Tags: Mary Berg

A Bouquet of Alpine Violets

A stage adaptation of Mary Berg’s diary to mark the 43rd anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. Berg’s diary, which preceded the famous Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank, depicts daily life and death in the Warsaw ghetto through the eyes of a teenage girl. Possessing American citizenship saved the Berg family from the fate of millions of Eastern European Jews. Along with other foreign citizens, they were held in Pawiak, the Warsaw prison, before being sent to a camp in France, and then sailing to the U.S. as part of a German prisoner of war exchange. But while in the ghetto and the Warsaw prison, Berg witnessed firsthand the horrors of life there, which she recorded in notebooks and brought with her to the U.S.


Inspired by Mary Berg’s account of life and death in the Warsaw Ghetto, as well as drawing parallels with Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the production recreates life in the ghetto through the eyes of Prospero and Miranda. Craftsmen work, children learn the Torah at school, a family prepares for a wedding. Gradually Nazi persecution emerges. The people rebel but they cannot escape deportation to the extermination camps. In the final scene, a choir sings as paper blackbirds fly over the heads of spectators, representing those who were lost.