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date: 30 November 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Concerns over children’s physical health and ability were shared experiences across post–World War II societies, and the figure of the child was often used as a tool to reach over the Iron Curtain. However, key differences in how children with polio were perceived, and as a result treated, followed Cold War fault lines. Concepts of an individual’s role in society shaped medical treatment and views of disability, which contributed to the celebrated polio child in one environment and her invisibility in another. Thus, through the lens of disability, new perspectives have emerged on the history of the Cold War, polio, and childhood.

Keywords: polio, Cold War, Hungary, rehabilitation, communism, eastern Europe, children

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