We went in, sat down, and were suddenly transported to a scene in Nazi Germany wherein an SS officer was having an affair with a German woman, and in the same apartment building was a cell of members of the Jewish Resistance. The play, When Yellow Were the Stars on Earth, explored the relationships between these characters in depth. It was heart-wrenching, and the female lover’s brother at one point returns from the Russian front absolutely frantic and out of his mind with a mixture of profound grief and rage, having borne witness to the murder of a large group of Jewish children who were shot at point-blank range and thrown into a ditch.
The shock of exactly the same kind of story I had just heard from people I personally knew resounded inside me–there was no escaping or marginalizing, nor denying this time; there was just pure pain and sadness at the low ebbs of the human psyche and condition. I sat in the theater tearing as I watched the scene dramatized before me. Franco Moschetti skillfully hit a spot in the human psyche that makes people bleed in their hearts from pain, yet at the same time, a Jewish woman and the SS officer’s German lover well, I don’t want to say more now in case you get the golden opportunity to see it, but just to say, there is the low ebb and the high triumph of the human spirit. We need to remember that both co-exist in the human being and to the extent that we can call upon the higher nature of ourselves, we will be forging a new future and a better world.
So I visited the theater twice, and had no idea that was in the making. I visited the story of the ditch twice, once as a true story, the next as a fictionalized version though based on a true story, and dramatized, with heart-piercing impact.
So the psyche works, weaving a story within a story. Even though the holocaust happened now some 70 years ago, the heart doesn’t forget and remembering the horror can help us to appreciate the beauty of relative peace, respect for other and the power of compassion.
from: Mitchell Jay Rabin/ founder of A Better World
August 13, 2011