The phrase, “children’s orphanages” were not words that ever came up in my life and circles. When most of us think of orphanages, we think of Charles Dickens and Oliver Twist. His story gruesomely illustrates the cruelty of life for children, women, and the poor in Victorian London. He tells of the horrors of life in an unscrupulous orphanage owner like Mr. Bumble, or the likes of Bill Sykes.
Ilse never saw her family again. For a short while she received some letters from them through the Red Cross. “He [her father] wrote into my diary saying he hoped his words would give me courage and comfort, knowing not when or where we would meet again. During the war, the Red Cross forwarded correspondence, until about 1941 or 1942. The letters stopped and I learned my mother and sister were shipped to Therezin and later Auschwitz and murdered by the Nazis.”
Rebecca Lester’s book “Famished: Eating Disorders and Failed Care in America,” attempts to cover the medical communities’ Herculean efforts to cure a wide range of eating disorders. The book focuses on the complicated relationship between the attempts to treat those who suffer from eating disorders and the apparent failure of the system to heal them. And at its heart, Lester writes, “It is critical to understand that eating disorders are not about food—not really. They are about a deep, abiding, toxic shame and self-negation that is so embedded that it may never fully be eradicated.”