Viktor Staudt - Keeping the memory of a friend

Published by IFOTES on 7 November 2019


In memory of a friend

We remember Viktor through his last speech "The price of modern life: depression and loneliness", held on 5 July 2019 at the IFOTES congress in Udine, and the following words of his uncle and aunt.

For Viktor Staudt

7 March 1969 - 8 September 2019

We are born without asking and most of the time, like Viktor, we are greeted with great love.

We come into the world with all our abilities, our strengths, our vices and our character. We come into the world to become who we are.

Nobody is the same as another and sometimes the differences are immense, but we are nevertheless of equal value. We are unique.

Our task is to love each other like we love ourselves. We must give each other the space and freedom we would like to have ourselves. We must accept each other.

Because in this way we can feel safe and protected, otherwise life becomes too heavy.

Sometimes this task is complex, difficult and often we don't succeed even though we want it desperately.

Viktor was intelligent, erudite, sensitive, eloquent and lovable.

From the beginning he carried a heavy burden with him, a burden made of great questions, doubts and insecurities.

Throughout his life Viktor has been looking for his way. Often loosing the right direction and getting lost and enduring the consequences.

In such circumstances it is difficult to remain at the helm of life. Despite the love, the perseverance and the faith of his family and his friends who were sometimes driven to despair, it was often difficult to really understand him, just as he could not understand himself.

Looking into the soul of others, looking into the deepest part of another person’s being is so difficult, indeed impossible. We only see what the other wants to show us, we only see what the other is able to show us.

To become who you are, it seems so simple. But at the end, it was a road that was too long for Viktor.

A few years ago, in Tuscany, Clara and I spent a fantastic afternoon with him. We spent some pleasant hours under an ancient olive tree on a mountain side with an unobstructed view of the valley towards Arezzo. The sky was clear, without a cloud. We talked about everything and nothing. For a moment Viktor rested his heavy burden against the tree trunk. We laughed, but we were also very serious and we felt united, we were free. It was just the way life should be.

In his emails he wrote a lot about his travels, his lectures, their importance but he also let us know that they were weighing on him. The fact that people expected so much from him, leaning on him, asking questions to which he had no answers, not even for himself, was exhausting. His doubts grew more and more.

Viktor was always on the move, in his head, and in the world, looking for safety and protection; safety and protection that he needed but that at the end he did not allow to enter in his life.

Viktor always kept fighting back and, until the end, managed to light a light for others who were deep in the darkness.

Viktor was of unimaginable importance to thousands of people, but in the end he didn't know how to save himself. Can you be angry with someone if in the end they loose their will to fight?

Viktor, your name means winner. It would be too simple to say that life has defeated you and that you are a loser. What you did for others was great. There is nothing to be ashamed of. I think that it was you, yourself, that defeated this life that challenged you so much. And this took a lot of courage.

As much as we grieve, we admire you for this, even if it breaks our hearts, above all when thinking of Ed, Loma and Werner. Parents should not lose a child. But this was inevitable, it's fine this way, for Viktor.

He was exhausted, he deserved to find serenity. You can be proud of him, as you can be proud of what you have done and what you represented for him, constantly and unconditionally. Always remember this and stay close together.

Albert and Clara

(Viktor’s uncle and aunt)