Tags: memories

Before She Is Even Born

The play opens in the back of a Bronx tenement in 1945, as Raisal, a Jewish immigrant mother who is pregnant hangs her laundry and is confronted by her guilt-ridden memories. Through flashbacks, she remembers her childhood in prewar Poland, and then taking her diffident sister's passport, and immigrating to the United States. After she leaves, Raisal's mother, sister and her sister's daughter perish in the Holocaust. Raisal confronts questions regarding her survival and identity.

Bells and Trains [פעמונים ורכבות]

Hans returns to his hometown in Germany to visit his aunt Henrietta. Henrietta is living in a Jewish old-people’s home, with other survivors. He wants her to return to Jerusalem with him, but she refuses. Henrietta tells Hans about the past, of the stories of the others living with her, and Hans remembers his own childhood in Germany, especially his childhood love, Lora, whose parents survived the camps. They tell him about her death on the very day of liberation. In the end Hans returns to Israel.

Blue Light

Based on two short stories, The Shawl and Rosa, focuses on Rosa Lublin and her niece Stella. Both women survived the same concentration camp and now live in Miami. Rosa is haunted by her Holocaust experiences and by Magda, the daughter she tried to hide in the camp under a shawl but who was eventually discovered and killed. Stella, resented by Rose for surviving while her daughter did not, wants to deny her Holocaust past and experiences.


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 [גולגולתא]

"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.

Scene in Memory

Also translated as A Scene Played in Memory, the text is based on the final few moments between Delbo and her soon to be executed husband, both of whom were arrested for resisting the Nazis by publishing anti-German materials.

She Wasn’t There [היא לא הייתה כאן]

Yadja is a survivor. When she first came to Israel, she started working as a nanny for a spoiled girl named Orna. Yadja comes to Orna's wedding and memories start to surface; memories from Orna's own childhood; and memories from the Holocaust—fears, hardships, traumas, and rare moments of grace.

The Infant Rat [L’Enfant-rat]

L’Enfant Rat moves back and forth in chronology as it focuses on six survivors, identified only by numbers, of the same concentration camp work detail. The play both details the continuing relationship between these survivors, their past experiences and the continued impact of the camp experiences on them.

The Interview

A Holocaust survivor meets her interviewer—the child of other survivors—in preparation for her eyewitness testimony for an archival video project. Revisiting old memories, a mother and a daughter find new ways to forgive and be forgiven.