The Award-Winning Theatrical Play Terezin: Children of the Holocaust
The problems of hatred, prejudice, bullying and indifference are present in our communities and in our schools. Unacceptable behavior is tolerated or ignored if it comes from our superstar athletes or the "popular kids." And hatred continues to be a cancer that will devour our souls and leave us only barren shells of what we might have been.
Terezin: Children of the Holocaust, the recipient of the 1984 Children's Television Drama Award, provides an historical context within which to examine these critically important issues. Playwright and director Anna Smulowitz, the daughter of Auschwitz survivors, wrote this play in order to sustain the memory of the victims, including her many family members who did not survive.
Terezin depicts two days in a cell at Terezin or Theresienstadt, a concentration camp outside of Prague that imprisoned many European Jews, including over 15,000 children. The play is the story of six of these children, and chronicles the last two days of their lives at the Terezin concentration camp before being deported to their deaths at Auschwitz. The drama takes place during the International Red Cross inspection of the Terezin concentration camp on June 23, 1944. Each of the six characters, all children, represent one million of the six million Jews who perished during the Holocaust.
While the play suggests the grim reality of what lies ahead, it is also a portrait of the hope that children naturally possess, and how these particular children achieved a triumph of spirit through their personal relationships and their artwork. The play is an impassioned work remembering the more than one million children who became victims of the Nazis.
Terezin can be used to introduce some very difficult subjects to students, such as racism, anti-Semitism, intolerance, bullying, and discrimination, whether on the basis of religion, gender, age, national origin, race or sexual orientation. The play can also serve to educate students about the Holocaust and other devastating chapters in our history, and to ensure that this kind of event never takes place again.
The goal of the play is to spread a profound message of healing and hope, and to help others combat hatred and intolerance. The play has a universal message that “no child is born a racist” and calls on each generation to prevent hatred and violence in today's world.
Terezin has toured schools, colleges and theaters throughout the United States and internationally for over forty years. It has been translated into several languages. The play has been performed at the Edinburgh fringe festival in Scotland, in Germany, including in Berlin and near Frankfurt, as well as at Terezin in the Czech Republic and at Auschwitz in Poland.
In 1984, Terezin was honored with the American Children's Television Drama Award.
Performances of Terezin are approximately 75 minutes and are generally followed by questions and conversations among our cast and the audience. This play is appropriate for children ages 12 and up, as well as for adults.
Click here for reviews of Terezin: Children of the Holocaust.
Click here to find out more about booking a performance of Terezin: Children of the Holocaust.