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Kennedy, H. (2009). Children in Conflict: Anna Freud and the War Nurseries. Psychoanal. St. Child, 64:306-319.

(2009). Psychoanalytic Study of the Child, 64:306-319

Children in Conflict: Anna Freud and the War Nurseries

Hansi Kennedy, M.D.

THE WAR NURSERIES STARTED ON A SMALL SCALE, INITIALLY TO PROVIDE temporary shelter for bombed-out families. Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham planned this at the height of the London Blitz (October 1940), when the East End of London had been reduced to rubble and chaos. Many families spent the hours of darkness in deep underground shelters (a famous one, the Tilbury Shelter in Commercial Road, catered to eight thousand people), or they slept with their babies on bunks erected on platforms in London Underground stations, with trains passing through until midnight. Often they discovered in the morning that their houses had been made uninhabitable or destroyed.

Anna Freud had obtained the loan of a house in Wedderburn Road, a former Swedish student hostel furnished and equipped for community living, and some funding from private donors.

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