Undzere Kinder Workshop

Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research
Center for Jewish History
YIVO Institute for Jewish Research

Childhood Trauma in Film: Unzere Kinder
(Our Children; Poland 1948)
אינדזערע קינדער
November 4, 2007 2-5 PM

This workshop screens and discusses the last Yiddish-language movie made in Poland. In this part docu-drama, part melancholic comedy produced (but never shown) in Poland in 1948, famous Yiddish comedians Dzigan and Szumacher visit the Helanowek orphanage near the city of Lodz to perform for an audience of Jewish orphans who survived the Holocaust. Their theatrical performance, although well-intentioned, stirs up painful memories of recent events, but also offends the children by the sentimentalized and naïve depiction of wartime conditions. Having all lived through the reality of separation and loss, the children start telling their stories…

In what has become a tradition during medical-psychiatric and psychoanalytic conferences around the world (e.g., International Academy of Law and Mental Health, Padua 2007; International Psychoanalytic Association Meeting, Rio de Janeiro 2005), Dr. Preter and colleagues continue their exploration of post-Shoah psychological trauma and its representation in film.

Maurice Preter, MD, Psychiatrist and Neurologist, Columbia University, New York
Isaac Tylim, PsyD, Psychologist and Psychoanalyst, IPTAR, New York

Harold J. Bursztajn, MD, Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge, Mass
Eva Kantor, PhD, Psychologist and Psychoanalyst, IPTAR, New York
Shimon Redlich, PhD (recorded video interview), Historian, Professor Emeritus; Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Israel
Marek Web, Senior Research Scholar and former Chief Archivist (1970-2002); YIVO Institute for Jewish Research, New York;
Eva Weil, PhD, Psychologist and Psychoanalyst, Paris Psychoanalytic Society, Paris/France.

Rather than a traditional panel discussion, this workshop will focus on group process and interaction as much among members of the audience as between the audience and the panelists. We would like participants to introduce themselves to their neighbors, form small groups (of 2, and then 4) and share their impressions of the film. Likewise, panelists will be interviewed in a one-on-one setting and share their personal histories, impressions, reactions, thoughts etc. about the film.

This event is sponsored by the Center for Jewish History, the Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research IPTAR (Art, Psychoanalysis, and Society Project) and the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research
Please note that this event will be recorded and may later be used for educational purposes and possible broadcasting.
For any questions, and to continue the discussion on-line, please contact Dr. Preter at mp2285@columbia.edu

Suggested Links:
Summary of the “Undzere Kinder” workshop at the 44th Congress of the International Psychoanalytical Association. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Shimon Redlich: Between History and Biography. Memories from Postwar Lodz. 2006

Joanna Michlic: The Children Accuse. SHCY. Winter 2007

Interview with Historian Shimon Redlich (child actor in Undzere Kinder)

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