Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Time Has Come

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings."

To evoke Lewis Carroll  in Through the Looking Glass, “The time has come to talk of many things,” but  not about whether pigs have wings, but rather  to talk of the end of  the play A Ball for Genia, and a little about the play and who created it.  The playwright is Ralph E. Clarke, an all-around writer of more than sixty years, mostly about business affairs, including even patent applications. He confesses not to have written the play:  “It came and wrote itself—a clear case of automatic writing. I did not know these people, nor had ever had heard such  names as Dolek and Itzhak and  Wachter. They came and spoke and left and never roused themselves again except for an occasional plaint of ‘why don’t you get this thing out into the world.’
And so this thing came out into the world  the form of a weblog, known more popularly as a “blog.”  Whether it will ever play on a full stage is a question, although parts of  it has been performed in staged readings.  The whole thing could not have been accomplished without the help of two of my daughters, both writers of great promise, who will speak for themselves.
But to bring the play in to the world was an unforgettable experience for the memories it evoked.  To bring it about, it was necessary to look again into the faces of the victims pictured before their last agony—the Jewish man with the eyeglasses about to be shot in the head to fall into a ditch with the other victims…the little girl faced with  a death she did not understand, and the plea on her face let me live…the mother with her children who was about to face an end in a gas chamber of unfathomable horror—these can never be forgotten. Their pleas come down through the years—“Don’t forget. Don’t forget us…don’t ever forget—all multiplied six million times.
As to the other willing contributors:
Dr. Alison Clarke (PhD, English Language and Literature, King’s College London) lives in the UK with her actor husband, and cat.  She has lived in London since 1989.  She says:  “I remember the first time I read my father’s play.  I was amazed and moved and so impressed, but I wondered – why?  How? We’re not Jewish, and much as we have sympathy for what the Jewish people have suffered over centuries, and a real and true horror of the Holocaust, I didn’t understand where this might have come from.  Now I know.  And I am even more impressed by his writing – or he would call it his ‘translating’ - ability.  It has been a true joy to work on this blog with him.”  Alison had the privilege, if it can be called so, of visiting Auschwitz, an experience she will never forget.
 Christine (Clarke) Stumpf writes for the Examiner as Chicago Community Life Examiner.  Christine formerly wrote for New West Magazine and is now widely-read on Facebook, most notably for her accounts of the Chicago scene. Living in the heart of downtown, her finger is on the pulse of what's happening, and she is often at the hot spots. Believing that fun is vital, Christine likes to share it!  Some readers say they live vicariously through her; others consult her to help plan their trips to Chicago.  Again, she is amazed by her father's writings and feels privileged to have contributed to this blog.
 We are not going away.  We feel this so importantly, that we will continue to update you with information about Holocaust Remembrance, and we wish to be a voice against the deniers.  Yes, there are some.  But we will never stop promoting and respecting the memory of all who died.
Namaste.  Thank you for following us, and being with us.