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Balas, A. (2000). Children Surviving Persecution: An International Study of Healing and Trauma: Judith Kestenberg and Charlotte Kahn. Westport, CT and London: Praeger. 1998.. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 81(6):1235-1238.

(2000). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 81(6):1235-1238

Children Surviving Persecution: An International Study of Healing and Trauma: Judith Kestenberg and Charlotte Kahn. Westport, CT and London: Praeger. 1998.

Review by:
Anna Balas

When I accepted this review assignment, I did not anticipate how difficult it would be to approach such an emotionally taxing subject. This collection of essays contains deeply disturbing historical information about children during World War II, and first-hand reports of interviews of these youngsters many decades later. Just as the generation of adults from the Second World War have been slowly dying off, now the children themselves are getting older. It is therefore all the more important to obtain direct data from them while this is still possible. Indeed, much of the new information in the volume comes from worldwide interviews of child survivors sponsored by the International Study of Organized Persecution of Children (ISOPC), founded by Judith and Milton Kestenberg in 1981. Under its auspices, those children who were born between 1928 and 1944 and had lived in Nazi-occupied territories during World War II, officially designated as child survivors, were sought out and interviewed in recent years from all over the world. While the subjects were mainly Jewish, some Polish child survivors of Nazi persecution, children of Nazis and their collaborators were also interviewed. The purpose was both to bear testimony to historical events by this last generation of survivors, and also to investigate their adaptation over the years.

As there is some overlap between the two volumes, it is worthwhile to compare Children Surviving Persecution with the historic volume, Generations of the Holocaust (Bergmann & Jucovy, 1982).

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

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