Browse the Plays
- Experience Chronicled
- Allegoric or Metaphoric Representations
- Concentration and Extermination Camps
- Deniers and Denial
- Germany, Hitler and the Growth of Nazism
- European Jewry Before the Holocaust
- The Ghettos
- Righteous Gentiles
- Nazi War Crimes and Judgement
- Other Victims of Nazi Persecution
- Perpetrators, Bystanders and Collaborators
- Survivors and Subsequent Generations
- Theater During Holocaust
- Women and the Holocaust
- Experience Chronicled
A duel for survival between a concentration camp inmate's skills as an actor and the Commandant's cunning. Leaving aside the contest between two religious ideas, which is integrated into the physical action of the Commandant, this is the dramatic spine: the inmate actor bears a certain resemblance to the Commandant; and in the last days before the liberation of the concentration camp, the Commandant forces the inmate to impersonate him in order to facilitate the Commandant's escape. But the inmate’s acting talent turns this ruse into the Commandant's doom.
Il Dio Kurt, translated as Kurt the God, by Alberto Moravia, who was born to a Jewish father and had to publish his earliest works anonymously due to fascist Italy's anti-Semitism, is characterized by the author as a tragedy in two acts with a prologue. The drama is set in a Nazi concentration camp in Poland in 1944. The commandant of the camp, Kurt, who believes himself to be cultured, coerced his Jewish college friend Saul to act out the Oedipus play by unknowingly killing his father and sleeping with his mother. When Kurt reveals what he has made Saul do, the Jewish prisoner kills the commandant.
The Bureaucrat describes the Holocaust, Auschwitz, from the perspective of Rudolf Hess, its commandant, as he wrestles with the problems and agonies of creating the perfect killing machine, while at the same time loving his wife and children and going through the motions of a normal life. His constant struggle is to make this machine as efficient as possible. He is no psychopath, he is no monster, he is simply a human being, one of us. Yet he can commit the unspeakable, struggling not to think about it, like any good bureaucrat.
Just as a concentration camp is about to be liberated, prisoners are forced to rehearse a nativity play about Herod and Christ's family, authored by a camp guard. During the course of Iredynski's drama, the camp prisoners play ironic roles in this grotesque nativity play.