The article examines the activities of Prehrana, one of the most prominent charity organisations in Zagreb and in Croatia between the two world wars, whose main activity was to provide hot meals for the needy. The analysis firstly shows how this organization, which had been established in the Habsburg period, became part of the local Jewish philanthropic tradition, and an integral part of public assistance to the poor during the interwar years, thus somewhat blurring the border between the private and the public. Secondly, I show how Prehrana, although quite a traditional charity institution with regard to its organisation and gender division of labour, nonetheless shaped its philanthropic activity in new ways: existing practices were remodelled and new infrastructures were created. This case study is emblematic of the prominent role played by voluntary associations in the interwar Eastern European transition from traditional poor relief to the socialist welfare regime. Finally, the article argues that voluntary and public organizations were both deeply concerned with the issue of social control. Carefully distinguishing the poor along hierarchised social scales, refining and deepening gender and social differences, humanitarian associations like Prehrana significantly contributed to shaping and disciplining poverty in Yugoslav interwar society.

Soup Kitchens and Yugoslav Poor Relief between the Two World Wars

Petrungaro, Stefano
2019

Abstract

The article examines the activities of Prehrana, one of the most prominent charity organisations in Zagreb and in Croatia between the two world wars, whose main activity was to provide hot meals for the needy. The analysis firstly shows how this organization, which had been established in the Habsburg period, became part of the local Jewish philanthropic tradition, and an integral part of public assistance to the poor during the interwar years, thus somewhat blurring the border between the private and the public. Secondly, I show how Prehrana, although quite a traditional charity institution with regard to its organisation and gender division of labour, nonetheless shaped its philanthropic activity in new ways: existing practices were remodelled and new infrastructures were created. This case study is emblematic of the prominent role played by voluntary associations in the interwar Eastern European transition from traditional poor relief to the socialist welfare regime. Finally, the article argues that voluntary and public organizations were both deeply concerned with the issue of social control. Carefully distinguishing the poor along hierarchised social scales, refining and deepening gender and social differences, humanitarian associations like Prehrana significantly contributed to shaping and disciplining poverty in Yugoslav interwar society.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3709152
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