RAUS

Message: RAUS is about a famous German composer who at the urging of his Jewish daughter-in-law, Alice, tries to have her grandmother mother, Paula Neumann, released from the Theresienstadt concentration camp during World War II and is thwarted in his efforts by the Nazi commandant. His family has strong fears about his efforts. He gets to see Paula briefly, helped by the secretary to the commandant, and one of the guards who risk their lives by arranging the meeting. On returning to his home RAUS is faced with a crisis of conscience, having cooperated as a musician with the Nazi regime, and now seeing the horror of Nazis. He is offered a possible Faustian bargain. If he conducts the Theresienstadt orchestra of Jewish musicians the commandant will reconsider his request to have Paula released. The commandant ultimately says "no". He meets with his old friend, Graf, Hitler’s education adviser, and his colleague, the conductor, Wilhem Furtwangler, to ask them to intercede with Hitler. They too refuse. RAUS begins to fear for his own life and the lives of his Jewish daughter-in-law and grandsons who have been allowed to remain at his home by the Nazi regime. There is a scene of the infamous Red Cross visit to the "model ghetto" Theresienstadt where the Danish observers are duped by the commandant and the Jewish Elder about the nature of the camp which is a transit station for Auschwitz. At the end, with his last hope gone of saving Paula, Raus is determined to survive in the face of unmitigated evil.
Format: Drama

Snapshot

Original or Prominent Production: Staged reading at Medicine Show Theatre in 2017.
Original Source Material: An imagined play based in fact about Richard Strauss and the Nazis
Experience(s) Chronicled:

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