I'm not sure if I am of two minds about this or if I am being a hypocrite. I suppose it can be both. Although I appreciate the idea of artistic presentation in "real" places, I feel that the conceit described here is close to being a mockery of the reality itself. Actors are going to perform a play dealing with the destruction of Jews during World War Two while travelling on a train moving across Europe. Art imitates death.
The Holocaust has been presented in numerous ways through art. There are books and television shows and movies. I am, to varying degrees, uncomfortable with all of them. In artistic creation, there is some horror which can only be accurately portrayed off stage. What happened in the concentration camps can only be imagined, not displayed.
In my Satan manuscripts, Berlin is a central setting. One setting in particular is the Wannsee near Berlin - the departure point of this train. And I use the setting for the exact same reason as this theatre troupe, it is where the "Final Solution" for the Jews was created by the Nazis. (There is a movie about this event, also). Although I only allude to this historic event, I do - of course - use it. My hypocrisy stems from this fact.
Dress rehearsal at Prague's Bubny station. (ČTK)
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Lustig Train revisits Holocaust
Prague, July 13 (CTK) - A unique performance is offered by the Lustig Train or the Train into Oblivion at a scene created on a railway carriage with which Nazis transported Jews to concentration camps during World War Two and which set out on its ride Friday.
The train will visit railway stations in 14 towns until July 26.
The Prague-Bubny railway station was its first stop where the actors of the Divadlo pod Palmovkou theatre showed the "train version" of the performance Prayer for Katerina Horovitzova based on a novel by Czech Jewish writer Arnost Lustig.
They started performing it in the theatre in mid-June.
Another carriage contains the exhibition of the Military Historical Institute and the third a cinema with the screenings of contemporary films.
The project was launched within the autumn part of the Nine Gates festival of Czech-German-Jewish culture.
The train will set out on a symbolical route from Wannsee near Berlin on August 20-26.