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Kestenberg, J.S. (1993). Sequential Traumatization of Children: By Hans Keilson, with Herman Sarphatie. Translated from German by Yvonne Bearne, Hilary Coleman, and Deirdre Winter. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press. 1992. Pp. 463. German edition: Ferdinand Enke Verlag, 1979.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 74:863-864.

(1993). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 74:863-864

Sequential Traumatization of Children: By Hans Keilson, with Herman Sarphatie. Translated from German by Yvonne Bearne, Hilary Coleman, and Deirdre Winter. Jerusalem: The Magnes Press. 1992. Pp. 463. German edition: Ferdinand Enke Verlag, 1979.

Review by:
Judith S. Kestenberg

This important book about the psychology of orphans who survived the Holocaust in Holland brought a new dimension into our thinking about trauma, namely, the sequential traumatisation of children.

When the children were freed, some felt strong conflicts between loyalty to foster parents and loyalty to their relatives. Others repudiated their Jewishness, as if they were still afraid of being caught and deported to an unknown destination. Keilson divides the fate of the children into three sequences: (1) the beginning of the persecution, beginning with the occupation of Holland in 1940, ending with a separation from mother; (2) the time in hiding or in concentration camps until liberation and the return to Holland; and (3) the post-liberation time, in which some children remained with their wartime foster parents and others had to return to the Jewish community. Not only loyalty and identity conflicts, but the problems of mourning their deceased parents beset the children.

The Committee for War Time Foster Children (OPK Commission), instituted on 13 August 1935, awarded guardianship to whomever they deemed necessary, in the best interest of the child. Some cases were disputed by relatives and had to be brought to court, and this resulted in a considerable turmoil. A Jewish organisation, Ezrat Hayeled (Help to the Child), stepped in and provided psychotherapy, social service, and special Hebrew homes. Children were sometimes placed in various Jewish foster homes or Hebrew

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