Sladký Theresienstadt (Vůdce daroval židům město)
SLADKÝ THERESIENSTADT / SWEET THERESIENSTADT
7 women, 10 men, extras
This play is based on documents about life in the Theresienstadt ghetto, the biggest Nazi concentration camp in Bohemia. The main inspiration was the diary of the journalist Willy Mahler, not yet published for ethical reasons. The second source is a story about the shooting of a propaganda documentary giving the world a false idea that Jews were being cared for; this was the job of another prisoner, Kurt Gerron. (Mahler and Gerron both died in transports to the extermination camps.) In this free dramatic composition the two stories are interlinked. The řlming is supervised by the leader of the camp Rahm. The author views the illusions "made" by Germans, the illusion of Rahm who had "personally nothing against the Jews", and more importantly the illusion in which both the main characters live, from an ironical distance. Gerron's naiveté, the feeling of his own importance and his belief in favourable appreciation, and the romanticism of the apparently pragmatic Mahler, longing for his Prague love Marie, to whom he is "faithful in his soul"; the author is ironical mainly about self-deception.
This is not a documentary drama about Terezín, but more of an elegy about people deserted in the ghetto, abandoned people, torn from their homes, deceiving themselves and each other /.../ A play about the past within us, about the illusions we create for ourselves and to which we, whether prisoners in Terezín or any other ghetto, often succumb. It concerns the pain about which we would rather know nothing today. (Vladimír Hulec, Sladký Theresienstadt je dramatem o bolesti, Práce, 16. 11. 1996)