A Matter of Survival

Brief synopsis: A Matter of Survival takes place in Athens in September of 1943, during the round-up of Greek Jews by the Nazis. In the first act, the Cohens, an extended multi-generational family of Greek Jews, has to decide whether to register with the Nazis, join the Greek Resistance, or go into hiding, with each of the characters making different decisions. Act II shows the consequences of these decisions: Fanny and Leon, in hiding, watch Leon’s brother Isaac and Isaac’s wife Miriam get deported to Auschwitz; their children have left for the mountains to fight in the Resistance.
Format: Drama
Cast Size: 5M,4W
Character breakdown

Nina Cohen: A Greek-Jewish woman
Toula Milioty: A Christian Fighter in the Greek Resistance
Fanny Cohen: Nina’s Mother
Leon Cohen: Fanny’s Husband
Isaac Cohen: Leon’s Brother
Miriam Cohen: Isaac’s Wife; a German Jew
Rabbi Barzelai: Chief Rabbi of Athens
Roberto Lorenzo: Italian Commandant
Dieter Wisliceny: Nazi Commander of the Occupation in Greece



Study guides or support material: Archival Material, including Rae Dalven’s letters, which describe the genesis, evolution, and rationale for writing the play.

Date of authorship, 1979.

Nationality of Author:


Production Rights Holder:

Adam Goldwyn/Yeshiva University

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