Theatre play that tells moving stories of yesterday and today
Puzzle of escape and expulsion
Replete with humor, the play invites spectators to reflect upon the question raised by the mostly young actors in Seelower Kulturhaus: “Who benefits from spreading fears?”
Ingo Mikat /MOZ / 25.06.2018, 06:45
Translation: Maria Dyakonova
Seelow. “Puzzle – War chindren tell their stories” is a documentary theatre play dealing with war and refugee children. It was recently shown at Seelower Kulturhaus.
Alongside the emotional and moving stories of asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria, the puzzle consists of numerous memories of German war refugees and displaces people of 1945. The play starts with the actress Mirja Henking telling the story of a 10 year-old girl, who due to the advancing front fled from East Prussia to Lietzen, where locals turned out to be reluctant to accept her. Fragal Wali, a young woman from Kabul, tells another story – sitting back to back to Mirja, she shares her own refugee experience. In the following scene, the actor Vadim Grakovski features a Jew called Mark Perelman who was born in Belarus and who fled from Nazis to Russia. Upon his arrival, Perelman was surprised to face anti-Semitism coming from some locals. A Hitler boy, played by Volkmar Leif Gilbert, was among those who fled too. Only a happy coincidence saved him from the last meaningless combat mission, which would have meant for him a “heroic” death. Bombs destroyed the reporting point he belong to – and with it, already issued documents on his military deployment.
Constantly switching between stories of displaced people from 70 years ago and today’s asylum seekers, the play makes it clear – there is no difference between those painful experiences. Nobody leaves his homeland voluntarily. And everyone can end up being dependent on people’s help and support.
According to UNICEF numbers, over 30 million children and adolescents are in migration worldwide, trying to escape devastating military conflicts, natural disasters, or simply hunger and misery.
The play also demonstrates very clearly that even small German towns like Seelow are affected by supposedly distant crises – in form of people who knock on their doors with the hope to find protection. At the same time, the scene with a staged TV talk show satirically presents fierce debates on migration and integration as well as on possible limits of accepting capacity – the debates that split the society and that are ruthlessly used by some politicians to score points.
Directed by Monika Dobrowlanska and supported by means of Brandenburgische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, the project was created in cooperation with Kreis Kinder- und Jugendring Märkisch-Oderland e.V. It was attended by SPD member of the Landtag Brandenburg Simona Koß and state commissioner from CDU Friedemann Hanke.
Next shows take place on June 27, at 11:00 at Parkclub Fürstenwalde; on June 28, at 14:00 at Uckermärkischen Bühne Schwedt; and on September 19, at 12:00 at Kleist-Forum Frankfurt.