"Anyone can go to the Holocaust museum [in Washington DC] but not everyone gets this experience." ~A. Speitel (student, 17)
"Who Will Carry the Word" pictures available
by Marc Adelman
The Holocaust Awareness Museum sponsored individual and separate speaking appearances of Manya Perel, Itka Zygmuntowicz, and Ruth Hartz during the recent Philadelphia run of the stage production, Who Will Carry the Word by OtherWORDS Theater, between 13-26 September, 2009 at the Adrienne Theater. The play was authored by Charlott Delbo, an Aushwitz survivor. Ms Delbo “willed herself to survive” and “promised to dedicate her life to give witness” Anthony Hostetter, a current professor of theatre at Kutztown University and play’s director stated, “We must tell the story so the whole world will know what happened” and “we must find ways to speak about the unspeakable.” The production was a compilation of the experiences of twenty young women in Aushwitz who sacrifice to keep the strongest alive so that at least one of them could return to bare witness to the millions who were lost in the Holocaust.
Marc Adelman, a Holocaust Awareness Museum Education Department staff member, introduced Manya, Itka, and Ruth to the cast, at three separate performances for one half hour prior to their performance. Each session was a moving moment of sorority between women, generations and cultures apart, embracing the shared knowledge that they will continue to “carry the word” to honor the memory of those lost to the horrific violence of the Nazi Party.
Prior to each performance, Marc Adelman made the audience aware of the existence of the museum and gave them a brief description of two outreach programs. “We added ‘Awareness’ to our title to emphasize our dedication to education: Awareness through our Survivor’s Speaker Bureau and awareness through our Witness To History Project to compensate when survivors are no longer capable of speaking out.”
Manya, Itka, and Ruth were guests of the producer, Melanie Stewart, and concluded their appearance with a discussion with the audience after each respective performance.
Pictures from the performances are available here.