Польский театр Катастрофы

Celan Program Translations

Abstract: The tragedy of the Holocaust was an extremely painful topic for Poland after World War II. Despite the known facts of Polish aid to the Jews, the majority of the Polish population, according to the author of this book, took the position of "bystanders" to the Shoah. Such a shameful experience was difficult for contemporaries of the war and their descendants, who were more willing to think of themselves as victims and heroes. The censorship restrictions imposed by the authorities of communist Poland also exacerbated the problem. Grzegorz Niesolek's book is devoted to the history of the strained relationship between the subject of the Holocaust and Polish theater. It critically analyzes the game that goes on both onstage and offstage - the game of memory and forgetfulness, of knowledge and its absence. The author carefully examines the problem of the "blindness" of theater in relation to the Shoah, but even more attention is paid to examples where playwrights and directors at least implicitly touched this topic. In the researcher's opinion, these forms of allegorical conversation about the Shoah are at the basis of the most outstanding phenomena of Polish post-war theater, including productions by Leon Schiller, Jerzy Grotowski, Jozef Szajna, Erwin Axer, Tadeusz Kantor, Andrzej Wajda, and others. Grzegorz Niesiołek is head of the Department of Theatre and Drama at the Faculty of Polish Studies at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow.

(Translated from Russian Original here)