Silent Witnesses


Decades after World War II, a group of women meet, moderated by a therapist. The women have one thing in common: all of them, including the therapist, survived the Holocaust as children. Expected to quietly assimilate and to not dwell on the past, they remained silent for years. Even the camp survivors wrote them off: “They were kids, they were hidden; nothing really happened to them.” Now, they begin to tell their stories for the first time: tales of vanished loved ones, privation, shame and sorrow. Now, in the safety of Dana’s home office, the boundaries between therapist, friend and co-survivor all disappear. Silent Witnesses is not the story of victims. It is an uplifting story of survival. Based on interviews and conversations with child survivors, these stories are unique in the realm of Holocaust narratives. Their memories were shaped through a child’s lens, yet infused with the wisdom of the adults they’ve become.
Running time: 83 minutes
Character breakdown




The play can be performed by 4–5 women, plus 1–2 men playing small roles of soldiers, Dana’s father. The playwright converted it to a solo play as she was particularly comfortable in this genre and was on such familiar terms with the women she interviewed, and wished to represent and celebrate them as faithfully as she could.
See also the Child Survivors of the Holocaust, Los Angeles website.

Original or Prominent Production: Whitefire Theatre L.A., fall 2013; Odyssey Theatre, L.A., May 2014; United Solo Festival NYC, 2013; River City Repertory Theatre, Shreveport, Louisiana, January 2014.
Original Source Material: Interviews and conversations with Child Survivors of the Holocaust, Los Angeles.
Nationality of Author:
Original Language: English
Production Rights Holder:

Stephanie Satie