Robert Krell

Professional Affiliations and other Positions

Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, Founding President and Board Member

Research and Interests

Psychiatric treatment of aging survivors of massive trauma

Anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice education



Dr. Robert Krell was born in Holland and survived the Holocaust in hiding. The Krell family moved to Vancouver, Canada where he obtained an MD from the University of British Columbia and eventually became professor of psychiatry.

In his psychiatric practice, Dr. Krell was director of child and family psychiatry and also treated Holocaust survivors and their families as well as Dutch survivors of Japanese concentration camps.

He established a Holocaust education program for high school students in 1976, an audio-visual documentation program recording survivor testimony in 1978 and assisted with the formation of child survivor groups starting in 1982.

Dr. Krell served on the International Advisory Council of the Hidden Child Gathering in New York in 1991.

He founded the Vancouver Holocaust Education Center which opened in 1994 and which teaches 20,000 students annually.

He has authored and co-edited ten books, twenty book chapters and over fifty journal articles. Dr. Krell continues to write and speak on Holocaust related topics.

Life Fellow, American Psychiatric Association, 1989
The Elie Wiesel Holocaust Remembrance Medal, New York, New York, November 15th, 1998
Government of Canada Citation, 50th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, 1998
Dinner and Public Lecture by Sir Martin Gilbert in recognition of founding the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre and the establishment of the Robert and Marilyn Krell Endowment Fund, State of Israel Bonds dinner, Vancouver, BC, April 25, 1999
Award from the August 15, 1945 Foundation for assistance to Dutch survivors of Japanese concentration camps. August 14, 1999
10th Anniversary Vancouver Holocaust Centre Society’s Gala Dinner in Honour of Robert Krell and Robbie Waisman. Four Seasons Hotel, Vancouver, BC. May 29, 2005
The Hillel Lifetime Achievement Award for “bringing solace and understanding to generations of Holocaust Survivors”. Boston University Schools of Law and Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, October 23, 2011
Keynote speaker, United Nations International Day of Commemoration Ceremony in memory of the victims of the Holocaust, United Nations, New York,  January 27, 2012
An Evening with Elie Wiesel: A conversation with Robert Krell. Vancouver Jewish Federation Annual Campaign Opening, The Orpheum Theatre, Vancouver, BC, September 10, 2012
Award from the Lessons and Legacies and the Holocaust Educational Foundation in recognition of “distinguished contributions to Holocaust education”. Evanston, Illinois, November 2, 2012
Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition “as an outstanding human rights educator”. Victoria, British Columbia, December 5, 2012
Special Recognition by The World Federation of Jewish Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Descendants, “as a friend, a brother, one of our ‘guiding lights’ who has helped us to recognize, define, and own our experiences as Child Survivors of the Holocaust, and continues to make the world aware of the impact those experiences had and continue to have on our lives”. Berlin, Germany, August 24, 2014
BC Community Achievement Award, in recognition for “dedicating life to anti-racism, anti-Semitism and Holocaust education……establishing the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre, pioneering audio visual testimony and help in formation of Child Survivor groups”, Victoria, BC, April 24, 2015
Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award, in acknowledgment of the significant contributions he has made in promoting human rights and social justice in Canada as well as founding the Vancouver Holocaust Centre.  Vancouver, BC, March 4, 2016


Selected Publications


Krell R, Sherman M: Medical and Psychologic Effects of Concentration Camps on Holocaust Survivors. Volume 4 of Genocide A Critical Bibliographic Review (ed: IW Charny) (2500 references to the literature from 1945 – 1995), Transaction Publishers, Rutgers University, 1997.

Hemmendinger J, Krell R: The Children of Buchenwald: Child Survivors of the Holocaust and Their Postwar Lives. Gefen Publishing, Jerusalem, April, 2000.

Glassner M, Krell R: (co-editors), And Life is Changed Forever: Holocaust Childhoods Remembered. Wayne State University Press. August, 2006

Krell R: Child Holocaust Survivors – Memories and Reflections, Trafford Publishing, Victoria, B.C. October 2007

Krell R: Memoiries: Sounds from Silence, Vancouver, B.C. February 2016


Book Chapters

Krell R: Aspects of psychologic trauma in Holocaust survivors and their children. Genocide Critical Issues of the Holocaust (eds: A. Grobman, D. Landes) Rossel Books, Chappaqua, New York, 1983. 371-380.

Krell R: Alternative therapeutic approaches to Holocaust survivors. Healing Their Wounds: Psychotherapy with Holocaust Survivors and Their Families (eds: P. Marcus, A. Rosenberg) Praeger Publishers, New York, 1989, 215-­226.

Krell R: The psychiatric treatment of Holocaust survivors. The Widening Circle of Genocide (ed: I. Charny). Volume 3 in the series Genocide – A Critical Bibliographic Review.” Transaction Publishers, Rutgers University,1994, 245-271.

Krell R: Hiding during and after the war: The fate of children who survived the Holocaust. Holocaust and Church Struggle (eds: Hubert G.Locke and Marcia Sachs Littell). Studies in the Shoah. Volume XVI. University Press of America. New York, London, 1996, 279-284.

Krell R: Psychiatry and the Holocaust. Medical and Psychological Effects of Concentration Camps on Holocaust Survivors and Survivors and Their Families: Psychiatric Consequences. Both in Genocide: A Critical Bibliographic Review, Volume 4 (eds: Robert Krell and Marc Sherman). Transaction Publishers, Rutgers. The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, NJ, 1997, 3-31

Krell R: Psychological Reverberations of the Holocaust in the Lives of Child Survivors. A special publication of the United States Holocaust Research Institute of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Monna and Otto Weinmann Lecture Series, June 1997.

Moskovitz S, Krell R with I. Moskovitz and A. Askrew (eds. John K. Roth and Elizabeth Maxwell): “The Struggle for Justice: A Survey of Child Holocaust Survivors’ Experiences with Restitution.” Remembering for the Future: The Holocaust in an Age of Genocide. Palgrave Publications Ltd. Houndmills,U.K. 2001, 923-937



Krell R: Holocaust families: Survivors and their children. Comp Psychiatry 20:560-568, 1979.

Krell R: Family therapy with children of concentration camp survivors. Am J Psychotherapy 36:513-522, 1982.

Krell R: Holocaust survivors and their children: Comments on psychiatric consequences and psychiatric terminology. Comprehensive  Psychiatry 265:521-528, 1984.

Krell R: Guest Editor – Special Section on Child survivors of the Holocaust: Forty years later. J Am Acad Child Psychiatry 24:377-412, 1985.

Krell R: Introduction to the Special Section and Therapeutic value of documenting child survivors.  J Am Acad Child Psychiatry 24: 378-380, 397-400, 1985.

 Krell R: Holocaust survivors: A clinical perspective. Psychiatric J University of Ottawa 15:18-21,1990.

Moskovitz S, Krell R: Child survivors of the Holocaust: Psychological adaptations to survival. Israel J Psychiatry and Related Sciences 27:81-91, 1990.

Krell R: Aging Holocaust survivors: Memory, nostalgia, and treatment issues. And The aging child survivor and the problems of memory/nostalgia in Selected Proceedings of the First National Conference on Identification, Treatment and Care of  the Aging Holocaust Survivor. Published by The Holocaust Documentation and Education Centre, Inc. Southeast Florida Center on Aging, FIU, March 29-31, 1992

Krell R: Children who survived the Holocaust strategies of adaptation. Can J Psychiatry 38:384-389,1993.

Krell R: Children who survived the Holocaust – reflections of a child survivor/psychiatrist. Echoes of the Holocaust (ed: S. Robinson) Bulletin of the Jerusalem Center for Research into the Late Effects of the Holocaust, 4:14-21, 1995.

Krell R: Confronting despair: the Holocaust survivor’s struggle with ordinary life and ordinary death. Can Med Assoc J. 157: 741-744, 1997.

Krell, R, Suedfeld, P, Soriano, E: Child Holocaust Survivors as Parents: A Transgenerational Perspective. Amer J of Ortho Psychiatry. 2004

Krell, R: Facing memories: silent no more. The Hidden Child. (Newsletter published by Hidden Child Foundation) ADL. New York. Vol. V. No.1 p 6, 2005

Krell, R: Elderly Children as Grown-Ups: Child Survivors of the Holocaust, Psychoanalytic Perspectives V(1):13-21, Winter 2007