Anna Freud: Part 3 – ‘The curse is cast’

By Robert Whiston FRSA, November 2009

Post 1945 – Theresienstadt and the ‘Bulldogs Bank’ Experiment

With the end of hostilities in both Europe and the Far East the process of putting families back together again could begin.

As the Axis powers had been rolled back the civilians liberated were at last able to return to their countries, towns and villages and be reunited with their relatives.

With the final surrender displaced prisoners-of-war and slave workers could also begin the long trek home to their families.

Concentrations camps, both German and Japanese, were opened and the years following 1945 effectively saw mass migrations both east and westward across Europe, swollen by millions of former prisoners-of-war held by the Allies and Axis powers being transferred home. No less than 7 million aliens were on the move within the borders of defeated Germany in 1945: some fleeing Soviet forces, some heading eastwards to home, some just trying to survive.

Special camps had to be set up for those with no known nationality, or who no longer had any living relatives, or whose countries refused to taken them back because of border or political changes etc. These people became known as “displaced persons” or DPs. [1] Many had lost or had confiscated their legitimate paperwork detailing their name, nationality and where they lived etc.

Among the many slave workers liberated were a small group of Spanish men taken prisoner by Franco and then transferred to the Nazis to work on the underground bunkers in the Channel Islands (see Part 2). Where could they safely go, back to Franco’s Spain ?

The figure of 6 millions Jews dying in Europe well known but dwarfed by the 200 million non-Jews who died in slave labour work camps, were killed, executed or starved to death.

The new Attlee government was faced with competing demands that stretched from Europe to the Far East. International obligations meant food had to be purchased to feed the 3 million ‘displaced person’ and PoWs in Europe. In Palestine there were 100,000 British troops tied down by factional fighting among the two main Semite tribes (1945 – 1947); India was on the verge of internecine slaughter; and the US had cut off all funding to a bankrupt Britain. [2]

With a larder that was bare Britain had obligations towards her share of 8 million German soldiers captured by the Western Allies who had to be fed and clothed not just while awaiting demobilisation but long after they had returned to a homeland with empty food storages and no crops to harvest. Other counties were equally decimated and on the edge of starvation, e.g. Belgium and Holland. Both the Dutch and the French wanted to regain administrative control of their former colonies in the Far East and placed demands on already hard pressed Allied shipping to get their troops out there as quickly as possible.

In this, the final part, the developments begun in 1946 with the Theresienstadt orphans and consolidated during the 1950 by Bowlby will be covered; events which helped determine the shape and values of the present ‘life structure’ we inhabit.

Bulldogs Bank Study

With the rest centres closing as demand evaporated and the wartime Hampstead War Nursery concept yet to be converted into the Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic, 1946 saw Anna Freud begin a co-operative venture with and Sophie Dann. [3] A unique opportunity arose to observe children who had been orphaned and traumatised in Tereisenstadt, a German concentration camp liberated by the Russians. It involved just six orphaned Jewish children who had lived most of their lives in the camp.

Theresienstadt (also known in Czech as Terezín), had been a Nazi ‘show camp’ that had featured in their propaganda films but as the need for such films diminished in the closing years of the war, conditions became no better than other concentration camps (given the sheer scale of people displacement mentioned above, some must have been children and they must have numbered more than 6).

Freud and Dann’s experiments with children took place at the Bulldogs Bank Home, in Sussex. This was an imposing Sussex house donated for these children by Lady Betty Clarke, a friend of Anna Freud’s and according to Elizabeth Young-Bruehl, (US academic 1988) their care was financed by the Foster Parents’ Plan.

This gave Freud and Sophie Dann an opportunity to observe extreme parental deprivation. Anna Freud and Dann wrote about the children’s ability to find substitute affections among their peers, in ‘An Experiment in Group Upbringing’.

The six war orphans had been placed in concentration camps with their mothers, by the Nazis during the Second World War Their parent(s) had subsequently been killed not long after their imprisonment and the infants were looked after as far was possible by some of the other pris­oners. It might be more accurate to describe them as totally neglected as they lacked basic speech abilities when they first arrived in England. This would indicate no adult input at a young but crucial stage of a baby’s development.

The Theresienstadt Children in England

Conditions in the camp were unimaginably harsh. Food was scarce and what there was available was thrown to them as if they were animals. There were none of the assumed childhood ‘basics’ such as toys and no one took much notice of them – being consumed with their own survival, one must presuppose.

In such circumstances it would have been impossible to form any strong bonds with adults, as none would have been around for long enough. This presented as a problem on arrival in England for they did no know that interaction and social skills are fundamental to all balanced human beings.

When the war ended and the camp closed the infants were moved to several camps, until they eventually arrived at the Bulldogs Bank reception centre in Surrey, England.

At the time of their arrival, the youngest way approximately three years old, and the oldest was about three years and ten months. It was found that the six children had several things in common.

  1. They had probably never known their mothers and presumably their fathers.
  2. They had no opportunities to form attachments with caregivers (there were none).
  3. They had endured awful living conditions and received virtually no stimulation of any kind.
  4. They had been moved around a lot, and so were not pleased at being moved again.
  5. They couldn’t talk very much, and they knew only a few German and Czechoslovakian swear words. They didn’t know what to do with normal toys, and they destroyed all of the toys they could find – and most of the furniture too.
  6. They did each adopt one special toy, usually a cuddly toy, which they kept near them and always took to bed with them.

Initially they were also hostile and aggressive towards adults – prone to ‘acting up’. When they arrived the solidarity of the six exhibited towards each other was striking enough to be commented upon extensively:

“The feelings of the six children toward each other show a warmth and spontaneity that are unheard of in ordinary relations between young contemporaries” (A. Freud & S Dann, 1951).

Freud and Dann found that the orphans from Theresienstadt would only turn to an adult if they actually needed something which they couldn’t have in any other way, and as they began to settle, their personalities began to emerge (these were traits recognisable among the Basque refugees initially though to a lesser degree).

Addendum,2010 – In ‘Anna Freud Part Two’, Freud’s motives in choosing only small numbers of children was questioned (see Small Numbers and Study Sample). Samples and surveys depend on a broad cross-section and a large enough sample to make reliable comparisons and/or predictions. Small samples make extrapolations highly suspect.

In a BBC television programme broadcast in April 2010, detailed the fate of 300 Jewish child refugees who had survived the Nazi concentration camps and then death marches during World War II (  When the war ended in 1945, many of the Jewish adults and children still held in camps were eventually able to make their way home and begin rebuilding their lives. But hundreds of orphans who had survived had no home or family left to which to return.

The Red Cross appealed to the Allies to provide new homes to survivors of the Holocaust. British Jews wanted to help and they persuaded the British government to offer homes to 1,000 children under the age of 16.

The first 300 orphans were flown out in a RAF Stirling bomber in August 1945 bound for the clean air of Windermere, in Cumbria. One of 30 girls airlifted out was Minia Munter – she and others had been freed from the Theresienstadt camp (liberated by the Russians). Others in the group of 1,000 had survived Auschwitz and other death camps. They spent about 6 months in the Lake District recuperating and resting before dispersed to other towns. Some would later emigrate to live in other countries.

Frued’s decision not to make use of these child refugees – at least in part is baffling. A study of 1,000 represents a very good sample size.

Her choice to study 6 of the worst cases (all infants) and not 300 or 1,000 of the more representative instances and age ranges is puzzling – particularly so when the result from such an aberrant group of 6 is then allowed to be adopted for use by the judiciary in custody decisions. The criticisms levelled at Freud in Part Two re: numbers and the Basque children (1937), can therefore be made again in the post 1945 era. 

The Instinctive ‘Collective’

Two other characteristics the 6 shared were that they had been together for all their lives and they were totally devoted to each other (these traits were only partially in evidence among the Basque children who had grown up in the same streets or neighbourhoods).

They did everything together and apparently refused to be separated for any reason. For example, if one couldn’t go out to the shops or to play, none would want to go out. If one woke up at night, the others would soon be awake. When one stopped eating, they would all stop eating. They did everything as a group.

There was not a single child who was always the leader; each would take ‘the lead’ in different activities. To put it simply, they appeared to be totally attached to each other and had worked out a form of democracy (see ‘Feral children’ below).

It proved different to treat any one of them as an individual even though they each had different needs.

This was the power of the group acting together as a group. Their preference for group cooperation rather than allowing one child to dominant as leader made it virtually impossible to get through to them on the normal one-to-one basis.

However, they eventually learned to speak and play like normal children and gradually they formed emotional relationships with some of the adult members of staff.

They slowly recovered from their early deprivations, but remained attached to each other. What this study shows is that children can survive without mothers, although from information in the public domain, we do not know if any of these children suffered emotional prob­lems in their later lives.

By this route Freud established the importance of the Ego’s function and the concept of the defence mechanism. She parted from her father in thinking that the Id alone was the driver of much of human behaviour.


Based on these observations Freud published a series of studies on the impact of stress on children and their ability to find substitute affections among peers when parents cannot give them the affection needed.

Combined with the body of evidence (subjective observations and their interpretation) built up from the Hampstead War Nurseries etc, she was in a position to publish papers and books (esp. 1973) that were to shape future custody judgments.

The only drawback – the fatal flaw- to this apparent goldmine of revelations was that the studies dealt with only institutionalised children, or institutionalised children from dysfunctional families, or traumatised orphans (and permutations thereof).

Nowhere in her studies save for her debacle with the Burlingham children (see Part 1) does she deal with normal children, i.e. children from 2 living parents who are voluntarily separating or divorcing.

Freud is content to recklessly misapply her findings to private law cases (children from stable but divorcing families) when they should have been confined to public law cases, i.e. abandoned or neglected children of dysfunctional families and inadequate parents.

Addendum, May 2012 – The unsuitability, indeed the irrelevance of the Theresienstadt sample and its attendant absurdities is brought home to us by a more recent example of the terror meted out by the Khmer Rouge. The conflict in South East Asia in the late 1970s is perhaps easier for many to bring to mind than a conflict of 60 years ago. The terror inflicted by the regimes of Pol Pot, Stalin and Hitler left permanent mental wounds not only on adults but also among children. To attempt to draw lessons from any of the three barbaric, sub-human regimes for use in awarding custody is simply too ridiculous to be taken seriously (see Appendix A for more details). 

Anna Freud’s tiny sample size of merely six traumatised 3-year-old infants from a concentration camp is nowhere near comparable to the experiences of peacetime and ordinary domestic divorce. The unrepresentative sample in Freud study could have been tolerated had it not been for the ‘liberation’ of No-fault divorce that swept the western democracies in the late 1960s and early 1970s. [4]

In Britain alone over 120,000 divorce occur every year. Across Europe and the US, the number of children blighted by her theories must, over the years, number millions and be comparable with the 6 million Jews and the 8 million freed PoWs mentioned earlier.

It is not in any child’s interest to have its fate sealed by an unrepresentative group of six 3-year-olds.

It is at this juncture that the work of John Bowlby’s ‘attachment theory’ reinforces Freud’s theories and becomes influential to the work of both Melanie Klein, an English based psychoanalyst and Anna Freud. Bowlby’s theory was that the presence of a parent (the primary caregiver) should be continual if the child-to-parent bond and the parent-to-child bond is to be effective. The implications for Freud’s Hampstead work were enormous. Here was someone with no connection to her close circle that was independently validating her creation of the psychological parent.

Bowlby realised that the government policy of mass evacuation to avoid being killed in the Blitz, saved many children from one kind of danger, but exposed them to the harmful consequences of broken attachments (Bowlby, 1951).[5] See also Appendix A1.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) commissioned him to write a report into mental health problems of ‘displaced persons’ and homeless children in DP camps across post-war Europe (and thus a far cry from children of divorce where it is applied today).

His paper “Maternal Care and Mental Health” (pub’d 1951) was primarily concerned with the removal of children from their homes and it was instrumental in causing substantive changes in how institutional care as delivered.

Bowlby’s work has, from the very beginning been controversial, sometimes distorted and sometimes misused. For instance, it is alleged by some with an agenda, that its near-universal incorporation into government policy was to allow the re-employment of men demobilised from the forces. There are always those in the academic world prepared to conduct studies to show that “some children reared in orphanages cope rather better than those reared at home.” [6] Notwithstanding these distractions, around him gathered the glitterati of psychoanalyses, Freud, Dann, Burlingham, Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, and Mary Ainsworth. [7]

To bring these concepts within the orbit of ordinary people’s understanding James Robertson, a psychiatric social worker and psychoanalyst based at the Tavistock Clinic (where Bowlby is based) organised the making of a the documentary film “A Two-Year Old Goes to the Hospital”(1952). This is the synopsis:

  • A little girl aged 2, has to go into hospital for 8 days for a minor operation. Fear of cross-infection means that relatives are not allowed to stay. Because her mother is not there and the nurses change frequently, she has to face the fears, frights and hurts with no familiar person to cling to. She is extremely upset by a rectal anaesthetic. Then she becomes quiet and “settles”. But at the end of her stay she is withdrawn from her mother, and her trust shaken.

Anna Freud and others, like Donald Winnicott, had realised the benefits of involving the absent mother-parent as much as possible and Bowlby had independently articulated the argument. Even today (2009) nursing journals in America and Europe still refer to this type of scenario, i.e. of including/ involving only the mother.

For 40 years Winnicott had worked at Paddington Green Children’s Hospital as a paediatrician and child psychoanalyst and during World War 2 he served as consultant psychiatrist to the evacuee programme.

Winnicott and Bowlby gave the world two enduring legacies – one was the “good-enough mother[8] and Bowlby’s observation that “A bad home is better than a good institution.” [9]

Today, every mother and even every father is aware of the “security blanket” concept but fails to realise it was Winnicott’s treatment of psychologically disturbed children that led to this development (and the sense of safety and protection of the “holding environment” so crucial to psychotherapy, and the “transitional object”, known to every parent as the “security blanket.”

Unfortunately, Bowlby’s observations have come to be misused by those in the Social Services profession. Many social workers were taught to regard the separation of the mother from her child as the worst possible solution to a family’s problems. [10] Whatever difficulties stood in the way of the mother and her child staying together, they must be overcome if at all possible. Against common sense social workers were taught to leave a child with a disturbed/ dangerous mother (Sir Roy Meadow similarly has had work misquoted and his work misused).

Given that Freud records most particularly how sibling relationships up and down the age scale and across the gender divide were hugely important to the Theresienstadt survivors, why is the same logic not applied to male and female parents ? [11] Children at a time of stress need both, not just one, parents to be on hand (re: Tripp & Cockett, 1991, HMSO). An aspect we shall return to later in ‘The Curse’, below.

The opening up of East European orphanages at the end of the Cold War (i.e. in the late 1990s) provided substantial research opportunities on the deficiencies of attachment and other aspects of institutionally reared children. But the lessons were not learnt. No one differentiated these chidlren’s experinces as being wholly different from children of divorce. The judiciary in the West, already in the thrall of Anna Freud’s work, could not identify that the custody they were handing out was of the damaging institutionalising variety.

No one today would condone what happened in those East European orphanages yet the basis on which we operate today is essentially the same pedigree.

Feral Children

Literature is scattered with the not occasional story of ‘wild boy’ being found deep in the Russia forests or raised by wolves etc. Just such a story emerged in the 1997 book, ‘Misha: A Mémoire of the Holocaust Years’ (1997). [12] It was claimed that a young Jewish girl had survived the holocaust – always a good selling ploy – and wandered across Europe searching for her deported parents. So successful was the selling of her claim to the public that she had been adopted and protected by a pack of wolves during her journeys that it was made into a film called ‘Surviving with the Wolves’ .

However, in February 2008, Defonseca publicly admitted, that her memoir was false. Her real name was Monique de Wael. Her parents had in fact been taken away by the Nazis but they were not Jews but Catholic members of the Belgian Resistance,

In 1972 Jarmila Koluchova began reporting the case of identical twin boys in Czechoslovakia. The mother died soon after the twins were born (in 1960) and their father had to place the children ‘in care’. A few months later their father remarried and the twins returned home when they were eighteen months old. But the stepmother had interest only for her own children and the infants were neglected, not nourished and kept in an unheated room with no bed. [13]

The true feral child is a human child who has lived a life isolated from human contact from a very young age. He or she has no concept or experience of human care, loving or social behaviour, and, crucially, no knowledge of human language. [14]

Feral children may have experienced severe child abuse or trauma before being abandoned or running away. Some feral children have been confined by people, usually their own parents.

Others are alleged to have been brought up by animals; some are said to have lived in the wild on their own. Just over one hundred incidents have been reported in English literature.

The Fatherless Dimension

The six young Jewish children Freud and Dann observed showed many of these symptoms, e.g. lack of language, found in feral children. Their findings were collated into two publciations; “An experiment in group upbringing” (1951) and their individual stories were described in “Love despite hate” (Moskovitz, 1983).

To date all of Freud work with Burlingham and then Dann had focussed on the maternal input and its sole importance. What the studies showed was that children can survive without mothers or fathers albeit in a damaged state.

Similarly, Donald Winnicott, and Bowlby’s work revolve around ‘disturbed’ evacuee children – sometimes profoundly disturbed psychologically (many evacuee children were not at all disturbed by the experience). It is therefore legitimate to ask just how relevant their work is to children in divorce custody cases.

Today the answer can be found in ‘The International Journal of Psychoanalysis’ where a review by H. Sheehan-Dare of “Infants without Families[15] comes to some unambiguous conclusions:

  • Q.1. Does the institution child develop differently from the child brought up in a family?
  • A. Yes
  • Q.2. Why does a child develop differently in an institution ?
  • A. Anna Freud’s own research in 1943 at two residential nurseries (housing about 90 children) tells us the reasons.

To quote Freud with regard children in institutions (Chap 1):

  • ‘Superficial observation of children of this kind leaves a conflicting picture. They resemble, so far as outward appearances are concerned, children of middle-class families: they are well developed physically, properly nourished, decently dressed, have acquired clean habits and decent table manners, and can adapt themselves to rules and regulations. So far as character development is concerned, they often prove … not far above the standard of destitute or neglect …. “

Psychologist Dr. Richard A. Warshak, of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Texas, has been studying children for over twenty years. He is one of North America’s foremost authorities on the effects of divorce on children and is certain of its inappropriateness of the exclusivity given to mother-only custody and mother-only as care giver.

In “The Custody Revolution, the Father Factor and the Motherhood Mystique”, (1992) he introduces his book by putting the issue squarely:

  • “…. stereotypes are poor substitutes for factual information. In the last two decades, social scientists have examined different custody arrangements and their effects on children’s development. If this information is ignored, and we continue to allow myth and sentiment to rule custody decisions, we short-change our children and we short-change ourselves.”

Richard Warshaks believed the current set of principles for child care generally are misguided and are affecting nearly every child’s life. He writes:

  • ‘They reinforced the folklore, sentiment and sexual stereotypical views of mother as nurturers substituting them for factual information when deciding custody matters.’

Unholy Trinity

At a time when custody laws were being revisited Freud’s book ‘Beyond the Best Interests of the Child’ (pub’d 1973) could not have arrived at a more opportune moment. In it Freud, and her co-authors, Goldstein, & Solnit, formally introduced the term ‘psychological parent’ to the legal world.

By 1976 the book was being described as ‘monumental’ in importance.[16] Its intention was to provide “the legal and mental health professions with basic guidelines for decision making in situations where a child’s custody or placement is in question” (Buxton MD, Dec 1976).

The stature of its authors and its intrinsic logic assured the book considerable attention – after all Joseph Goldstein was a Professor of Law, Science and Social Policy at Yale University Law School, and Albert Solnit was Director of the Yale University Child Study Centre, (and Anna Freud was the Director Hampstead Child Clinic, London and the daughter of the hallowed Sigmund Freud).

Beyond the Best Interests of the Child’ is essentially only a suggested set of abstract strategies and theoretical policies – it contains nothing concrete; no detailed prescriptions for specific cases or scenarios.

The reality is that it did not then, nor does it now, recognise the difficulties that present when balancing the demands of existing statutes and procedural systems.

Freud, Goldstein, & Solnit can be accused of failing to properly support their views, or to take into account the evidence available on the development of children in various home settings. Moreover, the authors evoke psychoanalytic sources almost casually without acknowledging the major criticisms that have been levelled at many of these studies (re: Katkin, Bullington, & Levine 1974; Richards 1976) (see ‘Bowlby’s hierarchy’ below). [17]

There can be little doubt 40 years after the fact that the book influenced all in the legal professionals and many judges. Although the guidelines have a degree of wisdom, the advocating of the same criterion for custody and visitation decisions when the raw data is based on dysfunctional children and is meant to apply to dysfunctional children from dysfunctional families is a fatal and catastrophic error.

Nevertheless, Freud, Goldstein, & Solnit were successful in their efforts to apply psychoanalytic and attachment theory to legal issues and have it accepted as the default in any case involving the placement of children.

The Curse

‘Beyond the Best Interests of the Child’ was written with the express intent – acknowledged by its authors – of changing the law relating to adoption, foster care and child residence (but did they also mean it to apply to divorce ?)

From the very beginning Freud, Goldstein and Solnit appear to have considered joint residence posed some kind of threat. They maintained that authority over a child’s life needs to be clearly allocated to one parent, and that children suffer painful loyalty conflicts if they maintain contact with two parents who are not in a harmonious relationship with each other. This theory has now been challenged and shown not to be wholly correct.

Indeed, examination of the contemporaneous photographs of the Hampstead Nurseries and of Bulldogs Banks show many male therapists and clinicians working with the children (see the Anna Freud Centre website picture below dated 1941). They are not seen as threats but biological fathers are excluded by a cordon sanitaire, i.e. quarantined.

Freud and her collaborators contended that children have only one psychological parent – when it is now known that it is possible to have two – and recommended that this psychological parent should retain sole residence.

They also recommend that the power to decide whether the child should have contact with the outside parent (the father in divorce cases) should be left entirely in the hands of the resident parent (the mother). This might prove alluring to a judiciary unenthusiastic to get involved with custody squabbles and ‘messy’ matrimonial law.

In the words of Maloney (1993) when re-appraising Freud and M. Roman & W. Haddad attachment theories (previously mentioned in Part 1);

  • “One reason why the publication [by M. Roman & W. Haddad] received such notoriety was that in the first flush of enthusiasm for the new approach to family law the book offered a way beyond a perceived decision making impasse which had been created by the abandonment of fault.

The lure of an all encompassing and relatively straight forward principle by which post–divorce decisions could be made, was as strong then as it is now.” [18]

However , it should be noted that Maloney’s comment was an assessment of the influence of Goldstein, Freud & Solnit’s  publication and not a critique of Roman & Haddad’s book.

Notoriety as a term is not merited but it does accurately reflect the challenge their views posed to the emerging ‘received wisdom’; it signals the beginning of the struggle for dominance of the conventional view we know today.

Goldstein, Freud and Solnit reportedly relied on work done by Bowlby, Spitz and others in order to support their contention that separation from mother is inherently detrimental to a child’s psychological development. However, neither in Goldstein, Freud and Solnit’s footnotes nor in their discussion do they acknowledges the existence of Pinneau’s (1955) devastating critique of Spitz’s work which appeared in the Psychological Bulletin. [19] Both of these articles have been widely cited in the child development literature (see below).

In their model statute, the current best interests of the child standard is replaced by the least detrimental alternative serving, they say, to remind decision-makers that their task is to salvage as much as possible out of an unsatisfactory situation.(see also ‘Eliminating Shared Parenting and ‘Custody – the gathering storm’ , WordPress ).

Their imagined legal model would be based on a statute of ‘the least detrimental alternative’.

The least detrimental alternative… is that specific placement and procedure for the placement which maximises in accord with the child’s sense of time and on the basis of short term predictions, given the limitations of knowledge, his or her opportunity for being wanted and for maintaining on a continuing basis a relationship with at least one adult who is or will become his psychological parent.

The concept of a “continuing relationship” said to be essential for a child’s development can be described as premised on the ‘short term predictions’ cited in the above model statute. However, as we know today, good ‘outcomes’ should never be based on short term factors.

Nevertheless, the traditional view of family courts for the past 40 years has been that children are best left in the physical and emotional care of one parent following divorce. Thus, sole residence orders have usually been the option of choice (Bordow 1994).

This chimes with Freud, Goldstein, & Solnit who saw any post–divorce contact between parents (i.e. visitation days), as inherently confrontational, dangerous and/or violent and again this theory has now been shown to be incorrect. The implication of the authors position is that exposure to continuing parental conflict is more endangering to a child than losing touch with their non–resident parent. Again, both these assumptions have been shown to be incorrect.

What could not have been deduced by Freud in her work over a short number of years with infants and very young children are the adolescent ‘outcomes’. If we turn to more up-to-date studies, e.g. News-Medical in Child Health News (25th May 2004), we find that the age old Gold Standard is still valid (“Children’s behaviour is linked to contact with real father” [20]

In plain English, while there may have been an inkling from August Aichhorn’s work with young male anti-social behaviour later in life [21] there can have been little idea as to the extent and depth and how it would also affect girls:

  • “…father-absence continued to affect the rate of early sexual activity and teenage pregnancy exhibited by daughters. In addition rates were highest for early father-absence, in the middle for late father-absence, and lowest for father-present adolescent girls.”

Bowlby’s Hierarchy

Anna Freud became absurdly and hugely influential in government circles in the four decades after 1945. Her findings powerfully reinforced the gathering assumptions in the judiciary, particularly Lord Justice Roger Ormrod who in Britain piloted the changes wrought by the 1969 Divorce Reform Act (see ‘Killing Custody’, WordPress).

The Freudian doctrine rather overshadowed what Bowlby had actually said and what Roman & Haddad (1978) were groping towards (see below). Its attraction was perhaps due to its simplistic concept that allowed non-initiates to believe they had attained some form of Holy Grail.

For instance, a 1962 World Health Organisation paper ‘Deprivation of maternal care: A Reassessment of its Effects’ by Mary Ainsworth et al, [22] contains a chapter called ‘Review of Findings and Controversy,’ in which the distinction between ‘separation’ from a parent and ‘parental deprivation’ is carefully set out in an unbundled way.

It was written with Bowlby’s his approval as a vehicle to present more recent research and developments and to address misapprehensions. This publication also attempted to address the previous lack of evidence on the effects of paternal deprivation.

What is often forgotten today is that men and fathers in 1945 or 1950 were far less demonstrative towards their children. This should not be interpreted – now or then – as them loving them any less. However, men and fathers today are far more overtly affectionate when compared with their own fathers and custody awards that do not reflect this are particularly unsuitable and pernicious. Private letters from Ypres and the Somme tell the historian today how much love fathers then felt towards their children (see also “A Century of Fatherhood” BBC 4 (

The singer Peter Andre, once married to model Katie Price (Jordan), is a perfect example of the modern affectionate father (Channel 4 series). The love he expresses is no different from the fatherly love of 1914 or 1916. 

Bowlby said that growing up at home – even in a poor home – was preferable to growing up in even the best institution, as the mother-child attachment bond could best develop at home (see ‘Misapplication’, re East European orphanages above).

He claimed that babies make one central attachment to one main caregiver preferably the baby’s natural mother, although that caregiver could be a mother other than the baby’s natural mother. Bowlby’s theory envisaged a hierarchy of attachments, with the mother at the top and all other attachments being inferior to that one (we now know this to also be untrue).

  • “Schaffer and Emerson showed in their Glasgow study, that about half of the sample of sixty children had also made attachments to their fathers or other family members within two months of making their first attachment. Each attachment can be of equal strength and equal value for the child.” (

Almost all branches of the caring professions responsible for child welfare in varying degrees, began to change some of their practices to avoid unnecessary separation of mothers and children. From their position what he had written about children and mothers seemed to fit the facts. Therefore, hospitals began to allow young children to stay with their mother for longer periods, if the mother wasn’t too ill and vie versa with cots were provided so that children could sleep near their mothers. These arrangements were not extended to fathers.

The family courts in its caring capacity similarly adopted this mother-first approach in custody matters (and heavily criticised by Dr Joan Kelly (see Mental Health below).

Arguably, if the family courts had not been selective in which orthodoxy to adopt they would found the consistency and continuity model of Roman & Haddad the most suitable for children’s needs. Courts, they held, should begin from the premise of “a rebuttable presumption of joint residence”. Meaning that the default position was joint residence (in the custody sense and not the legal fiction seen in the US) unless it could be shown that this was unwise.[23]

Although Roman & Haddad can be said to be on the non-Freudian side of the child care issue, they shared with Goldstein, Freud, & Solnit, the idea that children need consistency and continuity of affection.

Where they diverged from the Freudian view was that only ‘joint residence’ allowed the consistency to continue to become a reality (consistency – not solely continuity in the form of one parent). To break the bond between the child and one parent arbitrarily is to destroy continuity of care. They argued that joint residence allows both adults the gratification of parenting (Exeter Study, Tripp & Cockett, 1991, HMSO).  At the time this stance earned Roman & Haddad some “notoriety” among academics. [24]

Roman & Haddad argued that joint residence allows both adults the gratification of parenting and indeed this common sense approach was in operation in Britain until 1991 when the Children Act 1989 became effective. In practice it majored, or legitimised, the mother as the exclusive and primary giver of child care. Therefore, the question has to be posed; ‘Did the adoption of the ‘attachment theory’ wholly or partly explain the sudden termination of the joint custody tradition in Britain after 1991 ?

World Health Organisation

The Mary Ainsworth’s WHO paper of 1962 is cited by Goldstein, Freud and Solnit as supportive of their views. But as mentioned above, Ainsworth’s paper drew great distinctions between those aspects that the Freudians were tending to merge as monolithic system of beliefs (see ‘Review of Findings and Controversy’).

The very same chapter discusses; a). the variability in the degree of damage caused by deprivation and b). that damage is not manifested in every case, nor are the effects always severe, and c). the possibility that the damaging effects of deprivation are only temporary.

Also in the same WHO paper is an article by Prugh & Harlow which emphasises the limitations on existing knowledge in this area, and an article by Barbara Wootton which reviewed a substantial body of literature which fails to confirm Bowlby’s theorem.

Barbara Wootton, who was later made a Baroness,  would write in still greater detail in her book “Social Science and Social Pathology” (pub’d 1959). [25] It was described by Morris (1989, p. 313) as a book to be regarded as “one of the most important works of critical criminology”. Although it was a discourse on criminology it discussed social work in one chapter, entitled “Contemporary Attitudes in Social Work” and assessed the social work literature and the status of the profession.[26]

All of these contrary pointers were available to Freud, Goldstein and Solnit, yet they chose to write as if no questions existed about the concepts they used (ibid at 684-685).

It is impossible to state that child care is a topics universally agreed upon by all – far from it. Yet all the professions hovering around family courts assume that it is. Undeniably it remains a controversial area of exploration and many thinkers one would not immediately associate with custody and child care matters have weighed into the fray. One possible reason for this is that the Freudian model sees the state as ultimately responsible and therefore this legitimises its active engagement in private matters, i.e. public policy and options intruding into private lives.

One such unexpected commentator is George Gilder. [27] He follows up a withering appraisal of state provided child care by referring to other Bowlby studies, Maternal Care and Mental Health and Deprivation of Maternal Care. [28] Quoting from Bowlby’s ‘Child care and Growth of Love’ (where he states:

  • “It cannot be too strongly emphasized that with the best will the world a residential nursery cannot provide a satisfactory emotional environment for infants and young children …. ), this is not merely an idea that comes from theories, it is the considered opinion of many practical workers in many different countries.”

He continues:

  • “So many helpers were necessary if their infant was to receive the continuous care of a permanent mother substitute, which their observations should to be essential, that it would be better for each worker to a take a couple of children home and close the nursery ” (p160).

It is this state intervention in its varying guises and strength based on a model designed by an elite that is being questioned. In “Towards a History of the Self Reliant Family in Australia” fundamental questions are posed. For some the major concern with state provision and or intervention is that they cause a breakdown in family relations and responsibilities by neutralising policies that promote self-reliance (see examples from Carlson, IPA, Clark, Gilder l980).

For instance, and echoing sentiments found in all the western advanced nations “ . . . Farrer also points out that the [Australian] federal government’s introduction of the Child Support Scheme re-opened the debate about whether dependence on the State was better than dependence on individual men. He also suggests that the scheme signals a new role for the State.

  • ”  . . . [the] state has become a mediator – a go between – for individuals no longer bound by the relationships of family, but rather the obligations of past contracts.’ (Farrar 1994).”[29]

It also begs the question whether it spawns mental and moral delinquency knowing that the tax-payer will pick up most of the pieces ?

Have those same ‘advanced nations’ been blinded, or at best distracted, to the income transfers within families ?

In 1971 only 10.4% of the population depended on social transfers (i.e. welfare payments), with 47.4 % dependent on income (wages) transferred within the family between spouses. By 1992 those whose income depended on social security payments had risen steadily from 10.4% to 27.5 % of the population.

According to Farrar, a little more than a third of this reflects the inability of the economy to keep pace with increased labour market participation (particularly during the recession) and the consequent growth of unemployment.

But a third also reflects the increasing number of women and children no longer supported by a family wage earner (Farrar 1994).

The remainder reflects the increased number of older people and the increased availability of disability payments.”

Mental Health

Dr Joan Kelly writing in Australia prior to that country’s adoption of joint residence in 2006, makes some very astute observations which are worth paraphrasing. In her paper “Joint Custody Not Matched by Scrutiny of Sole Custody” she writes of how ironic it is that all the professions drawn to the family court circus, have subjected ‘joint custody’ to an intensity of scrutiny never directed toward its alternatives.[30]

The depth of this interrogation, its duration over decades and the many level at which it dissected would have smashed the sole custody option long ago. The fact that ‘joint custody’ has withstood the onslaught is testament to its inherent virtues and robustness.

The fact that real joint custody, i.e. shared residence, it is now found in other countries, e.g. Sweden, Belgium, etc, pulls the rug from under the feet of its detractors who in the case of radical feminists in Australia are fighting ferociously to have it abolished. After only a few years and no major hiccups have yet to occur, could it be that the latent power and unrealised potential fills the sole custody camp, i.e. mother-only-custody, with horror ?

Blinkered thinking and closed mental horizons preclude hints that might be gained from other theatres of expertise. For example, ‘separation anxiety’ displayed by dogs when the owner leaves the house is a common feature (found in about 10%). The dog is not traumatised by war, or starvation; there is no deprivation or maltreatment involved, yet the dog misses the company of its usual companions even if only for a shirt time.

How then can we expect the traditional divorce arrangements, where ‘sole custody’ is given to the mother and 4 to 6 days per month of ‘visiting’ is given to the father, to work satisfactorily ?

Joan Kelly then goes on to assert that she is aware of a growing body of evidence that such post divorce relationships, i.e. giving father only 4 to 6 days per month and the remainder to the mother, is not only ‘unhealthy for many children’ and parents but ‘in fact, psychologically destructive’ for children.

  • “Since 1962, when the spiral of divorce rate began, countless thousands of father-child relationships have deteriorated and thinned to a relationship of mere formality in the years after divorce.” – Joan Kelly.

The form of words, ‘mere formality’, could just as easily read ‘legal formality’ for they convey nothing of substance or envy, simply an acknowledgement of powerlessness.

For Britain 1962 also marked the embryonic beginning of an increase in divorces (after a steady decline though the 1950s) but the floodgates only opened after the reform Acts of 1969 and the early 1970s – this is also probably true of Australia.

Overweeningly focused on the mother-child relationship the consequence was a de-emphasis of the father-child relationship. Kelly makes these two points which are worth developing:

  • “Over time, mother-child relationships achieved sanctity. Today, we find mothers who feel that they essentially own their children.”

Firstly, the brick wall fathers face in getting courts when trying to get access time or shared residence can be traced back to this ‘sanctity’ dogma – a mantra invoked whenever fathers get too close to succeeding. Secondly, father rights groups are criticised for trying to make children their chattels and to have guardianship rights over them (‘It’s the only reason why fathers want shared residency’ is the cry from the sole custody camp). But as we can see from Kelly’s interpretation, it is actually women / mothers who feel they have proprietarial rights over ‘her’ children.

The growing body of evidence that such post-divorce relationships were not healthy for many children was simply ignored by mental health professionals. When mental health was discussed it a in the context of keeping an unstable mother stabilised by ensuring she had custody of the children (the thinking was presumably that removing the children would definitely destabilise her.[31] Until very recently mental health professionals did not challenge the arrangements that led to this situation.

Rigidity of Thought

In much the same way both CAFCASS, and its paymaster, the Lord Chancellor’s Dept, stubbornly refused to accept the argument for shared parenting and its beneficial mental health consequences. Obduracy by CAFCASS leadership meant that the vacuum of having no central research library, no list of recommended texts nor any similar specialist facility for its practitioners was never filled.

They could not see, or did not want to see, that marginalising fathers as the divorce process does, actually jeopardises the life and health of a child. The Climbie and Baby P tragedies have underlined our 2001 recommendations; it may have forced a re-assessment but concrete steps are visible yet.

Joan Kelly, in effect, acknowledges the ‘limbo land’ into which fathers are condemned and then are expected to exist (see Appendix B). Moreover, in this limbo land where the father has no rights worth mentioning he is nonetheless still held liable for any misdemeanour.

Britain already spends more on social services than it does on the defence of the realm – even now in wartime conditions (HM Treasury figures). One Dept alone, the Home Office claims to be spending on domestic violence (though this is questionable), an amount equivalent to that spent on all defence costs i.e. Army, Navy and Air Force.[32] Such a pattern will only bring about an inevitable inwards collapse and impotence comparable to Luxembourg to resist aggressors.[33]

The rigidity with which advocates hold to this one child care model, first devised more than 50 years ago is alarming. No room is allowed for alternatives paradigms; they exclude the possibility of a complementary paradigm probably because it is seen as a substitute that might eventually take over their model.

“Beyond The Best Interests Of The Child” made the case for a presumption of sole custody. Contact with the non-custodial parent is seen as inevitably conflict ridden, resulting in confusion, loyalty conflicts, and, ultimately, maladjustment for the child. [34] It is, therefore, this fulcrum, this pivoting point, that has to be overcome comprehensively.

Disunited Front

It is curious and something of a conundrum that from a disjointed and squabbling disparate group of individuals with fragile egos that a mass movement should have emerged.

A detour into the machinations of the professional rivalry to be found in the world of psycho-analytics, psychologist and psychiatrist would be too exhausting and too unedifying to detail in this context, however, some aspects need to be highlighted.

From 1941 to 1945 there was the deadly struggle for supremacy between Anna Freud and Melanie Klein, over control of the orthodoxy and control of the British Psychoanalytical Society (then the most eminent). Both women and their followers were battling for the right to be called Sigmund Freud’s true intellectual heirs.

Austrian born Klein had moved to Britain in 1927 and thus had built up a following and become a major influence on the theory and technique of psychoanalysis in Great Britain. The arrival of the Freuds in 1938 jeopardised these gains.

The society was so riven with protracted infighting that it split into three wings (1) Kleinian, (2) Anna Freudian, and (3) the ‘Middle Group’ later called the ‘Independent Group’ These divisions remains to the current time. The so-called ‘controversial discussions’ of the 1940s was the euphemism given to this infighting.

Suffice to say that this jockeying for position and for the mantle of the profession was an inelegant if essential process. Nearly everyone fell out with everyone else at one time or another.

Winnicott, along with Ronald Fairbairn, Michael Balint, Masud Khan, John Bowlby, and Margaret Little, belonged to the ‘Middle Group’.

Winnicott’s career involved many of the great figures in psychoanalysis and psychology such as the ‘Bloomsbury set’ figures such as James Strachey, R. D. Laing, and Masud Khan, a wealthy Pakistani émigré who was a highly controversial psychoanalyst.

Klein was an iconoclast within a profession dominated by male physicians. She is occasionally denigrated by some principally one suspects because she had no formal academic qualifications, e.g. a bachelor’s degree – but the same could be said of Anna Freud, she was unqualified (having trained as teacher), was self-taught and technically untrained.

Nonetheless, the clash of personalities and colliding egos which should have sounded the death knell for their ambitions or at the very least stultified their theories from reaching the statue book. But that was not to be the case. Why these ‘theories’ were converted into law on a global scale is puzzling.


Anna Freud remains something of an enigma. Interviewed on television Freud’s own nephew describes her as “distant, cold, unapproachable and lacking love, emotion or spontaneity.” A more unlikely candidate for a life dedicated to examining the nuances of child care is hard to imagine.

In today’s highly charged and moralistic climate, would we trust our children to the care of someone who in adolescence and probably later in life experienced severe psychopathologies including (see Part 2), sado-masochistic fantasies, latent-homosexuality, depression and masturbation ?

‘Fast forward’ to the present day and not just Anna Freud but all her nurses and volunteer helpers would have to submit to a check by the Criminal Record Bureau (CRB), before being allowed to work with or near children. [35]

But is it fair to impose today’s value systems on yesteryear’s events ? So far as can be ascertained the question has not been posed but if it is valued question it can be answered by others who are more expert and more au fait with Freud’s life. Or is it that her own early life experiences made her especially ‘sensitive’ to the needs of vulnerable children ?

The popular press, when explaining hideous crimes of a sexual nature, informs a still incredulous public that experts believe that sex offenders beget sex offenders.’ That is to say, sex abuse at an early age is a ballpark indicator of a predisposition by some (not all) child victims to abuse others later in life.

Bettina Arndt, writing in the Sydney Morning Herald, reflects what has, in effect, been happening all across the English speaking world.[36]

  • “ . . . For 20 years this country has been in the grip of hysteria about sexual abuse in which wild claims have flourished in the absence of rational, informed inquiry.

She then goes on to mention a ‘powerful’ book by Philip Jenkins which traces the cyclical history of bouts of public hysteria about sexual molestation. [37]

He suggests the tenacity of the current moral panic is due to the pivotal role of former victims. Jenkins suggests that, for the first time in history, millions of people “construct their self-identity in terms of the experiences of sexual victimisation”, with the result that victims now drive the political and moral agenda.

On the one hand we have conformist intellectuals denying that the family is breaking down (it has only been ‘changing’, they say), and denying there been a rise in crime, only an increase in ‘moral panic’. [38]

The same intellectuals are of the opinion that divorce reform temporarily creates “moral panic” but that it can safely be ignored because it is overwhelmingly generated in the press and will be short lived.

On the other hand supposed conformist intellectuals are not averse to heightening public consciousness by invoking advocacy research; predictions of calamities; ‘scary’ numbers; fatalistic theories, and anecdotal evidence.[39] Forget the democratic process, today these are the methods used by pressure groups to create a socio-political climate in which it is easier to influence government

‘Moral panic’ and advocacy research are undisputedly the new ‘levers of power’, and its adherents will not let go until the changes they want have happened (see Philip Jenkins above).

So is this the avenue Feud and her colleagues used ? Is this the way they foisted a new mind set, a new paradigm, on society ?

Paedophilia is loathed in nearly every civilisation and society never ceases to be shocked by new revelations in the press. But the public is slowly waking up to the idea that paedophilia and sexual abuse generally is not an exclusively male preserve. The media has become more courageous in reporting women accused or convicted of paedophilia.

In April 2009 the BBC website carried an article headlined “Are there women paedophiles ?[40] Then in Oct 2009, a 39 year old nursery worker Vanessa George was convicted of being part of an internet paedophile ring and of committing ‘horrific’ acts on children.[41]  After her conviction her shocked distraught husband described his wife as “pure evil” and attempted to commit suicide.

Vanessa George’s on-line accomplices who had linked-up through ’Facebook’ were Angela Allen, 39, and Colin Blanchard, 38. Later a third woman, Tracy Lyons, a heavily pregnant mother of eight was arrested in the paedophile probe. She had briefly worked as a volunteer assistant in a private nursery near her home. [42] (NB. Since 2009 more females have been arested and charged with paedophilia crimes).

Modern parents face the same prospect of earlier generations of suddenly losing a child to a fatal illness, albeit the risks are far less today. But do parents face the same likelihood of their child being abused by a relative or a ‘person in a position of trust’ ? Or has it all to do with media’s readiness to headline such news.

Is Freud so above reproach that there no need to look into Freud’s personal life and re-assess her involvement with what is today fashionably termed vulnerable children ?

For all the abuse heaped on Sir Roy Meadow for his findings with regard child deaths in one family (Sally Clark), he was only applying the science available to him and the probabilities commonly found in text books on the subject. [43] With the passage of time the court and the media may come see their reaction as more hysterical then it was helpful. Their conduct will have dissuaded the medical professionals from intervening and in effect forcing them to put their careers ahead of saving children from abuse and or homicide (see Appendix C).

Another media scandal has swirled around Dr Southall, who has been praised as a pioneer by colleagues, while vilified as arrogant and dangerous by parent/patients. He first came to prominence through his video evidence of nearly 40 women trying to harm/kill suffocate their own children while they were receiving hospital treatment on the children’s wards of the North Staffordshire Hospital. [44] Police were informed but after deliberations no charges were brought (he has faced 10 years of professional sniping and reprimands).

Whatever the merits of those that support and those that decry the two doctors it is curious to note the shrivelling in SIDS (the phenomenon of children suddenly dying in their cots) during this period. [45] Prior to 1971 no records of SIDS were kept (more detail at Appendix D), but for the relevant and controversial years the figures are as follows:

“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome” (SIDS)
Year No. of SIDS Deaths
1971 1,600+
1997 393
1998 284
2000 245
2001 231
2008 300 (est)
ONS. Source: ‘Population Trends’, No.92. (Summer 1998), Table 9.2, et al. England & Wales

Meadow once stated that “SIDS has been used, at times, as a pathological diagnosis to evade awkward truths.” According to the American ‘Kids Health’ organisation:

“SIDS is the leading cause of death among infants 1 month to 1 year old, and claims the lives of about 2,500 each year in the United States. It remains unpredictable despite years of research.”


We should not fear dealing harshly with Freud and her dogmas, after all, she dealt harshly with parents, particularly fathers.

In “Beyond the Best Interests of the Child“, Freud, Goldstein, & Solnit accept they will be criticised by some who will say their views are too child-oriented and to neglectful of the needs and rights of the adults. They defend themselves from this by claiming that ‘there is nothing one-sided about our position.’ In the next sentence this is flatly contradicted by them stating that “the child’s interests should be the paramount consideration once, but not before, a child’s placement becomes the subject of official controversy.”

This can only be interpreted as asserting the child interests come first but the mothers interests, i.e. the placement, comes “more first.” If this is the ranking then this takes the country and child care back to the 1839 position but with the mother rather than the father having priority (see Killing Custody” wordpress).[46]

The custody castration of fathers is driven home when examining the other side of their coin which states that the law will be invoked to ‘assure non-interference by the state in the continuity of any adults serving as parents’. In 95% of cases this will be the mother because mothers, to accord with the ‘psychological parent’ theory will be the default ‘child’s placement’.

The same doctrine excludes the parent who provides the ‘continuing care’ from interference in the way they raise their children and safeguards them not only from state intervention but from “law-aided and law-abetted harassment by disappointed adult claimants”, i.e. fathers.

Freud, Goldstein, & Solnit set out to deliberately change the law relating to child custody and they succeeded admirably. They even suggested and from daily experience they succeeded in ensuring that the injunction towards children should disregard those laws made by adults for the protection of adult rights (see Appendix E).

How their theories will be judges in 5 years time will be illuminating as one by one countries adopt shared residence and shared custody as the preferred default custody position.

Will Freud’s work be shown to have been futile, wrongheaded, even destructive ?

Can those who have so ardently invested their profession in her theories ever recover their reputations ? Are their futures slipping away like sand between their fingers ?

Already the answer from Australia is that they are trying hard to turn back the clock so that they will not have to face such an ignoble end to their careers. [47] See Appendix F.

Anyone considering legislative changes in Britain should heed the words of Dr Jessica Pearson who perceptively said of changes made some 40 years ago that “Legal changes won’t bring reforms”, meaning that legislative changes do not guarantee alterations unless there is the will to introduce change. [48]



Appendix A

Terror’s Children: Mending Mental Wounds

By Daniel Coleman, New York Times, Tuesday, Feb 24th 1987

Orphans, Khmer Rouge, Freud, Bowlby, Pol Pot    ttp://

” . . . . . The body and mind handle terror in the same way, whether you were beaten by your father or by Pol Pot’s soldiers,” said Bessel van der Kolk, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School who directs the Trauma Clinic at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center in Boston.

The new studies, most of them completed within the last five years, greatly extend older findings in a research area that has largely been dormant since World War II, when Anna Freud, John Bowlby and a handful of others studied children who were evacuated during the London blitz, those who survived concentration camps as well as war orphans.

Although earlier work found that a child’s reaction to trauma might be alleviated by the presence of a comforting adult, the new work has uncovered long-term effects regardless of how adults behaved in the crisis itself.

One of the major new studies described 40 Cambodian teen-agers held in Khmer Rouge camps between 1975 and 1979, when they were 12 or younger. Many suffered near-starvation and beatings and witnessed the torture and murder of family members. The children, who now live in Oregon, were examined in 1984 by a team of psychiatrists from the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland. The research, led by Dr. David Kinzie, was reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry last year.

The children, by then 14 to 20 years old, still suffered a range of psychological problems, including recurrent nightmares, difficulty in concentrating and in sleeping, and being easily startled. About half showed symptoms of depression: lack of energy or interest in life, brooding and feelings of self-pity, and a pessimistic outlook. ”Despite their great inner distress, many said they never told anyone about these feelings,” said William Sack, one of the psychiatrists who studied the Cambodian teen-agers.

About two-thirds seemed to be suffering from ”survivor’s guilt,” the deep sense of remorse at having lived while other family members died – a phenomenon found among Holocaust survivors. Many of these teen-agers said they ”felt ashamed of being alive.”

There was no direct relationship between the severity of the hardships the children endured and the severity of their symptoms years later. There was, however, a strong relationship between their current living situation and their psychological problems.

Role of the Family – While all the children had been separated from their families in the camps, those who were later able to reunite with family members fared better than the others. Of the 26 teen-agers living with relatives, only 12 had serious psychiatric problems, whereas of the 14 living in foster homes, 13 had such problems.

”If children feel there is someone they can cling to, someone to count on, they survive the brutality far better than those who have no one to turn to,” said Dr. van der Kolk of Harvard.

Other aspects of the social environment, too, alter the effect of war on children. In Northern Ireland, Catholic children appear to show more signs of psychological damage than their Protestant counterparts do, according to Terry Tibbetts, a clinical psychologist at theState Diagnostic Center in Los Angeles, who has studied children in Belfast.

”The Protestant kids don’t show as many signs of the stress; they perceive their world as well-protected, with the police and British troops on their side,” said Dr. Tibbetts. ”But the Catholic children grow up believing the police, the troops and the Protestant paramilitary are all out to get them. They experience a more dangerous, threatening and unpredictable universe.” ‘Outlet for Anger’

Rona Fields, a psychologist who has studied children inNorthern Irelandas well as inBeirutand other war-torn areas, has found that many who felt terrorized by war as children became easy recruits for the war itself as they approached adolescence. Similarly, said Dr. Tibbetts, when children in Northern Irelandwho felt chronic fear and anxiety reach adolescence they translate those feelings into aggression; many join groups like the Irish Republican Army. ”The I.R.A. offers a Catholic kid a legitimate outlet for his anger,” he said. ”He can feel he’s doing something to the people who caused him such pain.”

Appendix A

The Thieves Study (Bowlby, 1944)

John Bowlby believed that the relationship between the infant and its mother during the first five years of life was most crucial to socialisation. He believed that disruption of this primary relationship could lead to a higher incidence of juvenile delinquency, emotional difficulties and antisocial behaviour. To support his hypothesis, he studied 44 adolescent juvenile delinquents in a child guidance clinic.

Aim: To investigate the effects of maternal deprivation on people in order to see whether delinquents have suffered deprivation. According to the Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis, breaking the maternal bond with the child during the early stages of its life is likely to have serious effects on its intellectual, social and emotional development.

Procedure: Bowlby interviewed 44 adolescents who were referred to a child protection program in London because of stealing- i.e. they were thieves. Bowlby selected another group of 44 children to act as ‘controls’. N.b. controls: individuals referred to clinic because of emotional problems, but not yet committed any crimes. He interviewed the parents from both groups to state whether their children had experienced separation during the critical period and for how long.

Findings: More than half of the juvenile thieves had been separated from their mothers for longer than six months during their first five years. In the control group only two had had such a separation. He also found several of the young thieves (32%) showed ‘affectionless psychopathy’ (they were not able to care about or feel affection for others).

None of the control group were affectionless psychopaths. In a later paper, he reported that 60 children who had spent time apart from their mothers in a tuberculosis sanatorium before the age of 4 showed lower achievement in school.

Conclusion: Affectionless psychopaths show little concern for others and are unable to form relationships. Bowlby concluded that the reason for the anti-social behaviour and emotional problems in the first group was due to maternal deprivation.

Evaluation: The supporting evidence that Bowlby (1944) provided was in the form of clinical interviews of, and retrospective data on, those who had and had not been separated from their primary caregiver.

This meant that Bowlby was asking the participants to look back and recall separations. These memories may not be accurate. Bowlby designed and conducted the experiment himself. This may have lead to experimenter bias. Particularly as he was responsible for making the diagnosis of affectionless psychopathy.

Critics of Bowlby’s theory (examples):

Schaffer & Emerson (1964) noted that specific attachments started at about 8 months and, very shortly thereafter, the infants became attached to other people. By 18 months very few (13%) were attached to only one person; some had five or more attachments.

Rutter (1981) points out that several indicators of attachment (such as protest or distress when attached person leaves) has been shown for a variety of attachment figures – fathers, siblings, peers and even inanimate objects.

Critics such as Rutter have also accused Bowlby of not distinguishing between deprivation and privation – the complete lack of an attachment bond, rather than its loss. Rutter stresses that the quality of the attachment bond is the most important factor, rather than just deprivation in the critical period.

Another criticism of ‘44 Thieves Study’ was that it concluded that affectionless psychopathy was caused by maternal deprivation [only]. This is correlational data and as such only shows a relationship between these two variables. Indeed, other external variables, such as diet, parental income, education etc. may have affected the behaviour of the 44 thieves, and not, as concluded, the disruption of the attachment bond.

Supporters of Bowlby’s theory (examples):

Harlow‘s research with monkeys however supported Bowlby’s Maternal Deprivation. He showed that monkeys reared in isolation from their mother suffered emotional and social problems in older age. The monkey’s never formed an attachment (privation) and as such grew up to be aggressive and had problems interacting with other monkeys.

Konrad Lorenz (1935) supports Bowlby’s maternal deprivation hypothesis as the attachment process of imprinting is an innate process.

Appendix B

‘Custody Decision Making in Historical Context’

By Joan Kelly, Journal Issue: Children and Divorce, Volume 4 Number 1 Spring/Summer 1994


. . . . The assumption that mothers were better suited to raise children received an intellectual underpinning in the 1940s from Freudian psychoanalytic theory, which emphasized the mother’s role as “unique . . . the first and strongest love object . . . the prototype of all later love relations. The subsequent body of theory and research on the development of infant attachments to the mother was equally influential in supporting the maternal preference.

Later research indicating infants formed meaningful attachments to both of their parents by the middle of the child’s first year provided support to paternal claims for sole or joint custody.

Newly formed fathers’ rights advocacy groups provided the impetus for a joint custody movement, supported in the early 1980s by lay and scholarly publications which described various advantages of joint custody for society, parents, and children.

. . . .In Roman law, children were viewed as the property of their father, who had the absolute power to sell his children and enter them into enforced labor. Mothers had no legal rights with respect to their children, even as guardians in the event of the father’s death.

. . . . In later English common law, fathers continued to have near absolute powers, and the legal obligation to protect, support, and educate their children. Thus, in divorce, until the mid-nineteenth century, fathers had a right to custody as well, regardless of circumstances, and mothers had very restricted access to their children after divorce.1 A landmark change was initiated with the British Act of 1839,which directed the courts to award custody of children under the age of seven to mothers, and to award visiting rights to mothers for children seven years and older.

Appendix C

Court action may dissuade rigorous examination of children in danger by medical professionals – NSPCC fears a ‘charter for child killers’

By Maxine Frith, Social Affairs Correspondent, 25 January 2004

Children’s charities have warned that parents who abuse or murder their children may escape prosecution because of the controversy surrounding cot death cases.

The damning High Court ruling in the Angela Cannings case last week is raising serious concerns that child abuse cases could become impossible to prove or prosecute.

And the notoriety heaped on Professor Sir Roy Meadow, the expert witness at the centre of the cot death scandal, is causing many paediatricians to say they do not want to become involved in child abuse cases.

But children’s charities are concerned that the Cannings ruling could demonise paediatricians and social workers, and allow a small minority of parents literally to get away with murder.

High Court judges, who cleared Mrs Cannings of killing two of her children, ruled that in cases where two expert witnesses disagree on the cause of death, there should be no prosecution.

The judgment also seriously questioned Professor Meadow’s theory that one cot death in a family is a tragedy, two are suspicious and three, unless proved otherwise, must mean murder.

The ruling prompted the Attorney General to order an urgent review of all cases in which a mother was convicted of killing a child under the age of two.

Thousands of parents, who had their children taken away and fostered or adopted after being accused of abuse, have also called for reviews of their cases.

Professor Meadow is under investigation by the General Medical Council and is to appear before a professional conduct committee.

Christopher Cloke, head of child protection policy at the NSPCC, said: “I do think this is a cause for serious concern. We don’t want to see innocent parents being prosecuted, but we are also concerned that where children have been abused, it will now be very difficult to prove or prosecute a case.

“I have heard healthcare professionals say they would be reluctant to get involved in any child abuse cases after what has happened in the Cannings case.

“We need experienced people, well trained in child protection issues, to ensure that children are protected.”

The National Confidential Inquiry into Stillbirth and Death in Infancy, the most recent and conclusive research into cot death, estimated that 6 per cent of deaths diagnosed as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (Sids) are in fact murder. That means there are at least 20 cases a year in which parents have murdered their babies and it has been diagnosed as cot death.

Professor Meadow was the first person, 20 years ago, to describe the condition Munchausen’s Syndrome By Proxy, in which parents deliberately harm their children to draw attention to themselves.

Research by experts at Bournemouth University, published last year, found that child murder cases in England and Wales have fallen by 66 per cent in the past 20 years and are now the fifth lowest in the Western world.

By comparison, child homicide rates in the US have reached record highs and are the fourth highest in the West.

The lead researcher, Professor Colin Pritchard, said the success had been down to investment in child protection units in Britain.

He said: “Unlike the US, which cut its child welfare programmes, English services have been safeguarded. Social Services, despite the rare tragic mishaps, have never worked closer with police and child health and have made inroads into the previous high tolls.”

The NSPCC is calling for a national system of investigating all child deaths to try to improve understanding of cot death and abuse cases.

Mr Cloke said: “What we need are experienced paediatric pathologists, trained social workers and close working between all the different agencies so that all deaths are thoroughly and fairly investigated.”

Appendix D

Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) sprang to prominence in the mid-1990s and appeared to defeat all attempts to locate causation.

1. Abuse blamed for some cot deaths – Sir Roy Meadow

BBC on-line, Health issues, Thursday 7 January 1999


There are 500 cot deaths a year, according to cot death charities

A small number of babies who have been diagnosed as dying from cot death may actually have been the victims of child abuse, a leading expert has warned.

Professor Sir Roy Meadow says the term Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) or cot death should be revised or abandoned. He suggests replacing it with “unexplained” or “undetermined”.

“SIDS has been used, at times, as a pathological diagnosis to evade awkward truths,” he said.

He added that the media portrayal of SIDS made it seem as if there was one cause for it when it just means that an infant has died suddenly and their death is a mystery.

About one baby in every 500 dies from cot death, making it one of the commonest causes of death among young infants. Studies have variously linked cot deaths to the practice of putting babies to sleep on their stomachs, or to smoking in pregnancy and around the newborn baby, over-warm rooms and low birth weight.

2. Cot death risk soars if mothers are single”

By Jenny Hope, Medical, Correspondent, Daily Mail, Friday, August 23, 2002

The babies of single mothers are six times more at risk of dying of cot death than those of married parents. Cot deaths have fallen to the lowest level since records began in 1975. There were 231 sudden infant deaths in England and Wales in 2001. In 2000 there were 245.

But the rate of cot death among children of single mothers is 1.28 per 1,000 live births – six times higher than the rate of 0.2 per 1,000 for babies of married couples.

The second highest rate is for babies registered by unmarried parents living at different addresses – 0.71 per 1,000 live births. Babies whose unwed parents live together are twice as likely to die as those with married parents.

Upper class married parents were least likely to suffer a cot death, says the National Statistics Office. Unwed manual workers faced treble the risk.

The rate for babies under 3.31b was seven times that for babies weighing 7.71b or more. Giving birth aged under 20 also increases risk. Chief medical statistician Peter Goldblatt said: `Lone parents are more likely to be younger, from manual social classes and with low birthweight babies.’

But the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID) claims the number of `unascertained’ deaths increased by two and a half times in five years: They say pathologists do not always recognise a cot death.

3. More than half of cot deaths ‘happen when babies are sleeping with their parents’, according to a new study

By Kate Devlin,, Medical Correspondent,Daily Telegraph 14th Oct 2009

Experts warned that the findings showed that the safest place for young children was in a cot beside their parents’ bed.

. . .. . More than 300 babies continue to die [in Eng & Wales] every year from the syndrome, also known as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome.

“. . . .Of the 80 unexpected deaths analysed, more than half (54%) occurred while co-sleeping, compared with a 20 per cent co-sleeping rate among both control groups.” The Times.

Source: ONS “Trend in Cot Deaths” (1986 – 1996) Health Statistics Quarterly 05 Spring 2000

4. ‘Myths Aside, Traditional Families Protect Kids Best – British Report Stirs Up Debate About Sexual Abuse’

By Zenit, 22 Dec 2000


“ …… According to the now defunct British Family Court Reporter Survey, children are no less than 20 to 33 times safer when they live with their biological parents than when they live in any other type of household. In 1989, the University of Iowa studied 2,300 cases of sexual abuse and found that non-biological fathers were almost four times as likely as fathers to sexually abuse children in their care.”

Appendix E

“Beyond the Best Interests of the Child” (1973)

by Anna Freud, Albert Solnit, Dorothy Burlingham, and Joseph Goldstein.


Some will assert that the views presented in this volume are so child-oriented as to neglect the needs and rights of the adults. In fact, this is not the case. There is nothing one-sided about our position, that the child’s interests should be the paramount consideration once, but not before, a child’s placement becomes the subject of official controversy.

Its other side is that the law, to accord with the continuity guideline, must safeguard the rights of any adults, serving as parents, to raise their children as they see fit, free of intervention by the state, and free of law-aided and law-abetted harassment by disappointed adult claimants. To say that a child’s ongoing relationship with a specific adult, the psychological parent, must not be interrupted, is also to say that this adult’s rights are protected against intrusion by the state on behalf of other adults.

As set out in this volume, then, a child’s placement should rest entirely on consideration for the child’s own inner situation and developmental needs. Simple as this rule sounds, there are circumstances which make it difficult to apply even with ample evidence in support of the child’s interests. The injunction disregards that laws are made by adults for the protection of adult rights.

Appendix F

Shared parenting laws on way out

By Caroline Overington, The Australian, October 19, 2009,25197,26228074-5013404,00.html

THE Rudd government is planning to roll back the controversial shared parenting law passed in the final term of the Howard government, enraging men’s groups, which say the laws have finally given them access to their children after separation.

Six inquiries into the shared parenting laws are now under way, which men’s groups have interpreted as a sure sign that change is under way, too.

In a message to supporters, Sue Price of the Men’s Rights Agency, has described the planned rollback as the “most sustained and concerted attack” on shared parenting that she has seen in 15 years.

Ms Price said the laws did no more than encourage “reasonable contact between perfectly good fathers and their children” and she is urging supporters to “convince the Rudd government that there are a million votes at stake” if they roll back the shared parenting changes.

“War has been declared and now is the time to protest the changes,” Ms Price said, adding that planned changes were an attempt to “deny children shared parenting” and “an attack on a child’s right to be loved and cared for by a dad on a shared-care, equal basis”.

Attorney-General Robert McClelland, in concert with the Minister for the Status of Women, Tanya Plibersek, flagged a change to the law after a small child, Darcey Freeman, died after allegedly being thrown from the Westgate Bridge in Melbourne earlier this year. Her father, Arthur Freeman, has been charged with murder. In a committal hearing, the court heard that the mother had been terrified of her former partner, and told neighbours and others that he was certain to kill one of her children.

Of the six inquiries into the law under way, the Family Court Violence Review, also known as the Chisholm report, for its chairman, former Family Court judge Professor Richard Chisholm, is likely to report to Mr McClelland first.

Submissions to the Chisholm inquiry closed on Friday. In one submission, the National Council for Children Post-Separation, which largely represents the interests of separated mothers, has examples of women forced into contact with violent partners, after those partners won the right to see their children in the Family Court.

The council says some men are approaching the court, asking for years-old parenting agreements to be modified so they can pay less child support. Under the Howard government reforms, men can pay less, in exchange for seeing their children more.

The submission says: “Parents are saying they don’t want money. They would be happy to forgo maintenance payments if it saves their child from having to spend half the week with a parent who does not really want to parent them, but whose main objective is to avoid child support.”

The submission also calls on the Family Court to consider the parenting roles played by each parent before separation, before deciding on shared or equal care after separation.”

Some parents abandon their spouse while pregnant and years later seek shared care when the child does not even know the parent,” the submission says.

“One nine-year-old boy who considered he already had a father, since his mother married his stepfather when he was a baby, was told he had to spend every second weekend with his biological father.

“If there is no existing emotional bond between a child and a parent, why should the court force one on a child who may have an emotional bond with a step-parent?”

More than 3500 parents have signed a petition calling for the changes to the shared parenting law.

A submission from men’s groups was not immediately available yesterday. The Shared Parenting Council says the six reviews of the law were placing “significant pressure” on the groups, which are “holding the line against a dismantling of the 2006 Family Law changes”.

Besides the Chisholm review, the Attorney-General has commissioned the University of South Australia, James Cook University and Monash University to investigate the impact of family violence during and after parental relationship breakdown. This review will be overseen by professor Thea Brown.

The Social Policy Research Centre at the University of NSW is also conducting a review, as are the Australian Institute of Family Studies and the University of Sydney


[1] The United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA) officially formed in 1943 estimated that 21 million people (DPs) would need assistance. In 1945 there were 250,000 Jewish displaced persons registered in Europe By 1947 only 700,000 displaced persons remained in camps. Fohrenwald was the last DP (refugee) camp to close in 1957.

[2] See historical references to ‘austerity’ period,.Pres H Truman Library, and the Washington Loan Agreement.

[3] The Children’s Rest Centre evolved into the Hampstead War Nurseries and then the Hampstead Child-Therapy Clinic.

[4] It was in 1947 that the American ‘National Assoc of Women Lawyers, began promoting ‘no-fault’ divorce to Bar Associations and State Governments.

[5] Bowlby J Cambridge educated psychiatrist and psychologist, served in the British Army Medical Corps during World War 2 and by the late 1940s he had become Deputy Director of the Tavistock Centre, Hampstead.

[6] Evidence Against Bowlby and Conclusion to the Attachment Debate

[7] ‘Patterns of Attachment’, 1978.Parent-child dyad, ie pairing [b 1913 – d 1999]

[8] Winnicott, 1951 essay “Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena,” Transactions that constitute love between two imperfect people. The imperfectly attentive mother who does a better job than the “perfect” one who risks stifling her child’s development as a separate being.

[9] Bowlby’s famous 1952 study for WHO (World Health Organisation). Gilder’s withering appraisal of state provided child care by referring to by Bowlby’s studies (see Maternal Care and Mental Health and Deprivation of Maternal Care (New York, 1966).

[10] Jeff Standen

[11] “The Importance of Sibling Relationships in Psychoanalysis,” by Prophecy Coles. Reading, pp 73 -75, regarding sibling relationships there are echoes of the latent elements found in PAS.

[12] Misha Defonseca

[13] ‘Attachment, Deprivation, and Privation: Jarmila Koluchova’

[14] Feral children

[15] ‘Infants without Families’, by Anna Freud and Dorothy Burlingham, 1943.

[16] ‘Applying the guidelines of Beyond the Best Interests of the Child’ by Martin Buxton MD. Yale University

Dec 1976

[17] A detailed critique of Freud’s book in; “Above and Beyond The Best Interests of The Child––An Inquiry Into The Relationship Between Social Science and Social Action.” Law and Society Review (1974). Cited in “Back to the Best Interests of the Child – Towards a Rebuttable Presumption of Joint Residence”

[18] Yuri.Joakimidis, See also ‘Back to the Best Interests of the Child – Towards a Rebuttal Presumption of Joint Residence

[19] “Back to the Best Interests of the Child – Towards a Rebuttable Presumption of Joint Residence”

[20] News-Medical in Child Health News reports, 25 May 2004,

[21] Aichhorn was an advocate of the idea that there was a distinction between manifest and latent delinquency, and believed that arrested development in youth was a precursor to antisocial behaviour. He also believed that this situation was caused by disturbances in early child-parent relationships.

[22] An American developmental psychologist known for her work in early emotional attachment.

[23] A trenchant criticism of the literature on separation by O’Connor (1956) was similarly ignored by the Freudian camp. “Back to the Best Interests of the Child – Towards a Rebuttable Presumption of Joint Residence.”

[24] “Back to the Best Interests of the Child – Towards a Rebuttable Presumption of Joint Residence”


[26] Wootton is not widely known or favoured in North America perhaps because of her left wing politics, TUC connections, her work for the Fabian society and that she considered herself as a ‘conscientous objector’ during WW2.

[27] George F. Gilder (b 1939), an American writer, techno-utopian intellectual, with close links to Republican Presidents and Party. He co-founded of the Discovery Institute. He has written many books including ‘Sexual Suicide’ 1973 and a 1981 bestseller ‘Wealth and Poverty’, and is ardent anti-feminist and critic of government welfare policies.

[28] Australian Institute of Family Studies

[29] ‘Towards a History of the Self Reliant Family In Australia’, Andrew Burbidge Australian Institute of Family Studies

[30] “Back to the Best Interests of the Child – Towards a Rebuttable Presumption of Joint Residence”

[31] Lady Butler-Sloss Pres. Family Division, speech at Regents Park Conference, Nov 2001

[32] ‘Violence and the invisible sex’

[33] New Zealand, to help fund its social policies, has sold its entire Air Force and all of its warships capable of engaging an enemy.

[34] Joint Parenting Assoc.

[35] The CRB was established under Part V of the Police Act 1997. It is now mandatory in the recruitment process that all candidates whether paid of volunteers apply for and receive clearance via a disclosure certificate.

[36] “The current moral alarm over child sexual abuse masks statistical realities”, Bettina Arndt, Sydney Morning Herald, April 15, 2002 See also the Cleveland Inquiry and the writings of Bea Campbell into alleged satanic sexual rituals.

[37] Moral Panic Changing concepts of the Child Molester in Modern America (Yale University Press, 1998)

[38] ‘Divorce Matters’, by Jacqueline Reynolds circa 1984. (co-authored by High Court Judge Roger Ormrod).

[39] See “Punishing parents”, by Frank Furedi, Spiked, 2004. Author of “Where have All The Intellectuals Gone ? Confronting 21st Century Philistinism” (2005), and “Politics of Fear: Beyond Left and Right” (pub 2005).

[40] BCC 29th April 2009

[41] ‘Nursery paedophile Vanessa George’ By Alastair Jamieson, Daily Telegraph, 4th Oct 2009.

[42] Third woman arrested in Facebook paedophile probe”, Daily Mail see also

[43] For example; ‘Problems in the Assessment and Management of Munchausen by Proxy Abuse’, Neale, Bools, & Meadow, R. (1991) Children and Society, 5 (4): 324-333, ‘Munchausen Syndrome by proxy: Bools, Neale & Meadow, R. (1994), a study of psychopathology’, Child Abuse and Neglect 18: 773-788, 1994,

and ‘Co-morbidity associated with fabricated illness ‘,Bools, C., Neale, B. & Meadow, R. (1992).

[44] BBC TV News, 28/10/1997, and on Ch 4 News, women recorded trying to kill (suffocate) their babies in hospital wards; 34 out of 39 cautioned.

[45] Mrs Clark was jailed for life in 1999 for smothering her boys, but her conviction was quashed by the Court of Appeal in 2003. Sir Roy Meadow who gave the forensic evidence was censured by the appeal court in 2003 and has retired. Dr. Southall has had to fight a series of court and GMC hearings from 2004 to 2008.

[46] The 1839 Custody of Infants Act, allowed a wife who was separated from her husband to petition the court and, provided she was ‘of good character’, to gain access to those children still under seven years of age during the father’s lifetime. See also the Custody of Infants Act 1873 and Guardianship of Infants Act 1886.

[47] “Shared parent laws for rethink” By Caroline Overington The Australian, July 24, 2009,25197,25826887-5013871,00.html

[48] Writing about the introduction of gender neutral wording in Colorado’s laws 1966 – 76; ‘Legal Change and Child Custody Awards’, Jessica Pearson, University of Denver 1982

2 responses to “Anna Freud: Part 3 – ‘The curse is cast’

  1. I thought this was a fascinating and well thought out read; thank you for taking the time to read such a detailed analysis. Having read some of Anna Freud’s research, there are some things that inherently concern as it is clear that the work carried out was era specific and also a little myopic in other respects.

    To my mind at least, it is about human connection, as the basic starting point. If children have that connection (assuming it is a healthy and normal one) with someone it should be protected and not subject to gender-biased policy, either way.

    Thank you again; I shall be following your blog with interest.

  2. Pingback: Strasbourg Conference, Oct 2013 | Platform for European Fathers (PEF)

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