life is a silent scream

Ingrid Pitt. For some the horror was never over. Torn between building a life while repressing the horrors experienced. As a child sent to the Stutthof Concentration camp. How can one survive? The only thing that makes sense are the words of Viktor Frankl who said one can live only for as long as one’s life has meaning. Even at her young there was some kind of escape into the past; an determined avoidance of the emptiness, spiritual decrepitude and physical suffering of the daily existence could only be attainable through an incredible intensifying of the inner life. The trauma must have been unsupportable. And, of even more significant importance than acquiring a meaning for her, must have been coming to some kind of comprehension of the “why” of her existence as a source of locating hope and strength at a future date. Some general coordinates that one could visualize reaching one day. In fact, it was in the Stutthof that she realized acting would be her vocation.

Our generation has come to know man as he really is: the being that has invented the gas chambers of Auschwitz, and also the being who entered those gas chambers upright, the Lord’s Prayer or the Shema Yisrael on his lips. Viktor E. Frankl, “Psychotherapy and Existentialism.”

Sylvia Plath ( Daddy )...It stuck in a barb wire snare. Ich, ich, ich, ich, I could hardly speak. I thought every German was you. And the language obscene An engine, an engine, Chuffing me off like a Jew. A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen. I began to talk like a Jew. I think I may well be a Jew. The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna Are not very pure or true. With my gypsy ancestress and my weird luck And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack I may be a bit of a Jew. I have always been sacred of you, ...Read More:

…A Freudian man, having been put into conditions of endless suffering and deprivation would have had to turn into an animal, with the lowest possible instincts taking over the whatever “civilized” and humane had been implanted during the previous life. Too often that was the case in the Nazi concentration camps. People betrayed each others, or stole precious food from their comrades, even when that could hasten the unfortunate’s death – all the means were good if they helped to save their own lives. And yet, in his account of the psychology of the concentration camp (Man’s Search for Meaning, MSM) Viktor Frankl gives quite a few examples of human behavior that disprove Freud’s theory.

They do not, in fact, quite disprove. Those examples rather prove that one can elevate oneself, rise from that abyss of the animal to the heights of the human. “In the concentration camp, in this living laboratory and on this testing ground, we watched and witnessed some of our comrades behave like swine while others behaved like saints. Man has both potentials within himself; which one is actualized depends on decisions but not on conditions” Read More:


---Born Ingoushka Petrov in 1937 Poland, Ingrid Pitt would survive the German occupation and internment in a concentration camp....It seems her mother would have agreed, writing in her autobiography, Life's A Scream, that she had a 'strong sense of the dramatic even before I was born'. Indeed, Ingrid's birth interrupted her parents' attempts to flee Nazi Germany via Poland in 1937, delaying their attempt to escape to Britain. Caught by the Germans, Pitt and her mother were interned at the Stutthof concentration camp. She survived the war and joined the Berliner Ensemble, where she worked under actress Helene Weigel, the widow of German playwright Bertolt Brecht. But the political climate in East Germany didn't suit her, and her outspoken criticism of the Communist officials didn't suit the government there either. She left Berlin on the night of her planned stage debut, diving into (and nearly drowning in) the Spree, which runs through the German capital. Pitt was rescued by a handsome U.S. lieutenant, who she would later marry. She then moved to America, and - following the breakup of her marriage - to Spain Read more: image:


Pitt was known as a sexy icon of the horror genre but her writings are a marvel of the older tradition of storytelling. Long paragraphs sometimes over four hundred words long on a range of subjects from the Peking man to WWII atrocities which displayed a polymathical interest. This type of story is out of place in our modern culture where the contexts preclude the story as a means of exchanging experience, rather as content or information.

…Art existed in the camps. Tired, hungry, and frozen people composed music, drew pictures, and wrote poetry. There were even makeshift “concerts,” with good music, songs, and even humor.

Against all odds, the aesthetic feeling, the ability to see the beautiful in nature, had not disappeared. An exhausted man might draw the attention of a friend working next to him to a view of the setting sun through the trees of a winter forest. Frankl recalls: “One evening, when we were already resting on the floor of our hut, dead tired, soup bowls in hand, a fellow prisoner rushed in and asked us to run to the assembly grounds and see the wonderful sunset. Standing outside we saw sinister clouds glowing in the west and the whole sky alive with clouds of ever-changing shapes and colors, from steel blue to blood red. The deso

gray mud huts provided a sharp contrast, while the puddles on the muddy ground reflected the glowing sky. Then, after minutes of moving silence, one prisoner said to another, ‘How beautiful the world could be!’” Read More:

---There is nothing that commends a story to memory more effectively than that chaste compactness which precludes psychological analysis. And the more natural the process by which the storyteller forgoes psychological shading, the greater becomes the story’s claim to a place in the memory of the listener, the more completely is it integrated into his own experience – the greater will be his inclination to repeat it to someone else someday, sooner or later. This process of assimilation, which takes place in depth, requires a state of relaxation which is becoming rarer and rarer. If sleep is the apogee of physical relaxation, boredom is the apogee of mental relaxation. Boredom is the dream bird that hatches the egg of experience. A rustling in the leaves drives him away. His nesting places—the activities that are intimately associated with boredom—are already extinct in the cities and are declining in the country as well. With this the gift for listening is lost and the community of listeners disappears. For storytelling is always the art of repeating stories, and this art is lost when the stories are no longer retained.--- Read More:


Now a US film-making team has revealed that prior to her death, the Hammer horror favourite collaborated on an animated short film about her experiences.

Pitt provided voiceover narration for Ingrid Pitt: Beyond the Forest, working with twice Academy award-nominated film-maker Bill Plympton, director and co-producer Kevin Sean Michaels and a 10-year-old animator, Perry Chen.

“She remained tortured by the horrors of her childhood Holocaust experiences until her sudden death,” said the film’s producer, Dr Jud Newborn, the film’s co-writer, co-producer and historical adviser. “She never exploited or emphasised them in any of her work or public persona, only mentioning them in her memoir long after her film career had waned.”… studied to finish high school and continued to study in different schools and I am continuing to studying until today. I managed to raised a family - a privilege for the few who had survived. I act like every other human being so as not to transfer my burden to my children but the memories of the horrors accompany me day and night. I am learning to live with the heaviness in my heart. I was never painting but started more than 20 years ago and have been painting, sculpting and writing poetry in remembrance ever since. I feel that by my art I am helping to transfer my experiences and feelings to others to help prevent this from ever happening again. Every individual who survived that other world has a duty to leave documentation, art, music and personal stories behind so that future generations will not forget. I hope that we will all live in a better world and that the horror of the Holocaust will not be repeated. The war ended in 1945. For me, the Holocaust will never end ... Read More:

…”Retelling her childhood pain for the film and its narration was an ordeal for her. But as she aged, Ingrid Pitt felt it important that the public know about the millions of children who suffered during the Holocaust. She wanted to be part of a project that would remind the world of the 1.5 million children who died – as well as to protect children of all cultures today from the kind of oppression and abuse that she had endured.” Read More:

---In the fifties, sixties, and seventies, much of Lurie’s work, such as the infamous Railroad Collage (1963) not only shocked and confused, but even repulsed much of the viewing public. Some of his juxtapositions of explicit imagery of sexuality against others of brutal death and dehumanization even now defy rational engagement: they are visual aporias that short-ciruit analysis. His Dismembered Women and Pin-Up collage series, among others, at once assert that the objectification of women is violence against women and that female sexuality is a fundamental and ineradicable force, ideas difficult at best to incorporate in a single work. Theodor Adorno famously remarked, “To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric.” Lurie stands among the great artists, figures like Tadeusz Borowski, Primo Levi, and Paul Celan, who have responded in art to the greatest inhumanity ever perpetrated and shown just what poetry after Auschwitz might be, and why it must be. In the battle for the soul and humanity of art, Lurie was a hero of the resistance, the resistance against compromise, indifference, perversion, and co-optation or manipulation by the market. --- Read More:

…The day that they were taken into a forest to be shot, Ingrid and her mother managed to escape and were rescued by partisans, with whom they lived rough during the last year of the war. After the war, they  trudged from one refugee camp to another, to search for Ingrid’s father and older sister Brigitte, who had been sent to a separate camp. They eventually found them, but by then her father was a broken man, and he only lived for another five years. Read More:

---Without doubt, she noted in her memoirs, Life's A Scream (1999), "my entire life was overshadowed by my childhood and the tormenting acts of violence and hate I had to witness. I survived the hell, but hardly anyone else did: 98 per cent of all deportees died. Surviving doesn't made one special – but it does make one extraordinarily lucky." --- Read More:

Read More:
In his autobiography Frankl writes: “…as a psychiatrist, or rather a psychotherapist, I see beyond the actual weaknesses… I can see beyond the misery of the situation, the possibility to discover a meaning behind it, and thus to turn an apparently meaningless life into a genuine human achievement. I am convinced that, in the final analysis, there is no situation, which does not contain the seed of meaning. To a great extent, this conviction is the basis of logotherapy’s subject and system.” (RCL; italics by Frankl).

Frankl’s school of thought was later named “The Third Viennese School of Psychotherapy.” In a nutshell, the difference among the three Viennese Schools of Psychotherapy is as follows: the Freudian and Adlerian psychologies are centered respectively on the “will to pleasure” and the “will to power.” Frankl argues that it is “the striving to find a meaning in life” that “is the primary motivational force in man” . Moreover, Frankl claims that “Actually, ‘pleasure is not the goal of human striving but rather a by-product of the fulfillment of such striving; and ‘power’ is not an end but a means to an end. Thus, the ‘pleasure principle’ school mistakes a side effect for the goal, while the ‘will to power’ school mistakes a means for the end” . However, society gets sick when the two latter “wills” take over: they bring society into a state of “existential vacuum.” Read More:

Related Posts

This entry was posted in Cinema/Visual/Audio, Feature Article, Ideas/Opinion, Literature/poetry/spoken word and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>