Theatre of the Camps & Ghettos

warsaw theatre“In a graveyard you do not do theatre”
Announcement posted around the Vilna ghetto by the Bundists

“Life is once again pulsating in the Vilna Ghetto. In the shadow of Ponary life is happening and there is hope for a better morning. The concerts that were initially boycotted are accepted by the public. The halls are full. Literary evenings are full and the great hall cannot hold everyone who comes.”
Hermann Kruk, A Diary in the Vilna Ghetto,

The Jewish prisoners of the Nazi concentration camps and ghettos who were subjected to an inhuman regimen included distinguished scholars and scientists in all fields, painters, sculptors, composers, instrumentalists, operatic divas, and other musicians. The performances were a public way of working through the appalling situation they were in. They determined to maintain their spirits in the face of their conditions by continuing their intellectual and artistic endeavors for the benefit of fellow prisoners after their long workdays on meager rations. They performed and created music, and theatre productions all with one aim: to live the day, to preserve the self from disappearance.

One of the inmates observed: “I don’t understand it; how is that possible. Those wonderful artists. What they achieved then. Under these conditions. Then the play was over and one did not need them any longer, one says, thank you and simply puts them into the oven.”

Theatre and Music in the Ghetto
Vilna During the Holocaust
Daily life in the Vilna Ghetto
The Jerusalem of Lithuania
Yad Vashem

THEATRE IN THE GERMAN CONCENTRATION CAMPS
All About Jewish Theatre

The Holocaust Theatre Online Collection
Cultural Life in the Theresienstadt Ghetto
By Dr. Margalit Shlain
Jewish Theatre

Meet the Artists of the Warsaw Ghetto...
Culture.Pl

The Terezin Experience: Defiant Requiem by Verdi at Terezin
All About Jewish theatre

Come to the Thereisenstadt cabaret
All About Jewish theatre

They played for their life : Cabaret in the Face of Death
All About Jewish theatre

Theater
Yiddish Theater
The YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe
A history of Yiddish theatre from the 19th century to the Holocaust and afterwards

Ghetto theatre
CATALOGUING THE MARTIN MILLER AND HANNAH NORBERT MILLER ARCHIVE
AN AUSTRIAN JEWISH EXILE THEATRE COLLECTION

Warsaw Theatre – Image Gallery
Gordon Levitan
Images from the Warsaw Theatre, before and during WWII

Images: Music and theater in the Warsaw ghetto
Gordon Levitan

Image Gallery:
Theater of Warsaw Ghetto
Wikimedia Commons

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