Experiences in GDR Children's Homes - Coping and Reappraisal

Project duration: 01/04/2019 - 30/11/2022

Principal investigators: Prof. Dr. Silke Birgitta Gahleitner (ASH Berlin), Prof. Dr. P.H. Heide Glaesmer (Universität Leipzig), Prof. Dr. Heiner Fangerau (Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf), Prof. Dr. phil. Birgit Wagner (Medical School Berlin)

Project staff: Maite Gabriel, Marilena de Andrade


  • Initiative for Victims of Abuse in GDR Homes
  • Memorial Geschlossener Jugendwerkhof Torgau
  • German Institute for Residential Care Research
  • Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse
  • Center for Family, Education and Engagement
  • Institute for Practical Research and Project Consulting (IPP)
  • Berlin contact point, counseling center and meeting place for former home children
  • Design agency Kocmoc

The aim of the joint project is to investigate sexual abuse in GDR children's homes. The subproject at the ASH Berlin uses qualitative interviews to investigate the extent to which the goals of the "Home Education in the GDR in the years 1949-1989" fund, which was set up for concrete assistance in coping, were implemented in the form of its therapy and counseling services for this group of victims. The main focus is on which support options are particularly suitable from the subjective point of view of those affected to cope with the experienced suffering. The work of the subproject shall provide information about the future support needs of those affected by sexual violence after the end of the fund and how further conceptual steps should be taken to meet these support needs.

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF)

Keywords: Sexual Abuse, Former Residential Home Children, Residential Care, DDR Research, Trauma