A French psychiatrist, a victim of Nazism, told FABULOASA a life story



Childhood traumas make people strong, not just to overcome them, but also to use their own experience to build systems to put in the service of others. This is the case with Boris Cyrulnik. He says that most of the winners of their own pain transposed the trauma into a book, a film, an experience that influenced the crowds.


In childhood, he was a victim of Nazism, he was left by his parents to save his life, now he is a neurotic neuroscientist He was appointed by President Emmanuel Macron to reform the education system in France. He is very tied to Romania, knows many, especially about the traumas suffered by children during communism. Yesterday he attended the Inauguration of the Petit Enfance Institute, which brings to Romania a new concept, its own concept, based on attachmentBesides, the institute bears its name.



Left to be saved

Boris Cyrulnik is 80 years old now. It comes from a family of Jewish Russian emigrants to France; During the Second World War, he and his family were victims of Nazism. To save his life, his parents left him in a hostel before being deported to Germany.

With no parents and no money, Cyrulnik arrives in an orphanage home in Bordeaux, where a teacher, Marguerite Farge, opposes her own resources to German politics and hides it in her own home. In 1943, during a bombing, several Jewish children were captured by the Germans and imprisoned at the Great Synagogue in Bordeaux for deportation.

Boris manages to run out of a toilet and encounters another woman who decides to save him. This leads him to the country and hires him to be a loser in a household, under the name of Jean Laborde. After the liberation of France, her aunt, Dora takes him to Paris and takes care of his growth and education.

His own trauma determined him to dedicate himself to the study of the development of children between 0 and 6 years, reaching 50 years of research to discover important aspects that influence the development of children.





Captive in the wonderful continent of childhood

During a 3-hour exposition, which he could have extended for 6 hours, so passionate and captivating, Boris Cyrulnik did not lament for a moment. It is clear, it is the proof that you can move forward provided you do not hide the pain in the soul and do not isolate yourself. He’s 80, but he believes in “the childhood continent.”

He spoke about the children and brought concrete examples to each theory. “In the ancient Rome culture, the child was recognized by his father only if he took him in his arms. If he did not get him in his arms, he was thrown into the garbage. He was allowed to die or someone would rise and make him a slave, “the doctor showed.



Music carves the child’s brain

Boris Cyrulnik talked about the role of music and words in developing the child’s brain. “Music not only sculpts the child’s brain, it is the best stimulus of the brain. Music needs peace, just like words. When my mother is pregnant and speaks to her child, the waves are transmitted through the amniotic fluid. The baby has the feeling that her mother comforts her mouth and kisses her cheeks. Therefore, the child first recognizes the face of the mother, not the mother. That’s two months.Only a month later, the child also recognizes the face of his father, “Cyrulnik explained. The doctor added that “the baby’s natural tranquilizer is the mother’s body.” He explained that the ritual of changing baby nappies is different. While her mother talks to them or plays them, they beat him on his belly and finally he tightens him, his father changes his diaper without talking, bangs his belly, and then throws it up.

“Of course, the kid really likes to throw up, laughs and is cheerful, but the moments when his mother tightens his chest have another impact,” Cyrulnik explained.



Prisoner of the mother

The doctor explained that the excessive affection can isolate the child and make him / her disoriented, can make him a dependent adult who is not sure of any movement. “A baby who is trapped in the affection of the mother, who isolates him, who does not allow other people to approach the child because of various fears, will become a teenager who will turn his love to his mother into hate (perhaps unexpressed) and an adult who can not interact. Because he was his mother’s prisoner.Therefore, it is necessary to teach the young to love. Grandparents, older brothers, relatives.


Surprisingly, the teacher spoke, in this context, about the virtues of polygamy. “In polygamy, children with more mothers develop more harmoniously. Of the five mothers, let’s say, a certain one is blessed and eager to play with the baby. If the mother is sick or unhappy, another woman in the family takes its place. Temporary. The child can die without a mother. Or her suffering can affect her. In societies that we think backward, the group, the family, remain extremely important to the child. Sensory isolation affects his brain, “he explained.

Then he gave an example of the culture of Zulu, where the father is not the one who has insignificated, but is the one he attaches to. “In South Africa a woman with four children claimed that her father did not help her with their growth. When she was called, her brother came. They were all stunned. The woman explained that they should not be bewildered at the thought that she had committed an incest that she did not; her brother is considered the father of the children because they are attached to him.


Boris Cyrulnik has been around the world for 50 years to study variations in behaviors in different societies.



Orphanages in Romania destroyed 200,000 children

Boris Cyrulnik also studied the phenomenon of orphanages in Romania during the communist era and considered them an experiment in the destruction of the child emotionally, but also in terms of neuropsychic development.

“It was a tough policy, it affected 200,000 children. Of course, some have managed to recover. Few. Because there, in orphanages, they were treated inhumanly. Even abandoned by parents, if they were lucky enough to give affective people, to speak to them, to pay attention, they would have been saved. But they were given a glass of water and a soup dish. They were abused both physically and mentally.I have known such a man. He was taken to France from the orphanage by a family who cared for him and loved him very much. I once invited him to the table. Although he had been in France for a long time, though he had no affection, he was clutching his arms and leaning. Then, during the meal, I noticed that he was taking the pieces of bread and putting them in his pocket. Although he suffered so much in Romania, he made a Romanian-French newspaper, went to studies and is now a university professor, “the French professor told. Cyrulnik added that parents do not even realize how much wrong can a simple marital quarrel.

“Conjugal violence is an aggression on the child. Although they raise the tone to one another, children have the impression that parents scream at them. If it is also about beating, the child’s brain feels he would have beaten himself. “


Children are the first

Boris Cyrulnik also talked about education systems, about the positive impact of early childhood integration in the community. He believes that in the countries of Northern Europe, where reforms in education, including crèches, were based on the Attachment Theory.

“Here the rule is: children, first. Then we see, “concluded the reputable neuropsychiatrist. This new educational concept, based on Attachment Theory, will be taught at the Petit Enfance Institute, Boris Cyrulnik, for the training of parents or future parents, grandparents, educators, people working in social centers, nurses and anyone interested in developing children between 0 and 6 years.The event was attended by honorary guests, ES Michele Ramis, French Ambassador to Bucharest.




by Cora Muntean, Evenimentul Zilei(Romania)

June 14, 2018

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