Moral Panic: The Child Soldiers of the Warsaw Uprising
This chapter explores narratives surrounding the figure of the child soldier, with a particular focus on the Warsaw Uprising of 1944. My discussion examines the tensions that are inherent to the portrayals of children in armed conflict and unpacks the taboos associated with the cultural constructions of childhood. The chapter points to the complex interaction between the enduring narratives of resistance and struggle for independence, which are characteristic of Poland, and the international humanitarian discourse tied to the use of children in war, which goes beyond the local context. My argument is that moral panic, which comes into light in recent criticism of the use of child soldiers in armed resistance, can be seen as an expression of contemporary liberal standpoint which rejects the traditional values of dying for one’s homeland.