The memoir “The Voices of Those Remaining” is a devastating and moving testimony to Christian Discher’s crisis in 1997. At 17, when he was seeking out help and support, he was subjected to the brutal, degrading and traumatizing treatment in a notorious psychiatric ward, the so-called “Hell of Ueckermünde”. The consequences of the brutal mistreatment which included restraint, violence and forced medication threatened to permanently destroy all the plans of and dreams of the adolescent high school student. He seemed to be severely scarred in both body and soul, deprived of his ability to concentrate and express himself.
For him, the fate of the people who he met on his personal journey to hell and who were his companions became a telltale sign: None of them returned to a self-determined, independent life. Instead, they remained under the thumb of an institution exercising total control, which transformed afflicted people into administrative objects. Many disappeared completely from the scene. Some of them died. With tenacious energy and a relentless will Christian Discher fought his way back into life, his powerlessness transformed into resistance. As a linguist and teacher with a PhD, he uses the power of the word to draw attention to the appalling conditions and their many silent victims. He was driven on by the realization that the practice and consequences of the practices of the Hell of Ueckermünde are far from over. Moreover, they are also by no means unique, but continue to exist in the blind spot of public perception in some form or other.
Christian Discher PhD