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October 14, 1966 - Image 21

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1966-10-14

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Weiss 'The Investigation' Probes Auschwitz Guilt

By SAUL CARSON
(Copyright. 1966, JTA, Inc.)
Near the end of "The Investiga-
tion," the play staged at the Am-
bassador Theater in New York, as
seen by this observer on opening
night, one of the two actresses in
the east, Vivian Nathan, a survivor
from the horrors of Auschwitz, de-
clared: "What they did could not
have been carried through without
the approval of the millions."
"They," course, referred to
- the Nazis on trial for their roles in
the murder of 4,000,000 men,
women and children at Auschwitz.
But the millions indicted by the
actress are all of us. That's what
this searing, shattering play, based
on the transcripts of the 18-month-
long trial of leading Auschwitz
personnel. held in Frankfurt, Ger-
many, is all about.
It is intended to be — it builds
inevitably, pitilessly, excruciating-
ly to that one climax. Four million
were killed at that one concentra-
tion camp. Not a shred of remorse
had been shown by any of the
defendants, any of the witnesses
for the defense, by the counsel for
the defense. Guilt? Take your share
— Nazi participant, industrial Ger-
man mogul who used slave labor,
the entire German people, the en-
tire world — yes, even the victims
and the ;:survivors themselves. You
too are among the millions. It was
your world. Unasked, but implied
by the author. Peter Weiss, is a
corollary: Is this still true in our
world today?
* # •
Peter Weiss is a 40-year-old
Swedish citizen, born of a Jewish
father in Berlin, rescued from Hit-
ler's clutches in time by his parents,
who came to world prominence as
a playwright last year in New York
(the year earlier in London) as
the author of a drama called "The
Persecution and Assassination of
Karat by the Inmates of the Asylum
at Charenton Under the Direction
of the Marquis de Sade." The play
won, in New York, about all the
critical — and audience — kudos
a drama of the strength of Marat/
Sade could possibly have earned.
Weiss had become the most out-
standing playwright of his genera.
tion. His Marat/Sade had been con-
sidered not only the strongest play
on Broadway last year •— it had
been judged a great work of art
by a superb artist.
But even as Marat/Sade was
earning hurrahs after its opening
in London. Weiss went to other
fields. At Frankfurt, Germany, 21
Nazis, all of them leading person-
nel among the murders at Ausch-
witz, were on trial. He attended
sessions of that long proceeding
(it ended by guilty verdicts for 20
of the men; six were sentenced to
life imprisonment, 10 to six-year
jail terms). Weiss went to see
Auschwitz for himself. He has said

DAYENU

that only after visiting Auschwitz
did he comprehend fully what had
gone on there.
* *
He culled the court transcripts.
A dozen or so of his actors repre-
sent the entire group that had
been on trial. Two witnesses for
the defense represent the German
industrialists who aided Auschwitz
and the Nazis — and profited heav-
ily thereby. Five. two of them
women, represent the many wit-
nesses for the prosecution. All the
words used by the entire cast —
including the presiding judge, the
prosecutor and the chief consul
for the defense, are taken from the
actual court records. The words
are history. Only the arrangement
had been made by Weiss. The word
"Jew" is not mentioned once. It
isn't needed.
* * *

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

least at a safe distance, at the New
York end of a cable line — re-
member it only too well. We must
sympathize with Weiss, who had
been there and had seen and heard
these men of the Auschwitz direc-
torate. We must sympathize with
and laud his motives in telling the
story on stage — in his own way.
"The Investigation" may not
prove a hit as many a musical
comedy, or even many a serious
drama, have proven. But in the
Weiss presentation, that Frankfurt
trial lives on. As it should.

Friday, October 14, 1966-21

NY Constitution Change in Schools Aired at Hearing

BUFFALO (JTA) — Sharply di- child who is to be served and edu-
vergent views over state financial cated."
aid to religious schools emerged
The American Jewish Congress
here at a hearing conducted by the warned that any weakening of the
New York State Commission pre- church-state separation provision
paring for the state's constitutional of the New State Constitution, to
convention next April.
provide government financing for
The split developed over the pro- private schools, would lead to "a
posal to repeal the prohibition in dual school system under which
the state constitution against such the public schools will be all blackk
aid to religious-sponsored schools, and the private schools will. except
which. if adopted. would benefit for a few showcase Negroes, be
the more than 150 Hebrew day all white."
schools in the state as well as the
extensive Catholic parochial school
i4(40 "DEXTER -**L,
District Grand Lodge Set Up system.
At issue is a provision in the )f
by Caribbean Bnai Brith
,_ CHEVROLET IS .1,
1‘
WILLEMSTAD, Curacao—Bnai constitution. drafted in 1894. that "r THE BEST PLACE
Brith's annual regional conference bars the use of state money "di-
TO GET YOUR 44
for the Caribbean area was held rectly or indirectly" to aid schools *
administered or controlled by re-
here.
CAR."
Some 20 delegates—led by Moi- ligious organizations.
J.
Eugene
'McMahon,
treasurer
The stage is arrayed with rows of ses Mizrachi, president of the Car- of the Catholic Charities of Buf-
comfortabl e, witness-box type ibbean Regional Council of Bnai falo, said he hoped that the con-
chairs for accused and witnesses, Brith—gathered in Willemstad at vention would "cut through shi- *
MORE REPEAT
-0C
all facing the audience. In the the Curacao Inter-Continental Ho- boleths Of separation and frozen *
-'
CUSTOMERS
SAY:
orchestra pit, there is a table ac- tel.
doctrinaire positions on church and
• Better Deals
One of the main projects of the state to see and acknowledge the
commodating the judge and coun-
• Better Service
Jr
conference was the creation of a
sel for the two sides.
a•••••••••••••••••••••• ∎
In scene after scene, the occur- district grand lodge to include Mex-
HARRY THOMAS
rences at Auschwitz develop ico through Central America with
all
of
the
islands
in
the
Caribbean

Fine Clothes for

through Weiss' point-counterpoint.

Over 30 Years

oratorio-style arrangement of the area. Previously, one grand lodge • •

record piled up during the Frank- has existed which encompassed • • Open Sunday 11 to 4

furt trial: Men, women and chil- Latin America as well. Nicolaus •

15200 W. 7 Mile
Mile

74
dren starved, transported to Ausch- Debrot, governor of the Nether- •

3
Mocks
E.
of
Greenfield

lands
Antilles,
welcomed
the
dele-
witz, some of them taken directly

Corner
Sussex

to the companion camp of Birkenau, gates.
4••••••••••••••••••••
with its Cyclon-B "shower" rooms
and its gas ovens, victims shot, vic-
tims killed by the injection of phe-
nol directly into their hearts, beat-
en, exposed to the weather, women
subjected to medical experiments
which are described in detail, peo-
ple burned sometimes alive — it
is all there in words given to you
from the stage.
There are very few histrionics.
Only once in a while is a voice
raised in anger — sometimes by
the defendants, sometimes by the
defense counsel, sometimes by the
rich moguls there to testify for the
Nazis — never by the obviously
Jewish survivors. Most of the time,
the pressure is low — as if Weiss
feels that the story needs no un-
derscoring, the facts need only to
Now that you can afford to think of
be told — and you, the audience,
great whisky first, price later, drink this in:
will understand, will feel, perhaps
rebel.
■ 111
Seagram's V.O. does what no other
* * *
whisky
can.
It
defines
smooth
once
and
Not one of New York's first night
for all. Light? Of course. Lucky you!
critics dared attack Mr. Weiss'
"story line." They did ask ques-
Known by the company it keeps
tions of another nature: Is this
Seagram's
drama, or is it non-theater, un-
Canadian
theater? Will audiences flock to
this theater? If they do, will they-
prove themselves sufficiently eu-
peptic to applaud loudly enough to
pack the house for a long run?
Those questions, at this writing,
must remain unanswered. Some of
us who, during those long months
of the Auschwitz trial at Frank-
furt followed it minutely — at

Better Every Way

• *

Slatkin's
*
DEXTER
* CHEVROLET




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You're a little bit richer
when you switch to
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1111

BY HENRY LEONARD

"Why do you insist it must be a bank or savings

and loan company that's going up? Maybe it's
a shut."

.. ... . . .

Cow. 1966, Dayenu Productions

IraiN,ATAN WHISKY-A RENO OF SELECTED WHISKIES. SIX YEARS 010. 86.3 PROOF. SEAGRAM DISTILLERS COMPANY, N.Y.C.,



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