Room 28 Education/ Room 28 Projects
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Brundibár

& The Girls of Room 28

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.

 

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 cintributed 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 memorie of their friends in Theresienstadt alive, and the memory of the opera Brundibár, which was for them "a light in the darkness.".

 

Our dear Flaška

Anna Hanusová (1930-2014)

Anna Hanusová (1930-2014), who was called Flaška by her friends, so often told young people about Brundibár, and she did it always with all her heart. She, the soul of Room 28 Projects, ist not any more among us.

Radio Documentary  1998

Brundibár und die Kinder von Theresienstadt (German CD)

(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.

 

Brundibár and the Girls of Room 28

Published in: Erziehungskunst, Zeitschrift zur Pädagogik Rudolf Steiners, 2/2006

A contributy by Hannelore Brenner-Wonschick

 

German language

 

Erziehungskunst.pdf
PDF-Dokument [3.2 MB]

NEUERSCHEINUNG 17. März 2017

 

Pressemitteilung März 2017.pdf
PDF-Dokument [682.8 KB]

President Alexander Van der Bellen was our honory guest of the Matinée in Vienna, 29 January 2017.  More on:

Room 28 e.V.

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Wer sich für die Room 28 Projects längerfristig engagieren und individuelle Kompetenzen einbringen möchte,  ist eingeladen an dem Workshop teilzunehmen. Bitte  bei Interesse ein informelles Schreiben richten an die Email: brenner@room28.de

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