Met de kindertrein naar België | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 6, Issue 2/3
  • ISSN: 2588-8277
  • E-ISSN: 2667-162X



From 1923 onwards, children’s trains travelled from Hungary to Belgium (and back). Upon arrival, the children were placed in Catholic foster homes. There, they could recuperate from the hardships they had endured during the First World War and the subsequent revolutions in their home country. The attitude of Belgian Catholics toward foreign countries can be broadly framed within an ‘internationalist turn’ of contemporary Catholicism. As a result, there was extensive propaganda in Belgium for this Children’s Action. One of the pivotal figures was priest and historian Floris Prims. In August 1924, he travelled on a children’s train to Budapest, after which he gave dozens of lantern lectures throughout Flanders about the situation in Hungary and the importance of this Belgian-Hungarian Children’s Work. In this article, we frame Prims’ lectures within the Catholic struggle against the rising of socialism and communism. Thus, the central question of this article is on how the lantern was used for the social mobilisation of the Catholic population.


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