Bearing witness to one man's Holocaust experience
The Vassar College's Jewish Studies Program will present "I Will Bear Witness," a one-man show based on the recently translated diaries of Victor Klemperer, a Jewish man living in Nazi Germany. The production will be at the Bardavon 1869 Opera House on Wednesday, November 7, at 7 p.m.
"I Will Bear Witness" stars George Bartenieff, who won an OBIE award for his representation of Klemperer in the 2000-2001 off-Broadway season. A refugee himself from Hitle's Germany, Bartenieff "communicates a tightly wound unease," of a Jewish man who wrote, "I think German. I am German. I can't take it out of myself." Married to an "Aryan" woman, Klemperer was saved from the concentration camps, which allowed him to keep this diary of the "everyday life of tyranny," that, if discovered, would have cost him his life.
"The actor who embodies a Holocaust story does not have the luxury of playing imagined suffering, or a mythical ordeal," wrote Karen Malpede, who adapted the diaries for the stage with Bartenieff, her husband. Buried for decades in East Germany, the work was first published in 1995.
This presentation is made possible by a gift from Suzanne Fishman, Vassar class of 1955, and Dr. Lawrence Fishman.
Tickets are available from the Bardavon box office by calling (845) 473-2072. General admission is $18; $9 for students with identification. Vassar College students and employees will be admitted free of charge and may pick up tickets from the Vassar College Campus Activities Office beginning on Friday, October 19.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861