Brundibár and the Girls of Room28 - these are two stories closely intertwined: Brundibar, the children opera by Hans Krása and Adolf Hoffmeister created in 1938 in Prague and staged by Jewish children in Prague and, betwwen 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), Anna Flachová (later Hanusová) sang in the choir of the school kids. All of the girls knew the opera by heart, and songs from Brundibár were often heard in Room 28.
Many times from 1999 until today the survivors were invited to performances of Brundibár. They shared their experiences of their childhood with young people and their memories of the Theresienstadt performances of Brundibár. Since 2004 the book "The Girls of Room 28" tells not only their story, but also the story of the performances of Brundibár in Theresienstadt. It is the first documentation of its kind based on the recollections of the girls and many more survivors. The book was published 2004 in Germany. In 2009 the American edition followed by Schocken Books.
(Brundibár and the children of Theresienstadt)
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.
NEUERSCHEINUNG 16.März 2017
President Alexander Van der Bellen was our honory guest of the Matinée in Vienna, 29 January 2017. More on:
Room 28 e.V.
IBAN Account Nr:
DE12 1004 0000 0128 2821 00
Website of the NPO Room 28 e.V.:
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since October 9, 2014