The Women of Anna Freud's War Nurseries: Their Life and Work

Author(s) : Christiane Ludwig-Koerner

The Women of Anna Freud's War Nurseries: Their Life and Work

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In this volume, Christiane Ludwig-Körner describes the lives and work of the staff members of the War Nurseries set up and run by Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham during the Second World War.

The Women of Anna Freud’s War Nurseries looks in turn at each of the women who helped run the homes in Hampstead: Alice Goldberger, Sophie and Gertrud Dann, Manna Friedmann, Anneliese Schnurmann, Ilse Hellman and Hansi Kennedy. As young women, they narrowly escaped the Holocaust and dedicated themselves to children who had suffered the same fate. Few arrived with any knowledge of psychoanalytic theories or methods; this volume charts their education from Freud and Burlingham, which eventually lead to both Freud’s independent psychoanalytic child therapy training and the young women’s embarkment on careers as professional analysts. Using case studies throughout, Ludwig-Körner illustrates the intense relationships often experienced between children in care and their analysts/carers, and uses the children of the War Nurseries as examples for how contemporary psychoanalysts can work with children today.

This book is essential reading for psychoanalysts, especially those working with children, as well as scholars and professionals interested in the history of child analysts and childhood trauma.

Reviews and Endorsements

This book presents the long-forgotten work of young women who themselves had escaped the Holocaust and, under the direction of Anna Freud, offered a home to evacuated children and war orphans after World War II - and also found a new home themselves. Written with heart and soul, it is based on numerous interviews, conducted over a period of 20 years, and is an incomparable document that shows how new attachments were formed and enriched the lives of these children and their carers over decades.
Inge Seiffge-Krenke, PhD, psychoanalyst, Professor for Psychology, Head of the Department of Developmental and Psychology at the University of Mainz, Germany

Table of Contents


Part I - From the Edith Jackson nursery to the War Nurseries

Part II - Female Staff in the War Nurseries
1. Alice Goldberger: Mother of the Lingfield House Children
2. Sophie and Gertrude Dann: Home for the Children from Theresienstadt
3. Manna Friedmann: Surviving to Ensuring the Survival of Others
4. Anneliese Schnurmann: Wanderer between Worlds
5. Ilse Hellmann: "From War Babies to Grandmothers"
6. Hansi Kennedy: A Life for the Hampstead Child Therapy Clinic

Part III - Anna Freud: Interweaving Life, Work and Research

About the Author(s)

Christiane Ludwig-Körner is a psychologist, psychoanalyst, training analyst and supervisor for the IPA. She has taught developmental and clinical psychology at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, and at the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin (IPU), Germany, where she now holds a senior professorship

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