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 theatrical adaptation of the 1904 Polish play Akropolis by Stanislaw Wyspianski. The production reflected Grotowski's theory of "poor theatre," in which all of the traditional theatrical elements were stripped away to focus on the actors and their use of the body. In it Grotowski's actors (seemingly Auschwitz prisoners) built a crematorium around the audience while presenting well-known events from the Bible and Greek mythology. However, there was no attempt to recreate the death camp through realistic details but rather through theatrical imagery.
A visitor to the camp encounters an old Jewish man hovering around the crematoria. The man is a survivor of the camp and talks to the visitor about his experiences.
"Golgotha," the name of the site of Jesus' crucifixion, has become a Ladino word for suffering. Albert Salvado, a Ladino-speaking Jew and Holocaust survivor from Thessaloniki, Greece, is asked to light a beacon on Holocaust Memorial Day at Yad Vashem. The invitation stirs up his memories and guilt—he not only questions his right to light the torch, but also his identity as a Sephardic Jew. During the Holocaust, he worked in the crematorium at Auschwitz. His job was to walk the victims into the gas chambers, take out the bodies, and move them to the ovens. During that time his only wish was to see his wife just once more. And indeed, he saw her again when she came to the gas chambers; he had to put her inside and later burn her body. He also lost his two daughters in the camp. His own survival is, he feels, more a punishment than a blessing—searing guilt is the price he must pay for failing his family.
The Final Solution, a play written in three acts, is set in a factory that originally manufactured baking equipment but has been transformed by the Nazis into a site for the construction of ovens for the extermination centers. The play focuses on the moral quandry of the company’s lead engineer as he is forced to continue to collaborate in the mass destruction of European Jews.