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
Tags: Jan Karski
The play is the true story of Jan Karski, a humble Polish-Catholic courier for the Underground during World War II who risked his life many times to get the word out about what the Nazis were doing to the Polish Jews. With the secret code phrase, “Coming to see Aunt Sophie,” he worked his way through Nazi-occupied Europe, finally ending up in the United States and giving his report in July 1943 to FDR himself. It is a remarkable story about a man who was a hero to everyone but himself and whose experiences of trying to alert the world and failing to prevent the Holocaust haunted him the rest of his life.
The intense and chilling story of Jan Karski, hero of the Polish underground, sometimes referred to as "the man who tried to stop the Holocaust." He not only viewed firsthand many of the horrors of the Nazi regime within his own country, but committed himself to bearing witness by reporting directly to Allied leaders in England and the U.S. His reports were generally received with disbelief as being too outrageous to be true. He remained in the U.S., teaching at Georgetown University until his death in 2000. President Obama posthumously awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2012.
Emmy Award-winner and Academy Award-nominee David Strathairn—best known for memorable turns in films including Good Night, and Good Luck, Nomadland, and Lincoln—takes the stage in a tour-de-force performance. Meet World War II hero Jan Karski who, after surviving the devastation of his native Poland by Nazi Germany, risks his life to carry the first eyewitness reports of the Holocaust to the White House, only to be met with inaction and disbelief. Strathairn captures the remarkable life of the self-described “insignificant, little man” who spoke truth in the halls of power in a timely story of moral courage.
Jan Karski, a hero of the Polish Underground Resistance who tried to shake the conscience of the world in 1942 when there was still time to act to stop the Holocaust. A Roman Catholic, Karski volunteered at great risk to undertake a mission on behalf of the underground government to carry eyewitness reports to the free world about the destruction of the Jewish people of Poland. In this politically-charged play, Karski, who after the publication of his best-selling book Story of a Secret State became a legendary Georgetown University Professor, engages with a chorus of students who urge him to reckon with the ghosts of his past and to "go back" in his memory to revisit the episodes and memories that haunt him in order to bear witness for future generations. The chorus then begins to enact that history, filled with episodes of political intrigue, physical courage, harrowing escapes, tenderness, and devastation.