The Trial of God: (As It Was Held on February 25, 1649, in Shamgorod)


Set in a Ukrainian village in 1649, the play takes place in the aftermath of a pogrom. A Jewish innkeeper, Berish, and his daughter Hannah survive the raid, and when three actors arrive in the village to perform a Purim play, Berish demands that they stage a mock trial to indict God for His silence in the face of evil. A mysterious stranger named Sam arrives and volunteers to play the role of prosecutor.



The play was produced on PBS Television in 2008 with the title God on Trial.

Elie Wiesel moved to New York City in 1955 and subsequently became an American citizen. In the U.S. he wrote over 40 books and won many literary prizes. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986 for speaking out against violence, repression and racism.

Original or Prominent Production: Premiered by Bucket Productions at the Bath House Cultural Center in Dallas, Texas on February 2, 2000.
Original Source Material: Based on events Elie Wiesel witnessed first-hand as a teenager while interned in Auschwitz: "Three rabbis—all erudite and pious men—decided one evening to indict God for allowing His children to be massacred. I remember: I was there, and I felt like crying. But there nobody cried."
Nationality of Author:
Original Language: French
English Language Translator: Marion Wiesel

First published in English in 1979 by Random House.
Schocken/Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 1995
Samuel French

Production Rights Holder:

All rights handled by Georges Borchardt, Inc.