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Das Archiv :: Geschichte
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Of Living and Surviving
A 2003, Beta SP, 1.1.33, Farbe, colour, 110 min
Link zum Video Video PDF Inhaltsaverzeichniss Band 1 transcript sponsores

Con., Realisation: Bernadette Dewald, Gerda Klingenböck / VideoArchiv Ravensbrück
Camera: Bernadette Dewald, Gerda Klingenböck, Tina Leisch
Editing: Gundula Daxecker
Sound Editing: Oliver Stotz
Sound mix: Studio Ko. Ka. Wien, Andreas Wingert
Interviews: Helga Amesberger, Brigitte Halbmayr
Cast: Antonia Bruha, Regine Chum, Helene Igerc, Rosa Winter, Katharina Thaller, Aloisia Hofinger
Advisor: Eva Brunner-Szàbo
Distribution Sales: Sixpack Film,
  One of the women interviewed for ‹Of Living and Surviving› set down her life story and her memories of the Ravensbrück concentration camp in a book entitled ‹Ich war keine Heldin› (I Was Not a Heroine). This could also serve as a motto - for both its author, Antonia Bruha, and the other five interviewees, Regina Chum, Helene Igerc, Rosa Winter, Katharina Thaller and Aloisia Hofinger.

‹I was not a heroine›: In other words, women were deported to Ravensbrück arbitrarily; they were torn from their everyday lives as a result of political events in and after the year 1938 and thrown into what Helene Igerc termed „ hell on Earth ”.

Of the 34 interviews with Austrian survivors of the concentration camp, recorded as part of an oral history project, Bernadette Dewald and Gerda Klingenböck selected six stories which their film compiles in parallel form. Of Living and Surviving allows each of the women plenty of time to tell their varied personal stories. They sit in anonymous rooms or spotless kitchens, the camera remaining at a respectful distance. In front of a neutral background, their stories unfold to construct a space, a raw landscape of memory. Each is at the same time a reflexion on its own outrageousness: A great deal cannot be described, some things remain unsaid, and others seem unutterable other than in ritualized form.

Ravensbrück remains off-camera in the lives of these women, as it has always been off-camera with regard to the world´s memory. Of Living and Surviving forces unpleasant memories to the surface and gives something horrible, even unimaginable, a name and a face.

(Sylvia Szely)
Translation: Steve Wilder

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