'There is No Icebreaker like a Tiny Child': Reuniting British Military Families in Cold War Germany

Grace Huxford
2022 Contemporary European History  
Family reunion had a deeply practical and symbolic significance in post-war Europe. Through the case study of British military families living in Germany, this article examines both official discourse and families' own experiences of reunion and life overseas in the first decades of the Cold War, through the three national but also international visions of the family: as emblems of familial and domestic stability, as 'unofficial ambassadors' promoting European unity and as friendly faces of
more » ... ern democracy. In all cases, the article shows the ways that official messages were embraced, subverted or ignored by families, highlighting the value of exploring context-specific agency. Military families seemingly lived in a world of limited choices, but a range of life narratives show how they came to see aspects of their family life as resolutely theirs.
doi:10.1017/s0960777322000248 fatcat:qqwlhlp2ajfovccuhmtbhfsjue