De prijs van overleven
About IDFA
De prijs van overleven
IDFA 2003

De prijs van overleven

The Price of Survival
Louis van Gasteren
56 min
Festival history
More than thirty years ago, Louis van Gasteren made the documentary BEGRIJPT U NU WAAROM IK HUIL? about a therapeutic LSD session that professor Jan Bastiaans did with a traumatised ex-prisoner of German concentration camps. The patient died in late 2000 at the age of 81. He left a wife and three children. Poignant conversations with the widow and youngest son, and excerpts from letters from the other two children reveal that a concentration camp syndrome can also inflict deep wounds in those who have not personally experienced it. Father survived the camps, but in fact stopped living when he was ‘liberated’ in 1945. His post-war offspring feel deeply damaged by the spectre of the camp horrors, which constantly hung over the family and made their childhood into a cold-hearted hell. ‘Anything you said distressed my father. So you couldn’t bring up any subject. And after a while we didn’t discuss anything anymore’, the eldest son explains, who deliberately remained childless for fear of transferring the grief to the next generation. When the widow wants to scatter her husband’s ashes in Sachsenhausen, the monument of the former concentration camp where father endured his most difficult time, the children refuse to attend the ceremony.
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