Jewish Children Hidden in France during World War II Who Stayed in France since Liberation: Psychology and Psychopathology Study

Article excerpt

Dear Editor,

Within the context of a special issue on the subject of the Shoah and Psychiatry, I would like to bring to the attention of journal readers a recent study for a doctoral degree I have just completed. It concerns the psychic construction of people who, as children, were hidden in order to escape threats to their lives during World War II, in France, because they were born Jewish. After setting out the historical context of the relationship between France and the Jews, and in particular the historical context of the period from 1939 to 1945, I outline different psychological theories of child development, as well as the life events that can interfere with the process of child development. Next, I present a review of the psychological literature, predominantly American and Israeli, concerning child survivors of the Holocaust, including "hidden children." In accordance with the complementarist research methodology proposed by Moro, I provide a detailed analysis of ten interviews with "hidden children" born in France between 1934 and 1941 to migrant parents. I also present summaries of twenty-five accounts from other people interviewed. …