Monday, October 1, 2012
Why do this? Why create both a blog and a play especially for remembering the Holocaust? Because we are forgetting! This applies especially to the younger generation, many of whom have never heard the name Holocaust, nor of its six million dead. This must not be! The story of The Holocaust must be told and retold to everyone even unto the furthest generation. The awareness of this incredible tragedy must never be erased from the pages of history, nor can it ever be expunged from the collective conscience of mankind. Every medium of communication must be used—word of mouth, the article and the essay, the poem and the novel, the pictorial, and now, this blog and the play A Ball for Genia.
The story of the play. There once was a man who lived in a country occupied by Nazi troops during World War II. Although a Gentile, he sheltered Jews in his home when to do so would have meant death upon discovery for him as well as for them. He did this not for gain or for glory but because, as he said, it was thing he had to do. Sadly, there were not many who did this, for the consequences were terrible—transportation along with the Jews to the death camps. But for those who dared, their names are legend, and they are called The Righteous Among the Nations. The play is the story of a Righteous Man as it might have been lived by him and by those he saved. It is recreated here through the medium of the drama. And so we offer A Ball for Genia.
Who is doing this? Who created the blog and the play? The playwright, for one. When asked why he wrote such a play, he said not to seek fame or fortune, and like the lead character in the play Albert Wachter, he also said it was a thing I had to do. And there is often another question: Are you Jewish? The answer is “no,” for the playwright is that much-derided creature of these secular times-- a WASP — a white, Anglo-Saxon protestant. So also are two of his associates. There is also a Jewish associate, an old friend who volunteered to be proofreader and advisor on all things Jewish such as language, customs and liturgy. A further note: The playwright begs to be anonymous.
So there are four of us, and we will sign ourselves for all things presented as The Group. And as to why we do it, we also say it is a thing we have to do. And we too beg to be anonymous.
And there is another and equally vital reason for the existence of the blog and the play: it can happen here — here in these United States, here in this America! A foreknowledge of the possibility might just prevent it from happening. That is a topic for a later and no doubt heated discussion on the blog or Facebook.
So mark your calendar for next Monday, October 7 when Episode 1 of A Ball for Genia is presented. In this episode, we will see the little family of Genia and her parents, Jareth and Lusia, being pursued by a vicious, stone-throwing mob. Will they escape? We’ll find out next Monday.
And here is little Genia about to fall asleep with her doll, Rivke.
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