Tags: Kristallnacht

Elegy

Elegy portrays the relationship between a troubled young man and his Holocaust survivor parents. Shifting fluidly back and forth from New York in the 1970s to Kristallnacht and later in Berlin, brief moments at Auschwitz, and New York after the war, the play dramatizes the struggles of a second generation survivor and his father. Helmut, a poet in his youth before the war, struggles to suppress his memories of the past. Rummaging in the attic, Jerry stumbles on a poem in German and is stunned to learn of his father's poetic past. His mother asks him not to mention the poetry to his father, but Jerry cannot let his father’s poetry rest. In an effort to purge his own demons, Jerry confronts Helmut and tries to reawaken the poetry in his father’s soul.

From Crystal to Smoke [Du Cristal à la fumée]

On Saturday, November 12, 1938, two days after the Kristallnacht bloodbath, the most prominent Nazi leaders held a secret meeting in Berlin chaired by Goering. Himmler, Heydrich, Funk, and Daluege, among others, were present. Hitler, who had remained in Munich, followed every minute of the meeting. It was during this meeting that the Nazi leaders decided to eradicate the Jews. This was long before the meeting in a villa on the Wannsee lakeside on January 20, 1942. Jacques Attali represents here, in minute detail, with the help of recently discovered German archives, the surreal dialogue of this high-level meeting, during which the worst decision ever taken by a group of men was conceived: the extermination of a people.

Goodbye Marianne

Based on the playwright’s experience as a child in Nazi Germany immediately after Kristallnacht, 1938. Marianne finds one day that she is no longer permitted to attend school. She meets Ernst, a boy staying in her apartment building while on holiday in Berlin. She finds out he is a member of the Hitler Youth and Ernst realizes that Marianne is Jewish. They argue and she fears their friendship is over. Marianne’s father is in hiding from the Gestapo, and her mother tries to protect her from the reality of their circumstances. Through Kindertransport, Marianne is able to escape to Canada. Before she leaves, Ernst gives her a gift, which renews her faith in humanity and gives her hope for the future.

Kristallnacht

Written by an Italian professor of German literature, who witnessed Kristallnacht, the "night of the broken glass," when between November 9 and 10, 1938, Jews and Jewish institutions were attacked throughout Nazi Germany and Austria, and who was later interned as an Italian Parisian, the play dramatizes the impact of the Nazi pogrom on a German community.

The Education of Hershl Grynszpan

The play takes place at the end of October 1938 on a train traveling from Krakow to Warsaw. Yiske Labushnick, a middle-aged Jewish man, sits down in a couchette and shares a ride with a young Jewish man, Hershl, traveling home after visiting his grandparents in Krakow. The older gentleman regales the younger man about his work and adventures as a klezmer musician. As Yiske reminisces, he reveals much about Jewish life in Poland on the eve of World War II. As the train nears its destination, we find out Yiske is not just any klezmer musician, but is working with the Jewish underground connected with the Hashomer Hatzair smuggling Jews out of Europe. His stories have a profound effect on Hershl, and the play ends with the announcement that Kristallnacht has begun.

The Night of Broken Glass

The play is based on the events of November 9–10, 1938 in Nazi Germany and Austria called Kristallnacht, in which hundreds of synagogues and Jewish owned businesses were systematically destroyed and up to 30,000 Jews sent to concentration camps. This single event was a precursor to the Holocaust. Kristallnacht was triggered by the shooting of a low-level Nazi official in Paris by a 17-year-old German Jew residing with his uncle and aunt in Paris. For the Nazis, this was the perfect excuse to get rid of the Jews once and for all. The Night Of Broken Glass is based on some of those events that led up to the trial of Herschel Grynzspan, named Herschel Green in the play. The collusion of the German and French governments is brought out during the testimony. The play is relevant to the current anti-Semitism in France and Germany and highlights the parallel between 1938 and the present day.

THIS SIDE OF ETERNITY: THE KRISTALLNACHT STORY

Germany, 1938. The Holocaust lies in the future, but the Nazi propaganda machine is using peace-time to plant its insidious seeds. Martin and Jozef find their life-long relationship tested when Hitler incites legal terrorism on his Jewish citizens. Can a Christian Nazi and his Jewish best friend hold their bond together, or will they be swept into a conflict destined to consume the entire world? In reflection of the 80th anniversary of this historic event, This Side of Eternity: The Kristallnacht Story examines the nature of evil itself, the real human beings behind genocide, and asks if it’s possible to resist in the face of insurmountable odds. It explores the subtle roots of evil that are in place long before destructive choices occur and speaks to many issues dominating our current national discourse. Clear answers are hard to find, but the heart of this play – two men who long to keep their deep bond, as external forces seek to destroy it – challenges us to keep looking.

Witness

Combines personal testimony with powerpoint images to explore the experiences and reactions of eyewitnesses to Kristallnacht.
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