Brundibár

and the Girls of Room 28

Brundibár and the Girls of Room 28 - these are two stories closely intertwined: Brundibár, the children opera by Hans Krása and Adolf Hoffmeister created in 1938 in Prague and staged by Jewish children in Prague in 1942 and, between 1943 and 1944 in Theresienstadt, has become a Memorial to the children of Theresienstadt who were murdered in Auschwitz.

The survivors from Room 28 bear the memories of these children, the memory of Hans Krasá and of all who played in the opera or were among the audience.

 

When in July 1943 rehearsals for the opera began, girls of Room 28 were among them. Ela Stein (now Weissberger) played the cat, Maria Mühlstein often the sparrow and several times, on the side of her brother Eli, Aninka. Handa Pollak (now Drori) played sometimes the dog and Anna Flachová (later Hanusová)  sang in the choir of the school kids, and once she even played Aninka. All of the girls knew the opera by heart, and songs from Brundibár were often heard in Room 28.

22.1.2008, Akademie der Künste Berlin. Im Vordergrund: GewandhausKinderchor Leipzig

The survivors of Room 28 and their story as told in the book and exhibition had a strong impact on the reception of the operá Brundibar and had contributed to its revival.

 

In fact, their impact is unmeasurable. Many activities, projects, productions, works were inspired by their story.

Today the survivors of Room 28 - I am sorry to say that the  circle gets smaller year by year - belong to the very few who keep the memories of their friends in Theresienstadt alive and the memory of the opera Brundibár, which was "a light in the darkness."

 

Radio Documentary1997/1998

Brundibár and the Children of Theresienstadt

Twoc CDs

with the opera Brundibár and a radio documentary about the history of its first perfirmances in Prague and Terezin.

 

In 1998 the label EDA published the radio documentary by Hannelore Brenner which was produced by the Austrian Radio a year before. It tells the history of the creation and performances of the opera along original documents and recollections of the survivors: Anna Hanusová, Helga Kinsky, Alice Sommer, Greta Klingsberg, Eva Herrmanová, Eliska Kleinová, Trude Simonsohn, Thomas Mandl, Leopold Lowy, Paul Aron Sandfort.

The radio-documentary is in German.

 

January 2017

The Compendium to the Educational Room 28 Projects is published!

Visit the Website of:

Leya. Sao Paulo
The Theresienstadt Diary by Helga Pollak-Kinsky, publihsed by Ediiton Room 28

"As Meninas do Quarto 28" in Porto Alegre presented by Karen Zolko

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© Hannelore Brenner-Wonschick, Berlin, 2016