Sunday, March 14, 2010

Who's Who In Knickerbocker Village History: The Kestenberg's

Below: Judith Kestenberg as a child, with her husband Milton, Judith as an adult

Janet is the daughter of Milton and Judith

I learned about the Kestenberg's in an extensive KV History 101 Course I took with Bob Wilson last year. It's my understanding the Kestenberg's were part owners, from the early 1940's-?, as well as involved in managing KV
from Milton's 1991 Times' obituary
Milton Kestenberg, a lawyer and real-estate manager who helped win reparations for victims of the Holocaust and who organized aid for children who survived it, died on Tuesday at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan. He was 79 years old and lived in Sands Point, N.Y.
He died of cancer, his family said.
Mr. Kestenberg was the founder and president of Kenyon Associates, a real-estate management firm in Manhattan. The properties he managed included Knickerbocker Village, the Apthorp Building and Astor Court, all in Manhattan.
He was born in Lodz, Poland. After studying law at the University of Vilna and in Warsaw, he began working as a lawyer in Cracow. He ended up in the United States by chance. On a bet that he could get a visitor's visa, he applied and succeeded. He came to the World's Fair in New York City in 1939, but his return was barred when World War II broke out. He studied at St. John's University in Queens and began his career anew.
After the war, in which his mother and brother died at Treblinka, he represented survivors in the German courts, seeking restoration of property and reparations. He specialized in helping children, many of them too young to remember the details normally required for legal evidence.
He was particularly concerned about the psychological impact of the Holocaust. He and his wife, a psychoanalyst who had also left Poland before the war, founded the International Study of Organized Persecution of Children in the Holocaust and traveled worldwide collecting hundreds of interviews. They also created the Association of Children Survivors to help them cope.
He is survived by his wife, the former Judith Silberpfennig; a son, Howard, of Foxborough, Mass.; a daughter, Janet, of West Chester, Pa., and a sister, Irene Duel of Manhattan
Judith's 1998 obituary
Dr. Judith Silberpfennig Kestenberg, a psychoanalyst specializing in child development and the emotional state of Holocaust survivors and their children, died Saturday at her home in Sands Point, N.Y. She was 88.
Dr. Kestenberg headed Child Development Research, which she founded 30 years ago, and Holocaust Child Survivor Studies, both based in Sands Point. With her husband, Milton, she started the research center's International Study of the Organized Persecution of Children.
She and her associates traveled all over the world to collect taped interviews with more than 1,500 child survivors of the Holocaust and their children, as well as the children of Nazis. Fluent in French, German and Polish, she wrote two German books used to teach German children about the Holocaust.
Judith Silberpfennig was born in Tarnov, Poland, and trained in medicine, neurology and psychiatry in Vienna. She came to New York in 1937 and completed her training at Bellevue Hospital and the New York Psychological Institute.
Her husband was born in Lodz, Poland, and became a lawyer there before coming to the United States in 1939. He managed real estate in New York and, after World War II, sued in German courts to seek compensation for Holocaust victims and also organized aid for their children.
They were married in the mid-1940's and became a team in their Holocaust pursuits when he started representing the victims, especially children, before the courts and found that many of them had only vague memories of their ordeals.
Dr. Kestenberg, a professor emeritus at New York University Medical School, taught generations of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychoanalysts and other experts on development, mental health and dance-movement therapy. She also was on the staff and faculty at Long Island Jewish Hospital.
She published seven books and some 150 professional articles. Most recently she edited, with Dr. Charlotte Kahn, ''Children Surviving Persecution: An International Study of Trauma and Healing'' (Greenwood, 1998).
Her other books in print include ''Sexuality, Body Movement and the Rhythms of Development'' (Aronson, 1995); with Dr. Ira Brenner, ''The Last Witness: The Child Survivor of the Holocaust'' (American Psychiatric Press, 1996), and, as editor with Dr. Eva Fogelman, ''Children During the Nazi Reign: Psychological Perspective on the Interview Process'' (Greenwood, 1994). Milton Kestenberg died in 1991. Dr. Kestenberg is survived by a son, Howard, of Foxborough, Mass.; a daughter, Janet Kestenberg of West Chester, Pa., and four grandchildren. Her work at Child Development Research is being continued by Dr. Fogelman and associates.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

David, thank you for the pictures of my family. I live in Lodz and a father of Milton was my feat grandfother brother.
Kind regards
Izabela Raduszewska

PS. then I will proofe I'm not a robot :)