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.”
…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:http://stuff.mit.edu/people/gkrasko/Frankl.html
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 desolate 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:http://stuff.mit.edu/people/gkrasko/Frankl.htmla
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.”…
…”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:http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2010/nov/25/ingrid-pitt-film-concentration-camp…
…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:http://www.ciaranbrown.com/pitt.html
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:http://stuff.mit.edu/people/gkrasko/Frankl.html