Alice Miller, née Alicija Englard (12 January 1923 – 14 April 2010), was a Swiss psychologist of Polish-Jewish origin, who is noted for her books on parental child abuse, translated into several languages. Her book The Drama of the Gifted Child caused a sensation and became an international bestseller with the English publication in 1981. Her views on the consequences of child abuse became highly influential. In her books she departed from psychoanalysis, charging it with being similar to the poisonous pedagogies.
Miller was born in Piotrków Trybunalski, Poland into a Jewish family. She was the oldest daughter of Gutta und Meylech Englard and had a sister, Irena, who was five years younger. From 1931 to 1933 the family lived in Berlin, where nine-year-old Alicija learned the German language. Due to the National Socialists' seizure of power in Germany in 1933 the family turned back to Piotrków Trybunalski. As a young woman, Miller managed to escape the Jewish Ghetto in Piotrków Trybunalski, where all Jewish inhabitants were interned since October 1939, and survived World War II in Warsaw under the assumed name of Alice Rostovska. While she was able to smuggle her mother and sister out of the Ghetto, her father died in 1941 in the Ghetto.
She retained her assumed name Alice Rostovska when she moved to Switzerland in 1946, where she had won a scholarship to the University of Basel.
Miller was married in 1949 to Swiss sociologist Andreas Miller, originally a Polish Catholic, with whom she had moved from Poland to Switzerland as students. They divorced in 1973. They had two children, Martin (born 1950) and Julika (born 1956). Shortly after his mother's death Martin Miller stated in an interview with Der Spiegel that he had been beaten by his authoritarian father during his childhood - in the presence of his mother. Miller first stated that his mother intervened, but later that she did not intervene. He also mentioned that his mother was unable to talk with him, despite numerous lengthy conversations, about her wartime experiences, as she was severely burdened by them...
Quotes by Alice Miller
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