The author examines insights into the psychological impact of separation from family and home, one of the most troubling catastrophes for children. The younger the children, the greater their suffering and the more prolonged the consequences. Through empirical research on the traumatization of children as victims of war and persecution, Hans Keilson in Holland and Anna Freud in Great Britain have transmitted fundamental insights that assist in psychoanalytic reflection on the effect of the Kindertransports. A child's processing of the psychological burdens of persecution, separation, and starting life over is one important aspect; problems of the caregivers, including physical and emotional reactions, must be taken just as seriously. The author argues that the psychoanalytical perspective on historical events is key to understanding the Kindertransports as a complex event whose consequences extend way beyond the time of rescue from persecution under National Socialism.


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pp. 85-99
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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