a pregnant girl in which she asked the army for help. The regulations make two main points: 1. The army can in no way be held responsible for the sexual relationships of its soldiers. 2. A `Kraft durch Freude' (Strength through Joy, a Nazi recreational organization) girl who tastes the forbidden fruit must bear the consequences herself. `Austrian mothers will not be recognized. If the soldier voluntarily acknowledges paternity, he is to provide for the woman in an appropriate manner." From: Demokratisches Volksblatt, Austrian daily newspaper, May 25, 1946 14 From May 1942 until the end of World War II, some 130.000 black GIs came to Britain. Being happy to be treated as fellow human beings many of them had British girl friends. To marry they needed permission from their (white) superior, a permission that was seldom given. An estimated 2000 children was born as result of the relationships. The soldiers being shipped back to the US. The absorption of the children into society was far from straightforward. Harold Moody, the black doctor who founded the League of Coloured Peoples in England in the 1930s, summed up the situation nicely:'When what public opinion regards as the taint of illegitimacy is added to the disadvantage of mixed race, the chances of these children having a fair opportunity for development and service are much reduced.' 17 Danny Smith, child of a British mother and an American black GI soldier. Photo taken from the Channel 4 web page that screened a program of the group of 2000 "brown babies". The British authorities suggested three different solutions to the problem: Three solutions to the 'problem' were suggested: 1. The mothers could keep their babies. 2. There are an estimated 30.000 children of the Canadian Soldiers that stayed in Europe during and after the Second World War from 1939 to 1946. They were called: "War Leftovers" by the Canadians. This group is on of the best organised of all groups of war children thanks to two persons: Lloyd and Olga Rains.Lloyd Rains is a Canadian Veteran of World War Two who helped liberate Holland as a part of Canadian Light Infantry. He met Olga (Trestorff) three weeks after the Dutch Liberation in May, 1945. They founded the Project Roots in 1980. A project that aims to bring War Children in contact with their roots. So far they claim to have helped 2500 children get in contact with their fathers. Olga has written two books about the War Children. One of her books became a television series. In April, 1997, Olga was knighted by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands for the Rains' work with Project Roots 18 . Two thousand Dutch women married Canadian soldiers. But in 1946 babies of unmarried Dutch women started being born. When all the Canadian soldiers had left there were 6000 "Children of Liberation" born by them in the Netherlands. 1946, hundreds of these mothers and their angry Dutch parents went to the Canadian Embassy in the Netherlands demanding child support or some form of recognition for the children, who were, after all, half Canadian. The Department of Veterans Affairs approached some of the men in Canada, but most denied even knowing the girlfriend in Europe and the questions stopped there.And at a time when there were few social supports or economic opportunities for women, those who decided to raise their children on their own suffered enormous social consequences that still reverberate in the lives of the so called "war children" today. (…) But the Canadian soldiers who had been welcomed with cheers of "Hero" and "Liberator" in May 1945 soon became a social problem to the Dutch authorities, who viewed the rising tide of unwed pregnancies as a serious social transgression they called "The Canadian Problem" 19 . (…) In It was not an easy time for these women. As in Great Britain, unwed mothers and illegitimate babies of foreign soldiers were a serious social taboo. When the pregnancies started to show, many women were sent to homes where they stayed until the babies were born, then given up for adoption. Other Liberation Children were raised by grandparents, never knowing the truth about their birth mothers until much later in life. Their fathers remained a mystery, a taboo subject that the otherwise liberal minded Dutch and English are only starting to recognize today. (…) The Rains are calling for the Canadian government to loosen up Privacy Act restrictions which govern access to veterans' files. She wants war children to have access to the files on an equal footing with their half brothers and sisters in Canada. She suggests that the 20 year moratorium be lifted for exceptional cases involving British and European war children.But for now, the notion of changing the Privacy Act is just a dream, says Olga, who suggests it would make a great humanitarian gesture on the eve of the 21st century."I think the greatest achievement of our careers would be to pry open the closed doors of the National Archives veterans' files. When the war children can get the information contained in those files, they will finally be able to come to terms with themselves and their fathers in a way that is impossible now."Olga's other goal is to change the attitudes of Canadians towards the war children of World War Two. "I'm still puzzled by the reaction of fathers or family members who say they don't want to have anything to do with their half brother or sister in Europe," says Olga."The time when unwed mothers and their babies were social outcasts is long gone," Olga says. "Everybody has a right to know about their family. What makes the war children so different?" There were 37.000 American soldiers based in Korea. Specialist estimate that there are up to 1000 such children in Korea now after Reagan allowed Korean-American born between 1950 and 1982 to resettle in the US. The children in Korea are still looked down upon and are called mixed-blood in Korean language. Since their number is so small their cause is not a prominent in Korea today.Organisations works today to raise the issue for these children and avoiding sexual diseases spread by the US troops.Fair Treatment for Korean Women and Amerasian Children:A report from 1954 tells how the Amerasian children were used to bring attention to children's homes and the writer warn others about the "pitfalls:The story of adoption of Amerasian children is also linked to the story of Pearl S. Buck. She started the first adoption service for mixed race people in 1949. At that time she was already a well-known author. She received the Nobel Prize in literature in 1938 and Pulitzer Prize 1932. She established the Welcome House, the first international, inter-racial adoption agency. She later established the Pearl S. Buck Foundation, which provides sponsorship funding for thousands of children in half-a-dozen Asian countries. And it is the only agency that has specialised on children of war. Later the two were combined.Vietnam -America's newest refugees are also its children.Possible the largest group of war children worldwide is the group of Amerasian children being born from relationships between American servicemen and Vietnamese women. This group is also in a special situation as they were given the right to migrate to the US as social pressure on their faith in Vietnam made US open the borders for them. The group came after several years of "boat-people" had arrived in the US and in Western Europe following the fall of Saigon in 1975.By 1996, over 700.000 refugees from Vietnam had arrived in the United States. Around 89000 of them arrived under the 1987 Amerasian Homecoming act as Amerasian or close relatives. (906 arrived in 1996 alone.) These numbers also included the close families of the 29 From: A Survey Made for the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Forces, Far East, and for the Chief of Chaplains of the United States Army By ChristianChildren's Fund, Inc., Richmond, Va. 1954 available at: www.koreanchildren.org/docs/memories/servicemenremembers/report1954.PDF 30 This particular story was of extreme circumstance because the father, the American soldier, came back for his son and wanted him to live in the United States.Provide appropriate cultural conduct and sex education information to US military personnel to reduce friction with Korean neighbours. US soldiers should be examined regularly to prevent the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases. The US government should also take responsibility for the financial costs of raising children fathered by US soldiers. There are presently over 1.000 children who don't receive support from their fathers. 28 Deceits are sometimes well worked out. One of the welfare officers in KCAC headquarters in Seoul reported a case where several mixed-blood children, particularly those with outstanding Western features such as blue eyes, blond or red hair, or of negro paternity, were brought to a chaplain's office on a certain U.S. Army base. With weeping and wringing of hands, the orphanage superintendent told of her general suffering and then this new problem which, she implied, was clearly his. "Therefore support my orphanage," was the unmistakable plea. One of the KOAC Team workers heard the story from the chaplain. But from a different chaplain at another distant base, he had heard the same story, and a check-up revealed that the identical part-negro, blue-eyed, blond and redheaded children were paraded before several military commanders and chaplains. These "special children" were available, probably for a price, to orphanage superintendents who sought money from military personnel. Probably this operation was eminently successful though no facts were available to bear out the success. 29 PEARL SYDENSTRICKER BUCK "These kids hit walls on every side "I never thought one day I'd plead They don't belong in any place For half-breeds from a land that's torn Their secret they can't hide But then I saw a camp for children It's printed on their face." Whose crime was being born." -From Miss Saigon 30 USA had a large US Air Force base in Angeles City named Clark Field. It was subsequently closed after the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption.This regiment has been doing garrison duty for several months, and, as has been a too free custom with the American army, many of these soldiers have been consorting with the native women. Many have bound these women by promises of marriage; others have already been legally married, while by far the greater number have been living in concubinage pure and simple. Now comes the order, and the men are being sent home. It is a sad sight to see these women, some with children in their arms, bewailing their abandonment. It is perfectly safe to say there are hundreds of such forsaken women here today, in disgrace among their own people, who at one time thought themselves honored wives. This thing is a lasting shame upon our service, and yet there are commanding officers who have openly favored it because, as they say, tending to better discipline in the army. -The Christian Advocate reporting the scene when the Twenty-fourth Regiment of the U.S. Army was brought to Manila before departing for the United States in 1902. 31 For many, the absence of a father, or knowing almost nothing about their father, and being the child of survivors of prostitution carry the additional burden of social stigma and psychological stress that affect their schooling and normal integration into their communities. Many parents and caregivers of Amerasians harbour biases against their children. Most of them often attribute behaviour-related problems to the mixed race character of their children. There is a very high incidence of abuse experienced by both Amerasians and their caregivers that seems to indicate the reproduction of violence across generations.o Many Amerasian teenagers have articulated a "longing for an identity" that seems to be the consequence of growing up without a father. o As a result, there are many cases where abandoned Amerasian youth try to go to the United States to find their fathers. 32Most of the Amerasians have been left to the care of their Filipino mothers or adoptive caregivers. The University of the Philippines Centre for Women Studies, through the study "Filipino Amerasians: Living in the Margins," has unearthed the following facts about the children: o Many Amerasians have experienced various forms of abuse and domestic violence. There is an equally disturbing high rate of abuse committed by non-household members. These are racial, gender and class discrimination that Amerasian children and youth suffer from strangers, peers, classmates, teachers, etc. o The Movement presented evidence of majority Singhalese women -in villages bordering the war zone in the east and north of the island-being used by government soldiers. ``Women go from camp to camp searching for the men who fathered their children only to be told by senior officers that they either are not there or have moved on,'' Fernando said. 45 To read about the women see page 96 Cambodia UNTAC was the UN's biggest peacekeeping mission. A documentary run at the SBS network in Australia set the number of children born by UN personnel in Cambodia to 25.000. The documentary tells striking stories like these in a transcript from the documentary: Many women saw the soldiers as a way out and connected with them. Romances flourished across languages, cultures and races. UNTAC had a lot of children. One of them is Pascal. His mother dated a soldier from the Cameroon. 43 page 101. 44 Page 135-136 45 Source: http://www.indian-express.com/ie/daily/19981219/35350744p.html ANA SAN (translation) : My future? I would like the father to come and get the boy. I've no means of providing for him. He has promised to come back. I still wait for him. REPORTER: Has the boy asked about his father? ANA SAN: Yes, he has. And I always tell him that he will be back, so the boy waits. | NEAN HENG, COOK: There are UNTAC kids everywhere. Many young girls had children with UNTAC soldiers. A lot of babies were born. These families are in need of everything. I would like to know if UNTAC is helping these kids. If they did, the young girls would not have to work so hard and would not be forced to have their children adopted out. MOM LAN: I show my son a photo when he asks about his father. I lie to him and say that his father is at work. People call my son bad names, but he is not old enough to understand. MU SUCHOA, MINISTER FOR WOMEN: Cambodian society, like any society, does not very openly accept this kind of product, unfortunately -very simply because of the colour of the skin. They may be half-blonde. Christina is one of those half-blondes. Her mother was only a young girl when she met a French soldier. NARY DUK: They tease her, saying she has no father. When she quarrels with the other kids, she is called "alien Frenchie". It makes me very sad. REPORTER: What else is she called? NARY DUK: She is also called the "white Frenchman". MU SUCHOA: These children are stigmatised. The mother who is left behind is also stigmatised. So making a life after your husband is gone, or the man who gave you that baby is gone, is a tremendous, tremendous hardship. The same is true for Mon Srey Oun. She feels she can't leave the house without people gossiping about her. Her son was fathered by an American soldier. MON SREY OUN: He has promised to come back. I'm waiting for him, but he never shows up. Before leaving me, he handed me $100. REPORTER: What do you say when they tease you about being a UNTAC kid? RICHARD: I keep my silence. REPORTER: Do you miss him? MON SREY OUN: Yes, I miss him. REPORTER: What do you miss? MON SREY OUN: We lived together, we went out together. Her boyfriend disappeared with the rest of UNTAC. AlgeriaA rare glimpse of light to the faith of children born as result of French soldiers rapes in Algeria came to the surface during autumn 2001 when a French appeal court granted Mohamed Garne pension for being the result of rape committed by French soldiers in 1959. This is probably the first such case ever and it pinpoints the responsibility of governments for the acts committed by it's soldiers.there were any such cases the NDF soldiers would have to make their own transport arrangements because those are private affairs and we had sent them to the DRC to fight and not to start families. This has got nothing to do with the Government.. 49 Uganda Many reports on girls forced to serve as wives for the rebels in the Lord's Resistance Army in Northern Uganda. Algerian War Victim Awarded Pension Thursday November 22 2:36 PM ET By VERENA VON DERSCHAU, Associated Press Writer PARIS (AP) -A man conceived in a rape by French soldiers during the Algerian independence war was declared a war victim Thursday and awarded damages. An appeals court awarded Mohamed Garne, 41, a partial military pension for three years, but denied his request for full lifetime benefits. The decision was the first time a French court ruled that a person conceived as the result of a rape was a war victim, and it brought a formal closure to Garne's tortuous search for his identity. Garne's mother, Kheira, was 16 when he was born. She gave him up at birth, and he was raised in orphanages. He located his mother in 1988 and took her to court in order to identify his father and legally use his name. The mother initially told Garne he was the son of an Algerian killed during the war, but she broke down during a 1994 court appearance, saying he was conceived when she was raped by French soldiers. The origin of the name Garne was not clear. ``I am the first to have dared to defy the state,'' Garne said after the ruling. ``I am not totally satisfied because I was not given a life pension, but it is important to have reopened the file on the Algerian war.'' The brutal seven-year war ended with independence for France's North African colony in 1962. A court had rejected a 1998 request by Garne for reparations. But the appeals court accepted the argument that as the fetus suffered from violence inflicted on the mother by French soldiers while she was pregnant and ruled that under the military pension system Garne was entitled to partial benefits for three years. The mother alleged in the 1994 court appearance that the soldiers came back later and hit her stomach with electrical wires after learning she was pregnant. In its decision, the court stressed its role was not ``to rewrite history'' but said the war led to ``unspeakable acts'' on both sides. Passions remain high in France and Algeria over the 1954-62 war. While atrocities have long been said to have been widespread on both sides, there has been no official acknowledgment from the government that abuses were committed by its soldiers. One of the examples is of the mistreatment by the Peruan Army soldiers of indigenous people in the Huancavelica district:To save their lives, the women put themselves at the service of the soldiers, even if they are good girls, and also the soldiers are leaving the women pregnant and when the children are born, no one accepts paternity. Even if the woman has principles and is married, the soldiers ignore it, they have their list, "No, you must join us tonight, let's see, we're going to take your statement." So there are 300 or 400 fatherless children. . . [then] the soldiers go to another base, who can you complain to, they are the only ones because they are the highest authorities. On the rare occasion women press for justice, they are met with silence or open ridicule. In 1991 María went with her father to ask an army commander to gather his troops so that she could identify the soldiers who raped her near Pampa Cangallo, Ayacucho. He complied but began to make fun of her in front of the troops. His scorn was so intense-including suggesting that she call her gestating baby "Navyman" if the rapist was a sailor, or "Little Soldier" if it was an army recruit-that María gave up in tears. 51 (http://www.humanrights-it.org/ing/parttwof.htm) Frida Lyngstad knew she was born of a wartime love affair but never knew her father was alive, writes Carl Magnus Palm, September 2 2001One Sunday in August 1977, Andrea Buchinger, a teenage West German Abba fan, was reading the pop magazine Bravo. It contained an article about the four members of the Swedish group. But when Andrea read what it said about Frida Lyngstad, Abba's brunette, she was startled.Alfred Haase with Frida, the daughter he fathered during the war It described her as the illegitimate child of a wartime love affair between a young girl and a German soldier in Nazi-occupied Norway. The German, who was thought to have perished, was identified as Alfred Haase -the name of Andrea's uncle. Andrea showed the magazine to her mother, who picked up the phone and called Haase. She couldn't get through, but reached his son Peter, 30, who went over to confront his father. Haase, 58, was a grandfather who earned his living as a pastry cook in the town of Karlsruhe. That evening, he and his wife Anna were at home in their flat watching television. Suddenly his son stormed in and said that he had to speak to him urgently, in private.Secret past that rocked Abba http://www.sunday- times.co.uk/news/pages/sti/2001/09/02/stir evnws02001.html For many years Frida continued to look for family happiness, while Abba disbanded. Three years ago, her daughter Lise-Lotte was killed in a car accident at the age of 30. A year later Frida's third husband, Ruzzo, died of cancer. She disappeared completely from public life for several months. But she has recently seemed to be firmly in control of her life at last. "I've realised that I'm a very strong woman," she said. "I also have a strong faith in God. I guess that is what's helped me through this." © Carl Magnus Palm 2001 Taken from Bright Lights, Dark Shadows, the Real Story of Abba by Carl Magnus Palm, Omnibus Press.Knowing me, knowing you: Frida, second from left, was at the height of her fame with the band when she received a phone call from a man claiming to be her father Clapton thanks reporter Wednesday, September 16, 1998 http://www.canoe.ca/JamMusicArtistsC/clapton _eric.html Clapton greets reporter who hunted down his long lost kin My friend who introduced me to the song was right --when I first heard My Father's Eyes, I knew that my quest for Edward Fryer would end only when I had found the man.My own introduction to Clapton came in 1973, when I was a troubled teenager living in a Montreal group home.The old Palace Theatre on Ste. Catherine Street was showing a re-release of the 1968 farewell concert given by Cream, the rock power trio that launched Clapton into superstardom.After I saw Clapton on film and heard his searing, powerful guitar solos, I decided, on the spot, to become a rock guitarist as well.My admiration for Clapton never waned, even when he released decidedly toned-down records like 461 Ocean Blvd. Against the advice of guitarist friends who turned their nose up at Clapton in favour of either Jimmy Page or Jimi Hendrix, I bought a single ticket for my idol's 1974 performance at the Montreal Forum.And when I learned that he, like myself, had grown up in a broken home without a father, I fantasized that Clapton would somehow find out about my plight and take me to live with him in England.Over the years I matured, forsaking my dream of becoming a guitarist myself in favour of writing, a more natural ability.But I never lost respect for Clapton. In fact, I came to respect how the man grew with each new, overwhelming obstacle that life seemed to continuously hurl his way.It was with this attitude that I launched into the task of finding Clapton's father, a veritable needle in a haystack.The document told me that Clapton's father was born in Montreal onMarch 21, 1920, and died in Newmarket, outside Toronto, on May 15, 1985. Fryer never knew that he had fathered a worldfamous pop star. I also learned that, like the son he would never know, Fryer had a penchant for beautiful women. He fell in love and married many times.I spent a month interviewing and poring over service records before I finally had enough information to visit the Ottawa courthouse and request the death certificate for Edward Walter Fryer. Tuesday, March 31, 1998A father foundEric Clapton reads about the man he never knew --and he's both 'fascinated' and `furious'By JANE STEVENSON --Sun MediaBritish blues guitar legend Eric Clapton could never have anticipated My Father's Eyes, the first single off his new album Pilgrim, would prompt an Ottawa newspaper to flesh out new information about his Canadian father.And, frankly, he's got mixed feelings about it."I got it faxed to me when I was in London," said Clapton, 52, during a rare interview in Toronto yesterday prior to tomorrow night's launch of the Pilgrim tour in Minneapolis."It's fascinating," Clapton continued. "What do I make of it? I mean, I had two things. First of all, I was furious that I have to find this stuff out through a newspaper. I think it was very intrusive --but then, newspapers are. "Then I thought, this is great. The upside, the positive is, that it supplied me with information I'd never had before." The story, published Thursday, reveals the life and times of Clapton's Montreal-born father, Edward Fryer, who was a 24-year-old Canadian soldier stationed in Britain during the Second World War when he met 16-year-old Patricia Clapton. She said Americans who fathered Amerasian children need to try to find them. This Father's Day, she plans to write a special tribute to her dad. "I know now that he didn't have to do what he did for me," Orchid said. "A lot of men didn't. I am very appreciative, and I feel very blessed."They'll say, 'I don't want nothing from them. I just want to see what he looks like.' " The Invisible Lives of Amerasians Los Angeles Times: 28 april 2000. Whether in Vietnam or the U.S., war-era offspring still find it a struggle to belong. By SCOTT GOLD, Times Staff Writer My Nguyen, abandoned as an infant in Vietnam, never knew his GI father's name. Showing scars of cancer, he seldom leaves his Westminster home. The American Dream SAIGON DE-SLEAZED... THE LONG ARM OF THE US DOLLAR... A COUNCIL OF THE POOR BY THE RIVER... GIs' CHILDREN LEAP IN THE DARK... AN IMPOSSIBLE FANTASY INTHE MEKONG DELTA new internationalist issue 216 -February 1991 Photo: Chris Brazier Source: http://www.etan.org/et99b/september/12-18/13rape.htmEast Timor's children of the enemy The Weekend Australian, Edition 1 SAT 10 MAR 2001, Page 001 By: Sian Powell * Dili . Before the war some of the commonest names in Monrovia were Dennis, Gibson, Browne, Henries, Jones and Graham. Liberian children now bear names such as Dongoyaro, Babangida, Ogandare (Nigerian names), Dumbouya. Toure (Guinean names) Kwesi, Kwame (Ghanaian names). The Liberian government has made no official statement about the welfare of these children. But the country's Constitution accords citizenship Source: http://allafrica.com/stories/printable/200103130272. html 5.000 ecomog kids abandoned in Liberia P. M. News, April 21, 1999 Moses Uchendu Source: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2001/04/04/story/ 0000080307 Algeria: Son of raped girl recognised as a victim of warJon Henley in Paris Friday November 23, 2001 The Guardian Some names have been changed. http://www.guardian.co.uk/Kosovo/Story/0,2763,19 4366,00.html BIRTH DATE Age At Birth Age At Birth BIRTH PLACE MARITAL STATUS RELIGION EDUCATION OCCUPATION MILITARY BRANCH ANCESTRY DESCRIPTION HEIGHT WEIGHT HAIR EYES HEIGHT WEIGHT HAIR EYES OTHER CHILDREN PARENT'S NAMES Birth Mother Birth Father REMARKS: (use a separate sheet if needed) I, the undersigned hereby give my permission to the International Soundex Reunion Registry to release this vital information to the person(s) for whom this search is conducted. I understand this permission is necessary for the verification of identity, and my relationship to the missing person. __ ALTERNATIVE ADDRESS AND/OR PHONE__________________________________________________________ "THIS IS YOUR REGISTRY -YOUR CONTRIBUTION IS TAX DEDUCTIBLE" ©1993 International Soundex Reunion Registry THANK YOU! PLEASE PRINT, SIGN AND MAIL THIS FORM TO THE ADDRESS LISTED AT THE TOP OF PAGE ONE INTERNATIONAL SOUNDEX REUNION REGISTRY ISRR • P.O. BOX 2312 • CARSON CITY, NEVADA 89702 • (775) 882-7755 Dear Registrant:Signature____________________________________________________________Date___________________ Email: Robert Ballenger, amerasia@hvision.com, P.O Box 075, Olongapo City 2200 Phillipines. This organisation works for everybody that because of their background are affected by the second world war. These includes children of nazi-members and war children. http://www.werkgroepherkenning.nl/ e-mail:, herkenning@xs4all.nl Herkenning publishes a International Bulletin available from: Gonda Scheffel -Baars, Nieuwsteeg 12, scheffelbaars@wxs.nl For information on Children of the German Soldiers in the Netherlands contact: ckdmnl@hotmail.com War Babes In 1984 Shirley McGlade, a Birmingham (England) woman, who had been trying to find her American soldier father for several years established "War Babes" a support group for other adults wishing to make contact with their American fathers. 52 "War Babes" Shirley McGlade 15, Plough Avenue South Woodgate, Birmingham, B32 3TQ, EnglandPamela Winfield who had been a war bride, returned to England following the death of her husband, and established Trans-Atlantic Children's Enterprise" (Trace).UK TRACE Pamela Winfield President TRACE (Transatlantic Children's Endeavours) The Coach House Btn 28/30 Langley Avenue Surbiton Surrey UK KT6 6QP http://www.transnational.org/forum/power/1997/pow19-2.html 6 The organisation ECPAT -End Child Prostitution, Child Pornography and the Trafficking of Children for Sexual Purposes, the 1998 recipient of Rafto Prize is working for this group of children, like in Calcutta. It is estimated that 95% of the children of prostitutes in Bombay themselves become prostitutes. The number of mixed-race children in the Philippines continues to grow, as the country has become a major recipient of grownup sex-tourists. . Assistance in claiming compensation from governments http://www.coax.net/people/lwf/children.htm In Norwegian: http://digitalarkivet.uib.no/delmhist.htm, also in English at http://digitalarkivet.uib.no/delmhisteng.htm http://www.channel4.com/untold/programs/babies/page2.html Olga Rains: Children of the Liberation, http://www.project-roots.com/childrenoflib.html 19 http://www.project-roots.com/forgotten.html The estimate is based on the following figures: 8020 children from the German soldiers were registered in the years 1941-1943, that is approximately 2000 per year. Since more children were born in 1945 and 1946 the estimate is set to 12000. http://www.guardian.co.uk/Archive/Article/0,4273,3932200,00.html 22 http://www.rheashope.com/rheashouse/research/stolenchildren.shtml 23 Aftenposten July 5, 2001. Ebba Drolshagen: Det skulle de ikke slippe godt fra. Side 185. 25 (E/CN.4/1995/42) UN rapporteur on violence against women 26 To read the stories of some comfort women, see: http://www.cmht.com/casewatch/cases/cwcomfort2.htm Quoted from: The First Amerasians, By Jim Zwick, Friends of Filipino People Bulletin (Winter 1994).http://www.boondocksnet.com/sctexts/zwiw94_2.html 32 http://www.inquirer.net/issues/jan2001/jan27/hometown/hom_4.htm http://www.undp.org/hiv/publications/gender/violencee.htm 34 www.pcug.org.au/~wildwood/01marchildren.htm This is confirmed by Bishop Belo. He wrote in a 7 September 1991 report on the reign of terror in the territory that the problem of illegitimate children (fathered by Indonesian soldiers) was very serious in East Timor. AFP: Scars of vote violence remain real for many East Timor women, November 19, 2000 http://www.etan.org/et99b/september/12-18/13rape.htm Included in the Documentation and articles section. Rewritten form the Sexual Violence report pages: 9-10 From Human Rights Watch http://www.hrw.org/reports/1996/Rwanda.htm http://allafrica.com/stories/200106220097.html http://www.undp.org/hiv/publications/gender/violencee.htm, number of pregnancies from Save the Children, Norway. http://www.hrw.org/about/projects/womrep/P1119_245701 Organisations working for war children: http://www.coax.net/people/lwf/children.htm