Who will talk about the Shoah when all of the survivors of the Holocaust have passed away? Almost 70 years after the end of World War II, this project attempted to find a new form of presentation, featuring the life stories of seven survivors in a performance. The artistic director Christina Friedrich spent one and a half years working with the Holocaust survivors Miriam Kremin, Leakadia Szlak, Siegfried Teller, Benjamin Ginzburg, Josef Künstlich, Sara Zamir and Ester Liber. During her time with them, she succeeded in “salvaging” their stories in the form of drawings. When words no longer sufficed, when the trauma was too close to the surface, she encouraged the participants to draw. Each of the seven witnesses placed their pictures along with personal items, mementos and photos from family albums into a “Box of Life”, which served as the central requisite of the performance. The actors, who are familiar with the life stories of these survivors, acted as “messengers”. They told the stories of the personal items and drawings which were placed inside each “Box of Life”. The items speak volumes of history. The listeners took envelopes containing the drawings and became messengers themselves.
The survivors attended the opening performance in Haifa in November. The European premiere took place at the Centrum Judaicum in Berlin in autumn 2013. The performance then toured to Vilnius, Brussels, Warsaw and Marseille – locations that have played an important role in the life stories of the survivors. A new ensemble of messengers was put together at each new venue and spread the survivors’ stories throughout the world.Artistic directors: Christina Friedrich, Michael Brauchli (CH)
Artists: Lida Barner (LU), Judith Siepmann, Benjamin Ginzburg (PL, LT, IL), Ester Liber (PL, IL), Josef Künstlich (PL, IL), Leakadia Szlak (PL, IL, CA), Miriam Kremin (PL, IL), Sara Zamir (BE, IL), Siegfried Teller (AT, GB, IL), Eyal Dinar (IL), Brigit Naef (CH), Jörg Jeshel, Ludger Henning.
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Stiftung Neue Synagoge Berlin – Centrum Judaicum
Oranienburger Str 28/30