Lebenshilfe shows a film about children in psychiatry in the Ala Falkensee cinema

Falkensee.It’s 39 minutes that come under the skin: Last Friday, the Brandenburg State Association of Lebenshilfe for people with mental disabilities showed the film “Nevertheless Me” in the Ala cinema. It deals with disorders for children and young people who were admitted to inpatient psychiatric facilities or in the GDR. After the film screening, the organizers provided additional background information and guests had the opportunity to ask questions.

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New formats during the corona pandemic

“The film is sad – it deals with a difficult chapter in the story,” said Susanne Meffert (Lebenshilfe Landesverband Brandenburg eV) in the introduction. The idea for the film arose because no events could take place due to the corona pandemic. “When we asked people who had experienced suffering and injustice to participate, they immediately said yes,” Meffert said.

The film is directed by Wolfgang Dümcke and was made in collaboration between Lebenshilfe and Brandenburg’s State Commissioner to deal with the consequences of the communist dictatorship. The film was funded by Aktion Mensch and the Recognition and Aid Foundation. It only took three weeks to complete the film. Despite the seriousness of the subject, he should also encourage: “The film also shows how to live with it today. That’s why it’s called ‘Anyway I’ ‘, says Meffert.

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Movies show the suffering of those affected

Children who were tied to heaters for hours or who were forced into isolation, who were denied emotional attention and access to education – the film shows honestly and in a painful way how suffering was inflicted on those affected in the various clinics. It is believed that there were such incidents in more than 60 facilities and that these were often even everyday normal.

Machining is associated with many obstacles. The documents from the clinics at that time were partially destroyed. It is often difficult for those affected to tell about their experiences themselves: “Most of those affected do not talk about it, which also has something to do with the fact that they communicate in a different way,” says Meffert.

The Recognition and Help Foundation supports those affected

To still allow people to share what they have experienced and heard, the federal government, state governments and the Protestant and Catholic Church established the Foundation for Acknowledgment and Help in 2017. “The fund was set up to support those affected with a lump sum of 9,000 euros. The sum of money should not make things right, because you can not do things right again. But she should recognize what happened to the people, “said Denise Schumann, who works as a consultant for the Brandenburg Foundation’s contact and counseling center in Potsdam.

Since 2017, the five-year fund has reached around 2,000 people – a fraction of those actually affected. Schumann knows that they still feel the consequences of what they experienced today. “There was no individual care and empathy for the children. To this day, they have difficulty forming interpersonal relationships and suffer from restlessness. Learning that they can express their own needs and desires is a long journey for them,” he said. Schumann.

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Move to housing groups after reunification

Those affected received support after the reunification: “As a state association, we tried to get people out of the clinics. They had previously lived in the facilities for decades. The curative training nurses who went to the clinics and prepared people to leave the facilities to live in a house did a good job, ”said Meffert.

The film shows how some of those affected have found housing in shared apartments run by Lebenshilfe, and how they have found a way to deal with what they have experienced. You can see a painter from Gransee or a wood sculptor from Templin: They hardly speak, but they use the creative design possibilities to express how they feel and what occupies them.

Even today, action is still needed

But even today, as Meffert made clear during the event, there is still much to be done: “Even today, the question sometimes arises: where to go with a person with behavioral problems? It happens again and again that someone is admitted to a clinic – and after half a year it is said that they can not return to their accommodation. For a small percentage of people, there is still no solution. “

The film must not only create publicity for what happened, but also draw attention to the difficulties of the disabled: “Today, there is a lack of understanding of high performers, good employees and a place in society. A lot has been achieved, but some things still cannot be implemented, ”says Meffert.

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Info: The film can be viewed for free on the Internet at www.weiterbildung-lebenshilfe-brandenburg.de/trotzdem-ich-der-film/

By Leonie Mikulla

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