Mother, Father, Child, Health – the History of Reproduction

Mother, Father, Child, Health – the History of Reproduction

Deutsch-Polnische Gesellschaft für Geschichte der Medizin e.V., Zentrum für Historische Forschung Berlin der Polnischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, Institut für Geschichte der Medizin und Ethik in der Medizin der Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin (Zentrum für Historische Forschung Berlin der Polnischen Akademie der Wissenschaften)
Zentrum für Historische Forschung Berlin der Polnischen Akademie der Wissenschaften
Berlin (online)
Gefördert durch
Deutsch-Polnische Wissenschaftsstiftung
Vom - Bis
03.06.2021 - 04.06.2021
Fritz Dross

The 18th Conference of the German-Polish Society for the History of Medicine co-organized witht he Centre for Historical Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Berlin and the Institute for the History of Medicine and Ethics in Medicine of the Charité Medical University
online, 3–4 June 2021

Mother, Father, Child, Health – the History of Reproduction

Reproduction is a subject in the ongoing debates on “marriage for all” and “rainbow families” and has sociocultural implications with regard to medical progress, such as uterus transplantation, not to mention the decades old intense debate on the topic of abortion. The aim of the conference is to sound out the historical dimensions of these problems across a broad field where human biology, reproductive medicine, family policy, and government social programmes intersect with fundamental conceptions of desired or feared social developments which are projected onto religious and cultural ideals. Using the example of the changing political, social, cultural and scientific relations between Germans and Poles and the corresponding interconnections in Central Europe, a historical understanding of the role of medicine in the conceptions of family and gender, as well as of the role of relevant socio-cultural institutions and medical development professionals will be examined. The history of reproduction opens the floor for addressing fundamental questions about historical anthropology.

More information including the abstracts at

The conference will be held in English and broadcast online via Zoom.

To register, please click here:
First day of the conference, 3 June 2021
Second day of the conference, 4 June 2021

Streaming live without registration will be available on the YouTube Channel of the Centre for Historical Research of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Berlin:


Day 1: Thursday, 3 June 2021

09.00–09.30: Opening

09.30–11.00: Reproductive Behaviour and the Private: Numbers and Meanings

Fumbling towards Fertility Control: Fertility Decisions in German Ego-Documents 1800-1945
Katerina Piro (University of Mannheim)

Is Marriage so Sacred? Extramarital Births in West Prussia at the Turn of the 19th and 20th Centuries
Hadrian Michał Ciechanowski (Nicolaus Copernicus University in Toruń)

Divergent Narratives on Family Planning in Interwar Poland. An Interdisciplinary Approach to Historical Sources
Elisa-Maria Hiemer (Herder Institute, Marburg)

11.30–13.00: Mother and Child

“A New Woman” as a Single Mother – in Essays, Popular Literature, and Films in the 1930s Poland
Małgorzata Radkiewicz (Jagiellonian University, Kraków)

How to Bring Up Healthy Kids. Changing the Understanding of Childcare in State-Socialist Czechoslovakia
Kateřina Lišková (Masaryk University, Brno)

Industrial Worker as Mother. Some Remarks about the Debate on the Motherhood of Workers in the Local Press of Łódź in the 20th Century
Kamil Śmiechowski (University of Łódź)

14.00–15.30: Public Health and Public Discourse in the Interwar Period.

The League of Jewish Women of Wrocław and Its Activities in the Field of Reproductive Health Protection and Health of a Woman and Her Child at the Beginning of the 20th Century
Izabela Spielvogel (Opole University of Technology).

Die Mutter (1924–26): Reproduction, Representation, and Women’s Public Health in Red Vienna
Alys George (University of Vienna)

Debating Birth control in Polish-Jewish Contexts at the End of the 1920s: the Case of Ewa
Heidi Hein-Kircher (Herder Institute Marburg)

16.00–17.00: Experts and the Public in Reproduction Discourses

Girls into Women, Boys into Men: an Expert’s Discourse and the Press in a Medium-Sized City in Interwar Poland. The Example of Tarnów
Marcin Wilk (Polish Academy of Sciences)

Physicians as the main actors in the debate over birth control in 20th century Czechoslovakia
Veronika Lacinová Najmanová (University of Pardubice)

17.15–18.15: Reproduction and the Material World: Architecture and Industrial Design.......15

The Architecture of Sexuality
Aleksandra Jakóbczyk-Gola (University of Warsaw / Polish History Museum)

The Aesthetics of Biopolitics: Modern Design for Reproductive Healthcare in Denmark and Russia Yulia Karpova (University of Copenhagen)

Day 2: Friday, 4 June 2021

09.00–10.30: Midwives as Experts

City Midwives in Thorn/Toruń and Danzig/Gdańsk in the 18th Century: Between Legal Provisions and Everyday Reality
Katarzyna Pękacka-Falkowska (Poznań University of Medical Sciences)

Between Public Health Services and their Clientele: Midwives in Poland in the First Half of the 20th century
Elżbieta Kassner (Leibniz University Hannover)

Nurse, Midwife, Nazi, President – the Biography of Margarete Lungershausen (1892–1973)
Anja Katharina Peters (Hochschule Neubrandenburg)

11.00–12.30: Clerical, Political, and Medical Advice

Doctor Sofia Parfanovych and Popular Reproductive Medical Advice in Interwar Lviv
Kateryna Ruban (New York University)

Love and Calendar: The Catholic Church and Family Planning in Poland (1930–1956/1957)
Natalia Jarska (Polish Academy of Sciences) Sylwia Kuźma-Markowska (University of Warsaw)

A Slovak Woman – the Mother of Slovak Nation?
Denisa Nešťáková (Herder Institute, Marburg)

13.30–14.30: Abortion Cultures

The Abortion Culture in Interwar Poland. Quantitative and Qualitative Study in Social History
Bartosz Ogórek (Pedagogical University of Kraków)

The Legal Abortion Regulations in the Soviet Occupation Zone/German Democratic Republic and the People’s Republic of Poland in Comparison
Paweł Kaźmierski (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)

15.00–16.00: Fertility and Sterilisation

Continuity of “Race Hygiene”? Discourses and Practices of Sterilization in the Soviet Occupied Area and the Early GDR 1945–1961
Stefan Jehne (Humboldt University of Berlin / Leibnitz Centre of Contemporary History in Potsdam)

“The Male Factor”. Sexological and Endocrinological Responses to Male Fertility and Infertility in State-Socialist Poland
Michalina Augusiak (University of Warsaw)

16.30–17.30: Silent and Noisy Revolutions: Discourses on Reproduction in Late 20th Century

“Reproductive Rights”, “Killing of Unborn Children”, “Pornography”. A Discourse Analysis of Changes and Continuities in Polish Debates on Reproductive Health and Sexuality before and during the Transformation
Michael Zok (German Historical Institute Warsaw)

Brave New Families? Reproductive Practices between Medical Progress and Social Imaginings of Family Roles
Julia Reus (Ruhr University Bochum, DFG Project “Prekäre Verwandtschaft”)

17.45–18.30: Comments, final discussion