Broadway play puts faces on Holocaust victims

To many people, the Holocaust is a phrase: Six million Jews. Some people, perhaps, look at the anonymous faces in concentration camp photos. The play “Leopoldstadt” (details here) tries to turn the history of the murdered Jews into a memory of real human beings that audiences can take home with them.

The late Dr. Steve Schwartz, founder of this blog, was the son of an American doctor who, as a member of an Army medical team, stumbled upon Buchenwald in April 1945. I’ve read a letter he wrote to Steve’s mother describing camp inmates wandering in the nearby woods.

The German guards had fled ahead of advancing American troops, who arrived a couple days later. For these reasons, and the fact the Schwartz family are Jewish, the Holocaust was a near thing to Steve. His family disputes had much to do with his father’s Buchenwald photographs.

I’ve read Elie Weisel’s book “Night,” in which he describes witnessing a German soldier throwing a live baby into a bonfire. These things were real and happened to actual people. They could happen again, anywhere, including here. That is why we must demand decency, integrity, and moral behavior from our political leaders.

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