Venice Ss Essays

Venice Ss Essays-6
A similar version to that of the 1977 version was then performed in 1993 by Théâtre Distinct, also associated with the University of Ottawa, only this time the same cast played it in both French and English.

is anchored in these and Egervari's own experiences, when as a six-year old living in Hungary, both his brother and father were taken by the Nazis (they did not survive).

It is important to remember the horrific toll taken on Hungarian Jews at Auschwitz: the gas chambers were at maximum production in the period from April to July 1944 during which time the influx of Hungarian Jews was at its greatest (some 475,000 Hungarian Jews were deported to Auschwitz during this period, at the rate of approximately 12,000 a day).

"In the next five years, it would be put on more than 30 times. In a 1942 production in Berlin, the director planted extras in the audiences to shout and whistle when Shylock appeared, thus cuing the audinece to do the same" (Madigan "Shylock Re-Shot.").

(For a fascinating documentary on the Shylock figure see the National Film Board of Canada's (NFB) film , directed by Pierre Lasry).

I myself have never allowed that thought to be entertained for a moment or to have any feeling which would permit prejudice to develop, but I must say that the evidence is very strong, not against all Jews, which is quite wrong, as one cannot indict a race any more than one can a nation, but that in a large percentage of the race there are tendencies and trends which are dangerous indeed. 228) In such racist contexts, Egervari's play makes an important contribution to assimilating issues of national and international importance into a local Canadian theatrical context.

As a Shakespearean adaptation, the play engages with a genre flexible enough to reflect on the unspeakable horrors of Auschwitz from within a local cultural context.Egervari's work takes on Nazism, anti-Semitism, and the production contexts of , and used explicit materials and documents from the Nazi era to thicken the cultural critique of anti-Semitism it presents (including in one notable instance a negative image of the Jew as frightening, hook-nosed caricature with the caption "Jews are Messiah murderers").As a theatrical adaptation, then, Egervari's work compounds and collides multiple texts and influences with Shakespeare's ur -work within the multilinguistic and multicultural context of Canada, whose own legacy provides sobering reminders of Canada's long-standing restrictionist immigration policies towards Jews in the 20s and 30s.Canadian anti-Semiticism, as documented by Abella and Troper, was particularly virulent in Quebec and Ontario.Shockingly, of major nations that permitted Jewish immigration during the Nazis' twelve-year reign, Canada had the smallest number of immigrants (5000) after the United States (200,000), Palestine, Britain, Argentina, Brazil, China, and Bolivia and Chile.Anti-Jewish sentiments were being voiced regularly––and with impunity––by many respectable newspapers, politicians, businessmen and clergymen . Anti-Semitism, he [the American Chargé d'affaires] added was increasingly "finding expression in private conversations.(Irving Abella and Harold Troper, [Toronto: Lester and Orpen Dennys 1983], 50-51) ."La semaine des deux Shylock." that is radically anti-Semitic.Egervari's introduction notes that unlike the "orchestral organizations in Theresienstadt or elsewhere" no theatrical activities took place in Auschwitz.His mother and younger sister died there and his two older sisters survived.Wiesel also spent time in Buchenwald with his father, who died there shortly before liberation in 1945.

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