If traumatic war-related experiences are pushed aside or are not worked through, they may seriously disrupt life in the long term. As much became clear in the aftermath of the Second World War.
More than 25 years after the liberation (1971), 'Foundation Centrum Concentration Camp Syndrome' was established. With the opening of the building in Oegstgeest in 1973 the name was changed to Foundation Centrum ’45.
Four elements have always been of utmost importance:
- social engagement;
- increasing knowledge of psychotrauma treatment;
- increasing the professionalism of therapists
The number of new groups of traumatised people continues to increase. At first the emphasis was on caring for members of the resistance, victims of the Second World War and their relatives. With time, this emphasis shifted to civilian casualties, people who were traumatized in the Dutch East Indies, victims from concentration camps and people subjected to forced labour. As of 1991, we also treat veterans, refugees and people who have been traumatized whilst carrying out their profession (especially relief workers).
Foundation Centrum ’45 has become a specialist treatment organisation that devotes a great deal of attention to research into psychotraumatology. Other professional and volunteer organizations complete the range of care available to victims. Their concern is to give support, promote victims’ interests, transfer information, set up support groups and groups for fellow sufferers, and offer guidance.